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Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Opportunities Exchange FAQ

  1. What is the Opportuntiies Exchange?
  2. Does the OppEx include opportunities available to non-ALA members?
  3. Does the OppEx include opportunities from other organizations besides ALA?
  4. Who can add an opportunity?
  5. What are the guidelines for adding opportunities?
  6. Who can view opportunities?
  7. Who can comment on opportunities?
  8. What are “saved searches?”
  9. How many saved searches can I have at once?
  10. Can I get email alerts for new opportunities?
  11. I’m not getting email notices from the Opportunities Exchange. What’s up with that?
  12. Can I opt out of receiving email messages from the Opportunities Exchange?
  13. Can I subscribe to new opportunities via RSS?
  14. Is it okay to display an RSS feed of opportunities from the Exchange on my own website?
  15. Can I add an attachment to an opportunity I’ve posted?
  16. Are opportunities removed after a certain amount of time? Can I set an expiration date on an opportunity I’ve posted?
  17. Can I add a [job/CE event/other] to the OppEx?
  18. Can you add [my idea] as a type of opportunity/interest?
  19. Can I post commercial opportunities to the OppEx?
  20. I can’t find an opportunity I know I saw last month?
  21. I’m searching for an opportunity I know is there, but I can’t find it – help! I'm having problems searching - help!
  22. Who should I contact if information on an opportunity is incorrect?
  23. What should I do if I think someone is spamming the OppEx?
  24. Is the contact information on an opportunity publicly available?
  25. Don't see your question listed here? Leave a comment or contact us.

  1. What is the Opportunities Exchange?
    The OppEx is a database of opportunities open to anyone involved with libraries or librarianship. It includes everything from assistantships and grants to equipment available for purchase and giveaways. It’s also a way to find which organizations out there are looking for authors, editors, speakers, and volunteers. Our goal is to help you find opportunities to get involved within the profession at whatever level of commitment or interest you’re looking for.
     
  2. Does the OppEx include opportunities available to non-ALA members?
    Yes! Anyone can view the opportunities in the database because we want you to find whichever piece of libraries is the best fit for you. We’ve also tried to add international-friendly fields so that opportunities outside of the U.S. are easily findable in order to help bridge the geographical gap between U.S. and international libraries.


     

  3. Does the OppEx include opportunities from other organizations besides ALA?
    Yes! In fact, we encourage other organizations to submit their opportunities so that we can build a valuable path for folks to get involved. We’re all in this together.


     

  4. Who can add an opportunity?
    Anyone with an ALA Connect account can add any opportunity. We don’t moderate what gets submitted, so we limit who can post new submissions in order to try to maintain some authenticity that there’s a real human being interested in libraries posting the information. It also helps if we (or you) need to contact someone for further information or confirmation about details.

    ALA members already have Connect accounts and can log in to the site with their existing ala.org username and password. Non-members are welcome to create an account on the site to use to post opportunities and join open communities.

    Please note that if you submit an opportunity, you cannot opt out of receiving email notices when someone comments on it. In addition, all opportunities are publicly listed, so make sure you're okay with your contact information being publicly available if you list any. Alternatively, you can point people to the "send a message" link on your Connect profile if you don't want to expose your email address on the open web.
     

  5. What are the guidelines for adding opportunities?
    Adding an opportunity is pretty straightforward. If it fits into one of the types listed and is relevant to librarians, libraries, or the profession, then it’s considered appropriate. Examples of inappropriate submissions include spam, opportunities that have nothing to do with librar*, blatant commercials for products or services that don’t offer an opportunity, and misuse of the categories (eg, selecting every interest).

    In addition, there is no category for continuing education or job opportunities, because we’ll be building a CE Clearinghouse in the future, and jobs should be submitted to our JobList service.

    Common sense will take you a long way in using and contributing to this resource. If someone violates these guidelines, we’ll contact them and ask them to stop. If there’s a second violation, we reserve the right to revoke that person’s posting privileges.
     

  6. Who can view opportunities?
    Anyone can view and link to the opportunities listed in the OppEx without logging in, although you’ll need to log in to comment on or favorite a specific opportunity. You’ll also need to log in if you want to save searches you can easily re-run later. This is true for members and non-members, who are welcome to create an account on ALA Connect in order to comment on opportunities, favorite them, and save searches. We want to help you spread the news about your opportunity as far and as wide as possible.
     
