PLA Connect FAQ

Your Contact Information

  • Where do I edit my contact information?

  • Where do I edit my job title, type of responsibility, and type of organization?

  • Where do I edit the ethnicity listed in my member record?

  • What other kinds of information can I add to my ALA Profile?


Privacy Settings

  • How do I control the privacy settings on my profile?

  • What information on my profile is public by default?

  • What information can other members who are logged in to Connect see on my profile by default?

  • What information on my profile displays only to me by default?

  • What are the different visibility settings on member profiles?

  • If someone sends me an email through ALA Connect, will they see my email address?


Email and Communication Preferences

  • What is the default setting for email notifications from my Connect groups?

  • When will I receive email notifications from a group?

  • How do I change the email notifications from my Connect groups?

  • What are my options for email notifications from my Connect groups?

  • Who can send me an email through ALA Connect?

  • What is the difference between Email Preferences, Community Notifications, and Communication Preferences?

  • How do I change my non-ALA Connect communication preferences?


Searching for PLA Members and Networks

  • How do I search for other PLA members?

  • What are "My Networks?"

  • How do I find other PLA members who share my interests?

  • How do I remove myself from being found in the Member Directory?


PLA Communities

  • What are PLA Interest Groups?

  • Where are my PLA Committees?

  • What is the PLA (Public Library Association) Community?


Contacts

  • What does it mean to add someone as a contact?

  • Can anyone add me as their contact?

Have more questions or need assistance? Please contact us.


Your Contact Information


Where do I edit my contact information?

Image showing placement of Profile button

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. Underneath your profile photo is a button labeled "Edit Address and Communication Settings" that will let you edit your address, phone numbers, and email address.

  4. If you make changes, make sure you click on the Save button.

  5. Be sure to click on the “Refresh My Profile!” link underneath your contact details to publish your changes.


Where do I edit my job title, type of responsibility, and type of organization?

Image showing placement of Edit Name, Title and Organization button

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. Next to your name in the middle of the screen, you'll see a button labeled "Edit Name, Title and Organization" that lets you edit these fields and other demographics about your workplace and job title.

  4. If you make changes, make sure you click the “Save” button.

  5. Be sure to click on the “Refresh My Profile!” link underneath your contact details to publish your changes.


Where do I edit the ethnicity listed in my member record?

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. Next to your name in the middle of the screen, you'll see a button labeled "Edit Name, Title and Organization" that lets you edit these fields and other demographics about your workplace, job title, and ethnicity. Note that right now, your ethnicity doesn’t display anywhere on your profile, even to you. It's only found in this edit window.

  4. If you make changes, make sure you click the “Save” button.

  5. Be sure to click on the “Refresh My Profile!” link underneath your contact details to publish your changes.

  6. While this field is completely optional, we encourage you to answer the question so that we can analyze accurate demographics about our membership in the aggregate so that we'll know if we're making progress on our efforts to be more inclusive. ALA will never share this information about you except in the aggregate.


What other kinds of information can I add to my ALA Profile?

Filling out your Profile and adjusting your Privacy Settings will let you create a rich profile you can share publicly on your résumé or a minimal version for just those colleagues you add to your contacts in the system. Or choose to not add any additional information other than what you've already provided - it's all up to you. Optional information you can share includes:

  • A bio where you can share more about yourself;

  • Your education history;

  • Your job history;

  • Professional associations you've joined;

  • Honors and awards you've received;

  • Links to social media accounts and other websites; and,

  • Your topics of interests.


Privacy Settings


How do I control the privacy settings on my profile?

Image showing location of Privacy Settings menu link in My Account tab

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. On your profile, click the “My Account” tab and then select Privacy Settings in the dropdown menu.

  4. You'll see a list of every section of information available on your profile and a dropdown menu where you can choose to make that information available to either my contacts, members only, public, or only you.

  5. If you make any changes, make sure you click the “Save Changes” button.


What information on my profile is public by default?

  • Your name.

  • Your profile photo, if you've chosen to add one. Note that if you uploaded a photo in the previous ALA Connect, it was likely transferred over to the new system.

  • The name of the organization where you work if you've provided this in your member record.

  • Remember that you can change these defaults in your Privacy Settings.


What information can other members who are logged in to Connect see on my profile by default?

  • Your name.

  • Your profile photo, if you've chosen to add one. Note that if you uploaded a photo in the previous ALA Connect, it was likely transferred over to the new system.

  • The name of the organization where you work if you've provided this in your member record.

  • Your job title and department if you've provided this in your member record.

  • Your bio, education and job history, honors and awards, professional associations, links to your social media accounts and other sites, and interests if you've filled this out in your profile.

  • A list of communities you participated in on Connect.

  • Networks you are a part of in Connect.

