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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 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

Discussion ALA Connect Promotional Video

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 09:32 pm

ALA was lucky enough to have a team of 2008-2009 Emerging Leaders participants create some promotional videos about ALA Connect. We'll be posting them all here in the video tutorials section, but here's the first one,which describes what we hope Connect's first phase provides for librarians.

Discussion Using ALA Connect with Your Existing Social Media Tools (video)

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Mon, Aug 3, 2009 at 06:20 pm

ALA recognizes that many of its members are well-versed in online social media tools.

Connect isn't intended to be a replacement for your favorite social media network, but it makes it easy to share information with your networks with just a few simple clicks....

ALA recognizes that many of its members are well-versed in online social media tools.

Connect isn't intended to be a replacement for your favorite social media network, but it makes it easy to share information with your networks with just a few simple clicks....

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 User Guidelines

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jul 29, 2009 at 10:54 am

ALA Connect is a site where members of ALA meet and mingle virtually, discuss library-related topics and issues, share ideas, collaborate in communities, and come together to do the work of the Association. The way you interact in ALA Connect will shape the communities and determine the success of your group(s), and result in an overall positive or negative experience for all participants. We ask that all participants understand and observe the following guidelines.

ALA Connect is a site where members of ALA meet and mingle virtually, discuss library-related topics and issues, share ideas, collaborate in communities, and come together to do the work of the Association. The way you interact in ALA Connect will shape the communities and determine the success of your group(s), and result in an overall positive or negative experience for all participants. We ask that all participants understand and observe the following guidelines. They were developed to foster frank dialogue, mutual respect, and a sense of community among all ALA members participating in ALA Connect.

Engage in a professional, congenial dialogue. Please realize that *thousands* of people may eventually see the messages you post on ALA Connect. They may include individuals you know, patrons, coworkers, or someone you may employ, or seek employment from, in the future. Information posted impulsively or without regard for accuracy may come back to haunt you. Remember you are responsible and liable for the words you post on ALA Connect.

Foster useful, dynamic discussions. We encourage frank and thoughtful dialogue. When posting, please keep your comments consistent with the subject and purpose of the conversation. Deliberate disruption -- such as consistent off-topic commentary -- will not be tolerated. Posts and/or entire conversations that are abusive or disruptive in nature will be removed. This is not the place for vulgar or explicit language. This is also not the place to sell products or services, or forward a personal agenda. Communicate with your peers on Connect the way you would with your coworkers.

Please also note that political speech that endorses or otherwise promotes one candidate over another in an election year is not allowed on ALA Connect due to IRS restrictions for tax-exempt organizations. For more about this issue, please see this post about Election Year speech.

Fashion a community that works for you. Connect gives participants endless opportunities to get involved... or to hang back and just take it all in. If you're going to create a community, make sure you give it a meaningful name and mission statement, so others who are interested in your topic know that this is the group for them. Give your message posts accurate subject line descriptors. This will enable members to easily follow and find discussion threads that interest them. Help others find you by keeping your personal profile updated. However, respect the privacy of others, as well as your own. "Lurking" is OK. Sometimes you will want to read what the community is doing before you jump into the discussion.

Play nice with others. Welcome new members as you would want to be welcomed. Make sure conversations are inclusive. Disturbance of the general peace and personal insults and attacks are inappropriate, as is using profanity or expressions of obscenity, sexism, racism, and other types of prejudice. We encourage spirited discussion and debate, but remember that disagreeing with an idea is different from attacking an individual.

Respect the role of community moderators. Help the moderator ensure that all are following the spirit of these guidelines. All members of Connect are responsible for doing their part to foster an open and inviting community. If you see inaccurate, off-topic, or disruptive posts, you should report it to the moderator.

Don't post ads or commercial solicitations. ALA Connect is a professional community where you can escape the blinking ads and come-ons on other networking sites. If you'd like to post a job ad through ALA, we welcome your participation in our JobList site. If you encounter commercial content on Connect, please contact us to report it.

ALA respects freedom of expression. ALA will not censor or edit messages and content contributed to the site, unless it violates these user guidelines. Violation of the user guidelines, particularly in regards to the use of profane or hateful language, selling a product or service, or disrespecting other members, is grounds for having access to ALA Connect revoked.

