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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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Online Doc Adding a Date to your Group's Calendar

by ala-admin (non-member) on Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 11:48 am

Your group has its own calendar for posting meeting times, deadlines, and other date-related events.

  1. To add something to your calendar, go to your group's home page and look for the "Calendar [add]" line in the block of tools in the right-hand column.

  2. Click on the word "add" and you should be taken to a form you can fill out for an event.

     

Your group has its own calendar for posting meeting times, deadlines, and other date-related events.

  1. To add something to your calendar, go to your group's home page and look for the "Calendar [add]" line in the block of tools in the right-hand column.

  2. Click on the word "add" and you should be taken to a form you can fill out for an event.

     

  3. Click on the calendar icon underneath the first box to pick a start date for you event. A small calendar will pop up, letting you browse to a specific date. Click on the specific day when your event will begin. Alternatively, you can just type the date into the box, as long as you follow the YYYY-MM-DD format where YYYY is the full year, MM is the month, and DD is the day.

  4. If you need to change the start time, click in the box and type in a new time. Be sure to use military time, which runs on a 24-hour cycle (e.g., 1:00 p.m. = 13:00). (In the future, we hope to change this to use a 12-hour a.m./p.m. cycle.)

     

  5. Move down to the End Date field and repeat the same process to choose an end date and time.

     

  6. Select the appropriate time zone from the dropdown menu.

     

  7. Enter a title for your event. Consider putting your group's abbreviation or a shortened form of its name in the title if you are making the event public. Otherwise, three "Board Meetings" listed on the main Connect calendar will be indistinguishable from one another

     

  8. Don't worry about choosing a year for your event. If your group is using special categories, choose an appropriate category from the list. If you don't see any categories listed, skip this step.

     

  9. In the "Body" field, provide a description of the event with any information your group will need to know for it. For example, you might include the location of the meeting (a street address, a URL for an online meeting, a phone number for a conference call, etc.).

     

  10. Choose whether you want the event to appear publicly. To comply with ALA's open meetings policy, you should make meeting notices public. You don't have to make the content of the meeting public if it includes confidential information, but you need to make the event announcement itself public.

    To make the event public, you must manually check the "Public" box. Otherwise only your group will be able to see the event.

  11. Decide if you want to attach any files to the event, such as an agenda or a document the group will discuss. This is a good opportunity to let each person download the file(s) themselves, rather than sending multiple attachments through email.

    To attach a file, click on the phrase "File attachments." This will open the "Browse" button you can use to find the file on your hard drive. Once you've located the file, select it and click on the "Open" button.

  12. Check over all of the information you've entered and click on the "Submit" button to add this event to the group's calendar. All group members who have configured their profiles to receive email from this group will get a notice of the meeting in their inbox.

     

  13. Remember that you can always come back and update information about the event by viewing it and clicking on the "edit" tab.
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Online Doc How Do I Start a New Discussion Topic?

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 04:37 pm
  1. The first thing to remember is that you have to be a member of the group to post new content to it. Non-members can only view existing public content and comment on it.

     

  2. Go to your group's home page and click on the "Discussions" link in the right-hand column.

     

  3. In the middle of the page, you'll see a link to "Post a new forum topic."

     

  4. Give your topic a title by typing it in the "Subject" box.

     

  1. The first thing to remember is that you have to be a member of the group to post new content to it. Non-members can only view existing public content and comment on it.

     

  2. Go to your group's home page and click on the "Discussions" link in the right-hand column.

     

  3. In the middle of the page, you'll see a link to "Post a new forum topic."

     

  4. Give your topic a title by typing it in the "Subject" box.

     

  5. If your group is using "Categories," click on that word to open the category options. If your group isn't using categories, skip this step.

     

  6. Type what you want to say into the "Body" box.

     

  7. Choose whether you want the topic to appear publicly.

    To make the event public, you must manually check the "Public" box. Otherwise only your group will be able to see it.

     

  8. Decide if you want to attach any files to the topic, such as an agenda or a document the group will discuss. This is a good opportunity to let each person download the file(s) themselves, rather than sending multiple attachments through email.

    To attach a file, click on the phrase "File attachments." This will open the "Browse" button you can use to find the file on your hard drive. Once you've located the file, select it and click on the "Open" button.