  7. Who can comment on opportunities?
    Anyone who’s logged in to the Connect (member or non-ALA member) can comment on an opportunity. The person who posted it will receive an email notification about the comment, and the commenter will get an email there’s a new response in the comments.
     
  8. What are “saved searches?”
    Saved searches let you set search criteria and save those filters so that you can easily run them again in the future with just one click. Of course, you have to be logged in to save a search so that we know who we’re saving it for.

    After you’ve refined your search parameters to produce the results you want, just type a name for the search in the “Save current search as” box and click on the “Save” button. The name you typed should now appear in your list of saved searches, and it’ll stay there until you delete it. Now when you come back to the OppEx (and you’re logged in), you can re-run that search by just clicking on it. Note that you can currently save up to 10 unique searches.


     

  9. How many saved searches can I have at once? Why can’t I save a search?
    You can save up to 10 unique searches. If you’re having problems saving a new one, it’s probably because it’s number 11. If you delete an existing search, you’ll be able to save a new one.

    If you want to save more than 10 searches and you’re an ALA member, you might want to fill out the interests section of your profile and turn on email notices from the Opportunities Exchange. That way, you can get some of the broader searches sent to you via email. In addition, if you turn on email notices, you’ll get automatic messages every time an opportunity is submitted that matches one of your saved searches.
     

  10. Can I get email alerts for new opportunities?
    Yes, if you’re an ALA member, you can set up email alerts about new opportunities by doing the following.
    1. Fill out the new interests section on your profile and tell us what types of libraries you’re interested in.

       
    2. You can also save searches in the OppEx itself if you don’t want to fill out your interests. However, in the future, we'll be matching more content against your expressed interests in an effort to spam you less.
       
    3. Edit the "email notifications" section of the "Connect info" page in your profile to turn on email notices from the Opportunities Exchange.

       
    4. Now every time an opportunity is submitted that matches either your interests or your saved searches, we’ll send you a notice about it. If you ever get overwhelmed by the messages or no longer want to receive them, you can always change this setting in your Connect profile.

     

  11. I’m not getting email notices from the Opportunities Exchange. What’s up with that?
    There might be a couple of things going on if you’re not receiving email messages from the Opportunities Exchange. The first issue is that it can take up to an hour for us to send you a message about a new opportunity because we poll the database at various intervals. Then we have to get the message ready for you, lick the virtual stamp, and send out messages to everyone who requested notices. In order to keep the server perky, we don’t do all of that work every minute, so it may be a little while before a new notice shows up in your inbox.

    If it’s been more than a couple of hours, though, you should double-check that the message didn’t get caught in a spam filter. Of course, we hope that you’ve put connect@ala.org on all of your “safe sender” lists but if you haven’t, it’s possible that your system tagged it as spam (cue Monty Python music).

    Remember, too, that you’ll only receive email notices if you’ve (saved searches and/or filled out interests in your profile) *AND* (turned on OppEx email notices when editing your Connect profile).

    If you don’t see the notice in your spam folder, you’ve checked the box to receive email alerts, and it’s been a few hours, please contact us so that we can start troubleshooting the problem.
     

  12. Can I opt out of receiving email messages from the Opportunities Exchange?
    You have to opt in to receive notices of new opportunities that match your interests or saved searches, so you can always opt back out of receiving those messages. Just uncheck the box in your email preferences in your Connect profile.

    However, if you submit an opportunity, you cannot opt out of receiving email notices when someone comments on it. You’ll also receive an automatic email before the opportunity is set to expire so that you can log in to the site and renew it.
     

  13. Can I subscribe to new opportunities via RSS?
    Yes, OppEx searches generate RSS feeds that you can subscribe to in any standard RSS reader.
     
  14. Is it okay to display an RSS feed of opportunities from the Exchange on my own website?
    We encourage you to display opportunities from the Exchange on your noncommercial site. If you want to display them on a commercial site, please contact us first to discuss how you would use them.
     
  15. Can I add an attachment to an opportunity I’ve posted?
    Yes, you can add attachments that are 20MB or less in size. Acceptable file formats include doc, docx, pdf, rtf, txt, xls, xslx, and more. Simply open the "file attachments" menu at the bottom of the "add new opp" page by clicking on it in order to browse your hard drive and attach a file.

