Tips for the Newsletter Editor

 

The purpose of this tip sheet is to help the incoming Instruction Section Newsletter Editor understand the newsletter production schedule. It is to be revised by the ACRL Instruction Newsletter Editor as needed.

 

DEADLINES

There are two deadlines for the newsletter: external and internal.

  • External deadline: The IS Newsletter Editor will receive a deadline from the ACRL Production Editor (see below for current production editor contact information). This is the deadline to have the formatted PDF to ACRL. Deadlines are usually in October and April.
  • Internal deadline: Deadline for submission of newsletter content. Set the internal deadline three to four weeks prior to the ACRL deadline.

ACRL PRODUCTION EDITOR CONTACT INFORMATION (as of June 2013)

Dawn Mueller
ACRL Production Editor
50 East Huron Street, Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-2516; Fax: (312) 280-2520
E-mail: dmueller@ala.org

 

TIMELINE

JUNE

Although the incoming IS Newsletter Editor doesn't officially begin duties until after the ALA Annual Conference, it can be useful to attend the virtual Communications Committee meeting and in order to meet everyone and to take notes about possible newsletter items. Attendance at the ALA Annual Conference is not required.

JULY

If an incoming IS Newsletter Editor, e-mail the ACRL Production Editor, introduce yourself, give current contact information, and ask for any formatting/submission instructions. Also, if the outgoing IS Newsletter Editor has not contacted the incoming one, the incoming IS Newsletter Editor should initiate contact.

AUGUST

The ACRL Production Editor e-mails the ACRL deadlines for the Fall and, usually, also the Spring newsletter to Section newsletter editors. This e-mail will include optional ACRL filler materials.

SEPTEMBER

Draft table of contents, including article topics and corresponding authors; send call for submissions to IS-ADVISORY listserv (see sample call for submissions below); send individual e-mails to article authors. Always include internal deadline information in any correspondence.

Send reminder call for submissions one week prior to internal deadline.

OCTOBER

Usually, the external ACRL fall deadline is the second week of October. Plan to have a draft PDF of the newsletter ready to send to the IS Communications Committee Chair and the IS Communications Committee Executive Liaison one week prior to the external deadline. Although it is inevitable that some articles will arrive late, the internal deadline needs to be as firm as possible in order to give the newsletter editor time to edit, lay out and arrange for proofreading of the newsletter.

NOVEMBER

The ACRL Production Editor distributes the newsletter to the Instruction Section members via the IS-NEWS listserv.

Attend the IS Communications Committee Virtual Midwinter Meeting as scheduled by the IS Communications Committee Chair. Take notes for possible newsletter articles and announce internal spring deadline.

JANUARY

Attendance at the ALA Midwinter Conference is optional, provided that Midwinter committee meetings remain virtual.

FEBRUARY

Draft the table of contents, including article topics and corresponding authors, and send a call for submissions to IS-ADVISORY listserv (see sample call for submissions below). Always include internal deadline information in any correspondence. These activities may be moved to March if ACRL external deadlines are adjusted to accommodate the ACRL Conference. Should that happen, activities listed for March and April will probably also happen later.

Work with the IS Chair to receive a report from the ACRL liaison to the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience.

MARCH

ACRL Production Editor will e-mail or send a reminder e-mail of the ACRL Spring deadline by March. This e-mail will include optional ACRL filler materials.

Send reminder call for submissions one week prior to internal deadline. Plan to have a draft PDF of the newsletter ready to send to the IS Communications Committee Chair and the IS Communications Committee Executive Liaison one week prior to the external deadline. Although it is inevitable that some articles will arrive late, the internal deadline needs to be as firm as possible in order to give the newsletter editor time to edit, lay out and arrange for proofreading of the newsletter.

APRIL

The ACRL Production Editor distributes the newsletter to the Instruction Section members via the IS-NEWS listserv.

MAY

If an outgoing IS Newsletter Editor, introduce yourself to the incoming IS Newsletter Editor and send him or her:

  • current contact information
  • an offer to answer any questions
  • paper copies of previous years' newsletters to use as examples
  • electronic copies of previous years' newsletters
  • formatting instructions, other info from ACRL
  • any other relevant information deemed necessary

JUNE

Attend Communications Committee virtual meeting; take notes for possible newsletter articles; announce internal fall deadline, if known. NOTE: Only the IS Communications Committee Chair is informed of the external ACRL deadline.

