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Discussion Mentoring FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Oct 14, 2009 at 10:27 am

(Want to skip ahead and get started? Make sure you're logged in using your ALA member account information, go to your member profile, and click on the MentorConnect tab!)


Mentoring has been proven to be an important relationship in helping individuals develop their careers and professional identities. But what exactly is mentoring and how does it work?

(Want to skip ahead and get started? Make sure you're logged in using your ALA member account information, go to your member profile, and click on the MentorConnect tab!)


Mentoring has been proven to be an important relationship in helping individuals develop their careers and professional identities. But what exactly is mentoring and how does it work?

A mentor is someone who has experience-based wisdom and who is willing to spend time on issues related to the development of your career. This person’s sole focus is you as the mentee. They do not judge you but work in your best interests and as a guide on the side, not a sage on the stage. Mentors give their time and experience with no expectation of a return of any kind.

Mentoring relationships are marked by:

Consistent and frequent contact – meeting/talking once a year is not the same as mentoring.

  • Challenges to the mentee’s mental models (and, often, the mentor’s as well).
  • A focus on the long-term development of your career.

But what do mentors do exactly?

Mentors primarily listen. They listen to your aspirations and goals. A mentor might provide stimulating readings or developmental exercises. A mentor might help you think through difficult decisions (but not provide answers). Mentees might turn to their mentors for advice on new positions or on salary negotiations. Mostly, however, mentors work with their mentees on personal and professional development.

The best mentors help their mentees discover their own paths and best decisions. Because of this, direct advice should be rare and turned to least often. Guiding and helping should be the dominant activity and listening the most important mentoring skill.

FAQ on Mentoring

Q: Can my boss be my mentor?
A: Many people develop strong relationships with their bosses such that the boss/supervisor can serve as a mentor. However, it’s still useful to seek an additional mentor who is not so close to your day-to-day work. In this way, you can be assured of someone focused on your long-term development.

Q: I hear the terms coaching and mentoring used interchangeably. Are they the same thing?
A: Coaching focuses on job performance and immediate improvement or skill development. Mentoring focuses on long-term development and success so is much broader in scope. Some experts consider mentoring a coaching activity. The most useful distinction is that mentoring is long-term and career-oriented, and coaching is short-term and task or job-related.

Q: Who can be a mentor?
A: Anyone can serve as a mentor to someone else as long as they have experience-based wisdom, listen well, and can play a helping role.

Q: How do I know if I need a mentor?
A: Everyone can benefit from mentoring, no matter what the stage of their career.

Q: How do I find a mentor?
A: Sometimes mentoring relationships develop spontaneously but don’t wait for that to happen!  Use MentorConnect to locate someone with a background similar to your interests. Find someone you respect and from whom you think you could learn something and whom you trust, and just ask them. Most people are flattered and surprised to be asked to serve as a mentor.

Some ALA units offer additional, formal mentoring programs. You can find further information about these programs at the following links.

Q: What’s the advantage of using MentorConnect?
A: MentorConnect makes it easy to find a mentor. It augments the formal programs that are sponsored by various ALA offices and divisions. You can be involved in one of these formal programs and have a MentorConnect mentor at the same time. You might prefer a slightly less formal approach to mentoring, and MentorConnect offers that.

Even if you’re engaged in a formal mentoring program, you and your mentor can use MC for the built-in feedback.

Q: How much time does this take?
A: For both the mentor and mentee, this is a serious commitment. Consistent levels of contact, whether via telephone, chat, or in-person visits, are critical to the success of the relationship. Mentors and mentees should determine the schedule of conversation early on in their relationships.

Q: How long should the mentoring relationship last?
A: There is no set length for mentoring relationships. Many mentoring relationships last a lifetime; however there are many very effective mentoring relationships that are shorter in duration. As a mentee you should talk about your expectations with your mentor. Creating open communication lines right at the outset is critical.

Q: What is the role of feedback in mentoring?
A: Both the mentee and the mentor can benefit from feedback from each other. Feedback is information that tells you how effectively you are performing or what you might do to improve what you are doing. Thus, feedback can be positive or it can help address a weakness. Either way, feedback should be viewed as a gift.

