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Keri Cascio-IL (staff)'s picture

ALCTS Board Meeting Summary: November 16, 2015

Tags: 2015 | 2015

ALCTS Board Meeting
November 16, 2015
11:00am Central
Via GoToWebinar

In Attendance:
Norm Medeiros (presiding)
Erin Boyd
Jeanne Harrell
Andy Hart
Erin Leach
Rebecca Mugridge
Mary Page
Annie Peterson
Vicki Sipe
Karla Strieb
Shannon Tennant
Santi Thompson
Andrea Wirth
Keri Cascio (executive director)


The Board discussed the prospect of holding a virtual ALCTS forum in 2017 in celebration of the 60th anniversary of ALCTS.  Board members were in favor of holding such an event.  Some general thoughts shared on the call included: 

  • The event should help to distinguish ALCTS from NASIG and the Charleston Conference.
  • We need to keep the price point affordable.
  • This virtual forum can demonstrate ALCTS’ commitment to providing programming to those who cannot attend in-person events.
  • We need to develop a program and platform to “break through the noise;” an event that really engages participants.
  • It’s a lot of work to pull together such an event.
  • The ALCTS Office and program planning committee need to understand the division of responsibilities.

The Board discussed the length of such an event, and coalesced around a two or three day event, featuring programming of 1.5-3 hours per day.  Some additional thoughts regarding programming included: 

  • The content needs to be exceptional.
  • The agenda should be distributed well in advance so attendees can drop in and out, taking in the program a la carte should they wish.
  • Given the magnitude of this event, we would likely feature a keynote speaker, which would further help the forum feel like a big event.
  • Including video of the presenters would make for a more engaged experience.
  • American Libraries Live moderated video discussions are well done.  Perhaps that model would be worth considering for some portion of the forum.  Examples:
  • We may need to contract with a service to provide the technical platform (could be ALA Publishing).
  • Whether to have concurrent sessions should be left to the discretion of the program planning committee and be driven by the quantity of quality programming available.
  • All programs would be available for viewing by attendees after the event.
  • We should consider having a virtual poster session as part of the forum.

The Board discussed when during 2017 to hold such an event.   Some thoughts shared regarding this issue included:

  • We need to avoid competing with other major conferences and perhaps also state conferences.
  • Spring may be preferable to fall so we can generate buzz for the virtual forum that leads into Annual Conference.
  • February is an underutilized time for conferences, but may be too close to Midwinter.
  • We could consider holding the forum in early June, which is done currently with virtual preconferences, but this may take away from the revenue we would ordinarily generate at those preconferences.   It might also diminish the special nature of the 60th anniversary celebration by folding it into a regularly scheduled preconference time.

We discussed personnel who might contribute to the program planning.  Some ideas that emerged included: 

  • Santi, who was nominated based on his recent, successful experience coordinating such an event and thoughtful comments during the call.  He said he would consider it.
  • Vicki suggested, rightly, that by virtue of her office she would be involved.
  • Norm welcomed suggestions if individuals occur to Board members in the coming weeks.  Self-nominations are also welcomed.

Final thoughts:

  • Fundraising will be critical.  Perhaps the forum will be a good opportunity to market lifetime membership.
  • In 2007, there was an “anniversary committee” and a “program committee.”  It may be beneficial if we consider a similar structure so the program committee can stay focused and not be overwhelmed with ancillary anniversary issues.