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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 What's New with Other Groups (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 09:50 am

Just like on Lost, it's always good to know what Others are up to. In ALA Connect, groups can publish content so that anyone can view it. That way, they can share what they are doing with you, and you can find out what's going on with them....

Just like on Lost, it's always good to know what Others are up to. In ALA Connect, groups can publish content so that anyone can view it. That way, they can share what they are doing with you, and you can find out what's going on with them....

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I.
View the original video and transcript.

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Discussion What's New with My Groups: Finding and Featuring Group Information on ALA Connect (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 09:50 am

It's easy to track your groups' conversations and work with ALA Connect. Once you're logged in to ALA Connect, your groups' newest information is displayed right on your homepage, alongside information from other active groups and communities.

To find out more about what's new with any particular group of which you're a member, just head to the group page via the My ALA Groups section, or the My Member Communities section....

It's easy to track your groups' conversations and work with ALA Connect. Once you're logged in to ALA Connect, your groups' newest information is displayed right on your homepage, alongside information from other active groups and communities.

To find out more about what's new with any particular group of which you're a member, just head to the group page via the My ALA Groups section, or the My Member Communities section....

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I.
View the original video and transcript.

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Discussion Finding New Groups that Might Interest You (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 09:50 am

ALA has over two thousand divisions, committees, task forces and round tables, and Connect offers an additional 500 member created communities- and this number is growing every day. So how does one find new groups that might interest them?...

ALA has over two thousand divisions, committees, task forces and round tables, and Connect offers an additional 500 member created communities- and this number is growing every day. So how does one find new groups that might interest them?...

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I.
View the original video and transcript.

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Discussion Keeping Up with Connect: What's Going On (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 09:49 am

There's so much happening on ALA Connect, you may feel a bit overwhelmed trying to find your way. But with a few easy features, you can quickly put your finger on the pulse of ALA Connect.

From the ALA Connect homepage you can browse upcoming events, view most recently created member communities, follow comments recently made, and more. Let's take a closer look....

There's so much happening on ALA Connect, you may feel a bit overwhelmed trying to find your way. But with a few easy features, you can quickly put your finger on the pulse of ALA Connect.

From the ALA Connect homepage you can browse upcoming events, view most recently created member communities, follow comments recently made, and more. Let's take a closer look....

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I.
View the original video and transcript.

More...

Discussion ALA Connect for Non ALA Members (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 09:48 am

While ALA Connect is a superb professional networking resource for members of the American Library Association, it can be equally valuable for professionals who are not yet members of one of the largest and most active professional asssociations in the United States. Students, consultants, and other professionals with an interest in librarianship will find the resources in ALA Connect extremely valuable for connecting with ALA Members. It's easy to get started....

While ALA Connect is a superb professional networking resource for members of the American Library Association, it can be equally valuable for professionals who are not yet members of one of the largest and most active professional asssociations in the United States. Students, consultants, and other professionals with an interest in librarianship will find the resources in ALA Connect extremely valuable for connecting with ALA Members. It's easy to get started....

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I.
View the original video and transcript.

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Discussion General MentorConnect Help

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Sep 23, 2009 at 09:52 am
  1. How do I join MentorConnect?
  2. What’s the difference between my Connect profile and my MentorConnect profile?
  3. Who can see my MentorConnect profile?
  4. How do I leave feedback for my mentor/mentee?
  5. What’s listed on the “All Feedback” page?
  6. How long will a mentorship remain in MentorConnect?
  7. How do I close/end a mentorship?
  8. How do I remove myself from appearing in the MC search results while still maintaining my current mentorships?
  9. I don’t have time to mentor right now, but I want to keep my profile. How can I temporarily remove myself from appearing in the MC search results?
  10. How do I remove myself from MentorConnect?
  11. Why don't I show up in the mentor/mentee search results?
  12. Don't see your question listed here? Check other MentorConnect help documents, leave a comment, or use the contact us form to ask it.

 



 

  1. How do I join MentorConnect?
    Look for a link to MentorConnect in the left-hand column, underneath your name. Alternatively, you’ll always have a special tab for MC on your profile. Once there, you’ll see a welcome message and explanation until you join. MentorConnect is completely opt-in. And yes, you can join, create a profile, and look around a little without jumping into the deep end and getting in over your head. If you look around and decide MentorConnect isn’t for you right now, just edit your MC profile and un-check the boxes for registering as a mentor and/or mentee.

     

  2. What’s the difference between my Connect profile and my MentorConnect profile?
    Your ALA Connect profile includes general information from our member database, and you have one by default (unless you’ve excluded yourself from appearing in the ALA Member Directory via your ALA website profile). Any ALA member can see what’s on your Connect profile. Conversely, your MentorConnect profile doesn’t exist until you create and populate it with mentoring-specific information. Only other members who have joined MC can see it.