MentorConnect (“MC”) provides you with a method for sending each other feedback and archiving it so that it’s always easy for you to refer back to it. Within MC, view a mentorship to see all feedback to and from that particular mentor in a completely confidential space. No one except the two of you can see your mentorship or the feedback attached to it, and ALA will never show it to anyone else unless legally obligated to do so. Your feedback is safe with us.

Q: What should I do if things do not seem to be going well?
A: Very occasionally, the fit between mentor and mentee does not work. Or something interferes with the efficacy of the relationship. The best way to handle these situations is to be open and frank. If there is something that isn’t working, it’s very important to have a conversation about it as soon as possible. Be careful not to give up too soon – sometimes a rough spot doesn’t mean the end of the relationship and, in fact, having an open conversation can strengthen it.

 

See also this Mentor Tip Sheet from the ACRL Instruction Section’s program and NMRT’s Career Mentoring Guidelines.

There are more help pages for MentorConnect itself in the "MentorConnect and Mentoring" category.

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Discussion Revealing the "About this group" Information

by David Vess on Sun, Dec 15, 2013 at 06:40 pm

I can't get the "About this group" link to work.  http://connect.ala.org/node/153255  I have info about this group, like their charge, etc but I can't see it unless I go in to edit the group's info.  Thanks!

Discussion When should I post something as a Discussion/Online Doc/File or something else?

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 01:59 pm

 

Keep in mind that there's no one "right" way to use the tools in Connect. That said, here are some guidelines we've heard work well for groups.

 


 

 

Keep in mind that there's no one "right" way to use the tools in Connect. That said, here are some guidelines we've heard work well for groups.

 


 

 Discussions - Are you posting something to get feedback about an idea? Do you have some news to share or some other item that others might want to ask a question about? If yes, post a Discussion Thread in a Discussion Forum. If you're not sure which Group Heading to use, put it in "General News & Discussion" or click on the "Add Heading" link in the list of Group Headings in the left-hand column to create an appropriate subject heading for your content.

Start a Discussion thread when you want to:

  • Get feedback about something
  • Post some news that others might want to comment on or ask questions about
  • Brainstorm ideas

 

Online Docs - Think of these as wiki pages or Google Docs. This is the only type of content everyone in the group can edit directly on the screen without first downloading a file, making changes, and then re-uploading a new version. You can even see revisions ("track changes") to see what changed from version to version. Another good name for these might be "collaborative documents."

Use an Online Doc when you want to:

  • Post an agenda or minutes that anyone in the group can edit right on the screen
  • Collaobratively work on a report or other document
  • Track the revision history of changes made to a document the group is working on

 

 Files - Just want to upload a PDF, Excel spreadsheet, or Word document? Use the "Files" tool to organize those files into folders, just like you would on your computer. File size is limited to 20MB, but you can add almost any type of file.

 

Use Files when you want to:

  • Upload a single file, such as a PDF, Excel spreadsheet, Powerpoint presentation, etc.

 


 

 Polls - Use this when you want to ask the group a single question with multiple choices. Group members will be able to vote to select one of the options from your list of choices. A good way to use polls is to take official board votes because you can see the final outcome and how each person voted. Note that polls aren't like surveys, so there's no fill-in-the-blank or ranking option.

Use a Poll when you want to:

  • Take a board vote on a particular proposal or issue
  • Let group members indicate a single choice from a list of options
  • Ask group members to vote for their favorite choice

 


 

 Events - Each of your groups has its own calendar where any group member can add an event such as a meeting or deadline. You can also download Connect calendar events to your Outlook/Google/ics-based calendar.

 

Create an Event when you want to:

  • Put something on the group's calendar
  • Let group members download the event to their Outlook/Google/iCal calendars

 

 Pictures - Formerly known as "images," pictures are a good way to display an individual picture. Think of your "Pictures" area as an image gallery. If you just have a logo you want group members to be able to download, you might want to upload it as a "File" instead. If you want someone to be able to see the image itself on the page, upload it as a "Picture."