  • Mutual contacts you have in common with each other.

  • An "Add as Contact" button (which will require you to approve the request).

  • A link to send you a message through the Connect system (your email address will not be exposed to the sender).

  • Remember that you can change these defaults in your Privacy Settings.


What information on my profile displays only to me by default?

  • Your address.

  • Your phone numbers.

  • Your email address.

  • Your ethnicity.

  • Remember that you can change all of these defaults, except displaying your ethnicity, in your Privacy Settings.


What are the different visibility settings on member profiles?

Image showing the different visibility settings of a member profile

  • Public – anyone can view this information.

  • Members Only – anyone who can log in to ALA Connect, which includes non-ALA members who have created accounts with ALA.

  • My Contacts - anyone you've manually added to your contact list in Connect.

  • Only Me – no one can view this information.


If someone sends me an email through ALA Connect, will they see my email address?

Image showing location of Email Preferences menu link in My Account tab

No, you won't see their email address, and they won't see yours. You'll receive an email notification about the message unless you've opted out of receiving Social Emails in your Email Preferences.

Email and Communication Preferences


What is the default setting for email notifications from my Connect groups?

Image showing the default notification setting of Real Time and alternate settings of Daily Digest and No Email

ALA has turned on Real Time notifications from all committees and Daily Digest notifications from all communities. You can change these settings in your profile at any time by adjusting your Community Notifications under “My Account” on your profile.


When will I receive email notifications from a group?

If you're a member of a Connect group, you'll get email notifications of new discussions and replies to discussions unless you’ve set the notification settings of that group to “No Email.” The system does not send out emails when new events are added or when files are uploaded to the group's library.


How do I change the email notifications from my Connect groups?

Image showing location of Community Notifications menu link in My Account tab

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. On your profile, select the “My Account” tab and then Community Notifications in the dropdown menu.

  4. Find the group(s) for which you want to change the frequency of notifications and select an option from the dropdown menu (Real Time, Daily Digest, or No Email).

  5. Note that once you select a frequency from the dropdown menu, the setting takes effect immediately. There is no “Save” button on this page.


What are my options for email notifications from my Connect groups?

  • Real Time – you'll receive individual emails whenever there's a new post or reply in a group.

  • Daily Digest – you’ll receive a single email every day containing any new posts or replies in a group.

  • No Email – you won’t receive any emails from a group.


Who can send me an email through ALA Connect?

Image showing opt out options for who can send you email

Anyone with an account in ALA Connect can send you a message through the site unless you opt out of receiving these messages under “Send Message” in your Privacy Settings.


What is the difference between Email Preferences, Community Notifications, and Communication Preferences?

  • Email Preferences primarily let you opt out altogether of what Connect calls Social Emails, which are one-on-one interactions such as “reply to sender” emails, contact requests, and @mentions in discussions. Note that the Promotional Emails option does not currently affect any notifications you'll receive, as ALA is not sending promotional emails through this system.

  • Community Notifications let you set emails from any group to Real Time, Daily Digest, or No Email.

  • Communication Preferences let you set what types of email and print communication you want to receive from ALA outside of Connect. These are found on your Profile, underneath your profile photo, when you click on the button that will let you edit your contact information and communication settings. If you edit these settings, be sure to scroll to the bottom to click the “Save” button, and then click the “Refresh My Profile!” link under your contact details to publish your changes.


How do I change my non-ALA Connect communication preferences?

Image showing placement of Edit Address and Communications Settings
Screen capture of Email & Communications Preferences

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. Underneath your profile photo is a button labeled "Edit Address and Communication Settings" that will let you edit your address, phone numbers, and email address. This is where you can set your Communication Level for non-ALA Connect communications. The options here are: 

    • Communications from ALA and outside organizations – this option will provide you with the most exposure to announcements, activities, and event notifications.

    • Just ALA, Please – you'll only receive communications from ALA and your member groups, such as divisions and round tables.

    • ALA Official Communications Only – similar to unsubscribe, this option will make sure you only receive your ballot, journal subscriptions and renewal information.

    • Nothing – only non-members can select this option.

    • Communications from ALA, chapters, and affiliates of ALA and its units

  4. If you make changes, make sure you click the “Save” button.

  5. Note that this information does not apply to conference registration or to any electronic discussion lists to which you may be subscribed.

 

Searching for PLA Members and Networks


How do I search for other PLA members?

Image showing Member Directory search options of Basic and Advanced

Log in to Connect and click the “Divisions” button at the upper left-hand corner of the screen. Scroll down the list and select “Public Library Assn. (PLA).” Once you’re on the PLA Connect site, click the PLA Directory tab.

You can search for PLA members using a basic search (First Name, Last Name, Company Name, or Email Address). There's also an Advanced Search tab on the Member Directory that lets you search for other members by interest.


