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Interest Group Leader Resources: How Things Work
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FAQs and How Things Work

Interest Groups are one of the most important parts of CLA—they provide opportunities for members to convene around areas of common interest, they represent member interests, they ensure that the Association remains current and relevant, and they provide members with opportunities to get involved with CLA and assume leadership positions. Thank you very much for choosing to join a CLA Interest Group leadership team! 

1. Support from CLA staff: The first point of contact for Interest Group leaders is CLA’s Interest Group Liaison. If you have any questions, need assistance in leading your group or developing activities, or if you would like to update the content on your web pages, please contact the Interest Group Liaison and other staff members at

2. Interest Group Committee: CLA’s Interest Group Committee oversees and provides support to the Interest Groups. The committee comprises between five and seven members, including one Board member and one CLA staff member. It reviews Interest Group applications, activity reports, and program proposals to ensure that they adhere to CLA’s governing documents and Interest Group guidelines. The committee also oversees Interest Group dissolution.

3. Web pages, Listserv, and Google Drive: CLA staff provides each CLA Interest Group with its own web pages, listserv, and space within google drive to store and share documents. CLA members can join your Interest Group by selecting it from their MyCLA page on the CLA website, which can be found under Member Resources. CLA members can join your Interest Group's listserv by visiting your group's landing page in the Interest Groups section of the website, which can be found under Member Resources. Visit your MyCLA page to see the names of group members. Use the link in the welcome message from your Interest Group listserv to see the names of people subscribed to your list.

4. Interest Group Leaders Group: Interest Group leaders are subscribed to an Interest Group leaders listserv where you can share information and communicate with one another and CLA staff.

5. Organizational Structure and Leadership Succession: Interest Groups determine their own organizational structure and procedures for leadership succession. CLA encourages Interest Group leaders to place information about their structure and procedures onto the website to help current and prospective members become and stay informed about the group.

6. Leadership Teams: We encourage each Interest Groups to have a leadership team to help the group stay active and strong. Your officers are selected internally by the group and not through the CLA election process. The names of Interest Group officers should be submitted to CLA’s Interest Group Liaison to be added to the website.

7. Staying Active: Interest groups must demonstrate activity and submit activity reports to CLA twice per year, on April 1 and October 1. CLA staff will call for these reports via the Interest Group leaders listserv. These reports are summarized and provided to the Board of the Directors. We recommend that all Interest Group submit conference program proposals to help generate and maintain interest in your group, so please look out for the call for proposals each year and work with your team to develop one or more proposals. You can find information on ensuring that your group stay's active on CLA’s Interest Group leaders page

8. Association-Wide Activity: If an Interest Group would like to develop an association-wide activity that will involve significant CLA staff support (such as, for example, the CLA Mentoring Program and the California Library Hall of Fame), the Interest Group leader should email to notify CLA’s Interest Group Liaison. CLA staff will work with you to develop a scope of work and project plan and the program will be reviewed by the Interest Group Committee. When necessary, the project will be referred to the Board of Directors for approval.

9. Financial Commitments: Interest Groups may not make financial commitments on behalf of CLA. All decisions and agreements regarding payments and reimbursements are made by CLA staff and Board.

11. Awards: Groups that would like to present an award at conference should notify CLA’s Interest Group Liaison by September 1 of the year prior to that conference. The request will be forwarded to the Interest Group committee for review. All CLA awards must be approved by the Board before the awards process begins each year.

12. Find out more! Additional resources are available from CLA’s Interest Group leaders page. CLA staff can help with the following activities. Please email to be in touch at any time:

  • Setting up your new Interest Group.
  • Managing your group and your listserv.
  • Submitting your activity reports.
  • Developing programs or giving awards.
  • Publicizing your activities.
  • Updating your web pages.
  • And much more – just let us know what you need!