Post a Picture when you want to:

  • Publish an image that you want group members to see on the screen, rather than asking them to download it first.

 


 

 

 Chats - There's nothing fancy about chats, but that's one of their selling points. Your group's chat rooms allow for synchronous, text-based chat to discuss whatever you want to discuss. There's no video, no extra software to download, no audio to set up ahead of time, but you do get an automatic transcript you can archive for future reference. Only your group's members can join in the chat.

Start a Chat session when you want to:

  • Get everybody together at the same time in a chat room to have a meeting
  • Let group members take advantage of "office hours" or community time to ask questions or discuss specific topics

 

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Online Doc About ALA Connect

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 12:08 pm

What is ALA Connect?

It's a centralized space where official ALA groups can work together online. In addition, it's a place where any member can create new communities (unofficial ALA groups) without any staff assistance, so the site combines association work with communities of interest in one place.

What is ALA Connect?

It's a centralized space where official ALA groups can work together online. In addition, it's a place where any member can create new communities (unofficial ALA groups) without any staff assistance, so the site combines association work with communities of interest in one place.

Every active ALA working group has a space in Connect automatically, because we've pre-populated it with data from our membership database (iMIS), and we synchronize roster information nightly, so we'll always know which committees you're on and which other official ALA groups you're part of.

Both ALA groups and communities use the same types of tools. By default, each one has discussions, online documents (like wiki pages), a file repository, polls, a calendar, a chat room, and an image gallery ( think logos, pictures, etc.). There's no one "right" way to use Connect, and each group can use whichever of the tools it finds valuable.

Learn more about the tools available in Connect.

Non-members can create a free account, but they have more limited privileges. For example, they can't start new communities, view full member profiles, take advantage of networking opportunities, or join MentorConnect. They can, however, fully participate in any existing open communities and comment on public content in any group.

Because ALA knows a little bit about you if you're a member (if you're part of a division, how long you've been a member, what committees you've served on, etc.), we plan to help you pre-populate your profile with all of the great work you've done for ALA in your professional career. That way, if you decide you want to display your profile to colleagues, potential employers, or even publicly, we'll have created a curriculam vitae of all of your contributions. We really appreciate members' efforts, and we want to help others appreciate you, too, by letting you show off the great work you do.

You can read more about the history (and future) of ALA Connect on the ITTS Update blog, particularly in the Roadmap we maintain. If you have a specific question about the site or our goals for it, please feel free to post a question as a comment here, in the Discussion Forum for questions, or using our contact form. Don't forget to read through the user guidelines before you start posting content, but we hope to make your Connect experience as easy and practical as possible.

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Discussion How to Delete Content from a Connect Group

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Aug 14, 2013 at 01:25 pm

In general, to delete something you posted in Connect, you can just go to the "Edit" tab on the item, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the "delete" button. Group admins are the only ones who can delete content other group members have posted.

We know this is a time-consuming process for those admins who need to delete some or all of the content in a group when the roster flips over and new committee members come on board. This issue usually comes up with groups that post confidential information, such as award juries and nomination committees.

In general, to delete something you posted in Connect, you can just go to the "Edit" tab on the item, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click on the "delete" button. Group admins are the only ones who can delete content other group members have posted.

We know this is a time-consuming process for those admins who need to delete some or all of the content in a group when the roster flips over and new committee members come on board. This issue usually comes up with groups that post confidential information, such as award juries and nomination committees.

To make this process easier, we've implemented a bulk delete option for group admins. Before I describe the process, though, I want to stress the fact that once you delete content using this process, we cannot get it back. With great power comes great responsibility, so please use this feature wisely.

With that out of the way, here's how you can delete multiple items at once in a group. If you're an admin, you'll see a new link labeled "Delete multiple items from this group" in the left-hand column on your group's pages.

Click on that link, and you'll be taken to a screen where you can start checking boxes to identify the items you want to delete. To delete everything listed on this page, check the box at the top to the left of the word "Type".

