ALA Conference Committee Committee
ALA COMMITTEE REPORT
COMMITTEE: ALA Conference Committee (standing)
TIME PERIOD: 2014-2015 – through Midwinter 2015
REPORT SUBMITTED BY: Walter Betts, Chair
ACTIVITIES OF THE COMMITTEE: (including the 2015 Conference Program Coordinating Team)
This report covers activities in the ALA Conference Committee group on ALA Connect and at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting:
- Based on discussion at AC2014 (Las Vegas), drafted a response to BARC regarding the proposed Council resolution on Midwinter Meeting programming, which was referred to BARC. The ALA Conference Committee recommended against the resolution at this point, as it is currently written.
- Based on discussion at AC2014, the ALA Conference Committee drafted a proposal for an alternative approach to MW programming, within the existing policy. Based on further discussion and authorization at MW15, the ALA Conference Committee is developing a pilot project (“deep dive” or intensive programs) for implementation not later than MW17 (Atlanta). Implementation at MW16 (Boston) is preferred and feasibility is currently being explored.
- Reviewed proposal modifications to the AC2015 (San Francisco) skeleton schedule for approval by the ALA Executive Board. Modifications are designed to facilitate conference activities during the Pride Parade on Sunday.
- Reviewed the proposed skeleton schedule for the 2016 ALA Midwinter Meeting and 2016 ALA Annual Conference, for approval by the ALA Executive Board during the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting.
- Received updates from ALA staff on the 2015 Midwinter Meeting and 2015 ALA Annual Conference preparations.
- Received an update from ALA staff on implementation (2015) of an integrated proposal-to-final-program system to eliminate costly and error-prone repetitive data entry at different stages.
- Reviewed a list of potential Auditorium Series speakers and recommended preferred speakers to ALA Conference Services (2015 CPCT).
- Reviewed and supported the Idea Box proposal (Mike Marlin, SRRT), for implementation at the 2015 AC. ALA Conference Services will work on implementation.
- Reviewed and evaluated proposed AC2015 programming to identify an major content gaps. (2015 CPCT)
Next Face-to-Face Meetings:
- Work will continue in ALA Connect (both ALA Conference Committee and the 2015 Conference Program Coordinating Team).
- The next scheduled face-to-face meetings will be at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference:
- ALA Conference Committee: Saturday, June 27, 8:30-10:00am (to be confirmed).
- 2015 & 2016 Conference Program Coordinating Team with 2016 Conference Program Coordinating Team: Saturday, June 27, 10:30-11:30am (to be confirmed).
ALA Conference Committee in ALA Connect: http://connect.ala.org/node/65249
Face-to-face meeting participants – MW2015:
ALA Conference Committee: Walter Betts (Chair) Jan Sanders, Sara Kelly Johns (Executive Board), Mary Hastler (Division Representative), Kelly Crivelli (ERT Representative), Aaron Dobbs (Division Representative). Guest: Jennifer Boettcher (RUSA Councilor). Mary Ghikas (staff), Alicia Navarro (staff), Paul Graller (staff).
2015 CPCT: Walter Betts (Chair), Julie Kane (ALCTS Representative), Mary Hastler (PLA Representative), Debra Shapiro (LITA Representative), Pete Reehling (RTCA Representative), Jeffrey Bowen (LLAMA Representative), Adam Szczepaniak (ASCLA Representative), Don Roalkvam (UFL Representative). Guest: Mike Marlin (SRRT).
On behalf of ALA Conference Committee Chair Walter Betts, here is the agenda for our meeting in Chicago on Saturday , January 31, 8:30-10:00am, McCormick Place West - W192c.
(1) Continuation of discussion on programming at the Midwinter Meeting: (a) status of resolution and referrals, (b) initial focus and implementation issues related to proposed "deep dive" sessions.
(2) Review of skeleton schedule for 2016 conferences. [Note: No major changes are proposed from the original 2015 conference skeletons.] At each Midwinter Meeting, the ALA Executive Board approves the "skeleton schedule" for the following Midwinter and Annual (2016) on recommendation of the ALA Conference Committee and ALA Conference Services.
(3) Update on 2015 Midwinter.
(4) Update on 2015 Annual Conference.
(5) Update on implementation of new Meeting Submission software. (This will address the whole cycle, beginning with the point that a member submits a program proposal to a Division or other group. The Division-level -- or other -- program selection committees can work within the system, and program information will move forward through the system without repetitive, and error-prone, rekeying.)
(6) Idea Box proposal (see documents attached).
Attached is the *draft* skeleton schedule for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting (Boston) and 2016 Annual Conference (Orlando).
There is one modest change from the 2015 approved skeleton schedules (before the changes made for San Francisco): We have moved back the closing general session and inaugural brunch a half hour. We have an east coast conference site (which affects travel times) and moving back (later) a half hour will give the ALA Council is bit more space, should their business run long. Note that the temporary change made for the San Francisco (2015) conference (on Sunday only -- to address longer travel times due to the Pride Parade) does not carry through to the 2016 skeleton. The sessions starting at 8:30am and 1:00pm have reverted to 1.5 hour sessions. When you look at the draft skeleton, note the tabs, for Midwinter and Annual.
For those who might not be familiar with the "skeleton" schedule, it includes the core governance meetings (Council, Executive Board) as well as registration and exhibits open hours, the Opening General Session, the ALA President's Program. It also "blocks" for other meetings/programs. This "skeleton" schedule is approved annually by the ALA Executive Board (and any changes subsequently made to it will also need to be approved by the Board). Once approved, it is distributed to ALA units. It becomes the framework around which other meetings and programs are scheduled.
Both the ALA Conference Committee and Exhibits Round Table Board see the draft schedule before it goes to the ALA Executive Board for approval. It is scheduled to go to the ALA Executive Board at their third meeting on Tuesday morning.
