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We're excited to announce that you can now search the 800+ awards listed in the Financial Assistance for Library & Information Studies (FALIS) Directory in the Opportunities Exchange in ALA Connect.

Meeting requests are like Doodle polls that let you figure out the best time for everyone in your group to meet. Connect meeting requests also have the added feature of letting you automatically create a Connect calendar event based on the times of your poll. And as always, email notifications are automatic so you don't have to go through the separate steps of emailing everyone a link to the form or the event.

Here's a walkthrough of the process.

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Discussion Quick Start Guide to the Conference Scheduler

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

We're excited to announce that we've integrated ALA's Conference Scheduler (formerly known as the "Event Planner") in to ALA Connect so that we can match sessions against your ALA groups and profile interests in order to help you easily find the most relevant programs and meetings you should attend.

We're excited to announce that we've integrated ALA's Conference Scheduler (formerly known as the "Event Planner") in to ALA Connect so that we can match sessions against your ALA groups and profile interests in order to help you easily find the most relevant programs and meetings you should attend.

  1. Although you can browse and search both sessions and exhibitors, we recommend that you log in first so that we can make recommendations for you right up front. ALA members should log in using their regular ALA website usernames and passwords. Non-ALA members can create new accounts on ALA Connect if they don't already have one.

  2. Once you're logged in and see the Conference Scheduler home page, you'll see links to browse/search sessions or go straight to our recommendations for you. If you're active in ALA committees or discussion groups, we recommend you start with the recommendations in order to find your groups' meetings.

    If you'd rather just start browsing or searching for sessions, go directly to the "All Sessions" page and skip ahead to #7 in this guide.


     

  3. To find sessions based on your professional interests, be sure to go to your profile, click on the "edit" tab, fill out the interests and types of libraries that are most relevant to you, and then go back to the Conference Scheduler to your "Recommended Sessions." You can always recalculate your recommended sessions if you change your interests or library types in your profile.

  4. Once you're on the recommendations page, click on "Calculate/Refresh Recommendations" to get started. This will take a few minutes, because there are more than 1,000 sessions we're matching to your groups and interests.

  5. Once the recommendations engine has returned some results, you can scroll through them to see if they're of interest to you. To learn more about a specific session, click on the yellow box with the green arrows preceding the title. This will show you the description, sponsor, and lists of interests added by the sponsoring unit. To hide this information, click the yellow box preceding the title again.

    You'll see three stars to the left of the title of each session. The first one will light up green and have a "G" on it if that particular one matches your groups. If it's purple and says "I" on it, it matches the interests you've listed in your Connect profile. If it's blue and says "T" on it, it matches the types of libraries you noted in your Connect profile. If the text is too difficult to read, just hover your cursor over the star to get some help text.

      

  6. On the "Recommended Sessions" page or "All Sessions" pages, click on the "Add" button in front of a session title when you see one you want to add to your schedule. Continue through the list until you've added everything you want to your schedule.

  7. From the "All Sessions" page, you can search by sponsoring unit, keyword, and other filters.

  8. To view more details about a particular session, click on the title of it to see the detailed record.

    To go back to the search results, just use the "back" button on your web browser.

  9. At any time, you can click on the "My Schedule" link in the upper right-hand corner to view everything you've added to your schedule so far.

  10. Note that by default, the system adds new sessions to your schedule as "high priority," but you can change the priority if you want to list multiple potential sessions in your schedule. To change the default of a particular session, go to "my schedule," find the session in the list, and click on the "H" to open the description and set a new priority ("medium" or "low").

  11. We'll be adding more help documents for the Conference Scheduler, including an FAQ, but feel free to leave comments to ask additional questions. You can also use the contact form in the upper right-hand corner of every page to send us a question.

Let us know what you think about the new Conference Scheduler!

January 5, 2011 Update: Read about some changes we had to make to reduce slow pageloads.

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Online Doc About ALA Connect

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Tue, Jul 8, 2014 at 09:12 am

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.

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 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.

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Discussion Ways to use Connect to conduct meetings (simply conduct business)

by David Vess on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 08:25 am

Hi Jenny (and anyone)

I'm shopping for ideas on how to approach virtual meetings in connect.

Part of me thinks we should just dump the idea of 'meetings' and be mindful of:  how we direct people's attention; how/when we present items for discussion; etc.  I think all of ALA could use access to training about holding meetings, virtual or otherwise.

Hi Jenny (and anyone)

I'm shopping for ideas on how to approach virtual meetings in connect.

Part of me thinks we should just dump the idea of 'meetings' and be mindful of:  how we direct people's attention; how/when we present items for discussion; etc.  I think all of ALA could use access to training about holding meetings, virtual or otherwise.