Then select "Delete item" from the list of Operations, take a deep breath, make sure you're deleting content you really want to delete, and click on the "Execute" button.

We'll ask you once if you're sure you want to do this, because remember that we can't get back any content you're deleting. To continue, click on the "Confirm" button.

That's it - the content is now gone from the group. Note that you can also use the "Type" box to filter the content list if you just want to see just discussions, files, events, etc. Also, to bulk delete content, you can change how many items appear on the page or click on the button that appears when you select all of the content on the first page.

Hopefully this functionality will make it easier for admins to re-use the same group spaces each year. Let us know how this works for you, especially if you run into any issues.

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Discussion Conference Scheduler FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Tue, May 8, 2012 at 02:09 pm
  1. Who can view the Conference Scheduler? Do I have to be logged in to view the conference program?
  2. Can non-ALA members create schedules?
  3. Do I have to be logged in to create my schedule? How do I log in?
  4. What are "closed" sessions?
  5. How does the Scheduler know what sessions to recommend for me? What do the tiny stars on sessions mean?
  6. What are the "interests" and "library types" in my profile?
  7. What does high/medium/low priority mean on my schedule?
  8. Can I print my schedule?
  9. Can I download my schedule into Outlook or Google Calendar?
  10. Can I add a personal session to my schedule (like dinner with a friend)?
  11. Who can see my schedule?
  12. Can I share my schedule publicly?
  13. Who can see that I'm attending a session? Can I hide my attendance on sessions?
  14. Help - I'm searching for something and can't find it.
  15. Don't see your question answered here? Leave a comment or use the contact form. We're here to help.

  1. Who can view the Conference Scheduler? Do I have to be logged in to view the conference program?
    Anyone can browse or search the program and view session information - you don't even need a login to do this. However, if you want to create and save a schedule on the site or leave a comment on a session, you'll need to log in.

  2. Can non-ALA members create schedules?
    Yes, non-ALA members can create accounts on ALA Connect and then use the Scheduler to plan their schedules.
  3. Do I have to be logged in to create my schedule? How do I log in?
    Yes, you must be logged in to create a schedule. If you're not, we can't tell who you are in order to save your schedule for you.

    ALA members should log in using their regular ALA website username and password. If you're not sure what your member login information is, you can recover it at http://ala.org/login.

    Non-ALA members should log in using their Connect accounts. Non-members can create a new account on Connect if they don't already have one. If you're not sure what your Connect password is, you can request a new one. If you're not sure what your username is, try searching for yourself.

  4. What are "closed" sessions?
    A "closed" designation on a session means that only the group's members can attend it. This is usually due to confidentiality issues for groups like award juries, nominating committees, and scholarship grants. The overwhelming majority of sessions and committee meetings are open to all attendees.
  5. How does the Scheduler know what sessions to recommend for me? What do the tiny stars on sessions mean?
    The Scheduler sifts through the 1400+ sessions for you based on three things: your ALA group affiliations (committees, discussion groups, divisions, round tables, and sections), the interests you've set in your Connect profile, and the "library types" you've set in your Connect profile.

    If you haven't set any interests or library types in your profile, then by default the Scheduler will just match against your ALA groups. You can begin the recommendation process by going to the "Recommended Sessions" page. Any results that are recommended based on your groups have a small, green star on them with the letter "G" on them for "Groups."

    If you'd like more recommendations, go to your profile, edit it, and add interests and library types. Then go back to the "Recommended Sessions" page, recalculate your recommendations, and look for additional stars.

    Recommendations based on your interests will have small, purple stars that say "I" on them for "Interests." Recommendations based on your library types will be blue and have a "T" on them for "Types."

    You can hover your cursor over the stars to pop up some help text if the letters are too small to read.
      

