About ALA Connect
What is ALA Connect?
It's a centralized space where official ALA groups can work together online. In addition, it's a place where any member can create new communities (unofficial ALA groups) without any staff assistance, so the site combines association work with communities of interest in one place.
Every active ALA working group has a space in Connect automatically, because we've pre-populated it with data from our membership database (iMIS), and we synchronize roster information nightly, so we'll always know which committees you're on and which other official ALA groups you're part of.
Both ALA groups and communities use the same types of tools. By default, each one has discussions, online documents (like wiki pages), a file repository, polls, a calendar, a chat room, and an image gallery (think logos, pictures, etc.). There's no one "right" way to use Connect, and each group can use whichever of the tools it finds valuable.
Non-members can create a free account, but they have more limited privileges. For example, they can't start new communities, view full member profiles, take advantage of networking opportunities, or join MentorConnect. They can, however, fully participate in any existing open communities and comment on public content in any group.
Because ALA knows a little bit about you if you're a member (if you're part of a division, how long you've been a member, what committees you've served on, etc.), we plan to help you pre-populate your profile with all of the great work you've done for ALA in your professional career. That way, if you decide you want to display your profile to colleagues, potential employers, or even publicly, we'll have created a curriculum vitae of all of your contributions. We really appreciate members' efforts, and we want to help others appreciate you, too, by letting you show off the great work you do.
You can read more about the history (and future) of ALA Connect on the ITTS Update blog, particularly in the Roadmap we maintain. If you have a specific question about the site or our goals for it, please feel free to post a question as a comment here, in the Discussion Forum for questions, or using our contact form. Don't forget to read through the user guidelines before you start posting content, but we hope to make your Connect experience as easy and practical as possible.