 

SAMPLE CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

My name is Your Name, and I am the incoming IS Newsletter Editor. Please submit any items you would like to appear in the Fall 2007 issue to me at youraddress@whatever.edu by September 20, 2007.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me at youraddress@whatever.edu .

Good luck to everyone as another Fall semester begins!

Best regards,
Your Name

 

GENERAL TIPS

CONTENT

Content for the newsletter is solicited from the Instruction Section Advisory Committee. Content may also come from ACRL and other ACRL Sections. For example, if the History Section is sponsoring a program about instruction, they may ask to include a blurb about this program in the newsletter. However, IS business is always top priority. Several items are regular features:

  • From the Chair: Every issue, Fall issue include a picture and put on front page; Spring issue can move to page 2 or 3
  • From the Vice-Chair: Every issue, with photo
  • IS Dinner or Soiree: Most issues, page 2 or 3
  • Committee News (most issues; newly separated from Announcements, Spring 2012)
  • Other Announcements (most issues; newly separated from News, Spring 2012)
  • IS Election Candidates: Fall
  • Award Winners: Spring
  • Report from the ACRL liaison to the National Resource Center for the First Year Experience: Spring

EDITING

The IS Newsletter Editor should try to limit editing to grammar, spelling, and matters of consistency. See below for the style sheet for the newsletter.

FORMATTING

The ACRL Production Editor dictates the format s/he prefers for submission to ACRL. Currently, newsletters are submitted as PDFs, based on the guidelines given by the production editor to the newsletter editors. Incoming IS Newsletter Editors should e-mail the ACRL Production Editor, introduce themselves, and ask for any formatting/submission instructions. Outgoing IS Newsletter Editors should send whatever formatting instructions they have to incoming IS Newsletter Editors.

LENGTH

The newsletter is usually six to eight pages, but there are no space restrictions.

DISTRIBUTION

The ACRL Production Editor distributes the newsletter electronically as a PDF to IS members via the IS listserv. The e-mail is sent as if from the IS Newsletter Editor, but the ACRL Production Editor does the actual sending.

CLAIMING

The IS Newsletter Editor has some paper copies of past IS Newsletters; these may be distributed to person who submit a claim for a newsletter. However, issues from Volume 13, Number 1 (Spring 1996) are available online in the Instruction Section Newsletter Archive.

STYLE SHEET

The IS Newsletter Editor should use The Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date system. Following are a few common items to review for consistency.

  • web, web site, web page (16th Edition, Section 7.76)
  • e-mail (used throughout, see Index and 6.8 as examples)
  • Year American Library Association Annual Conference
  • Year American Library Association Midwinter Meeting
  • The 16th Edition recommends writing "a.m." and "p.m.," though the more traditional small capitals are still accepted (with or without periods: AM and PM). (Section 10.42)
  • Exact times are written with numerals and separated with an en dash: 9:30–11:00 (Sections 6.78 and  9.38)
  • Numbers:
    • Chicago's general rule is expressed in section 9.2: “In nontechnical contexts, Chicago advises spelling out whole numbers from zero through one hundred and certain round multiples of those numbers. Most of the rest of this chapter deals with the exceptions to this rule and special cases. For hyphens used with spelled-out numbers, see 7.85, section 1.”
    • However, the alternative rule given in 9.3 states: “Many publications, including those in scientific or journalistic contexts, follow the simple rule of spelling out only single-digit numbers and using numerals for all others (but see 9.7). Most exceptions to the general rule also apply to the alternative rule.”
  • Percent (Section 9.18):
    • Chicago prefers the use of numerals for all numbers used as part of percentages, but use the word "percent" for humanistic copy and the "%" symbol for scientific and statistical copy:
      • humanistic: 10 percent (but spell out "10" if it begins the sentence)
      • scientific, statistical: 10%

 

Originally written by Jill Grogg, Editor (2004-2006), May 31, 2006.

Updated November 1, 2007, by Mireille Djenno.

Updated May 24, 2012 by Megan O. Hayes.

Updated June 12, 2013, by Megan O. Mahoney.