  6. What are the "interests" and "library types" in my profile?
    "Interests" are "subjects I'm interested in" and the"library types" are those that are most relevant to you. You don't have to fill these out to use Connect or the Scheduler, but if you do provide this information, we'll be able to help you zero in on those sessions that will be the most relevant to you.
  7. What does high/medium/low priority mean on my schedule?
    Because a lot of folks have multiple sessions they have to go to at the same time, we let you set a priority for each one. That way, you could set one session as a "high" priority because you absolutely have to be there but set another one as a "low" priority because you'd like to attend but only if you can slip away early or if your first one ends early.

    Basically, you can now put more than one session in a time slot and prioritize them. By default, sessions are added to your schedule as "high" priority, but you can change this from the "My Schedule" screen or on an individual session record by clicking on your desired priority.

  8. Can I print my schedule?
    Yes, you can use the "print" view or download a PDF for viewing/printing. The "print" link appears on the "my schedule" page, while the "PDF" link appears on the print view of your schedule.
  9. Can I download my schedule into Outlook or Google Calendar?
    Yes, you can download an iCal version of your schedule to import into any program/site that accepts that file format (including Facebook). Note that the time on sessions in the iCal file are set to the local time for the location of the conference, so your calendar might adjust times if your in a different time zone. The "iCal" link appears on your "my schedule" page.
  10. Can I add a personal session to my schedule (like dinner with a friend)?
    Yes, just use the "Add personal session" link in the left-hand column. Personal sessions are completely private, and no one can see them but you.
  11. Who can see my schedule?
    By default, only you can see your entire schedule. If you edit your profile, you can toggle this setting to share your schedule publicly so that anyone can see it, including someone who isn't logged in. Personal sessions will still be private so that only you can see them.

    In the future, we plan to give you granular sharing controls so that you could share your schedule with your different networks within Connect (e.g., show my friends and coworkers but not my contacts).

  12. Can I share my schedule publicly?
    Yes - if you edit your profile, you can toggle this setting to share your schedule publicly so that anyone can see it, including someone who isn't logged in. Personal sessions will still be private so that only you can see them.

    Note that you can hide your attendance at some sessions by using the checkboxes on the session records but still make your overall schedule public if you want even more granular control.

  13. Who can see that I'm attending a session? Can I hide my attendance on sessions?
    When you add a session to your schedule, by default anyone who is logged in to Connect can see your name and picture on the session record. This includes non-ALA members who have accounts on Connect. Users who aren't logged in to Connect can't see anyone listed on a session at all.

    There's a box on each session record that you can check to hide your attendance at that particular session. When you do this, we'll still count you in the total number of people who've added it to their schedule, but no one will see you listed on it except you.

    If you'd rather just hide yourself from appearing on all sessions at once (rather than on a session-by-session basis), you can edit your profile to check the box to hide your attendance on all sessions. Note that this setting applies to the current conference only, not past ones.

     

    Note that you can hide your attendance at some sessions but still make your overall schedule public if you want even more granular control.

  14. Help - I'm searching for something and can't find it.
    The one tricky thing about the Scheduler is that the search filters in the right-hand column apply only to the page you're looking at. So if you're on the "All days" tab, you'll be searching the entire program.

    However, if you go look at your schedule and start using a search filter, you'll only be filtering on your schedule. Similarly, if you're looking at your recommended sessions or just a single day of the program, any search filters you apply will only search that particular set of sessions.

    We know this can be a little confusing, so we've added a bar of information at the top of the middle column to help designate what you're searching. If you're not finding a particular session, check the information in that bar, because you might need to go to the "All days" or "All sessions" section to re-run your search.

    If you still can't find something, don't hesitate to contact us for help.

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Discussion Quick Start Guide to the Conference Scheduler

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jan 5, 2011 at 12:29 pm

We're excited to announce that we've integrated ALA's Conference Scheduler (formerly known as the "Event Planner") in to ALA Connect so that we can match sessions against your ALA groups and profile interests in order to help you easily find the most relevant programs and meetings you should attend.

We're excited to announce that we've integrated ALA's Conference Scheduler (formerly known as the "Event Planner") in to ALA Connect so that we can match sessions against your ALA groups and profile interests in order to help you easily find the most relevant programs and meetings you should attend.