     

  3. Who can see my MentorConnect profile?
    Your MentorConnect profile can be seen only by other ALA members who have proactively joined MentorConnect. ALA will never expose your MC profile to non-members or the public. Ever. Unlike your ALA Connect, which you can choose to display publicly, your MC profile can never be set to “public.”

     

  4. How do I leave feedback for my mentor/mentee?
    To leave feedback that gets archived in MentorConnect, log in to ALA Connect, go to MentorConnect, click on either “my mentors” or “my mentees” (depending on which type of person you’re leaving feedback for), find the mentorship you’re interested in, and click on the “feedback” link for it. This will take you to the mentorship’s page, where you can click on the “Add new feedback” link.

    The other person will get an email notice containing your feedback, and they’ll be able to log in and reply. You’ll then get an email notice containing that reply. You can reply back and forth as many times as you’d like, or you can start a new thread using the “add new feedback” link when you’re ready to start a new topic.

     

  5. What’s listed on the “All Feedback” page?
    This page lists all of your feedback from all of your mentorships, arranged by date, with the most recent feedback at the top of the page. It includes comments made by you and by others. It’s a good way to quickly scan the newest feedback left for you, as well as your recent mentorship conversations. Comments are color-coded by mentorship to make scanning easier. To go to a mentorship to see all feedback for it, click on the name of it in the right-hand column.

     

  6. How long will a mentorship remain in MentorConnect?
    A mentorship will remain in Connect forever so that you’ll always be able to refer back to when someone was in a mentorship with you, including the feedback. A mentorship can be closed by the mentee at any time, but it will still appear in the “past mentors” and “past mentees” section of the profiles for the two people involved.

     

  7. How do I close/end a mentorship? 
    A mentee or a mentor can close a mentorship at any time by doing the following:
    1. Go to "my mentors" or "my mentees" to find the mentorship you want to close.
    2. Click on the mentorship’s “feedback” link.
    3. Click on the “edit” link next to the mentorship name.
    4. Check the “close this mentorship” box and then the “save” button.

    This will send a notification to the other person that the mentorship has been closed. The mentoring relationship will now appear under the “past mentors” and “past mentees” sections in each person’s MC profile. All feedback is archived, along with the mentorship, plus you’ll be able to refer back to the exact dates for everything.

     

  8. How do I remove myself from appearing in the MC search results while still maintaining my current mentorships?
    If you want to keep your MC profile but not appear in the search results as a potential mentor/mentee anymore, simply edit your MC profile and un-check the box for registering as a mentor or mentee. When you’re ready for mentoring again, simply edit your profile and check the box again. This will put you back in the pool of potential mentors.

     

  9. I don’t have time for mentoring right now, but I want to keep my profile. How can I temporarily remove myself from appearing in the MC search results?
    If you want to keep your MC profile but not appear in the search results as a potential mentor/mentee anymore, simply edit your MC profile and un-check the box for registering as a mentor or mentee. If you have existing mentorships, you'll need to go to each one and end/close them. When you’re ready for mentoring again, simply edit your MC profile and check the "register" box again. This will put you back in the pool of potential mentors/mentees.

     

  10. How do I remove myself from MentorConnect?
    To remove yourself from MentorConnect altogether, edit your MC profile and un-check the "register" buttons for being a mentor and/or mentee.

     

  11. Why don't I show up in the mentor/mentee search results?
    If you're looking for yourself in the search results, you won't see you, because you can't mentor yourself.  :-)

    If someone else is looking for you, there are two possible reasons they can't find you in the results:

    1. You already have the number of mentors/mentees set as the maximum in your profile. For example, if you set the max number of folks you'll mentor at once to two and you have two mentees, we remove you from the search results. Conversely, if you set that option to "None," you won't appear in the results.
    2. You haven't checked the box when editing your MC profile to appear in the search results.

 

More...

Discussion ALA Connect for LIS Students

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 at 12:20 pm

ALA Connect offers the opportunity for users to create member communities- communities that any ALA member can participate in. This provides a great opportunity for LIS students and alumni to congregate in an unofficial sort of way, network and build those professional relationship!...

ALA Connect offers the opportunity for users to create member communities- communities that any ALA member can participate in. This provides a great opportunity for LIS students and alumni to congregate in an unofficial sort of way, network and build those professional relationship!...

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I.
View the original video and transcript.

More...

Discussion Filling Out Your MentorConnect Profile

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 02:42 pm
  1. How much do I need to fill out in the “About” section of my MC Profile?
    All of these fields are optional, although each helps someone else determine which person could potentially be the best mentor for them. We recommend you fill out these fields, but it’s totally up to you. The information you provide here isn’t used anywhere outside of MentorConnect, and ALA will never expose, give away, rent, sell, or do anything else with the data you include here.

     

  1. How much do I need to fill out in the “About” section of my MC Profile?
    All of these fields are optional, although each helps someone else determine which person could potentially be the best mentor for them. We recommend you fill out these fields, but it’s totally up to you. The information you provide here isn’t used anywhere outside of MentorConnect, and ALA will never expose, give away, rent, sell, or do anything else with the data you include here.