I wanted to schedule a monthly meeting place holder for the glbtrt board.  Turns out we only have 3 times per week that 6 of 11 people can commit to.   A monthly conference call is not an option.  [after thinking about this, isn't this the key?  It's what we do in preparing for meetings and designating responsibilities that's really important.]I'm thinking of suggesting something else:

  • pilot having a designated, asynchronous meeting time in our board space in Connect
    • the chair/secretary/board maintains a parking lot of items list in a connect document
      • group works out what an item has to have to be/ have in order to be on the list
        • must have an owner(s) to oversee conversation
        • must have all background info supplied a week before meeting period begins
        • etc.
      • sort the list based on importance / time sensitivity
    • each item becomes a forum topic, inside of a monthly meeting discussion 
    • number of items for meeting period are based on potential complexity
      • Meeting Discussions - 2012 August
        • Topic 1
        • Topic 2
      • Meeting Discussions - 2012 September
        • Topic 1
      • etc.
      • etc.
    • meeting time frame is a week - sunday to sunday (maybe this needs to be a 2-week time period?)
      • people have time to talk during that week in the forums
      • people can call for motions that week, and I can set them up as polls (our secretary can after he's used to connect)

What I don't want to do is misuse Connect.  If this goes wrong, it won't help our lobbying efforts around Connect.I'm open to any any any changes suggestions to this!  I'm more than happy to document what I do here in the next year as chair of glbtrt.  Maybe others have better ideas.  I'm sure they do.

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Discussion ALA's Opportunities Exchange makes more than 800 assistantships, grants, and scholarships searchable online

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 11:21 am

We're excited to announce that you can now search the 800+ awards listed in the Financial Assistance for Library & Information Studies (FALIS) Directory in the Opportunities Exchange in ALA Connect.

We're excited to announce that you can now search the 800+ awards listed in the Financial Assistance for Library & Information Studies (FALIS) Directory in the Opportunities Exchange in ALA Connect.

The FALIS Directory is maintained by ALA's Office for Human Resource Development and Recruitment (HRDR). All of the awards can now be searched by type (assistantship, fellowship, scholarship), library type (academic, public, school), education program level (Masters, Doctorate), state, keyword, and more. The Directory is also still available as a PDF.

This effort brings together in one place the more than 800+ FALIS awards with dozens of additional opportunities within the library profession for calls for proposal, equipment, freelance work, giveaways, grants, job exchanges, research surveys, volunteering, and more.

Originally started in 2010 as one of then-ALA President Jim Rettig's initiatives, the Opportunities Exchange was conceived of as a craigslist for the library world. Anyone with an account on ALA Connect can add a new opportunity to the OppEx. Users can also save searches and request email alerts when new opportunities are added that match the interests listed in their Connect profiles.

See the Help section of the Opportunities Exchange for more information about this valuable resource and how you can add an opportunity to the database.

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Discussion Conference Scheduler FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 02:09 pm
  1. Who can view the Conference Scheduler? Do I have to be logged in to view the conference program?
  2. Can non-ALA members create schedules?
  3. Do I have to be logged in to create my schedule? How do I log in?
  4. What are "closed" sessions?
  5. How does the Scheduler know what sessions to recommend for me? What do the tiny stars on sessions mean?
  6. What are the "interests" and "library types" in my profile?
  7. What does high/medium/low priority mean on my schedule?
  8. Can I print my schedule?
  9. Can I download my schedule into Outlook or Google Calendar?
  10. Can I add a personal session to my schedule (like dinner with a friend)?
  11. Who can see my schedule?
  12. Can I share my schedule publicly?
  13. Who can see that I'm attending a session? Can I hide my attendance on sessions?
  14. Help - I'm searching for something and can't find it.
  15. Don't see your question answered here? Leave a comment or use the contact form. We're here to help.

  1. Who can view the Conference Scheduler? Do I have to be logged in to view the conference program?
    Anyone can browse or search the program and view session information - you don't even need a login to do this. However, if you want to create and save a schedule on the site or leave a comment on a session, you'll need to log in.

  2. Can non-ALA members create schedules?
    Yes, non-ALA members can create accounts on ALA Connect and then use the Scheduler to plan their schedules.
  3. Do I have to be logged in to create my schedule? How do I log in?
    Yes, you must be logged in to create a schedule. If you're not, we can't tell who you are in order to save your schedule for you.

    ALA members should log in using their regular ALA website username and password. If you're not sure what your member login information is, you can recover it at http://ala.org/login.

    Non-ALA members should log in using their Connect accounts. Non-members can create a new account on Connect if they don't already have one. If you're not sure what your Connect password is, you can request a new one. If you're not sure what your username is, try searching for yourself.

