The ILGenWeb Project is a member of the non-profit, volunteer genealogical organization called The USGenWeb Project. As such The ILGenWeb Project1 website and all associated county websites must conform to the established policy and procedures set forth by our parent organization. The guidelines that are described on the USGenWeb Volunteers Information page and the USGenWeb Project Bylaws describe in great detail the organizational structure, election procedures, and general policies of this organization, and form the foundation for each state project. All project members should carefully review the above websites before agreeing to participate in any USGenWeb State Project.
The following policies and procedures are specific to our state project. All ILGenWeb Project members are required to read and understand the following information prior to their participation in this project.
The name of our organization is "The ILGenWeb Project." The name, "The ILGenWeb Project," and "The XXGenWeb Project" (where XX is the county name) are service marks and reserved exclusively for The ILGenWeb Project and any websites representing The ILGenWeb Project. Please note that the correct name and spelling is in upper and lower case letters without any space breaks in form (correct: ILGenWeb; incorrect: IL GenWeb or ILGen Web).
The ILGenWeb Project is an organized group of volunteers working to create an online center for genealogical research by linking sites representing every county in the State of Illinois. The purpose of this organization is to gather genealogical and historical information for free online access by researchers. This is accomplished by creating websites which are central repositories of historical and genealogical research data donated either by the website coordinator or other contributors and kept at the local county level. To further the mission of The ILGenWeb Project, the domains of: http://illinoisgenweb.org/1, http://illinoisgenweb.org/2, http://ilgenweb.us/2, and http://ilgenweb.info/2 have been registered with InterNIC as the domains for the sole use of The ILGenWeb Project. The agent for the domains will be the membership of The ILGenWeb Project in the person of the elected State Coordinator.
The ILGenWeb Project, as a group of volunteers participating in a not-for-profit organization, is considered to be an "Unincorporated Non-Profit Association."
In the spring of 1996, a group of genealogists organized the Kentucky Comprehensive Genealogy Database Project, which evolved into the KYGenWeb Project. The idea was to provide a single entry point for genealogy data and research for all counties in Kentucky. In addition, the information for each county would be indexed and cross-linked to make it easier for researchers to find a name or data that they sought.
In June 1996, as the KYGenWeb Project was nearing 100 percent county coverage, interested volunteers decided to create a similar set of pages for all states, thus establishing The USGenWeb Project. Volunteers were found who were willing to coordinate these efforts for each state, and additional volunteers were sought to create and maintain websites for every county in the United States.
The ILGenWeb Project was created shortly thereafter. Since then, the Project has grown and changed dynamically. The ILGenWeb Project maintains a high level of excellence among its coordinators and takes great pride in the service provided to researchers.
The ILGenWeb Project is administered by a team of members including a State Coordinator (SC) and up to two (2) Assistant State Coordinators (ASC's). There are five (5) Regional Coordinators over a designated area of the state and one (1) Regional Coordinator over the state Special Projects. There are 102 county websites, and there are a maximum of 102 County Coordinator positions, although from time to time a single county's responsibilities may be shared by Co-Coordinators. However, many coordinators volunteer to host more than one website. It is recommended that no coordinator host more than two websites at any one time. For each Special Project there is one Special Project Coordinator, and this position may be shared by Co-Coordinators in the same way that County Coordinators share responsibility with Co-Coordinators.
The State Coordinator (SC) is elected by the project membership and can serve an unlimited number of terms. Although the SC may serve in an unlimited capacity, he or she must be re-elected by the project membership every two years (see election procedures below). Duties for the SC include representing The ILGenWeb Project to The USGenWeb Project, recruiting and training new project volunteers, maintaining an internal mailing list, and creating and maintaining the state web site. The SC may appoint other members to serve in volunteer positions such as Webmaster or Webmistress, Archivist, Welcome Host or Hostess, New Member Training Coordinator, Special Projects Coordinator, etc. These positions should be held by members in good standing and do not merit any special project authority or position other than meeting specific needs of the project. The State Coordinator is required to be subscribed to the State Coordinator's list and the Regional Coordinator list.
Additionally, it is the responsibility of the SC as the registered agent to maintain possession of the domains. The SC is authorized to secure funding for registration in the form of donations from project members, not to exceed the cost of registration, and all contributions by project members are strictly voluntary. Should solicitation of funds be conducted, the collection of funds shall be done by two or more individuals designated by the SC, and a full accounting of the funds collected and dispersed shall be available to the membership upon request.