     

  2. I don’t see the option for [xxxxxxxxx] in one of the menus – how do I add it?
    We’ve done our best to provide a broad and well-rounded list for things like type of library, expertise, career role, etc. We don’t want to get too granular because the list could do on for.ev.er. However, we’re always willing to consider suggestions, so use the “contact us” link in the upper right-hand corner of every page to send us your ideas. Since we don’t want to continually add references to specific tools, websites, or software, we recommend adding names for those types of things under “field experience” in your profile. Those fields are fully searchable from the “find a mentor” screen, so putting something like “RSS” or “Twitter” under “field experience” means you’ll appear in the search results when a user adds one of those terms on the search page.

     

  3. How do I change the location or organization listed on my MC profile?
    The location and organization listed on your MentorConnect profile come directly from our member database, so to change those, you need to log in to the ALA website and update the information on your ALA member profile.

    Once you've done that, log out of Connect, log back in, and your information should update within about 10 seconds. If it doesn’t, use the “contact us” link in the upper right-hand corner of every page and let us know.

     

  4. What should I include in my profile about field/general experience?
    This is your best chance to advertise the experience you’ve gained that makes you the ideal person to mentor someone else.  At this time, you can’t include any HTML or hyperlinks, although you can direct readers to check your Connect profile for links since you can add them there.

     

  5. What does “number of mentees at once” mean on my mentor profile?
    This is the number of people you’re willing to mentor at any one time. It’s important to consider this number carefully so that you can give each mentee the attention and level of response they deserve, so please give this some serious thought. You can always start out with a lower number and increase it if you find you have time to mentor additional people. Note that setting your number of mentees to "None" will remove you from the pool of potential mentors in the search results.

     

  6. Don't see your question listed here? Check other MentorConnect help documents, leave a comment, or use the contact us form to ask it.
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Discussion Mentoring Starter Questions

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 10:00 am

How do we get going?

There is no set way for mentoring relationships to get started. However, it’s very important for both the mentor and mentee to remember that the work needs to focus on the needs of the mentee. Subjects for early conversations should include: goals and aspirations of the mentee, frequency of contact desired, preferred learning styles, communication preferences, and sharing of information about the mentor’s and mentee’s backgrounds.

If you’re a mentor, you might open the conversation by asking the mentee one of the following questions:

How do we get going?

There is no set way for mentoring relationships to get started. However, it’s very important for both the mentor and mentee to remember that the work needs to focus on the needs of the mentee. Subjects for early conversations should include: goals and aspirations of the mentee, frequency of contact desired, preferred learning styles, communication preferences, and sharing of information about the mentor’s and mentee’s backgrounds.

If you’re a mentor, you might open the conversation by asking the mentee one of the following questions:

  1. What are three things you would like to accomplish through mentoring?
  2. How do you like to learn?
  3. When it comes to communication that does not take place in person, how do you prefer communicating?
  4. How much time would you like us to spend working together? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?
  5. Are there very specific goals you have in mind that you would like to accomplish?

Things to be careful of:

While most mentoring relationships are very successful, the ones that fail usually do so due to one of the following issues:

  1. Lack of contact between mentor and mentee – if there is no contact there is no mentoring.
  2. Lack of focus on the needs of the mentee – even if you are having a good time you might not be focusing on the needs of the mentee.
  3. Loss of trust – mentoring is a relationship that requires trust, because so much of personal importance is shared by the mentee. If the mentor betrays any confidentialities the relationship will begin to falter.

Some arenas where mentoring is useful:

  • Career development and planning
  • Leadership development
  • Developing a broader understanding of organizations
  • Developing political skills and awareness

Final words of wisdom to both mentee and mentor:

For the mentee: Take this opportunity seriously and spend some reflective time considering what your greatest needs are. Understand the gift of time that your mentor is giving you and respect it. You might develop a statement of purpose for the mentoring relationship just to have a clearer sense of your intention.

For the mentor: The mentoring relationship is more about guiding and helping than about telling the mentee what you would do. It is about the mentee’s goals and needs. Spend a lot of time listening and think about how you might best help your mentee. Sometimes it might be providing the mentee with a reading suggestion to stimulate their thinking or crystallize their thinking on an issue; sometimes it might be providing the mentee with a connection to someone else in the field; and yet other times it might be a conversation that helps the mentee understand their own thinking better.

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Discussion Creating Communities in ALA Connect (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Aug 7, 2009 at 11:17 am

Dog Loving Librarians Who Knit and Watch Lost Creating Communities in ALA Connect

So say you're a dog-loving librarian who likes to knit and watch Lost, and you're looking for other librarians who share your interests. But how do you find them?....

One in a series of introductory screencasts created by the 2009 ALA Emerging Leaders Group I
View the original video and transcript

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