     
  16. Are opportunities removed after a certain amount of time? Can I set an expiration date on an opportunity I’ve posted?
    By default, opportunities expire one year after they’re added, although you can manually set an earlier date when creating or editing an opportunity. You cannot set an expiration date of more than one year out because we want to keep the database as current as possible. Before any of your submitted opportunities expire, you’ll receive an email alert in case you want to log in and renew the opportunity.

     
  17. Can I add a [job/CE event/other] to the OppEx?
    If you’re interested in advertising a job opening, please head over to our JobList service to learn how to post it there. Job postings are not allowed on ALA Connect and will be removed from the database.

    If you have other suggestions for new opportunity types, please contact us to suggest we add them. We’d love to hear your ideas for improving the OppEx.
     

  18. Can you add [my idea] as a type of opportunity/interest?
    We’re open to adding new opportunity types, so please send us your suggestions. However, we already have a service for posting jobs (JobList), so just email us at connect@ala.org or use the Contact Us form.
     
  19. Can I post commercial opportunities to the OppEx?
    This is a fine line, and you should use common sense when deciding to add a commercial opportunity. If it’s something that has a dollar value attached to it or involves a commercial entity but is a valid opportunity for the profession, then it’s probably okay. This is usually the case with things like awards or speaking opportunities, and those are fine.

    However, if you’re trying to shoehorn your submission into an inappropriate type of opportunity from our list, then it’s likely not a good fit. Blatant commercial advertisements will be removed from the database immediately, and repeated abuse of the OppEx could result in your account being blocked from using Connect altogether.

    If you’re not sure if your opportunity meets these criteria, or if you feel you have a valid opportunity that requires a new category type, please contact us for help. Our intent is to allow for the broadest range of opportunities for getting involved, so we’ll do our best to work with you.
     

  20. I can’t find an opportunity I know I saw last month?
    The link to an opportunity I added to my favorites is broken – what’s going on?

    If you can’t find an opportunity you know existed previously, it’s likely that it has expired and is no longer available or it was removed by the original author.
     

  21. I’m searching for an opportunity I know is there, but I can’t find it – help! I’m having problems searching – help!
    Once you narrow a search by opportunity type, subject, library type, etc., those filters stay in place until you remove them from your search by clicking on them again to deselect them or clicking on the “Start over and show all” link.

    You can tell if you have a search filter applied by looking at the heading above the list of recently added opportunities. If it says exactly that – “Recently added opportunities” – you’re starting with a blank slate and should be able to search the entire database.

    If, however, it says “Showing with filters applied,” then it’s searching a subset of the database, so you might not find what you’re looking for in those results. The easiest way to reset the search form is to click on the “Start over and show all” link in the “My saved searches box.”

    Keep broadening your search if you’re still not finding what you’re looking for, but feel free to contact us if you need some help.
     

  22. Who should I contact if information on an opportunity is incorrect?
    If you know for a fact that information on an opportunity is inaccurate, please contact the person who posted it so that they can correct it. When viewing an opportunity, the person who added it is listed underneath the title. If you click on the name, it will take you to the person’s profile. Underneath their picture is a link to send them a message.
     
  23. What should I do if I think someone is spamming the OppEx?
    Please use the contact us form at the top of every page to let us know if you see spam in the OppEx (or anywhere else on Connect).
     
  24. Is the contact information on an opportunity publicly available?
    Yes, all opportunities are publicly listed, so make sure you're okay with your contact information being publicly available if you list any. Alternatively, you can point people to the "send a message" link on your Connect profile if you don't want to expose your email address on the open web.
Easter DiGangi's picture

It actually isn't working right now.  I tried to do it and nothing appears under My saved searches.

--
Easter DiGangi, MLS

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi, Easter --

Can you please provide more details so we can troubleshoot this? If you can tell me what search parameters you were using, how many results were returned, and maybe include a screenshot, we could try to replicate the problem here.

Thanks!
Jenny

Jenny Levine (staff)'s picture

Hi again, Easter --

We went ahead and investigated this, found the problem, and fixed it so it should be working again now. Thanks for the heads up about it. Please let us know if it's still not working for you for some reason.

Thanks,
Jenny