Let Literature Carry the Message, Too
Today, as in the early days of Alcoholics Anonymous, the A.A. message of recovery from alcoholism is carried by one alcoholic talking to another. However, since the publication of the first edition of the Big Book in 1939, literature has played an important role in spreading the A.A. message and imparting information about the A.A. Twelve Step program of recovery.
Basic Committee Functions
- Inform groups, district or area assembly members, through displays and other suitable methods, of all available Conference-approved literature, audiovisual material and other special items.
- Become familiar with the information on G.S.O.’s A.A. Web Site (www.aa.org).
- Provide literature for groups, area, and district functions.
- Consider suggestions regarding proposed additions to and changes in Conference-approved literature and audiovisual material.
- Encourage A.A. members to read and purchase A.A. Conference-approved literature.
The Literature Committee Chair is an appointed position on the General Service Committee. For more information about the duties and responsibilities of the Chairperson, please see the following Job Description.
See below for some additional information that may be helpful. The links are to the following resources on A.A.’s World Services Website , or to the page from where they may be accessed:
- A.A. Guidelines – Literature Committees (pdf, 4 pages)
- Guidelines for Literature Committees, compiled from the shared experience of A.A. members in various service areas who have formed literature committees.
- Current A.A.W.S. Literature Catalogue (pdf, 62 pages)
- Conference Approved Literature and other A.A. Material.
- A.A. eBooks
- A link to the A.A.W.S. eBook publishing program.
- Service Material Available from your General Service Office
- A variety of service pieces are available from this page, including the 12 Steps, 12 Traditions, 12 Concepts, the Traditions Checklist, the A.A. Preamble and several others.
BC/Yukon Area 79 publishes the following introductory outlines for Area GSRs and DCMs, which are available as pdfs for viewing or download:
- GSR Handbook (pdf, 36 pages)
- A booklet which outlines the duties of the General Service Representative (GSR) and the Service Structure of AA in Canada and the United States.
- Area 79 DCM Fact Sheet (pdf, 2 pages)
- Some information for incoming District Committee Members (DCMs) and an outline of the Service Structure in Area 79.
Literature Committee Chair: Job Description
(Usually assigned to the Area 79 alternate delegate.)
- Ensure that the area literature display is available for all quarterlies and assemblies, and that it is stocked with sufficient quantities of A.A. Conference-approved literature and service material.
- Maintain the area literature inventory, and order literature on a periodic (usually quarterly) basis.
- Communicate with other GSC committee members to ensure that literature needs are met. When possible, meet requests by other committee chairs or individuals.
- Report total inventory valuation to the area treasurer on a quarterly basis.
- Inform the fellowship of the Area 79 practice of literature self-support and of the contribution tins on the display tables at Area 79 events.
- Collect the money from the contribution tins and work with the area treasurer to ensure it is accounted for.
- Introduce new literature, and changes to current literature, to the fellowship.
- Chair the Area 79 literature committee meeting at quarterlies and assemblies.
- Become familiar with the general content of all literature, in order to provide information to inquirers.
- With the participation of the literature committee, update and produce Area 79 literature, including the Book of Motions, GSR Handbook and DCM Fact Sheet.
- Order Area 79 publications, including the Bottle Book and Pioneers in Skirts.
Duties Common to all GSC Members
- Attend and participate in all regularly scheduled General Service Committee (GSC) meetings (held in Vancouver on the first Wednesday of each month). Meetings could also be held virtually when necessary.
- Reply to email, telephone and written questions. Willingness to learn and develop computer/technical skills as necessary.
- Attend and participate in all quarterlies and assemblies in-person or virtually as required.
- At each quarterly, assembly and GSC meeting, provide reports on activities since the previous event.
- Chair appropriate committee at quarterlies and assemblies. Assist with venue set up and tear down.
- Maintain contact with district and local committee chairs.
- Maintain contact with district committee members (DCMs) assigned to GSC member’s committee.
- Submit regular monthly expense reports to the treasurer.
- Participate in preparation for the General Service Conference by reviewing and summarizing the assigned agenda background material, providing information to DCMs, chairing the committee meeting at the Pre-conference Assembly, and providing the committee’s recommendations to the assembly and delegate.
- Facilitate workshops.
- Participate on Ad Hoc committees as required.
- Be available for travel assignments, including taking Area 79 archives and/or Grapevine kits to A.A. events.
- Review www.bcyukonaa.org content as it relates to the member’s position, providing updates and new materials to the website chair as needed.
- Prepare and assist for transition of your position at end of your rotation. Ensure flash drive is updated regularly and provided to Secretary annually.
- Maintaining blue boards/display boards and literature supplies for travel events.
- The time commitment required is substantial and will vary from position to position, and also with the particular skills possessed by the member. Generally, some time will be spent every day to check and respond to emails and phone messages. Some jobs have workloads that are heavier at certain times than at others.
- It is encouraged that you speak with members of the GSC (current or past) to ask more specific questions if you wish to put your name forward for a position.
- General Service Committee membership may sound demanding, but, as we so often find in A.A., the rewards are far greater than time and effort put in.