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Networking - Forming and Maintaining a SIC
(State Special Interest Council)


Three Requirements to Form a SIC
Steps for Completing These Requirements
Requirements to be a Council in Good Standing
Requirements to Be an Honor Council
How to Receive More Information


The International Reading Association is a huge network of autonomous, yet interconnected, groups. In order to extend YOUR influence, you may consider helping some OTHER interested individuals form a special interest council (SIC) dealing with children’s literature for your state. (At the present time, only West Virginia has such a council.)

While IRA Headquarters - Council Services is the official authority regarding SICs, the latest information about the process is described below.


Three Requirements to Form a SIC

1. Ten (10) people who are members of IRA
2. Elect officers (normally President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer)
3. Draft Bylaws (a sample copy is available from IRA Headquarters), have them approved by your membership, and submit them to IRA Headquarters (Council Services) for approval.


Steps for Completing These Requirements

(Steps are described fully in a free IRA publication called “A Guide for the Organization of Local and Special Interest Councils” which you can get from IRA Headquarters - Council Services)

1. Complete and submit (to IRA Headquarters - Council Services) the Application for Charter containing at least ten (10) people who join or who are members of IRA.

(Also notify the IRA state coordinator of your intention to form a council and to enlist assistance. Note that in many states members of any local or special interest councils automatically become members of the state council, so there may be a membership fee which each SIC member must pay.)

2. Elect officers (e.g., President, President-Elect, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer)

3. Draft Bylaws; have rough draft approved by Council Coordinator at IRA Headquarters - Council Services.

4. Have council consider, approve, and adopt bylaws

5. Submit to IRA Headquarters - Council Services:
a. One copy of approved council Bylaws
b. Completed “Application for Charter”
c. Completed “Application for Official Recognition as a Council”

6. IRA approves bylaws, verifies the IRA membership of officers and 10 members (including officers) who signed the “Application for Charter,” then notifies that charter is granted.


Requirements to Be in Good Standing as a Council

1. At least 10 members of the council have paid dues to IRA for the current year (can include officers)

2. All officers, board members, and representatives of the council to the IRA Delegate’s Assembly must be members of the IRA (information of who these individuals are must be submitted annually).


Requirements to Be an Honor Council

IRA has guidelines, which change annually, designed to assist councils perform their work. Fulfilling certain requirements (some required and some optional) allows councils to earn “honor council” status. Honor councils are commended each year in an awards ceremony at the annual IRA Convention.


For Further Information

Contact IRA Headquarters - Council Services (1-800-628-8508, 800 Barksdale Road, PO Box 8138, Newark, DE 19714-8139, USA) for information available called “Council Planning Guide” and other information which can assist you in forming a council.

Also contact your State Coordinator who is vitally interested in forming new councils and can provide valuable assistance.



©2002 IRA Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (IRA CL/R SIG).
All rights reserved. Website: http://www.csulb.edu/org/childrens-lit
Dr. Kaye West, Webmistress
Date modified: January 1, 2003. Feedback