Tips for Conducting Successful Virtual Meetings
1. Select and test technology to use for your virtual meeting
There are a variety of tools, many of them free, that your committee can use to meet virtually. A list of tools you might consider using can be found on the ACRL Web Conferencing wiki page.
ACRL also has Adobe Connect licenses that are shared among ACRL units. To schedule an Adobe Connect meeting through ACRL, please:
- email the virtual meeting request form to ACRL's Adobe Connect scheduler.
- notify Megan Griffin, our ACRL staff liaison, about the meeting: firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can prepare to use the Adobe Connect virtual meeting service by reviewing the “Getting Started with Adobe Connect” training videos and documents.
Although ACRL’s Adobe Connect virtual meeting service works well for many committees, other recommended options include:
ALA Connect + Conference CallCommittees can use ALA Connect to share files and chat, and the conference call facilitates discussion. If you are using your institution’s conference calling service, please check to see if there are any limitations on the number of people who can simultaneously participate in a conference call from your phone carrier. Alternatively, you can use a free conference calling service, such as:
NOTE: Your committee’s ALA Connect space can only be accessed by current members of the committee. If any outside visitors express interest in attending the meeting, they won’t be able to participate in a chat on ALA Connect. In order to comply with ALA’s open meetings policy, it is therefore necessary to use a conference call or some other tool in addition to ALA Connect that will allow visitors to participate.
Institutionally-supported web conferencing
If you or one of your committee members has access to a web conferencing product such as GoToMeeting, or WebEx, feel free to use that instead.
As you review your options, please keep in mind that meetings must be accessible by all committee members, your Executive Committee Liaison, and any visitors who might like to attend, so you’ll want to make sure that any technology you select will accommodate the size of your committee plus a few extra spaces for observers.
Whichever tool you use, please remember to test it (including conference calls) with your members to confirm that everyone on the committee will be able to access the meeting on the scheduled day.
2. Schedule your meeting
Consider using an online scheduling tool like Doodle (http://doodle.com) to determine the best date and time for your meeting. Remember to indicate the time zone for the meeting. Then send an invitation to all committee members and your IS-Exec Liaison (sending an email to your committee listserv will accomplish this).
3. Announce the meeting in ALA Connect
In order to comply with ALA’s Open Meeting Requirements, the meeting must be announced at least 10 days prior to the scheduled time. To announce the meeting:
- Post your meeting agenda to your committee’s ALA Connect site (the agenda should include a link to the virtual meeting space you’ll be using/a phone number and passcode for the conference call).
- Post the meeting to the Instruction Section’s ALA Connect site: http://connect.ala.org/acrl_is (click “Add New” and then “Event”). Attach the agenda to the scheduled meeting using the file attachments at the bottom of the form (click the “Choose File” button beneath the “Add a new file” heading; then click the “Upload” button).
4. Post the Minutes
After the meeting, the committee Secretary posts the approved minutes to the committee’s ALA Connect site as well as to the committee's agendas-minutes folder in the ALA Connect Instruction Section Archive: http://connect.ala.org/node/211499. According to ALA policy, minutes must be posted within 30 days of the meeting's conclusion
For more information about ALA and ACRL policies for conducting meetings, please see:
The “Virtual Meeting” section of the ACRL Guide to Policies and Procedures
Drafted by Christy Stevens, Chair, 2013
Approved by IS Executive Committee, 2013