  4. What are "closed" sessions?
    A "closed" designation on a session means that only the group's members can attend it. This is usually due to confidentiality issues for groups like award juries, nominating committees, and scholarship grants. The overwhelming majority of sessions and committee meetings are open to all attendees.
  5. How does the Scheduler know what sessions to recommend for me? What do the tiny stars on sessions mean?
    The Scheduler sifts through the 1400+ sessions for you based on three things: your ALA group affiliations (committees, discussion groups, divisions, round tables, and sections), the interests you've set in your Connect profile, and the "library types" you've set in your Connect profile.

    If you haven't set any interests or library types in your profile, then by default the Scheduler will just match against your ALA groups. You can begin the recommendation process by going to the "Recommended Sessions" page. Any results that are recommended based on your groups have a small, green star on them with the letter "G" on them for "Groups."

    If you'd like more recommendations, go to your profile, edit it, and add interests and library types. Then go back to the "Recommended Sessions" page, recalculate your recommendations, and look for additional stars.

    Recommendations based on your interests will have small, purple stars that say "I" on them for "Interests." Recommendations based on your library types will be blue and have a "T" on them for "Types."

    You can hover your cursor over the stars to pop up some help text if the letters are too small to read.
      

  6. What are the "interests" and "library types" in my profile?
    "Interests" are "subjects I'm interested in" and the"library types" are those that are most relevant to you. You don't have to fill these out to use Connect or the Scheduler, but if you do provide this information, we'll be able to help you zero in on those sessions that will be the most relevant to you.
  7. What does high/medium/low priority mean on my schedule?
    Because a lot of folks have multiple sessions they have to go to at the same time, we let you set a priority for each one. That way, you could set one session as a "high" priority because you absolutely have to be there but set another one as a "low" priority because you'd like to attend but only if you can slip away early or if your first one ends early.

    Basically, you can now put more than one session in a time slot and prioritize them. By default, sessions are added to your schedule as "high" priority, but you can change this from the "My Schedule" screen or on an individual session record by clicking on your desired priority.

  8. Can I print my schedule?
    Yes, you can use the "print" view or download a PDF for viewing/printing. The "print" link appears on the "my schedule" page, while the "PDF" link appears on the print view of your schedule.
  9. Can I download my schedule into Outlook or Google Calendar?
    Yes, you can download an iCal version of your schedule to import into any program/site that accepts that file format (including Facebook). Note that the time on sessions in the iCal file are set to the local time for the location of the conference, so your calendar might adjust times if your in a different time zone. The "iCal" link appears on your "my schedule" page.
  10. Can I add a personal session to my schedule (like dinner with a friend)?
    Yes, just use the "Add personal session" link in the left-hand column. Personal sessions are completely private, and no one can see them but you.
  11. Who can see my schedule?
    By default, only you can see your entire schedule. If you edit your profile, you can toggle this setting to share your schedule publicly so that anyone can see it, including someone who isn't logged in. Personal sessions will still be private so that only you can see them.

    In the future, we plan to give you granular sharing controls so that you could share your schedule with your different networks within Connect (e.g., show my friends and coworkers but not my contacts).

  12. Can I share my schedule publicly?
    Yes - if you edit your profile, you can toggle this setting to share your schedule publicly so that anyone can see it, including someone who isn't logged in. Personal sessions will still be private so that only you can see them.

    Note that you can hide your attendance at some sessions by using the checkboxes on the session records but still make your overall schedule public if you want even more granular control.

  13. Who can see that I'm attending a session? Can I hide my attendance on sessions?
    When you add a session to your schedule, by default anyone who is logged in to Connect can see your name and picture on the session record. This includes non-ALA members who have accounts on Connect. Users who aren't logged in to Connect can't see anyone listed on a session at all.

    There's a box on each session record that you can check to hide your attendance at that particular session. When you do this, we'll still count you in the total number of people who've added it to their schedule, but no one will see you listed on it except you.

    If you'd rather just hide yourself from appearing on all sessions at once (rather than on a session-by-session basis), you can edit your profile to check the box to hide your attendance on all sessions. Note that this setting applies to the current conference only, not past ones.

     

    Note that you can hide your attendance at some sessions but still make your overall schedule public if you want even more granular control.

  14. Help - I'm searching for something and can't find it.
    The one tricky thing about the Scheduler is that the search filters in the right-hand column apply only to the page you're looking at. So if you're on the "All days" tab, you'll be searching the entire program.

    However, if you go look at your schedule and start using a search filter, you'll only be filtering on your schedule. Similarly, if you're looking at your recommended sessions or just a single day of the program, any search filters you apply will only search that particular set of sessions.

    We know this can be a little confusing, so we've added a bar of information at the top of the middle column to help designate what you're searching. If you're not finding a particular session, check the information in that bar, because you might need to go to the "All days" or "All sessions" section to re-run your search.

