Council of North American Map Societies (CONAMS)
Minutes of Meeting January 27th, 2007

Members Present: John Docktor, Jay and Judy Lester, Susan Caughey, Tom Hotter, Jim Flatness, Tom Sander, Barbara Keck, Megan Webster, and Wes Brown

The meeting was called to order by John Docktor.
John Docktor was elected Chair and Wes Brown was elected Secretary of the organization for such time as it takes for formal governing procedures to be put in place.
It was suggested that each map society should appoint one or more representatives to CONAMS who hopefully could attend its occasional meetings. The minutes of the meetings should be put on the website when one is established.

The general purpose was affirmed, being:
The Council would serve North American map societies by informing them, coordinating their activities as relates to scheduling, and assisting them to better accomplish their common interests and respective missions by sharing information and best practices.
The group felt it was important to properly define the audience for CONAMS. Its members would be map societies, not persons, and its mission would be to work through the societies, not to create its own audience and activities.

The Secretary and Chair were instructed to prepare a draft Mission Statement for formal discussion at the next meeting.

Some of the benefits that were desired from CONAMS were:

There should be a meeting of CONAMS about once a year at some widely attended event.

There was considerable discussion of list sharing and sending out announcements. Although several societies were happy to share their members' names, some were not. It was decided that although it would be important for CONAMS to assist its members to send out their announcements to a wider audience on occasion, it did not need to produce a master mailing list. Rather, the members could disseminate the materials for a particular member's activity through each of the other society's who would conduct the mailing independently and then seeking reimbursement for postage, or include the announcement with other mailings that were going out to the members anyway, thus requiring no reimbursement.

A useful discussion for a future meeting would be to produce a list of the top ten ways to expand membership in your map society and improve attendance at meetings. This could be debated and refined into a summary of suggestions to be circulated. The group felt this could be good homework for all attendees to come to the next meeting with their five best ideas.

CONAMS should ask the Chicago Map Society to invite the group to attend one of its dinner events in November.

Money was discussed and there was a consensus that CONAMS did not need an independent checking account or the charging of dues. Its activities were generally of a coordinating and assisting nature. If there was a particular expense that had to be defrayed, the cost could be born equally be all map societies, although no expenditures were foreseen.

The next meeting should be in Chicago in November and the Chair should arrange for a meeting time during the weekend between the two main programs. At this meeting members would try to accomplish three things:
1. Review and approve a mission statement and rudimentary elements of governance.
2. Preparation of a list of the top ten ways for map societies to increase attendance and membership.
3. Establish the layout of some kind of website.