Assistant State Coordinator
The Assistant State Coordinator(s) (ASC) are selected by the State Coordinator based upon volunteer interest. The ASC is responsible for assisting the SC in any special projects that the project may develop and perform those functions of the State Coordinator's responsibilities which are delegated to him or her by the SC, if they are consistent with the abilities of the individual ASC. They also serve as Acting SC in the event that the elected SC resigns, becomes ill, is on extended vacation, or is unable to meet the SC position requirements. The ASC's primary duty, other than assisting the SC with state matters, is that of Quality Control Coordinator for the websites located in The ILGenWeb Project. Each ASC performs a bi-annual check of all project websites. These checks help ensure the smooth operation of the project, help maintain a consistent standard throughout the project, and identify any problems with links, navigation, or html coding. The ASC should be a member of The ILGenWeb Project in good standing. The Assistant State Coordinator(s) are required to be subscribed to the State Coordinator List and Regional Coordinator list.
The Regional Coordinators (RC) are selected by the State Coordinator and have responsibility for the counties or projects within their specific region. Regional Coordinators serve as a liaison between the County and Special Project Coordinators and the researchers, if and when needed; and they serve as the liaison between the Coordinators and the State Coordinator, unless the problem is not a resolvable issue between the CC/SPC and the RC. In the case of an absence in a County Coordinator or Special Project Coordinator, the Regional Coordinator serves as, or designates, a temporary back-up for the County or Special Project Coordinators to maintain the county webpage, mailing lists, and message boards (i.e., if a Coordinator is gone for an extended period of time, or resigns, etc.) A Regional Coordinator should check ILGenWeb Project pages within their region periodically to make sure all requirements are met and encourage the responsible coordinator to keep and maintain the local county or project pages to the high level of excellence expected in The ILGenWeb Project. Regional Coordinators are also the initial contact with potential new County or Special Project Coordinators, determine their interest and qualifications, and ultimately forward to the SC and ASC names of individuals interested in becoming County or Special Project Coordinators. In the event of a new county or project adoption within their region, the Regional Coordinator serves as a mentor for new County and Special Project Coordinators, helping as much as possible so that there is a fairly smooth transition from one coordinator to the next. All Regional Coordinators are required to be subscribed to the Regional Coordinator list, which will be used to discuss concerns and address problems.
County and Special Projects Coordinators
The County Coordinators (CC) and Special Projects Coordinators (SPC) are responsible for creating and maintaining websites, mailing lists, and message boards at the county or special project level. The CC and SPC should try to include as much reference and resource information as is available for their area or topic. Each website should strive to include the following types of elements:
county or area maps
county or topical mail list
query boards as set out in the requirements for webpages
county or topical resource addresses
All webpages within the ILGenWeb Project must meet the requirements of The USGenWeb Project, and the requirements for ILGenWeb pages as listed below. All County Coordinators and Special Projects Coordinators are required to be subscribed to the IL-Gen list.
1. A Committee and Committee Chairman to oversee elections in The ILGenWeb Project shall be appointed by the State Coordinator, or as otherwise designated by these procedures, with input from any Assistant State Coordinators and the Regional Coordinators. The committee is to be composed of a minimum of four members of The ILGenWeb Project. In the event an Elections Committee member is nominated and accepts candidacy, the committee member shall immediately resign from the Elections Committee and the State Coordinator shall appoint a replacement committee member. In no circumstances may a candidate serve on the Elections Committee.
2. Members of The ILGenWeb Project are defined as State Coordinator, Assistant State Coordinators, Regional Coordinators, County Coordinators, Co-Coordinators or Assistant Coordinators, and ILGenWeb Special Project Coordinators, Co-Coordinators, or Assistant Coordinators.
3. The Elections Committee will announce any upcoming elections on ILGEN-L. The Elections Committee shall post a list of eligible voters, received from the State Coordinator, to ILGEN-L with instructions to the membership to check the list and send in corrections within 72 hours. Any member of ILGenWeb may nominate another member of ILGenWeb provided that the nominee meets the requirements to fulfill the office for which he or she is nominated. The Elections Committee shall determine whether the nominee meets the requirements of the position.