    If you still can't find something, don't hesitate to contact us for help.

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Discussion How to send a meeting request to your group

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jun 11, 2014 at 10:38 am

Meeting requests are like Doodle polls that let you figure out the best time for everyone in your group to meet. Connect meeting requests also have the added feature of letting you automatically create a Connect calendar event based on the times of your poll. And as always, email notifications are automatic so you don't have to go through the separate steps of emailing everyone a link to the form or the event.

Here's a walkthrough of the process.

Meeting requests are like Doodle polls that let you figure out the best time for everyone in your group to meet. Connect meeting requests also have the added feature of letting you automatically create a Connect calendar event based on the times of your poll. And as always, email notifications are automatic so you don't have to go through the separate steps of emailing everyone a link to the form or the event.

Here's a walkthrough of the process.

  1. Creating a meeting request is just like creating any other type of content in Connect. Log in to the site, go to your group's home page, click on the plus sign in the toolbar, and select "Meeting Request" from the menu.
  2. Fill in the title of your request, and include any explanation in the "body" section. This can include anything from an explanation of why you're calling this meeting to a note about why you chose the dates you did.
  3. In the "Add List of Dates and Times" section, click in the date box to display a calendar and select the first day for your poll.
  4. In the "Time 1" box to the right, enter the first time for that day. To add another time slot to the same day, use the "Add a time slot" button.
  5. To start a new line of times on a new date, use the "Add a day" button. You can include as many dates and as many times as you'd like.
  6. Don't forget to set a time zone for your meeting.
  7. Note that if you make this meeting request "public," it will be viewable by anyone, including people outside of your group. However, only group members will be able to fill out the form.
  8. Once everything is ready, click on the "Submit" button at the bottom of the screen. This will automatically send an email to everyone in the group who has notifications turned on that there is a new meeting request they should go fill out.
  9. As group members start providing their dates of availability, you'll see green checkmarks and red "X"es to help you quickly determine which date is best.
  10. Once you know the best option, you can click on the plus sign for that time to automatically create a new calendar event with the title, date, and time pre-populated for you.
  11. Once you finish filling out the calendar event form and submit it, an email will automatically go out to the group noting the date and time of the event.

Some other information about meeting requests:

  1. The icon for meeting requests is the calendar event icon with a question mark on it.
  2. They appear on your group's home page in reverse chronological order, just like everything else.
  3. To view past meeting requests, click on the Events icon on your group's home page toolbar, and select "View recent meeting requests."
  4. You can comment on a meeting request, and it will be emailed to the group, the same as comments on other types of content.
  5. Although the default assumption is that your meeting will last one hour, you can set half hour times in the poll request, and you can set any end time in the calendar event, so your meeting can be as short or as long as you want it to be.

Don't see your question answered here? Leave a comment or use the Contact Us form.

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Discussion How to Upload a File Attachment

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Thu, Jun 5, 2014 at 08:57 am

To upload any type of file, do the following:

  1. Go to the group where you want to add it.
  2. Click on the "[add]" link in the right-hand column after "Posts" (or whichever type of content you want to add to the group).
  3. Fill out the appropriate fields (title, description, etc.).
  4. At the bottom of the page, click on "Add file attachments".

To upload any type of file, do the following:

  1. Go to the group where you want to add it.
  2. Click on the "[add]" link in the right-hand column after "Posts" (or whichever type of content you want to add to the group).
  3. Fill out the appropriate fields (title, description, etc.).
  4. At the bottom of the page, click on "Add file attachments".

  5. Browse your hard drive for the file and attach it.
  6. Click on the submit button.

Please note that the maximum file size you can upload is 20MB. File types allowed include:

  • avi (video / avi)
  • csv (comma-separated values for text and spreadsheets)
  • doc / docx (Microsoft Word)
  • eps (graphic / image)
  • flv (Flash)
  • gif (graphic / image)
  • ics (iCalendar files)
  • indd (InDesign)
  • jpg / jpeg (picture / graphic)
  • mov (video / Quicktime)
  • mp3 (audio)
  • mp4 (video / mp4)
  • odp (OpenDocument)
  • ods (OpenDocument)
  • odt (OpenDocument)
  • pdf (Adobe Acrobat)
  • png (graphic / image)
  • pps / ppt / pptx (Microsoft PowerPoint)
  • rtf (Rich Text Format)
  • txt (plain text)
  • tif / tiff (graphic / image)
  • wma (audio / Windows Audio)
  • wmv (video / Windows Media)
  • xls / xlsx (Microsoft Excel)
  • xml (Extensible Markup Language files)
  • zip (application / zip)

If you need an additional file type added, please contact us to request it.

