ALA to hold Web planning retreat December 18

Rob Carlson

ALA Web Development Manager


For Immediate Release

December 6, 2006

ALA to hold Web planning retreat December 18

Usability study, new wiki and blog now online

(CHICAGO) With the results of its Web usability study in hand, the American Library Association (ALA) will host members and staff in a Web Planning Retreat on December 18 to develop a vision and plan outline for revamping the ALA Web site.

Begun in July, the usability assessment includes interviews of major stakeholder groups, an online survey, hands-on usability testing, focus group discussions, and heuristic analysis. About 1,200 people responded to the ALA online survey. The assessment was conducted by UserWorks, a Maryland consulting firm. UserWorks also will facilitate the planning retreat.

"The ALA is committed to fully developing the online presence necessary to meet the diverse needs of our users," said ALA Senior Associate Executive Director Mary Ghikas. "We value the extensive feedback we've received from members, and welcome an ongoing dialog as we begin implementing change."

The ALA has established a wiki and blog to share information and encourage participation from across the association. The discussion blog is available at, and the wiki for gathering background material and outcomes is online at The planning retreat also will be blogged, with comments invited from outside participants.

"While we know we will not be able to implement all the recommendations immediately, we do plan on moving forward with as many as possible within the next three to six months," ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said.