Tips for Newsletter Editors

The purpose of this tip sheet is to help the incoming Instruction Section Newsletter Editor/Co-Editor understand the newsletter production schedule. It is to be revised by the ACRL Instruction Newsletter Editor/Co-Editors as needed.


There are two deadlines for the newsletter: external and internal.

  • External deadline: The ACRL Production Editor sets the deadline to have the formatted PDF sent to ACRL. Deadlines are usually in October and April/May (depeding on the ACRL National Conference).
  • Internal deadline: The IS Newsletter Editor/Co-Editors set a deadline to receive submissions of newsletter content for approximately three to four weeks prior to the ACRL deadline.

ACRL Production Editor Contact information (as of January 2022)

Dawn Mueller
ACRL Senior Production Editor
225 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 1300
Chicago, IL 60601-7616
312.280.2516 | 1.800.545.2433, ext. 2516


The IS Newsletter Editor/Co-Editor is expected to attend virtual meetings of the Communication Committee and IS Advisory Council and participate in online discussions of these groups throughout the year. They should also monitor postings in the IS ALA Connect Community and IS Advisory Council Community for possible newsletter content.


  • Hold a virtual meeting with co-editor/outgoing editor to discuss newsletter production processes and to share access information for the IS Newsletter Google account and ALA Connect account.

August and January

  • Set production schedule for the fall/spring issue of the newsletter based on external deadline sent by the ACRL Production Editor.

September and February

  • Communicate with the IS Chair and Vice-Chair about the production schedule and their column(s).
  • Send call for submissions to IS Advisory Council, IS ALA Connect Community, and IS Social Media Coordinator. Always use internal deadline in call for submissions. (Sample call for submissions is available in the IS Newsletter Google account.)
  • Communicate with submissions authors. Edit submissions as they are received
  • One week prior to internal deadline:
    • Send reminder call for submissions.
    • Send IS Chair and Vice-Chair list of articles received/preliminary draft for inspiration.

October and March/April

  • One week prior to external deadline:
    • Send draft of newsletter to the IS Communications Committee Chair, IS Chair and Vice-Chair, and IS Publications Editor for review/proofreading.
  • Finalize content and layout, incorporating ACRL filler content sent by ACRL Production Editor
  • Send finished newsletter to ACRL Production Editor.

November and April/May

  • The ACRL Production Editor distributes the newsletter to Instruction Section members.
  • Share link to the newsletter in IS ALA Connect Community
  • Share link with individual authors/contributors and thank them for their contribution.
  • November: Notify Chair of IS Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox Committee of their responsibility of selecting a Sandbox project and contacting the contributor to solicit an article about their contribution for the spring issue.



Content for the newsletter is solicited from the Instruction Section Advisory Council and from IS members through the IS ALA Connect Community and social media. Content may also come from ACRL and other ACRL Sections. Several items are regular features:

  • From the Chair: Every issue, fall issue include a picture and put on front page; spring issue can move to page 2 or 3 (submission at Chair’s discretion; may be joint column with Vice-Chair)
  • From the Vice-Chair: Every issue, with photo (submission at Vice Chair’s discretion)
  • IS election candidates and results, IS and ACRL award call for nominations, and IS award winners
  • Committee news and announcements
  • Submission from a Sandbox contributor (spring issue)


The IS Newsletter Editor/Co-Editors should try to limit editing to grammar, spelling, and matters of consistency. See below for the style sheet for the newsletter.


The ACRL Production Editor dictates the preferred format for submission to ACRL. Currently, newsletters are submitted as PDFs, based on the guidelines given by the ACRL Production Editor.


The newsletter is usually six to eight pages, but there are no space restrictions.


The ACRL Production Editor distributes the newsletter electronically as a PDF to IS members via the IS membership list.


The IS Newsletter Editor/Co-Editors should use the most recent edition of The Chicago Manual of Style Author-Date citation system and Merriam-Webster dictionary. Following are a few common items to review for consistency and some modifications to the style.

  • web, website, web page, internet (17th Edition, Section 7.80)
  • email (CMOS Shop Talk)
  • Year ALA Annual Conference
  • Year ACRL Conference
  • The 17th Edition recommends writing “a.m.” and “p.m.,” though the more traditional small capitals are still accepted (with or without periods: AM and PM). (Section 10.41)
  • Exact times are written with numerals and separated with an en dash: 9:30–11:00 (Sections 6.78  and 9.37)
  • Numbers:
    • Although Chicago’s general rule (Section 9.2) is to spell out whole numbers from zero through one hundred, the IS Newsletter follows the alternative rule for journalistic contexts (Section 9.3) spelling out only single-digit numbers and using numerals for all others.
  • Percent (Section 9.18):
    • Although Chicago uses the word “percent” for humanistic copy (Section 9.18), the IS Newsletter uses the “%” symbol for readability and to save space.

Updated January 2022 by Lori DuBois