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Spectrum Advisory Committee 6/2/17 Meeting Minutes

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Spectrum Advisory Committee 6/2/17 Meeting Minutes 

Attendees: Ana Elisa De Campos Salles, Twanna Hodge, Gwendolyn Prellwitz, Denisse Solis, Alice Son, Sharon Tani, Camille Thomas 

Absent: Kristen Bowen, Rachel Garza Carreon, Veronica Douglas, Jacob Harris, Alanna Aiko Moore


Spectrum Jury/notification Updates: Twanna reported that the process is on track and the jury completed their evaluations of 60 selected scholarship winners. Gwendolyn reported that notifications have been pushed back until next week and that we could use some help with initial phone calls to recipients before the official announcement is made from ALA. She has a script prepared and Sharon will send out an email to the Spectrum community to recruit some volunteer help. Also, Gwendolyn mentioned that support from LITA, OCLC and Proquest regarding their scholarship support for next year has been confirmed.

20th Anniversary Updates: Gwendolyn mentioned that 165 tickets have been purchased so far and it would be ideal to have over 250 in attendance. Please help us continue to get the word out or circulate Alanna’s announcement email and encourage others to join in the festivities.

Spectrum Leadership Institute Updates: Ana Elisa and Gwendolyn discussed having a Registration Table outside the Introductory Session to check-in attendees and answer any questions. They also discussed having an Affiliate Table as well to check-in the 17 representatives and inform them about what to expect and how to participate in the event, including a brief self-introduction and having a notecard at their table indicating their focus/interest for scholars to be able to approach them with questions and converse with them throughout the evening. Gwendolyn also mentioned that ALA has a Student-To-Staff Program which helped recruit a current Spectrum Scholar who will be helping with Institute activities.

Reflection on SAC operations and ways members rotating off can stay involved: Sharon and Gwendolyn thanked Committee Members for their involvement this year. Members who would like to return to the Committee can fill out the ALA Volunteer form on their website this summer for consideration in the next round of appointments.

An open discussion ensued about many committee members rotating off this year and ways to keep them involved. Ana Elisa expressed an interest in Chairing (or Co-Chairing) the Committee next year and mentioned that many alumni are very involved in ALA groups and are obliged to attend midwinter and annual conferences. Since they’ll already be at the event, perhaps an email to them about speaking to scholars or participating in other ways would receive a good response. Sharon suggested having a “back-up” list of former Committee members who could be on-call to participate in brief tasks or one-time activities when needed. The committee agreed that ongoing, periodic communication with dedicated members could help facilitate continued participation.

Denisse suggested that having a structured communication plan would help prepare the next person working with the current cohort regarding activities, upcoming events and Spectrum news. Alice, who is our solo communications person after the subcommittee dwindled down from three members, agreed and mentioned that at least three people are needed to properly carry out the task throughout the year. She said it’d be a good idea to envision this role more fully, define expectations for each team member and the tasks for which they’ll be responsible and maybe even discuss what has worked in the past. Ana Elisa suggested creating a document that outlines a timeline of what needs to be done and when, along with some established scripts that could be passed along to the next person serving in that role. She also suggested that the former committee member rotating off could continue to serve in an advisory role to the next person in case they had questions or needed some guidance.

As another potential outlet for alumni to continue being involved, Twanna mentioned that she is working on a proposal for an oral history project in the context of the Spectrum program that could reside in the ALA Institutional Repository and feature alumni talking about what it means to be a Scholar and how the program has impacted their lives and/or careers. The Committee thought this was an interesting and compelling idea which would be meaningful to scholars and supportive of the Spectrum program.

The Committee also discussed ways to prepare current scholars through the experiences of alumni, including a method for the current cohort to ask a questions about the Institute before attending or for a former scholar to write a letter to a new scholar. The idea is to provide support for new scholars who might be nervous about the Institute or feeling a little isolated by helping them form a relationship to the Spectrum program beforehand. Because scholars tend to know each other by the end of the Institute, it might be nice to a familiar face for when they first arrive. The Committee suggested aspects of mentoring or a buddy program or to have a “lifeline” for attendees of the Institute to ask questions and feel prepared. Denisse also mentioned that the Slack channels would be a great outlet for these interactions. Though participation hasn’t been high so far, she’s hoping that more will contribute right before or soon after the Institute event.

Respectfully submitted,

Sharon Tani