ALA President announces ALA connections salon

Contact: JoAnne Kempf

Office of ALA Governance

(312) 280-3212


For immediate release

August 5, 2008

ALA President announces ALA connections salon

In an effort to provide opportunities for ALA members to connect with and learn from one another, ALA President Jim Rettig is creating “The ALA Connections Salon.”

Like European discussion salons, the ALA Connections Salon will provide an online environment for members to participate in formal and informal discussions centered on a specific topic. The salons will take place on OPAL (Online Programming for All Libraries;, a user-friendly site offering online rooms where participants can interact via voice-over-IP, text chatting, synchronized browsing and other functions.

The sessions will take place monthly on Friday’s, beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and will run for approximately one hour. OPAL Coordinator Tom Peters will open each ALA Salon by interviewing special guests invited for their knowledge of that salon’s topic. Following each interview, participants will be free to ask questions and engage with presenters and with one another about professional topics of interest.

A pilot salon will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, Aug. 15. During this pilot salon Peters will interview his collaborators on this project, Genevieve S. Owens (Williamsburg Regional Library, Va.) and Karen G. Schneider (Equinox Software, Inc.). To join the discussion, log onto OPAL at and follow the instructions for entering the meeting space. Participants are encouraged to sign in 15 minutes prior to the start of the salon for a quick tour of OPAL. It’s been said it’s as easy as renewing a library book!Future salon dates and topics are:


September 26 Presidential Connections (Featuring an interview with Jim Rettig)

October 17 Kid Connections

November 21 Political Connections

December 19 Gaming Connections


February 20 ALA Connections

March 20 Next Generation Catalog Connections

April 17 Advocacy Connections

May 15 Education and Recruitment Connections

June 19 Future Connections

So mark your calendars for these relaxed, free-flowing discussions for ALA members,beginning with Friday, Aug. 15!

Rettig’s initiatives for his presidential term are about “Creating Connections” –connections among our libraries; connections between the communities we serve and those who make funding and policy decisions; connections with prospective library workers; connections with ALA members. His initiatives address three critical issues: Advocacy, Diversity and Member Participation.

For more information about ALA President Jim Rettig’s initiatives, please visit .