 

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Discussion Opportunities Exchange FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, May 21, 2014 at 10:26 am
  1. What is the Opportuntiies Exchange?
  2. Does the OppEx include opportunities available to non-ALA members?
  3. Does the OppEx include opportunities from other organizations besides ALA?
  4. Who can add an opportunity?
  5. What are the guidelines for adding opportunities?
  6. Who can view opportunities?
  7. Who can comment on opportunities?
  8. What are “saved searches?”
  9. How many saved searches can I have at once?
  10. Can I get email alerts for new opportunities?
  11. I’m not getting email notices from the Opportunities Exchange. What’s up with that?
  12. Can I opt out of receiving email messages from the Opportunities Exchange?
  13. Can I subscribe to new opportunities via RSS?
  14. Is it okay to display an RSS feed of opportunities from the Exchange on my own website?
  15. Can I add an attachment to an opportunity I’ve posted?
  16. Are opportunities removed after a certain amount of time? Can I set an expiration date on an opportunity I’ve posted?
  17. Can I add a [job/CE event/other] to the OppEx?
  18. Can you add [my idea] as a type of opportunity/interest?
  19. Can I post commercial opportunities to the OppEx?
  20. I can’t find an opportunity I know I saw last month?
  21. I’m searching for an opportunity I know is there, but I can’t find it – help! I'm having problems searching - help!
  22. Who should I contact if information on an opportunity is incorrect?
  23. What should I do if I think someone is spamming the OppEx?
  24. Is the contact information on an opportunity publicly available?
  25. Don't see your question listed here? Leave a comment or contact us.

  1. What is the Opportunities Exchange?
    The OppEx is a database of opportunities open to anyone involved with libraries or librarianship. It includes everything from assistantships and grants to equipment available for purchase and giveaways. It’s also a way to find which organizations out there are looking for authors, editors, speakers, and volunteers. Our goal is to help you find opportunities to get involved within the profession at whatever level of commitment or interest you’re looking for.
     
  2. Does the OppEx include opportunities available to non-ALA members?
    Yes! Anyone can view the opportunities in the database because we want you to find whichever piece of libraries is the best fit for you. We’ve also tried to add international-friendly fields so that opportunities outside of the U.S. are easily findable in order to help bridge the geographical gap between U.S. and international libraries.


     

  3. Does the OppEx include opportunities from other organizations besides ALA?
    Yes! In fact, we encourage other organizations to submit their opportunities so that we can build a valuable path for folks to get involved. We’re all in this together.


     

  4. Who can add an opportunity?
    Anyone with an ALA Connect account can add any opportunity. We don’t moderate what gets submitted, so we limit who can post new submissions in order to try to maintain some authenticity that there’s a real human being interested in libraries posting the information. It also helps if we (or you) need to contact someone for further information or confirmation about details.

    ALA members already have Connect accounts and can log in to the site with their existing ala.org username and password. Non-members are welcome to create an account on the site to use to post opportunities and join open communities.

    Please note that if you submit an opportunity, you cannot opt out of receiving email notices when someone comments on it. In addition, all opportunities are publicly listed, so make sure you're okay with your contact information being publicly available if you list any. Alternatively, you can point people to the "send a message" link on your Connect profile if you don't want to expose your email address on the open web.
     

  5. What are the guidelines for adding opportunities?
    Adding an opportunity is pretty straightforward. If it fits into one of the types listed and is relevant to librarians, libraries, or the profession, then it’s considered appropriate. Examples of inappropriate submissions include spam, opportunities that have nothing to do with librar*, blatant commercials for products or services that don’t offer an opportunity, and misuse of the categories (eg, selecting every interest).

    In addition, there is no category for continuing education or job opportunities, because we’ll be building a CE Clearinghouse in the future, and jobs should be submitted to our JobList service.

    Common sense will take you a long way in using and contributing to this resource. If someone violates these guidelines, we’ll contact them and ask them to stop. If there’s a second violation, we reserve the right to revoke that person’s posting privileges.
     

  6. Who can view opportunities?
    Anyone can view and link to the opportunities listed in the OppEx without logging in, although you’ll need to log in to comment on or favorite a specific opportunity. You’ll also need to log in if you want to save searches you can easily re-run later. This is true for members and non-members, who are welcome to create an account on ALA Connect in order to comment on opportunities, favorite them, and save searches. We want to help you spread the news about your opportunity as far and as wide as possible.
     
  7. Who can comment on opportunities?
    Anyone who’s logged in to the Connect (member or non-ALA member) can comment on an opportunity. The person who posted it will receive an email notification about the comment, and the commenter will get an email there’s a new response in the comments.
     
  8. What are “saved searches?”
    Saved searches let you set search criteria and save those filters so that you can easily run them again in the future with just one click. Of course, you have to be logged in to save a search so that we know who we’re saving it for.