Observe basic netiquette:

  • Don't type in all capital letters. It reads like screaming. Use bold or italics to emphasize a word.
  • Respect the privacy of others, as well as your own.
  • Be yourself (i.e. don't pretend to be someone else online).
  • Avoid unsolicited or repetitive attempts to communicate, especially should the receiver not respond, or request that you cease. In person, you might say excuse me, or some appropriate introduction before interrupting, or before speaking to a stranger. Consider doing the same for online, email, and conversations.Remember there are human beings with feelings who read your messages.
  • Please be *very* cautious about using sarcasm and humor. Without nonverbal cues and voice tone, "subtle" humor can easily be interpreted as searing sarcasm.
  • In the online environment, words can be misread without facial and verbal cues to convey emotions. Use your words, or emoticons, to convey emotion.
  • Don't use the "Send [name] a message" feature on member profiles to spam or harass another member. You can lose your access to ALA Connect for this type of behavior.
  • You must have copyright rights to content you contribute to the site. It is your responsibility to obtain permission for any material you post to Connect for which you do not already own the rights. Posting copyrighted content without the owner's permission is grounds for having your access to ALA Connect revoked.

Thanks for participating in Connect. We welcome your feedback at any time.

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Discussion Non-members in ALA Connect FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 03:41 pm
  1. Can non-ALA members join ALA Connect?
    Yes! Anyone can join ALA Connect at a basic participation level.
     
  2. What can non-ALA members do in Connect?
    Non-members can create an account on Connect and join any open community, where they'll have full posting rights. In addition, non-member accounts can comment on any content marked "public" in any group on Connect, whether the group itself is open or closed.
  1. Can non-ALA members join ALA Connect?
    Yes! Anyone can join ALA Connect at a basic participation level.
     
  2. What can non-ALA members do in Connect?
    Non-members can create an account on Connect and join any open community, where they'll have full posting rights. In addition, non-member accounts can comment on any content marked "public" in any group on Connect, whether the group itself is open or closed.

    Non-members cannot fill out full profiles, see details on member profiles, network with ALA members, or create new communities. As new features become available, some of them won't be available to non-members, such as the mentoring network and posting to the opportunities exchange.
     

  3. Why do I have to wait for admin approval when I create a non-member account?
    Unfortunately, we've had to implement this extra step due to spam. Although we've been able to stop automated spam, some humans are taking the time to create an account and post spam to the site, so we've had to step in and moderate new accounts. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we'll activate accounts as quickly as we can.
     
  4. Why does it say (non-member) after my name if I'm an ALA member?
    If you're an ALA member, you don't need to create a new account on Connect. Instead, you should log in using your ALA website username and password. If you're not sure what those are, you can recover them from the ALA website.
     
  5. If I join ALA, can you make my non-member account into a member one?
    Unfortunately, we don't have a way to do this, but once you join ALA, you'll have immediate member access to Connect using your ALA username and password. If you want to transfer any content you posted from your non-member account to your member one, please contact us.
     
  6. How do I delete my non-member account?
    We haven't yet implemented a way for you to delete your non-member account, so please contact us and we'll do it for you. Sorry about this, but we hope to provide this functionality in the future.
     
  7. Don't see your question listed here? Contact us for an answer or leave a comment below.
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Discussion Is My Group's Content in ALA Connect Secure?

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Thu, Apr 16, 2009 at 03:11 pm

Yes, your group's content is secure and protected!

By default, content posted to any group, regardless of type (committee, task force, community, etc.), is viewable only by the people in the group. For every piece of content added to the site (a post, poll, online doc, calendar event, etc.), there is an option towards the obttom of the screen called "Audience." By default, that box is unchecked, which means only the group's members will see it. You have to manually check that "public" box to make the item viewable by anyone else.

Yes, your group's content is secure and protected!

By default, content posted to any group, regardless of type (committee, task force, community, etc.), is viewable only by the people in the group. For every piece of content added to the site (a post, poll, online doc, calendar event, etc.), there is an option towards the obttom of the screen called "Audience." By default, that box is unchecked, which means only the group's members will see it. You have to manually check that "public" box to make the item viewable by anyone else.

This allows an awards jury, board, nominating committee, or other group to work together in private but then publish results publicly. Again, though, someone in the group would manually have to check the "public" box to make the item accessible beyond the group's members.

In addition, your protected content cannot be found in search results by people who don't have access to it, and it will not appear on the home page for anyone who is not part of the group.

When ALA Connect first launched, the ACRL Board of Directors used the "polls/votes" feature to take virtual votes in its group. If you browse or search ALA Connect for ACRL Board votes, you won't be able to find them unless you're an ACRL Board member. Go ahead and give it a try. You'll find the public post with the results of one of the votes, but you won't find the votes themselves because they were never marked "public."

Please note, though, that if you want others outside of your group to see a specific post/document/discussion/etc., link to it, and/or comment on it, be sure to check that "public" box. We also encourage your group to make its meeting notices public in order to adhere to ALA's open meetings policy.

If you have further questions about security in ALA Connect, please don't hesitate to contact us.

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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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