     

  9. Check over all of the information you've entered and click on the "Submit" button to add this topic to the discussion forum. All group members who have configured their profiles to receive email from this group will get a notice of your new topic in their inbox.

     

  10. Remember that you can always come back and update the topic by viewing it and clicking on the "edit" tab.
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Online Doc Frequently Asked Questions about Chats in ALA Connect

by Jenny I Levine (non-member) on Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 04:13 pm
  1. Who can start a new chat in a group?
    Any member of the group/community can start a new chat session.

     

  2. Who can participate in a group's chat?
    Any member of the group/community can participate in a group chat session.

     

  1. Who can start a new chat in a group?
    Any member of the group/community can start a new chat session.

     

  2. Who can participate in a group's chat?
    Any member of the group/community can participate in a group chat session.

     

  3. Can we save our chat session?
    Yes, you can save a text transcript of your session after it ends. If you want to keep it as an archive of the chat, you can copy the transcript and paste it into a new online doc, which you could even make available publicly if there is nothing of a confidential nature in it.

     

  4. Who can delete chats?
    Only the group/community admins can delete past chat sessions.

     

  5. Can I use audio, video, or co-browsing in our chat?
    At this time, ALA Connect only supports text-based chats. Hopefully we'll be able to add more functionality to this module in the future, but we are very focused on keeping this functionality fully ALA-compliant so that all members can fully use it.

     

  6. How many people can be in a chat room at once?
    We're not really sure, but we think it's somewhere between more than 100 and less than 1,000 (which would probably be pretty unwieldy anyway). If you run into a limit while using a chat room, please let us know!

     

  7. Can my group use the chat function to do training and workshops?
    If you can make it work, go for it. However, we've kept the functionality very basic in order to make sure it's fully ADA-compliant. This module isn't designed to replace something like Learning Times or Wimba, but you should feel free to use it in whatever ways you can make it work to accomplish your goals.

     

  8. Don't see your question listed here? Contact us for an answer.
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Online Doc Frequently Asked Questions about Discussions in ALA Connect

by Jenny I Levine (non-member) on Thu, Mar 12, 2009 at 04:04 pm
  1. What are "discussions?"
    Discussions are threaded forums where one person can post a topic and others in the group can respond to it. These types of resources are also known as message boards, discussion forums, and online discussions, and you can learn more about them in general on Wikipedia.

    Within ALA Connect, every group/community has its own discussions area, and each forum and topic can be public or closed to just the group's members.

  1. What are "discussions?"
    Discussions are threaded forums where one person can post a topic and others in the group can respond to it. These types of resources are also known as message boards, discussion forums, and online discussions, and you can learn more about them in general on Wikipedia.

    Within ALA Connect, every group/community has its own discussions area, and each forum and topic can be public or closed to just the group's members.

  2. What is the difference between a discussion forum and a forum topic?
    A discussion forum is a topical area within the group's discussions. For example, an awards jury will have a single "Discussions" area, but it might have a forum nominees and a forum for winners.

    Within each forum, group/community members can start a new topic, such as "2010 Nominees" or even a specific title the group wants to discuss (eg, "The Little Engine that Could"). The person posting the new topic posts what they want to say, and then others in the group can respond by using the "reply" link.

    So the hierarchy is Discussions --> Forums --> Topics --> Replies.

  3. Who can start a new discussion forum?
    Only group/community admins can start new forums, although any member of the group can start a new topic within a forum.

  4. Who can participate in discussions?
    Only the group's/community's members can post a new question or or reply to existing one. By default, each new discussion topic created is closed so that only the group's members can see it unless the person creating it has proactively marked it as being "public." So some group discussions might be group-only, while others may be viewable by everyone, including the public.

  5. Who can create new forum topics?
    Only group/community members can start new discussion topics within an existing forum.

  6. Who can delete existing forums and topics?
    Only a group/community admin can delete discussion forums, topics, and replies. If you would like to request that something be deleted from a discussion, contact your group's admin.

 

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Need some help understanding what's going on at this site or navigating around it? You've come to the right spot. We'll be adding a lot more help here in the coming days.

To get started, trying watching some of the video tutorials.

Feel free to join this group and ask questions on the discussion board or use the contact form. There's also a community dedicated to Improving ALA Connect where you can post specific feedback and suggestions.

See the Help categories listed in the sidebar for specific topics. -->

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