  1. Although you can browse and search both sessions and exhibitors, we recommend that you log in first so that we can make recommendations for you right up front. ALA members should log in using their regular ALA website usernames and passwords. Non-ALA members can create new accounts on ALA Connect if they don't already have one.

  2. Once you're logged in and see the Conference Scheduler home page, you'll see links to browse/search sessions or go straight to our recommendations for you. If you're active in ALA committees or discussion groups, we recommend you start with the recommendations in order to find your groups' meetings.

    If you'd rather just start browsing or searching for sessions, go directly to the "All Sessions" page and skip ahead to #7 in this guide.


     

  3. To find sessions based on your professional interests, be sure to go to your profile, click on the "edit" tab, fill out the interests and types of libraries that are most relevant to you, and then go back to the Conference Scheduler to your "Recommended Sessions." You can always recalculate your recommended sessions if you change your interests or library types in your profile.

  4. Once you're on the recommendations page, click on "Calculate/Refresh Recommendations" to get started. This will take a few minutes, because there are more than 1,000 sessions we're matching to your groups and interests.

  5. Once the recommendations engine has returned some results, you can scroll through them to see if they're of interest to you. To learn more about a specific session, click on the yellow box with the green arrows preceding the title. This will show you the description, sponsor, and lists of interests added by the sponsoring unit. To hide this information, click the yellow box preceding the title again.

    You'll see three stars to the left of the title of each session. The first one will light up green and have a "G" on it if that particular one matches your groups. If it's purple and says "I" on it, it matches the interests you've listed in your Connect profile. If it's blue and says "T" on it, it matches the types of libraries you noted in your Connect profile. If the text is too difficult to read, just hover your cursor over the star to get some help text.

      

  6. On the "Recommended Sessions" page or "All Sessions" pages, click on the "Add" button in front of a session title when you see one you want to add to your schedule. Continue through the list until you've added everything you want to your schedule.

  7. From the "All Sessions" page, you can search by sponsoring unit, keyword, and other filters.

  8. To view more details about a particular session, click on the title of it to see the detailed record.

    To go back to the search results, just use the "back" button on your web browser.

  9. At any time, you can click on the "My Schedule" link in the upper right-hand corner to view everything you've added to your schedule so far.

  10. Note that by default, the system adds new sessions to your schedule as "high priority," but you can change the priority if you want to list multiple potential sessions in your schedule. To change the default of a particular session, go to "my schedule," find the session in the list, and click on the "H" to open the description and set a new priority ("medium" or "low").

  11. We'll be adding more help documents for the Conference Scheduler, including an FAQ, but feel free to leave comments to ask additional questions. You can also use the contact form in the upper right-hand corner of every page to send us a question.

Let us know what you think about the new Conference Scheduler!

January 5, 2011 Update: Read about some changes we had to make to reduce slow pageloads.

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Discussion Chat FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Oct 9, 2009 at 01:29 pm
  1. How do I join a chat my group has scheduled?
  2. How many people can be in a chat session at once?
  3. Who can create a chat session?
  4. How do I start a chat session?
  5. Any advice for how to name our chat sessions?
  6. Can I create the chat session before a scheduled chat starts?
  7. Will Connect save a transcript of our chat?
  8. How do I archive a chat?
  9. How do I delete a chat?
  10. Is Connect's chat feature ADA-compliant?
  11. Help - our chat room disappeared!
  12. Don't see your question listed here? Leave a comment or use the contact us form.

  1. How do I join a chat my group has scheduled?
    Find your group's home page, and look in the right-hand column for the "Chats" link. Once you get to the chats page, you should see an open chat you can join by just clicking on its name. If you don't see one listed, it may be that no one has created the chat yet. If you'd like to be the person to do that, see #4.
  2. How many people can be in a chat session at once?
    There isn't a specific known limit, but Connect chats aren't designed for large-scale sessions. You're probably pretty good up to around 25-30 participants.
  3. Who can create a chat session?
    Any member of the group/community can create a chat session. Just click on the "chats" link in the tools list in the right-hand sidebar of your group's home page, and enter a chat name in the box. This will create the chat and make it visible to other members in the group.
  4. How do I start a chat session?
    Any member of the group can start a chat session by clicking on the "chats" link in the right-hand sidebar. This will take you to the chats home page, where you'll see a box asking for a "chat name." Simply enter a unique name and click on the "create chat" button.