    After you’ve refined your search parameters to produce the results you want, just type a name for the search in the “Save current search as” box and click on the “Save” button. The name you typed should now appear in your list of saved searches, and it’ll stay there until you delete it. Now when you come back to the OppEx (and you’re logged in), you can re-run that search by just clicking on it. Note that you can currently save up to 10 unique searches.


     

  9. How many saved searches can I have at once? Why can’t I save a search?
    You can save up to 10 unique searches. If you’re having problems saving a new one, it’s probably because it’s number 11. If you delete an existing search, you’ll be able to save a new one.

    If you want to save more than 10 searches and you’re an ALA member, you might want to fill out the interests section of your profile and turn on email notices from the Opportunities Exchange. That way, you can get some of the broader searches sent to you via email. In addition, if you turn on email notices, you’ll get automatic messages every time an opportunity is submitted that matches one of your saved searches.
     

  10. Can I get email alerts for new opportunities?
    Yes, if you’re an ALA member, you can set up email alerts about new opportunities by doing the following.
    1. Fill out the new interests section on your profile and tell us what types of libraries you’re interested in.

       
    2. You can also save searches in the OppEx itself if you don’t want to fill out your interests. However, in the future, we'll be matching more content against your expressed interests in an effort to spam you less.
       
    3. Edit the "email notifications" section of the "Connect info" page in your profile to turn on email notices from the Opportunities Exchange.

       
    4. Now every time an opportunity is submitted that matches either your interests or your saved searches, we’ll send you a notice about it. If you ever get overwhelmed by the messages or no longer want to receive them, you can always change this setting in your Connect profile.

     

  11. I’m not getting email notices from the Opportunities Exchange. What’s up with that?
    There might be a couple of things going on if you’re not receiving email messages from the Opportunities Exchange. The first issue is that it can take up to an hour for us to send you a message about a new opportunity because we poll the database at various intervals. Then we have to get the message ready for you, lick the virtual stamp, and send out messages to everyone who requested notices. In order to keep the server perky, we don’t do all of that work every minute, so it may be a little while before a new notice shows up in your inbox.

    If it’s been more than a couple of hours, though, you should double-check that the message didn’t get caught in a spam filter. Of course, we hope that you’ve put connect@ala.org on all of your “safe sender” lists but if you haven’t, it’s possible that your system tagged it as spam (cue Monty Python music).

    Remember, too, that you’ll only receive email notices if you’ve (saved searches and/or filled out interests in your profile) *AND* (turned on OppEx email notices when editing your Connect profile).

    If you don’t see the notice in your spam folder, you’ve checked the box to receive email alerts, and it’s been a few hours, please contact us so that we can start troubleshooting the problem.
     

  12. Can I opt out of receiving email messages from the Opportunities Exchange?
    You have to opt in to receive notices of new opportunities that match your interests or saved searches, so you can always opt back out of receiving those messages. Just uncheck the box in your email preferences in your Connect profile.

    However, if you submit an opportunity, you cannot opt out of receiving email notices when someone comments on it. You’ll also receive an automatic email before the opportunity is set to expire so that you can log in to the site and renew it.
     

  13. Can I subscribe to new opportunities via RSS?
    Yes, OppEx searches generate RSS feeds that you can subscribe to in any standard RSS reader.
     
  14. Is it okay to display an RSS feed of opportunities from the Exchange on my own website?
    We encourage you to display opportunities from the Exchange on your noncommercial site. If you want to display them on a commercial site, please contact us first to discuss how you would use them.
     
  15. Can I add an attachment to an opportunity I’ve posted?
    Yes, you can add attachments that are 20MB or less in size. Acceptable file formats include doc, docx, pdf, rtf, txt, xls, xslx, and more. Simply open the "file attachments" menu at the bottom of the "add new opp" page by clicking on it in order to browse your hard drive and attach a file.

     
  16. Are opportunities removed after a certain amount of time? Can I set an expiration date on an opportunity I’ve posted?
    By default, opportunities expire one year after they’re added, although you can manually set an earlier date when creating or editing an opportunity. You cannot set an expiration date of more than one year out because we want to keep the database as current as possible. Before any of your submitted opportunities expire, you’ll receive an email alert in case you want to log in and renew the opportunity.

     
  17. Can I add a [job/CE event/other] to the OppEx?
    If you’re interested in advertising a job opening, please head over to our JobList service to learn how to post it there. Job postings are not allowed on ALA Connect and will be removed from the database.

    If you have other suggestions for new opportunity types, please contact us to suggest we add them. We’d love to hear your ideas for improving the OppEx.
     

  18. Can you add [my idea] as a type of opportunity/interest?
    We’re open to adding new opportunity types, so please send us your suggestions. However, we already have a service for posting jobs (JobList), so just email us at connect@ala.org or use the Contact Us form.
     
