Communication and Production Tools Policy

ACRL Instruction Section (IS) committees are encouraged to use current communication and productivity tools (technology) to facilitate committee work. To this end, every IS committee has a listserv established for its use. Other tools can be used in conjunction with a committee’s official listserv or, in some cases, replace use of the listserv.

Committees wanting to make use of additional tools, such as the ACRL Wiki or ALA Connect, or others, need to understand the ALA definition of what constitutes a meeting (ALA Policy Manual (pdf) Section One 7.4.1) and, if applicable, ensure they are following ALA’s open meeting policy (ALA Policy Manual (pdf) Section One 7.4.4).

See also: FAQ for Virtual Meetings and ALA Guide to Policies and Procedures, 8.4 Scheduling meetings at times other than ALA Conferences.

In using additional tools, committees must:

  1. Ensure that all members, as well as the Executive Committee liaison, will have the ability to work with additional technology tools. Even if a committee has used other tools in the past, committee chairs must ensure that all current members are able to use the tools.
  2. Consider the privacy concerns of their work and use password-protected space when appropriate.
  3. Consider the ability to transfer work created in one workspace to the IS website, if applicable.
  4. Consider free applications first. It is possible to create private committee workspace using ALA tools, (ACRL Wiki or ALA Connect), or other freely available tools (Google DocsZohoThinkfree Online Office, or others). The Executive Committee may consider funding requests for low-cost applications that have potential use Section-wide.
  5. Ensure that materials created can be archived. Material that will be submitted to the ACRL/ALA archive must be printed and formatted in a readable manner. Measures to back up materials must be taken in the event alternative technology tools malfunction or fail.

Procedure for using additional and/or other communication / productivity tools:

  1. If the committee listserv is not used as the official channel of communication for the committee, the committee chair must inform the IS Listserv Administrator and the Executive Committee liaison.
  2. Committees should consult with their Executive liaison when setting up technology tools in addition to, or instead of, the committee’s official listserv.
  3. The Executive Committee liaison must be subscribed to and able to access all additional technology tools.
  4. Any committee can create a password-protected or private workspace. The password and related access information must be distributed to all committee members, including incoming committee members and chair(s), and the Executive Committee liaison. After an appropriate committee overlap period, it is the responsibility of the new chair(s) to remove outgoing committee members and chair(s) from the workspace.
  5. If a committee creates or updates a project or document that would normally reside on the IS website, the committee can ask its Executive Committee liaison to review and approve the document in the alternate workspace.
  6. Final copies of committee projects or documents must either reside in an ALA supported workspace, such as the ACRL Wiki, or be in a commonly used format, such as HTML, PDF, or Word, so they can easily be loaded in the IS website. Committees must ensure that final copies are converted, as appropriate.

Developed by Policy and Publications Review Committee, June 2008
Approved by the Instruction Section Executive Committee, June 2008