What are "My Networks?"

Image showing location of Networks menu link in My Connections tab

ALA Connect tries to connect you with other members who are in similar job roles and have similar interests by automatically creating networks based on information in your member record and Connect profile. My Networks can be found on your profile in the “My Connections” tab and are created based on:

  • Job Title;

  • Principal Area of Work/Primary Work Area;

  • Type of Responsibility/Current Job Role;

  • Type of Library or Organization;

  • Interests you've added to your Connect profile;

If you've filled out any of these fields in your member record or added them in your Connect profile, you're automatically part of these networks. You can update any of these fields by viewing your Profile and clicking on the “Edit Name, Title and Organization” button next to your name. Remember that you can opt out of appearing in these networks in your Privacy Settings.


How do I find other PLA members who share my interests?

Screen capture of Interests options

Make sure you're logged in to ALA Connect to find ALA members or PLA Connect to find PLA members. Click on the PLA Directory tab in the navigation and then click on the “Advanced Search” tab. Select one or more interests from the list and click on the “Find Members” button. Note that if you want to combine interests in a search, make sure you change the search parameter at the top of the list from "Search for ANY of the selected values" to "Search for ALL of the selected values."


How do I remove myself from being found in the Member Directory?

Image showing location of Member Directory opt out in Privacy Settings

  1. If you're logged in to Connect, you'll see your name in the upper right-hand corner.

  2. Click on the arrow next to your name and select the Profile button.

  3. On your profile, select the “My Account” tab and then Privacy Settings in the dropdown menu.

  4. The first option you'll see listed on the page is "I would like to be included in the member directory and community rosters." The default is set to Yes. If you’d like to be removed from the member directory and community rosters, click the toggle button to change the setting to No.

  5. If you make changes changes, make sure you click the “Save Changes” button.


PLA Communities


What are PLA Interest Groups?

PLA is piloting eight new interest groups to increase member engagement, foster connections and networking, help members find what they need, and drive conversations around key areas affecting public libraries. The eight new interest groups are:

  • Data and Measurement;

  • Digital Literacy;

  • Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion;

  • Family Engagement;

  • Health;

  • Immigration and Citizenship;

  • Legislation and Advocacy; and,

  • Workforce Development/Small Business.

By joining a PLA Interest Group, you’ll connect with public library people who share the same interests as you. Note that PLA personal membership is required to join an interest group and you must be logged into your account.


How do I join a PLA Interest Group?

Image showing location of PLA Interest Groups menu link in Communities tab
Image showing location of Email Notification options in PLA Interest Group

  1. If you’re logged in to Connect, click on “Divisions” at the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

  2. Scroll down the list of divisions and select “Public Library Assn. (PLA).”

  3. Once you’re on the PLA Connect site, click the “Communities” tab, then select PLA Interest Groups from the dropdown menu.

  4. Read the description of each interest group to find what topics you’re interested in. Click the “Join” link to be taken to that interest group’s page.

  5. Click the “Join Community” button on the interest group’s page to officially join the group.

  6. Once you’ve joined an interest group, it will automatically appear under My PLA Communities.

  7. You can update your email notifications from this group by clicking “Settings” and selecting your preferences from the dropdown menu under “Email Notifications” (Real Time, Daily Digest, and No Email). The system automatically defaults to Daily Digest.


Where are my PLA Committees?

Image showing location of My PLA Communities menu link in Communities tab

If you are currently a member of a PLA Committee, you can find your committee under My PLA Communities, located in the dropdown menu under “Communities.” ALA has transferred over all committees’ discussion posts and documents from the previous ALA Connect. 

What is the PLA (Public Library Association) Community?

If you have an active PLA personal membership, you automatically belong to the PLA Community in Connect and it will appear under My PLA Communities. This community is a space for PLA members to share knowledge and seek assistance from colleagues on any topic related to public library service. Post ideas, questions, links to interesting information – anything you’d wish to share with the larger PLA community.


Contacts


What does it mean to add someone as a contact?

Adding someone as a contact is like favoriting their profile so you can easily find it again in your Contacts list under “My Connections” on your Profile. If the person you added has made more of their profile available to Public, Members Only, or My Contacts, you may see more information about them, including contact information.


Can anyone add me as their contact?

By default, anyone who is logged in to Connect can request to add you as a Contact. You'll get an email notification about the request, unless you've opted out of receiving Social Emails in your Email Preferences. You'll be able to accept or decline all requests. If you accept it, you'll appear on the person's Contacts list. You can hide the Send Message button from appearing on your profile by changing it to Nobody in your Privacy Settings.


Have more questions or need assistance? Please
contact us.

Last updated June 7, 2018.