    Your chat should now be listed under "Open chats in this room." To enter the chat, just click on its name. Others coming to the chat page will be able to see the chat and click on it, as well.

  5. Any advice for how to name our chats?
    It's best to use a distinctive name that helps others find the right chat room. Try giving it a date ("January 27, 2014 chat"), using a subject heading ("Advocacy chat"), or combining the two ("January 2014 Advocacy chat").
  6. Can I create the chat session before a scheduled chat starts?
    Yes, you can create a chat room anytime. If you do it ahead of time, you'll be able to direct participants to the exact URL of the chat room.
  7. Will Connect save a transcript of our chat?
    Yes, Connect will automatically save a record of your session by default, and that transcript will remain until someone in the group manually deletes it. Just go back to a specific chat session in order to view the transcript. If you want to make the content public, you'll need to copy the text and paste it into a post or discussion that you can make public.
  8. How do I archive a chat?
    Your chats will remain open until you archive them, so once a chat is over, you should go through this process to close them.
    1. Find the chat you want to archive and click on its name.
    2. Click on the "View old messages" link at the top of the page.
    3. Click on the "Archive this chat" button.

    Now your chat will be closed but available for the group's members to view in the "archived chat rooms" section of your chats page.

  9. How do I delete a chat?
    A chat can only be deleted once it is archived. After you've gone through the steps in #6 to archive the chat, find the session and click on its name. At the bottom of the screen, you should see a "Delete this chat" button.

  10. Is Connect's chat feature ADA-compliant?
    We believe so, yes. We specifically don't use any fancy AJAX chat modules in order to make sure this feature works for everyone. If you run into any problems using the chat function, please don't hesitate to contact us.
  11. Help - our chat room disappeared!
    This can happen a group admin accidentally deletes the whole chat room instead of an individual chat session. Admins see an "edit" tab for the whole chat room, and that page includes a delete button. Don't use that delete button, or you'll remove the entire chat room for the group, including any archived chats.

    To delete a chat session, make sure you archive and then delete the individual session instead. If you accidentally delete the whole chat room, contact us and we'll restore it for you. Unfortunately, we won't be able to restore your archived chats, but we can get you your chat room back.

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Discussion Member Chair FAQ

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Aug 1, 2012 at 11:47 am

 

As the member chair of an ALA group, you have more privileges than regular members of the group. This FAQ explains some issues you need to consider, as well as what you can do with those extra privileges.

 

As the member chair of an ALA group, you have more privileges than regular members of the group. This FAQ explains some issues you need to consider, as well as what you can do with those extra privileges.

Things you should consider doing in Connect

  • Upload a picture to your profile (it can be a picture of anything).
  • Add some details to your profile so that other ALA members can learn more about you.
  • Turn on email notifications from Connect (either "all" in your profile or on a group-by-group basis). See http://connect.ala.org/email-help for more information about this.

Group properties

Note that you must be an admin for the group in order to “edit” its properties. If you are not an admin for a group in Connect but believe you should be, your group’s staff liaison must designate you as the chair or co-chair in ALA’s membership database. There is no way to make yourself or anyone else an admin via Connect for an official working group (eg, committees, task forces, etc.). All admin rights for committees synchronize directly from our member database.

You can tell you're an admin if you see the "edit" tab in the left-hand column on the group's home page or if it says "(admin)" after your name on the group's roster.

As an admin, you can edit the following group properties.

  • The mission/charge for your group
  • The logo
  • You can add an external RSS feed that will display headlines in the left-hand column (eg, your blog's headlines).

