You may be an individual convener or coconvener for a discussion group. Discussion group conveners are responsible for planning in-person discussion group meetings for ALA Midwinter and ALA Annual.
Try to attend the ALA Annual right before your term as convener begins. During the conference, attend the ULS Executive Committee meeting and your discussion group's meeting. Find out what projects the ACRL Board or ULS Chair are prioritizing for the coming year and start thinking about how your discussion group could contribute.
Talk with the outgoing convener(s) early on. If you are new to the discussion group, find out what topics were recently discussed, how they went, and any advice they have for you. Confirm the discussion group information included in this LibGuide is still accurate.
Soon after your term begins in July, get in touch with your discussion group:
As a discussion group convener, you are also a member of the ULS Executive Committee. In this role, you will participate in the following:
To be most effective, take advantage of mentoring from previous discussion group conveners and ULS Executive Committee members. Be engaged by taking initiative, asking questions, and suggesting ideas.
You are required to have two in-person meetings per year: one at ALA Annual and one at ALA Midwinter. You can have online meetings between conferences if you like.
About six months before ALA Midwinter and Annual, the ULS chair will send out an e-mail asking about scheduling your in-person meetings, including room setup and technology requests. Requests are usually just replicated from the previous year, but as convener you can make changes. Be responsive to the chair and the instructions in the e-mail.
If you meet virtually between conferences, do so in whatever way is most convenient: conference call, Google Hangouts, Adobe Connect, Skype, etc. You can also request to schedule an Adobe Connect/WebEx space through ACRL for more formal online discussions. See ACRL policies.
Find out if a topic was proposed at a previous discussion. If so, you can run with this topic. For other ideas, you may want to try the following approaches:
Publicize the discussion several weeks before the conference. Post to the ULS e-mail list and the ULS Executive Committee list. To share it on the ULS blog and social media, fill out the promotion request form. This form is routed to the ULS Communications Committee that manages those channels.
Assign a discussion group convener or member to capture notes during the discussion.
Clean up notes that were taken and send the meeting summary to the ULS chair and ACRL staff liaison Megan Griffin within two weeks of the conference.
Generally, the ULS chair will ask for a report at the end of the year (soon after ALA Annual). This should include discussion recaps along with any challenges you had.
As your term is ending, get in touch with your successor and make their life easier: