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Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

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.

Learn more about the tools available in Connect.

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 curriculam 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.

AlisonSteinberg (non-member)'s picture

I am member of ALA and I am logged in, why does ALA connect call me a non-member?

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Alison --

Did you get my email with more details explaining the difference between a Connect account (for non-members) and ALA member accounts (which also work on the ALA website)? If you need help recovering your ALA login and password, you can have them sent to you. There's more information about this issue in the help documentation, but please let us know if you have further questions.

Thanks!
Jenny

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jenny Levine, ALA staff | jlevine@ala.org | http://connect.ala.org/user/65016

Jacquelyn Petzold's picture

Is there any way to opt out of ALA Connect?  I don't recall giving the American Library Association permission to display my personal information online...

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Jacquelyn --

With ALA Connect, we've tried to give you more privacy options than you've had in the past. Here's a quick rundown of privacy options in Connect.

  • The public sees only your name.
  • Other ALA members can see your name, institutional affiliation, and ALA affiliations. In the current member directory on the website, these things are already visible to other members, but in Connect, you can actually hide your affiliation with any community, division, round table, or section (just not committees).
  • Only other ALA members you manually identify as part of your Connect network can see your contact information (email, phone, address).
  • If you want to opt out of appearing in Connect altogether, you can do so by updating your ALA website profile to exclude yourself from the member directory.

For more information about these privacy options, see the Frequently Asked Questions about Privacy in ALA Connect page. I can assure you that the only personal information the public is seeing about you is your name, and if you exclude yourself from Connect, they won't even see that.

If you have further questions, please feel free to post them here or use the contact form. We take member privacy very seriously, and we've gone to great lengths to give you a wide variety of options for controlling what displays both to the public and to other members.

Jenny

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jenny Levine, ALA staff | jlevine@ala.org | http://connect.ala.org/user/65016

Debra Trotter (non-member)'s picture

Thanks for letting my join the ALA Connect community. Privacy is a big issue for me on most social networking websites. I see everything is moderated carefully in here.

Looking forward using ALA Connect to its full potential!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Debra Trotter | New York City

Sean Bires (staff)'s picture

sorry, have to make a test post for ALA connect usability testing at annual

Jeffrey Beall's picture

It worked!

Jeffrey Beall, Scholarly Initiatives Librarian / Associate Professor Auraria Library University of Colorado Denver 1100 Lawrence St. Denver, Colo. 80204 USA (303) 556-5936 jeffrey.beall@ucdenver.edu

Annette Scherr's picture

I am having trouble adding a pic to my profile b/c the browse button is greyed out. Any suggestions?

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Annette --

Sorry I missed your help request until now. If the problem is still occurring, can you please send me a screenshot of what you're seeing so that I can start troubleshooting the problem? I'm at jlevine [at] ala.org .

Thanks,
Jenny 

Brita Zitin's picture

Just spotted anniversary statistics on the Two-Year Report and realized that today is the three-year anniversary. Congratulations!

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Thanks, Brita! We think 3 is going to be a very good year. :)

Jenny

Rebecca Schreiner's picture

In my profile, it says "no email" and when I clicked on edit to enter it, it said I had to change my ALA profile.   My email is in my ALA profile but not ALA connect.  How do I edit my ALA connect profile to add my email address?

 

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Rebecca --

The problem with your email address is that you have two accounts on ALA Connect, both of which use the same address. The software we use (Drupal) requires each account to have a unique email address. You must have created a non-ALA member account (http://connect.ala.org/user/102680) before you logged in using your member one, so it got your edu email address. When you logged in as an ALA member, it couldn't use the same email address, so it created a fake one.

If it's okay with you, I'd like to delete your non-member account, which will free up your email address for your member one the next time you log in.

Jenny

Rebecca Schreiner's picture

Man it's a long time until I replied!  I'm just browsing around on ALA Connect and didn't even know I sent a message!  I think my email is still a problem so if you could remove my other account that would be good.

 

Rebecca

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Rebecca, sorry I lost track of this. I've deleted your non-member account, so you should be all set now. Contact me at jlevine [at] ala.org if you run into any further problems, though.

Jenny

Rebecca Schreiner's picture

Whenever I upload a document,  it appears on the landing screen of my connect site and says it's under the heading "General News and Discussion."  Then every member gets an email from me  that I've uploaded something or whatever.  I just want to organize the site and upload some documents and 1. Not have anything appear on the landing page and 2. not have the members notified for each document I've loaded.  I now have this long list of documents on the landing page under News and Discussion and I just want to upload some stuff into file folders or sometimes just open the file, edit it and save it.

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Rebecca --

  1. Connect is designed to show the latest information at the top of the group's home page, just like on Facebook or on other sites with information streams. As you add new content, the older stuff will get pushed down off the front page. Once you've started posting, there will always be something displaying on the group's home page.
     
  2. The current setup for notifications is to notify the whole group whenever any new content is added or when any existing content is updated. The logic was that we don't want to force users to come to the site to see what's new, so we'll email that information automatically.

    If the group you're referring to is the Best Practices Committee, I see that you're an admin in Connect (which means you're the chair), so you should see a box that says "Do not send notifications for this update." If you check that box, no emails should go out when you click on the "submit" button.

I hope this helps explain things, but please let me know if you have further questions about any of this.

Jenny