4. Qualifications for State Coordinator are to have served as an active member (as defined in Section 2) of The ILGenWeb Project for at least two years (the twenty-four months immediately preceding an election) of continuous service and current activity as a member in good standing, and eligibility to vote within The ILGenWeb Project. "In good standing" is demonstrated by responding promptly to e-mail, actively supporting researchers' efforts to find information, maintaining their website with appropriate, up-to-date content, and serving as a good example of the guidelines and standards of The ILGenWeb Project.
5. The Elections Committee shall poll the nominees to see if they are willing to serve, and to inform those willing to serve to submit a short profile or biography. Candidates may put up a campaign page, and post the URL to ILGEN-L. The URL shall also be posted on a state page. Regardless of whether or not they have a campaign page, all candidates will post their profile or biography at least 3 days prior to the beginning of the voting period to ILGEN-L. The voting period will be open for a period of no less than 5 days. Terms of office shall begin on first day of the next month.
6. In the event of a single candidate for the position of State Coordinator, the Chairman of the Elections Committee shall call for an email vote of the membership indicating "Yea" for acceptance of the candidate, or "Nay" for non-acceptance of the candidate. If the results indicate a majority "Nay" vote, the Elections Committee shall reopen the floor for nominations.
7. In multiple-candidate elections a simple majority of those members voting shall elect. No member shall cast more than one vote. No member shall vote more than once, no matter how many positions he/she holds within The ILGenWeb Project, and there is a limit of 2 votes per county, and 2 votes per ILGenWeb Special Project.
In the counties or special projects that have more than two members of The ILGenWeb Project, it is the responsibility of the County or Special Project Coordinator to designate the two voting members from that County or Special Project to the Election Committee.
8. The Committee Chairman will contact each candidate for a representative to serve as Ballot Counters. Ballot Counters (which will include The Committee Chairman) each must agree to pledge to not reveal any individual's voting record. The ballots shall be counted by a minimum of three Ballot Counters who will independently receive the votes cast and keep a tally of the votes. At the end of the voting period all three shall compare their tallies for accuracy and report the results to ILGEN-L.
9. The State Coordinator shall be elected to a Two Year Term. The State Coordinator's term of office will run from July 1 to June 30. If the current State Coordinator resigns, is absent without explanation, and cannot be contacted for 21 days he or she will relinquish the position. If the remaining term is less than 6 months, an Assistant State Coordinator will complete the term. If the remaining term is more than 6 months, the Assistant State Coordinator(s) will start the election process to elect a new State Coordinator to serve out the remaining term.
10. The duties of the outgoing State Coordinator include transfer of The ILGenWeb Project account and the pages therein, as they are property of The ILGenWeb Project. Likewise, the state mail lists (ILGEN-L, IL-Chat-L, ILGWRC-L, email@example.com address and any administrative lists that may be created in the future) are property of The ILGenWeb Project. The outgoing State Coordinator shall give the passwords for the websites and mail lists, as well as the state pages to the new State Coordinator before he or she assumes office.
The positions of County Coordinator and Special Project Coordinator are selected by the SC. All interested persons should contact the RC in the Region that the adoptable county is located to see if the county of interest is available, or contact the RC over special projects if the interest is not county based. If it is available, the RC will determine qualifications for hosting the county or topic to be covered. (Qualifications include but are not limited to: a strong interest in genealogy, knowledge of the county or topic history, ability to create and maintain a website, file transfer protocol (FTP), and desire to serve.) The most important quality is a desire to serve as part of this project. If a person is interested and is knowledgeable in the county or topic but is new to the internet or to website design, help is available from other project members. The coordinator needs to be available to make updates to the website, answer researcher queries (no research is conducted), and generally provide assistance as needed. Time requirements for this position can range from 30 minutes per week to several hours. The amount of time given to each project is solely dependant on the volunteer but a minimum amount of upkeep is required to keep the website on active status within the project. New CC's and SPC's are expected to have a site meeting minimum USGenWeb and ILGenWeb standards (listed below) within two weeks of appointment, and if this does not happen the coordinator may be replaced. In the event that the RC is satisfied that the CC or SPC candidate has the desire and ability to serve, the RC will forward the name and information to the SC for review. Again, the approval of the SC is required before the adoption of the County or Special Project site can take place.
