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Lily Sacharow's picture

CATF Training Feedback Forum

This forum is open as part of a feedback process for ALA's Conference Accessibility Task Force (CATF).

To help prepare for writing recommendations to ALA Council, the CATF Training Subcommittee has requested feedback from several ALA leadership bodies on a draft of a "Master Training Document," attached here. 

This document highlights compiled information about four designated training subgroups: ALA Permanent Staff, ALA Division and Round Table Leadership, Conference Presenters, and General Membership. We hope to fill in any gaps with the help of those in-the-know. 

The subcommittee would like to request feedback no later than Friday, April 28, either through this forum or by emailing Lily directly: Lsacharow AT outlook DOT com. 

Many thanks to all who assist in this endeavor.

Lily Sacharow, Training Subcommittee Chair 

CATF Master Training Document DRAFT21.24 KB
Crystal Schimpf's picture

Thank you for this opportunity to review this document. I am the current president of LearnRT (Learning Round Table), and am glad to see this being addressed in such a thoughtful manner. I have reviewed the document, and have just a few bits of feedback to share. 

  • Under section 2, I can say that as a member of one of the small RT's leadership, our processes for training new officers varies not only from one RT to the next, but also from year to year. There are sometimes fluctuations in how this is handled. I would say that, from my perspective more communication with RT leaders would be welcome. If it were possible to provide an online training made available to all RT leadership, perhaps that could be recorded and archived, that might be very helpful. 
  • In Section 3, you mention a general conference presentation guidelines doc that was created by LearnRT some years ago. It is true that it has not been revised recently. However, we are in the process of revising it now. This is a project currently being worked on by the LearnRT Emerging Leaders group. I can put you (or whomever is most appropriate) in touch with that group and our board member who is working with them. I'll email you directly to follow up on that. LearnRT's primary mission is to promote quality continuing education, so this area is certainly something that falls within our special interest. 

Thank you for sharing this document and allowing the opportunity to respond.


Crystal Schimpf

President, LearnRT

Kate Kosturski's picture

My comments, as both President of New Members' Round Table and Member at Large for LearnRT: 

  1. I echo Crystal's comments about processes for training new officers will vary from year to year with change in chair/president.  At NMRT, we do have a standard script and presentation that we use for onboarding Board Members and Committee Chairs, and I'm happy to send that to the task force if they are interested in viewing. 
  2. In Section 2 regarding virtual meetings, I wonder if the ALA Staff have considered other options for virtual meeting software, such as GotoMeeting and GotoWebinar.  There appears to be a push to use the web portion of Adobe Connect for even just audio meetings, and not all members have access to a good headset and mic setup.   I've also had my own issues using Adobe Connect, for some reason it doesn't seem to want to play nice with Google Chrome.   I've only been made aware that ALA still has telephone conference lines, and I wish this option was more widely known to units for meeting planning. 


Kate Kosturski


Mike Marlin's picture

Although Lily is spearheading the training component of our task force, I just wanted to say thanks to both Kate and Crystal. I think the idea of a presentation accessibility  webinar for all RT leadership is a great idea along with  accessibility training  documentation on either or both the ALA home presenters and ASCLA pages. Just a quick note to say that GotoMeeting and GotoWebinar are both NOT accessible products, nor is Adobe Connect or WebEx. The problem now is that  different units within ALA are using different web conferencing software and none of it is accessible. ALA will soon be testing Blackboard Collaborate Ultra which we are hoping is fully accessible and can then be implemented association wide for  consistency, cost,  and efficiency's sake.  

Mike Marlin California State Library Braille and Talking Book Library Sacramento, CA