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ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff)'s picture

How to Create a Community in ALA Connect

  1. Any ALA member can start a new community in ALA Connect.  

    To do this, use the "Start a new community" link in the "My Communities" block, in the upper left corner, when you're logged in. You may need to scroll to the bottom of the list within the block to see it.  We encourage you to check the list of current communities to make sure you're not reinventing the wheel

     My communities block with Command displaying the

  2. Fill in the "name" box with the title of the community you want to create. Don't worry about making mistakes, because you can always come back and edit any of your community's settings.

     

  3. Write a short description of your community that will appear on the "Browse ALA Connect communities" page.

     

  4. Pick one or more subject headings for your community. To choose more than one, hold down the key on your keyboard while selecting.

     

  5. If you want to display the headlines for an external site in your community's right-hand sidebar, enter the RSS feed of the site. This feature is optional, so don't worry if you don't have an RSS feed for the site or don't know what one is.

     

  6. Enter a short mission for your community that will help others decide if they want to join your community. The mission will appear in the middle of your community's home page.

     

  7. Decide how people can join your community. Your choices are:
    • Open: Any ALA member or non-member can join and leave your community. "Invite a friend" appears on this type of community.
    • Moderated: Any ALA member or non-member can request to join your community, but you'll have to approve the request. Community members can leave on their own. "Invite a friend" appears on this type of community.
    • Invite only: Admins must manually add members, but people can leave the community on their own. Despite its name, the "Invite a friend" option does not appear on this type of community.
    • Closed: No one can join or leave your community unless you manually add or remove them.

    Note that you can still have a moderated/invite only/closed community and still post public content that anyone can see. Conversely, you can have an open community that anyone can join but still post "protected" content to it that only the community's members can see.

     

  8. Decide if you want your group to be listed in the "Browse ALA Connect" categories. Leaving this box checked means other members have a better chance of finding your community while browsing subject headings. If you uncheck the box, you'll have to manually give others the URL for your community in order for them to see and join it.

     

  9. If you want your community to be completely closed and protected from view, you can check the box to make it a "private group." This means that only the members of your community will see the community and any content posted to it. Please note that ALA Connect admin staff will still be able to see your community and the content you post to it to make sure you're adhering to the user guidelines.

     

  10. If you want to include a logo or other image next to your community's mission, click on the "File attachments" link at the bottom of the page. This will open an area where you can browse your hard drive for that image.

     

  11. Once you've found the image and selected it, click on the "Submit" button to create your new community. If you encounter any problems along the way, please don't hesitate to contact us.

    Please note that ALA staff members do receive an email notice for every new community created. While almost any topic related to ALA, libraries, librarians, library workers, library tools, or librarianship is considered acceptable, we do compare the title, description, and mission with the ALA Connect user guidelines to make sure the community adheres to the spirit of the site. Any inappropriate communities will be removed, and the community's creator may have their access to ALA Connect revoked.

Steven Hofmann (staff)'s picture

Can I create a new community as a private group, then change it to public at a later date?

Steven L. Hofmann
Manager, Web Communications
Public Library Association
312-280-5047 / 800-545-2433 x5047

www.pla.org

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Yep, you can switch back and forth, but keep in mind that once content is public, it's indexed in Google, etc.

Also, if you make a community private, you'll have to manually add people to the roster because they can't see the community to join it.

HTH,
Jenny