See you all soon.
As you know, we have been doing Kitchen Table Conversations -- small group discussions --at both MW and AC, beginning with the 2013 Annual in Chicago. We block a small conference room and schedule 4 conversations a day, Saturday-Monday. Each conversation has a facilitator and note-taker, and as many participants as show up, up to (usually) a maximum of about 15.
The initial series of conversations focused on participants' aspirations for, concern related to and recommendations for ALA as a community of members/staff/external allies. Coming from that initial series, we developed a short (paragraph) "community narrative." In subsequent conversations, we have tested that narrative -- usually making modest tweaks as a result -- and then focused on specific areas of our community experience: Conferences (MW2014), Advocacy (AC2014). At the MW2015 MW, we will be focusing on Professional and Leadership Development -- which seems also relevant to the conference experience.
I have pasted in below the original invitation that went out from ALA President Courtney Young. This year (thanks to Alicia Navarro in ALA Conference Services) we are using Volunteer Spot for sign-ups. Please consider signing up to facilitate or take notes at a session, or to participate. Sign up at:
TO: ALA members and 2014 ALA Midwinter Meeting attendees
FROM: Courtney L. Young, ALA President
RE: ALA Midwinter Meeting: Conversations with members of the ALA Community
DATE: 13 January 2015
At this year’s ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, we are continuing the kitchen-table type conversations with ALA members and attendees about their aspirations for ALA as their professional community – a community of members, staff and external allies. These conversations are a step in the process of making ALA an innovation space where we can collaborate and create together.
These 1 ½ hour conversations will take place Saturday-Monday at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago, at the Hyatt Regency McCormick, Boardroom 1. We are planning four conversations per day, each with 16 participants. They will begin on Saturday, January 31, and run through Monday, February 2: 8:30-10:00am, 10:30-noon, 1:00-2:30pm, and 3:00-4:30pm. To ensure your seat, please register in advance registration by visiting http://vols.pt/Eab9qU. We will fill spaces on a first-come basis. This year, the Kitchen Table Conversations have been included in the Scheduler http://alamw15.ala.org/sessions/kitchentableconversations, so you can add them easily to your schedule.
ALA members experienced in facilitating conversations will facilitate and record the conversations. Following the Midwinter Meeting, we will post notes to the community in ALA Connect (http://connect.ala.org/node/210217 ) – and as we hold future conversations, we will continue to build a rich base of public knowledge about the aspirations and concerns of our community. We will be continuing these conversations at the 2015 Annual Conference in San Francisco.
Feedback from the Kitchen Table Conversations held at the 2013 ALA Annual Conference, 2014 Midwinter Meeting and 2014 Annual Conference has been shared with the ALA Executive Board and with Division leaders. As the Board considers future directions for ALA in a time of significant change, your voice is very important. I urge you to participate so we can hear your voice as we consider the best ways for ALA to work with and on behalf of members now and in the future. I thank you for your membership, your attendance and your interest in building our professional community together.
On behalf of Walter Betts, chair of the ALA Conference Committee, I am posting a DRAFT response to the ALA Budget Analysis and Review Committee (BARC).
For those who are new to this committee and/or were unable to participate at Annual:
-- At MW2014 Council received a resolution to eliminate from the policy on Midwinter Meetings the language that prohibits educational programming. That resolution was referred to BARC. Council asked for a BARC response by Annual 2014.
-- BARC reviewed the resolution, discussed financial impact with staff, and decided they couldn't make a real determination without more information (e.g., how much programming). BARC referred the resolution on to the ALA Conference Committee, which is charged -- by Council -- with recommending policy changes related to conferences. BARC asked CONF CTE to get back to them at Annual 2014, but BARC met before Conference Cte.
-- Conference Committee had an extensive discussion, in which the Councilor who crafted the resolution participated, and sent a message to BARC that they would get a response to them in advance of BARC's Fall meeting (which is October 6-7).
Based on the Conference Committee's discussion at Annual Conference -- and to facilitate further discussion -- a DRAFT response to BARC is attached. This is a "public" post -- since there is nothing inherent in this discussion at this point that would require a closed discussion.
I have also attached the background documents that the Conference Committee was working from at Annual, for your convenience and for new members of the committee.
Please continue the discussion in this space. We need to complete our discussion by September 18, so that we can get a final document ready to send BARC by September 26-29. Thank you.
Here is the current schedule of future sites, for your information. We are showing you both ALA MW and AC and Division Conference sites. Let me know if you have questions.
For those new to the ALA Conference Committee, sites for MW and AC are approved by the ALA Executive Board. ALA Conference Services will bring proposed sites to the ALA Conference Committee, as well as the Exhibits Round Table board, for recommendation (or not) to the ALA Executive Board.
We are often asked why we select so far in advance. It has to do with the size and complexity of the site the ALA requires. We are (still) utilizing about 350 *concurrent* meeting rooms for AC. That means we require not only a large convention center but hotels with significant "conference" facilities (meeting rooms) at a reasonable distance from the convention center. We have historically had very minimal flexibility on dates -- looking at holidays, school schedules, other conferences in the library space, etc. All in all, it's a tricky package to put together -- and the closer we get to the year of a conference, the more likely that one or more critical piece of the package will no longer be available. So we, like other large conference sponsors, book far in advance and then let other, smaller, conferences, work around us, instead of vice versa.
One piece of explanation, since you are all coming from different places in ALA: The ACRL and PLA conferences are spring conferences; the AASL conferences are in the fall. So the ACRL conference in 2015 will come between ALA MW and ALA AC; the 2015 AASL conference will come between the 2015 ALA AC and the 2016 ALA MW.
Let me know if you have questions.