Special Admin Privileges

  • Only admins can delete comments.
  • Only admins can make a piece of content "sticky" so that it stays at the top of a group's home page.
  • Only admins can edit anyone else's content within the group.
  • Only admins can "promote" a piece of content to display as an announcement at the top of a group's home page. Look in the "Publishing Options" when creating or editing content to find this option.

FAQs

  1. Which members of my group are admins?
    Anyone designated as the "member chair" or "member co-chair" in our member database (called "iMIS") is automatically a member admin for the group by default. Your staff liaison(s) will also be listed as an admin.
  2. Someone who is on my committee is not appearing on the roster in Connect. How do I add them there?
    You can't add them to the committee in Connect, because the site synchronizes directly with ALA's membership database so they have to be added there first. Once your group's staff liaison does that, they'll begin appearing as part of the group the next day, after the overnight synchronization.

    The exception to this is if the person has chosen to exclude themselves from appearing in Connect, in which case they won’t appear anywhere on the site and won’t be able to log in. The member needs to change that option on their ALA website profile in order to begin appearing in Connect, gain access to it, and appear on a roster.

  3. How do I add a non-ALA member to an official ALA group?
    The non-ALA member needs to have an account in Connect, so ask them create the account and send you their username. Once their account has been approved, send their username to the ALAConnect Helpdesk so that we can add them to your roster. Please include your group's Connect URL in the request.
     
  4. Can I make a non-ALA member an admin for an official ALA group?
    Yes, you can send a message to the ALAConnect Helpdesk or use the Contact Us form to submit a request for us to add a non-member to your group. Start with question #3 if the person is not yet a member of the group.  
  5. How do I create subject headings for my group's content?To do this, just click on "Add a heading" in the left-hand column on your group's home page and follow the directions in this help document. Once you start categorizing items in these subject headings, they'll begin appearing in the left-hand column (see the Help community for an example of what they look like and how they work).
  6. How secure is my group's content in Connect?By default, content added to your group is "protected" so that only the group's members can see it. When adding content, you must manually check the "public" box to make it viewable by anyone outside of the group. Once content is made "public," anyone can comment on it but only the group's members can modify it. See http://connect.ala.org/node/72947 for more information about this.

Note:  Please consider making non-confidential content "public" so that ALA members can see all of the good work your group is doing. This will also make your content appear on the Connect home page, which will help promote future participation in your group. It also lets anyone "following" your group receive email notifications of the public content only. This is especially important for boards and other governance groups.

We also encourage you to publicly list your meetings on your group calendar as one way to align with ALA’s meeting notice policy.

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Discussion Creating a List of Conference Sessions You Attended

by Jenny Levine (staff) on Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 02:08 pm

Once conference is over, you might want to go back in to your schedule to mark the sessions that you attended so that you’ll always be able to find them again as a handy list. You could also use this as an easy-to-produce handout in a report or for your supervisor. Since the conference schedulers will remain online, the list will also help you find that one session you know you attended on Saturday two years ago for which you can’t remember the name of the presenter or the group that sponsored it.

To create your list of attended sessions, just do the following:

Once conference is over, you might want to go back in to your schedule to mark the sessions that you attended so that you’ll always be able to find them again as a handy list. You could also use this as an easy-to-produce handout in a report or for your supervisor. Since the conference schedulers will remain online, the list will also help you find that one session you know you attended on Saturday two years ago for which you can’t remember the name of the presenter or the group that sponsored it.

To create your list of attended sessions, just do the following:

  1. Go to the Conference Scheduler for the event.
  2. Go to “My Schedule.”
  3. Visit the individual record for each session you attended. Towards the top of the record, you’ll see an option for “I attended this session.” If the circle with the checkmark is gray, it’s not marked as attended.
  4. To mark it as attended, click ont he gray circle to turn it green.

  5. Once you’ve marked all of your sessions as attended, go to the “Attended Sessions” link in the right-hand column. You’ll always be able to refer back to this page, but you can also use your browser’s print button if you need to make a paper copy of it.

Use the links in the upper right-hand corner to print the full view of your attended sessions or to download a PDF version.

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