Online Discussion Forum Guidelines

Share tips, ask questions, get advice, and more with online discussion forums hosted by United for Libraries. When you send an e-mail to a forum, it is automatically sent to all subscribers, and their e-mails are sent to your e-mail. Messages are automatically archived for future searching. Participants agree to abide by a few simple guidelines:

  • Each online discussion forum is an information forum for those wishing to seek and share best practices.
  • Personal, group, or statewide group membership is required for participation. *Waived through June 30, 2020.
  • All participants are to be treated with courtesy.
  • Commercial solicitation and/or spam is prohibited.
  • Participants are not to share the contact information of others in the forum with any outside parties without their expressed consent.

Posting to Online Discussion Forums

To start a discussion, send an email to the list. Please use an appropriate subject line so readers have an idea of what your message is about. Other online discussion forum members can then reply to your message and everyone in the forum will receive the response to continue the discussion. Please note that all online discussion forums are moderated to reduce spam. United for Libraries staff members check emails evenings, weekends, and holidays to ensure messages are released to the forums in a timely manner. Please note also that as a default setting of your subscription you will *not* receive a copy of the message that you send to be posted. If you wish to receive a copy of your own messages, please see the next section on managing your subscription.

Managing Your Online Discussion Forum Subscriptions

To manage your subscription to the United for Libraries online discussion forum and any other ALA online discussion forums, visit On your first visit to Sympa select the option, "First login?" when you click "Login" in the upper right corner of the screen. Once you log in you can change the address to which you receive online discussion forum messages, change your settings to digest format (a single daily email with all messages posted that day), and search the archives. You can also change the default setting to receive a copy of the messages that you send to be posted.

Searching the Archives

To read the archives of the United for Libraries online discussion forums you must login to Sympa, the online discussion forum management website. Visit lick on "Login" in the upper right corner of the screen. If you have a username/password, enter both and click "Go." If this is your first time logging into Sympa, click "First login?" and follow the instructions. Once you have gained access to Sympa, select the option for "My Lists" and find the list for which you would like to search archives.

Additional Help

If you have any questions about online discussion forums or experience difficulty, please email for assistance.