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David King's picture

Board Listserv vs Board Connect

We need to discuss having a LITA Board listserv AND having a LITA board Connect area. To me, they both seem to serve the very same purpose. So my question - do we need both? I don't think so. Connect allows us to have public OR private discussions, while the listserv does only one or the other.

Connect is searchable, and keeps our institutional memory intact (well, until we move to something else - but this would be the same problem with the listserv).

Some people find Connect harder to use.

Does the listserv do anything, or sserve any purpose, that our Connect area does not? Thoughts?

Lauren Pressley's picture

I'm trying to be very very intentional about checking into Connect with regularity right now. I'm doing this mostly because of the guilt I had about not checking in as much before ALA. Prior to ALA I would have said I had to have the listserv to remind me to check in.

For whatever reason, the email notifications from Connect don't help me much. There seems to be too much extra text in the messages, and the automatic threading in Gmail makes it one-step-too-hard to understand where I last was in the discussion. Checking in daily, though, I don't find I personally have much need for the listserv.

All that is grounded in personal preference and my particular workflow. I'd be interested to hear from others.

laurenpressley.com

Adriene Lim's picture

Hello, everyone.  My feeling is:  Is it really so important to shut down the list?  I would argue that keeping a list around for brief, one-off, no-impact-on-institutional-memory, ephemeral "shout outs" or discussions would reduce the white noise, if you will, in Connect and would eliminate the need to create new threads for non-essential exchanges.  If we already have statements going forward about using Connect for most, if not all, essential communications and trying to use Connect in open exchanges wherever possible, do we really need to absolutely shut down all other modes of communication to enforce those guidelines?  I would vote "no, we don't."  Let's encourage more involvement and open communication in Connect amongst ourselves going forward, and if we see that someone is using the list in a way that would better be applied in Connect then we could just admonish the person at the time.  Yet if the list is there, it allows me to just easily throw out a late-breaking note to other Board members saying, for one example, "Hey you guys, I'm feeling unwell and won't be able to make it to the Board dinner after all.  Sorry and hope you have a great time."  That type of thing. 

-Adriene

Cindi Trainor Blyberg's picture

I agre with Adriene. There are one-off conversations that are better-placed in email, and a list is a convenient way to contact all of us. Association business should be done here (Connect).

That said, given our recent discussion re: closed archives, I would suggest that we either move the current litaboar archives to a location accessible to current board members, then delete it, or start a new list.  If two lists are maintained, I would like to see all current board members have access to the (closed) archive.  It has been useful in the past.

Aaron Dobbs's picture

When I was on LITA Board, the litaboar list was a handy way to re-spark activity on Connect (at least in the last year or so -- before that it was like pulling teeth to get the Board to use Connect)

Now, not being on litaboar -- and without access to the LITA BAord list archives, the email list seems superfluous - esp. to members who would like to know what is going on and to figure out how to help. 

But I understand the immediacy the list provides and I agree there needs to be a better way to format the Connect Alert emails to mitigate the problems highlighted in this and recent LITA Board threads.

(in my ALA WAC Chair hat, I would appreciate suggestions for improvements!!!)

IMNSHO & in the long run, Connect is the place to do LITA Board business.

(openly, with as little as possible posted privately)

-Aaron
:-)'

***** "Always remember everyone is working to make the organization better in their own way."
-Eli Mina, ALA Parliamentarian

Cody Hanson's picture

In light of our other conversations about openness, perhaps we should undertake an experiment and rely solely on Connect for our communication, say from now until Midwinter at least.

It will admittedly be a little less convenient for us, and we do risk cluttering Connect with trivial messages (the aforementioned "I'm running late," etc."), but our openness will be unimpeachable.

Short of this, I can't imagine how we would draw a line between what warrants posting on Connect and what doesn't.

David King's picture

Agreed - it would be a good pilot project for us.

David

Aaron Dobbs's picture

COO Chair (& former ALA PRes) Jim Rettig had the following (about openness and Connect) to say here:
http://connect.ala.org/node/183568#comment-35139

"Perhaps the way to observe the spirit of the open meetings policy is to make sure that EVERY Connect comment is marked public so any ALA member can read them and follow a thread.

The question may be, since asynchronous communication does not constitute a meeting, can a group that has held [a]n open asynchronous discussion conclude a discussion and "the text of the matter [to be] voted upon was properly mailed or distributed to those entitled to vote on the matter involved" take action through such a vote?  Or to rephrase the question, since an asynchronous discussion is not a meeting, can that group take a vote after such a discussion?"

Also highlighted were NMRT and CLA - which successfully do board meetings (discussions and votes?) asynchronously...

Well worth the read.

-Aaron
:-)'

***** "Always remember everyone is working to make the organization better in their own way."
-Eli Mina, ALA Parliamentarian