060: Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry M. Robert
060.42: Robert, Henry M. Robert’s Rules of Order Revised for Deliberative Assemblies. Chicago: Scott, Foresman and Company, 1943. 307 pp.
- 000: Computer Science, Knowledge, and General Works
- 060: General organizations and museology
- 060.4: Special topics of general organizations
- 060.42: General rules of order
If you’re running even a halfway-serious meeting, assembly, or convention, you need some way of bringing order to the proceedings. Without common rules, deliberative assemblies devolve into chaos. First devised in 1876 by U.S. Army Colonel Henry Martyn Robert, these rules help to allow groups of peoples to understand what happens when, when people can speak, when and how motions can be voted on, and how to decide on many complicated matters.
Robert’s Rules of Order are now in their 11th edition and still going strong. My version—the 1943 5th edition—are mainly for consulting and not straight reading. The funny thing is, once you go through them, watch C-SPAN. Many more things make sense. This little book teaches you what each position in the chamber entails, how committees are supposed to work, and how to maintain a meaningful flow of discourse in a debate. If you’re looking for a career in politics and haven’t read them, you should get very familiar with Robert’s Rules.