  19. Can I post commercial opportunities to the OppEx?
    This is a fine line, and you should use common sense when deciding to add a commercial opportunity. If it’s something that has a dollar value attached to it or involves a commercial entity but is a valid opportunity for the profession, then it’s probably okay. This is usually the case with things like awards or speaking opportunities, and those are fine.

    However, if you’re trying to shoehorn your submission into an inappropriate type of opportunity from our list, then it’s likely not a good fit. Blatant commercial advertisements will be removed from the database immediately, and repeated abuse of the OppEx could result in your account being blocked from using Connect altogether.

    If you’re not sure if your opportunity meets these criteria, or if you feel you have a valid opportunity that requires a new category type, please contact us for help. Our intent is to allow for the broadest range of opportunities for getting involved, so we’ll do our best to work with you.
     

  20. I can’t find an opportunity I know I saw last month?
    The link to an opportunity I added to my favorites is broken – what’s going on?

    If you can’t find an opportunity you know existed previously, it’s likely that it has expired and is no longer available or it was removed by the original author.
     

  21. I’m searching for an opportunity I know is there, but I can’t find it – help! I’m having problems searching – help!
    Once you narrow a search by opportunity type, subject, library type, etc., those filters stay in place until you remove them from your search by clicking on them again to deselect them or clicking on the “Start over and show all” link.

    You can tell if you have a search filter applied by looking at the heading above the list of recently added opportunities. If it says exactly that – “Recently added opportunities” – you’re starting with a blank slate and should be able to search the entire database.

    If, however, it says “Showing with filters applied,” then it’s searching a subset of the database, so you might not find what you’re looking for in those results. The easiest way to reset the search form is to click on the “Start over and show all” link in the “My saved searches box.”

    Keep broadening your search if you’re still not finding what you’re looking for, but feel free to contact us if you need some help.
     

  22. Who should I contact if information on an opportunity is incorrect?
    If you know for a fact that information on an opportunity is inaccurate, please contact the person who posted it so that they can correct it. When viewing an opportunity, the person who added it is listed underneath the title. If you click on the name, it will take you to the person’s profile. Underneath their picture is a link to send them a message.
     
  23. What should I do if I think someone is spamming the OppEx?
    Please use the contact us form at the top of every page to let us know if you see spam in the OppEx (or anywhere else on Connect).
     
  24. Is the contact information on an opportunity publicly available?
    Yes, all opportunities are publicly listed, so make sure you're okay with your contact information being publicly available if you list any. Alternatively, you can point people to the "send a message" link on your Connect profile if you don't want to expose your email address on the open web.
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Discussion When I export my conference schedule to my calendar, why do the times change?

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Tue, May 20, 2014 at 10:27 am

The ALA Conference Scheduler creates ics/iCal files for the correct time in the location where the conference is taking place. If you're importing those sessions into a calendar you've set to a time zone that is different than the conference location, your calendar software will automatically adjust the times on them.

In other words, if the conference will take place in the Pacific Time Zone, the appointments will be set in Pacific Time. If your device's clock and calendar are set to Eastern Time, then the appointments will register 3 hours “later” in the calendar on your device.

The ALA Conference Scheduler creates ics/iCal files for the correct time in the location where the conference is taking place. If you're importing those sessions into a calendar you've set to a time zone that is different than the conference location, your calendar software will automatically adjust the times on them.

In other words, if the conference will take place in the Pacific Time Zone, the appointments will be set in Pacific Time. If your device's clock and calendar are set to Eastern Time, then the appointments will register 3 hours “later” in the calendar on your device.

Example: A 12:00 Noon appointment in Pacific Time will show as 3:00 PM in Eastern Time if your calendar is set to ET. This does not mean the appointment is wrong, it merely reflects the Time Zone on your device.

Most smartphones will automatically adjust the Time Zone when you cross the Time Zone boundary. Most laptops and netbooks require a manual Time zone setting change.

Unfortunately, there's no way for us to know what time zone your calendar is set for and what type of device you'll be using when you arrive at the conference. If you're viewing your calendar on your phone, chances are your phone will update its time zone and the appointments will then display at the correct time.

If you're viewing your schedule on a tablet or laptop, you might need to manually change your time zone in order to see the appointments at the correct local time. You can also use the option to export your schedule as a PDF, which will show the correct local times or use the mobile Scheduler app.

Hopefully this helps explain what's happening, but please leave a comment if you have further questions about any of this.

 

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Discussion Mentoring FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 10:27 am

(Want to skip ahead and get started? Make sure you're logged in using your ALA member account information, go to your member profile, and click on the MentorConnect tab!)


Mentoring has been proven to be an important relationship in helping individuals develop their careers and professional identities. But what exactly is mentoring and how does it work?

