Newsletter Checklist and FAQs

Please let me know if you are NOT planning to do a newsletter. Otherwise I will expect one.

  • Volume/Issue Number consistent with previous issues (if there’s a question about what issue you’re on, please contact me).
  • Correct Date (ie., fall or spring + year)
  • ISSN Number
    • ANSS 0888-5559
    • ARTS 0666-2427
    • CJCLS 0888-1405
    • CLS 0887-3550
    • DLS 1522-1806
    • EBSS 0887-5189 
    • IS 1085-0724
    • LES 1076-8947
    • PPIRS 0885-7342
    • RBMS 0743-1481
    • SEES 0897-6465
    • STS 0888-6563
    • ULS 1539-2619
    • WESS 0734-4503
    • WGSS 0895-691X
  • No Page Limit or requirements
  • Copyright (+current year)
    For example: © American Library Association, 2022.
  • Correct contact information for ALA/ACRL:
    ACRL, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago IL 60601, (800) 545-2433, ext. 2523,
  • Include publishing information similar to the following on front page, back page, or in masthead:
    The XXXX newsletter is a biannual electronic publication of the XXXX Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association; 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1300, Chicago IL 60601; (800) 545-2433, ext. 2523;
  • Include editor information and submission deadlines, if desired
  • Pages numbered correctly
  • Spelling (run spell check)
  • Double-check to see that page numbers on index (if there is one) match articles. Also check "continued on" and "continued from" stories to ensure they flow correctly.
  • ALA/ACRL organization and conference logos are high resolution, not copies from the Web. If you need electronic copies, please contact me. When resizing, hold down the Shift button to maintain proportions and avoid stretching logos disproportionately
  • Photos and graphics appear correctly
  • Include photo credits for all pictures appearing in newsletter
  • Have sections chair or someone from your publications committee review it before sending me final copy.
  • Embed all fonts in PDF files (See instructions for converting to PDF and instructions from printer)

Common Problems with Newsletters

Fonts that aren't embedded properly. This is the number one problem with newsletters since we’ve begun submitting them via PDF. Everyone uses a different program and has different software, so there is not one set of directions that will help with this. Most programs do have options to create or export your document into a PDF. Instead of blindly hitting "OK" when it asks, go through the options and select those that will embed fonts or include them in the document. (See the handouts for instructions and options.) Just because it looks OK on your computer doesn't mean it will look good on mine. If there is any question, please contact me before sending.

Missing or incorrect publishing information. There needs to be a statement about the regularity of the newsletter as well as contact information for ALA and/or ACRL (see above). This is usually followed by the copyright information.

Copy timeliness is past or irrelevant. Don’t just fill space because you can. Think of when newsletters will mail and how to make your news matter. If you need more copy, we can send you ideas. I hope to send out ACRL-related copy before you get too far along so you can include it if you want. If you have to reduce the pages, try 4 or 6.

Graphics. As noted above, if you need a conference logo or any other ALA logo, please contact me and I will get you a high-resolution version. In general, avoid using. gifs wherever possible. For photographs, stick with .tif files or high res .jpgs; for line art, use .eps files. If a .gif is your only option, decide whether the quality is really worth it. Images are great, but if they’re pixelated, tiny, or dark, they don’t lend much to the newsletter.

Colored backgrounds. Lightly shaded backgrounds are a good way to break things up, but again, you have to be careful not to make the background so dark that it’s difficult to read the text, particularly considering that the newsletter may be printed by the recipient.


Do I have to do a newsletter twice a year? It is not mandatory, but it is looked at as a benefit to section membership and helps keep members informed in a more direct way than the website might. However, some sections have opted not to do a newsletter and do a blog instead.

Do I have to include the news blurbs that ACRL sends to promote? No. It is merely suggested content that you are free to include for your members or omit. We certainly hope you include it, but if it doesn't seem relevant or doesn't fit, that is perfectly fine. 

Who sends the newsletters once they are done? I send an email including a URL where the newsletter is located online through our Constant Contact mail service that pulls members from our database who have selected communication preferences that allow us to email them. 

Why don't we just send the PDF to members? In the past we have found that sending the PDF, especially if it's large, will often result in the email getting flagged as spam or not getting through at all. 

What program do you use for the newsletter? Some editors use Adobe InDesign, others use Microsoft Publisher, and at least one is using Google docs. Those are the main programs, but there might be others.  

Can companies advertise in newsletters? We do not allow advertising in the newsletters. Newsletters are strictly a vehicle for communicating a section's business to its members. We have no means of charging vendors for the space and feel that it's best to avoid getting involved with what might potentially become a sticky situation based on who wants to advertise what, who approves the advertising, and how much it should cost.