The American Library Association has taken a big step in making membership more interactive and useful throughout the year. Make ALA Connect, our new professional networking space where you can interact, discuss, meet and work collaboratively in real-time, or at your own pace, a destination to meet with other members from around the library world. ALA Connect - http://connect.ala.org - is your access to the whole of the ALA membership, plus groups related to libraries, your work and your interests.
Connecting Members and the Profession
You can immediately log in to Connect using your regular ALA Web site username and password. Every committee, membership area and registered event has a Group waiting for you to interact with – and in. Your membership is automatically synchronized in Connect, so your personal affiliations with ALA’s committees, divisions, sections, round tables and events are displayed. Hundreds of user-generated Communities have also been formed by members who want to discuss and collaborate with you.
• Posts (which are like blog posts)
• Online docs (which are like collaborative, wiki-like pages or Google Docs)
• Group calendar (for listing meetings, deadlines, etc.)
• Surveys (for asking multiple questions at once)
• Polls (for asking a single question)
• Chat room (text-based, including the ability to save a transcript of the discussion)
• Discussion forums (also known as “bulletin boards”)
Members who log in to ALA Connect at http://connect.ala.org using their regular ALA Web site username and password will find that their records are automatically synchronized with ALA’s membership database, so your affiliations with ALA’s committees, divisions, events, round tables and sections are displayed.
ALA Connect has an intuitive interface - if you have ever used any social networks or library 2.0 tools, it will be familiar. The nicest part of ALA Connect is that your account is already set up as a feature of your membership. It’s certainly worth exploring. You may just find connections to other people, ideas and resources that are unexpected.
Connect 101 series on YouTube:
ALA Connect users can view all of their current ALA affiliations in one place, search for other members and add them to their online network, while working together on online projects. Members can create new communities around shared interests, respond to emerging issues or create and manage shared projects. This collaborative tool allows members a vibrant and dynamic online community which facilitate professional growth and extend contacts around the Association.
Each group’s home page automatically displays the latest content posted, upcoming events and the five most popular items from that group. Members of the group can post new content using any of the tools noted above or comment on items already published by others in the group. Members can also browse past content or search for something just within that group. Users can also track the public content of an ALA working group via e-mail or RSS feed or they can browse different communities, looking for new ones to join.