(Want to skip ahead and get started? Make sure you're logged in using your ALA member account information, go to your member profile, and click on the MentorConnect tab!)


Mentoring has been proven to be an important relationship in helping individuals develop their careers and professional identities. But what exactly is mentoring and how does it work?

A mentor is someone who has experience-based wisdom and who is willing to spend time on issues related to the development of your career. This person’s sole focus is you as the mentee. They do not judge you but work in your best interests and as a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage. Mentors give their time and experience with no expectation of a return of any kind.

Mentoring relationships are marked by:

Consistent and frequent contact – meeting/talking once a year is not the same as mentoring.

  • Challenges to the mentee’s mental models (and, often, the mentor’s as well).
  • A focus on the long-term development of your career.

But what do mentors do exactly?

Mentors primarily listen. They listen to your aspirations and goals. A mentor might provide stimulating readings or developmental exercises. A mentor might help you think through difficult decisions (but not provide answers). Mentees might turn to their mentors for advice on new positions or on salary negotiations. Mostly, however, mentors work with their mentees on personal and professional development.

The best mentors help their mentees discover their own paths and best decisions. Because of this, direct advice should be rare and turned to least often. Guiding and helping should be the dominant activity and listening the most important mentoring skill.

FAQ on Mentoring

Q: Can my boss be my mentor?
A: Many people develop strong relationships with their bosses such that the boss/supervisor can serve as a mentor. However, it’s still useful to seek an additional mentor who is not so close to your day-to-day work. In this way, you can be assured of someone focused on your long-term development.

Q: I hear the terms coaching and mentoring used interchangeably. Are they the same thing?
A: Coaching focuses on job performance and immediate improvement or skill development. Mentoring focuses on long-term development and success so is much broader in scope. Some experts consider mentoring a coaching activity. The most useful distinction is that mentoring is long-term and career-oriented, and coaching is short-term and task or job-related.

Q: Who can be a mentor?
A: Anyone can serve as a mentor to someone else as long as they have experience-based wisdom, listen well, and can play a helping role.

Q: How do I know if I need a mentor?
A: Everyone can benefit from mentoring, no matter what the stage of their career.

Q: How do I find a mentor?
A: Sometimes mentoring relationships develop spontaneously but don’t wait for that to happen!  Use MentorConnect to locate someone with a background similar to your interests. Find someone you respect and from whom you think you could learn something and whom you trust, and just ask them. Most people are flattered and surprised to be asked to serve as a mentor.

Some ALA units offer additional, formal mentoring programs. You can find further information about these programs at the following links.

Q: What’s the advantage of using MentorConnect?
A: MentorConnect makes it easy to find a mentor. It augments the formal programs that are sponsored by various ALA offices and divisions. You can be involved in one of these formal programs and have a MentorConnect mentor at the same time. You might prefer a slightly less formal approach to mentoring, and MentorConnect offers that.

Even if you’re engaged in a formal mentoring program, you and your mentor can use MC for the built-in feedback.

Q: How much time does this take?
A: For both the mentor and mentee, this is a serious commitment. Consistent levels of contact, whether via telephone, chat, or in-person visits, are critical to the success of the relationship. Mentors and mentees should determine the schedule of conversation early on in their relationships.

Q: How long should the mentoring relationship last?
A: There is no set length for mentoring relationships. Many mentoring relationships last a lifetime; however there are many very effective mentoring relationships that are shorter in duration. As a mentee you should talk about your expectations with your mentor. Creating open communication lines right at the outset is critical.

Q: What is the role of feedback in mentoring?
A: Both the mentee and the mentor can benefit from feedback from each other. Feedback is information that tells you how effectively you are performing or what you might do to improve what you are doing. Thus, feedback can be positive or it can help address a weakness. Either way, feedback should be viewed as a gift.

MentorConnect (“MC”) provides you with a method for sending each other feedback and archiving it so that it’s always easy for you to refer back to it. Within MC, view a mentorship to see all feedback to and from that particular mentor in a completely confidential space. No one except the two of you can see your mentorship or the feedback attached to it, and ALA will never show it to anyone else unless legally obligated to do so. Your feedback is safe with us.

Q: What should I do if things do not seem to be going well?
A: Very occasionally, the fit between mentor and mentee does not work. Or something interferes with the efficacy of the relationship. The best way to handle these situations is to be open and frank. If there is something that isn’t working, it’s very important to have a conversation about it as soon as possible. Be careful not to give up too soon – sometimes a rough spot doesn’t mean the end of the relationship and, in fact, having an open conversation can strengthen it.

 

See also this Mentor Tip Sheet from the ACRL Instruction Section’s program and NMRT’s Career Mentoring Guidelines.

There are more help pages for MentorConnect itself in the "MentorConnect and Mentoring" category.

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