Coordinators are encouraged to solicit assistance from Co-Coordinators or Assistant Coordinators when necessary, needed, or desired. A Co-Coordinator would be a person who shares the responsibility as an equal partner in the presentation and development of the county or special project site. An Assistant Coordinator would be a person who provides assistance in a specific area of the county or special project site, but whose contribution to the site is subject to the approval of the Coordinator. Both positions, Co-Coordinator and Assistant Coordinator are considered members of The ILGenWeb Project. Any Coordinator wishing to add an Assistant or Co-Coordinator to their county or special project should contact the Regional Coordinator for their area with the name and email contact information of the person involved. The Regional Coordinator is required to ensure that the person is willing to assist the Coordinator with the project, is aware of the USGenWeb and ILGenWeb requirements, and obtain the required contact information to submit to the State Coordinator. With the consent of the State Coordinator, the Assistant or Co-Coordinator will be approved and subscribed to the appropriate mailing list, and their name and appropriate title added to the electoral rolls.
It is imperative that all websites remain active once they are networked as part of this project. A website is considered active when regular updates and additions are made to the website. The Project Administrative team understands that not all volunteers have access to materials and are not able to transcribe volumes of information for use online. However, it is expected that every CC/SPC will maintain their sites to the best of their ability. Date stamps on all pages are encouraged. If used, date stamps should be updated regularly even if the page has not changed much. Regular website checks will be performed by the RC(s). Website checks will include all required elements and links, query board usage (or email page updated regularly), as well as general appearance and functionality of the site (link checks, etc.). Obvious errors in coding will be brought to the CC/SPC's attention but choice of layout, design, colors, etc., are not part of the check process. However, if any background choice makes type elements practically illegible, this will be brought to the CC/SPC's attention for modification. Website checks will be conducted periodically and email notification will be sent to each CC/SPC with a copy sent to the SC. Any websites that do not meet the project standards will be noted and the CC/SPC will have approximately two weeks to make corrections. If the CC/SPC doesn't make corrections within the two week period (exceptions include vacations, illness, etc.) the website will be placed on an "inactive status" and the link will be removed from the State webpage. If after 30 days the website corrections have not been made and the CC/SPC is unresponsive to email requests the website will be removed from the project and a new host will be recruited to fill the position.
In the event that a coordinator no longer wishes to volunteer with this project, notice must be given to the SC as soon as possible. The SC will announce to the mail list that the coordinator is stepping down and can offer the county or special project up for adoption to the membership first. Existing Co-Coordinators and Assistant Coordinators will be given first consideration for adoption, as will any recommendations made by the retiring coordinator. If no one is interested in adopting the county, a notice will be placed on the county or special project website and the state webpage. A new host will be recruited to fill the vacancy. The outgoing coordinator may choose to remain with the project until a new coordinator is found or may choose to step down immediately. If they choose to step down immediately, the RC will put up a temporary page, or maintain the existing page, so that interested persons can adopt the site. The contents of the website may be donated to the new coordinator or it may remain with the outgoing coordinator, however data provided by persons other than the coordinator and donated to The ILGenWeb Project, or data or materials existing with the project prior to the coordinators appointment, shall remain with the project.
As an elected authority in The ILGenWeb Project, the State Coordinator may only be removed from office by a recall vote of the membership. When a situation arises that a group of the membership of The ILGenWeb Project believe that a recall election is necessary to remove an elected State Coordinator, the recall election shall be conducted according to the following procedure.
Every coordinator is guaranteed due process in the ILGenWeb Project and is provided 30 days to rectify any problems or issues that arise surrounding their participation in The ILGenWeb Project. However, certain actions may be grounds for immediate removal of either a CC or SPC.
All problems between the membership of The ILGenWeb Project should be handled privately and with discretion. If a resolution is not forthcoming the two parties should contact the State Coordinator for assistance, or if the problem includes the State Coordinator, the Assistant State Coordinators should be contacted to initiate formal arbitration. The ILGenWeb Project's formal arbitration process can be found here.
The following guidelines are to be in effect for all members of this project until further notice.
Cheryl Rothwell, State Coordinator
Morgan Johnson, Asst. State Coordinator
Deb Haines, ASC/Webmaster
The 1790 IL Map used in the banner courtesy of Michael L. Hébert, ILGenWeb Cumberland County Coordinator.