In 2017-2018, two Instruction Section groups investigated how the IS could re-envision itself as a virtual section. Now that we no longer hold events at ALA Annual, how do we maximize the professional development, service, and networking opportunities offered by the Section?
As noted below, the ALA Emerging Leaders Team D developed a strategic plan proposal for the IS’s next five years based on research and interviews with IS members at varying levels of experience. Their report, “Building a Virtual Home: Discovering, Connecting, Engaging,” can be found below and at: https://connect.ala.org/acrl/viewdocument/emerging-leaders-report-on-building?CommunityKey=32dad85d-af22-4faa-916a-f51694e1962b&tab=librarydocuments
In addition, the IS Building Virtual Community Task Force (BVCTF) has now completed its first of two Annual Reports, presenting feedback and ideas from IS members gathered through a Feedback Form (at https://bit.ly/2LtkvCk) and two live webinar discussions held in May. The IS BVCTF Annual Report 2018 can be found below and at https://connect.ala.org/acrl/viewdocument/is-building-virtual-community-task?CommunityKey=32dad85d-af22-4faa-916a-f51694e1962b&tab=librarydocuments
We encourage you to read these reports and provide your feedback as we work to build a more inclusive and involved Section!
Going forward into its second year, the BVCTF intends to build on the Emerging Leaders’ and its own findings to explore several important issues.
–To increase member engagement in a virtual section, we will explore ideas such as a committee promoting virtual engagement, IS website revision to make resources easier to access, increasing member professional development opportunities beyond formal committee work, and selecting digital workspace software.
–To continue to network and socialize in person as section members, we will look at how best to organize activities and events at conferences beyond ALA Annual, as well as other opportunities.
–To facilitate good communication in a virtual section, we will consider clustering committees by topic around a shared Executive Liaison, developing our social media practices, and using alternative ways of keeping informed and promoting our members’ accomplishments.
You can strengthen the BVCTF’s recommendations and increase our benefit for IS by participating in our forthcoming feedback activities and by using the Feedback Form at https://bit.ly/2LtkvCk. We have gotten a lot of great ideas from you so far; now we need your perspectives and expertise to help us recommend the most effective and inclusive interventions for a re-envisioned virtual Instruction Section.
At the beginning of our second year’s work, we wish to thank Merinda Kaye Hensley for her responsive leadership and guidance, and everyone who has participated in this fascinating, ongoing discussion.