American Library Association launches ALA Connect

From an ALA Press Release:

CHICAGO – The American Library Association (ALA) is now providing members a common virtual space to engage in ALA business and network with other members around issues and interests relevant to the profession.

ALA Connect ( has launched its first phase of operation, in which every ALA group will have the ability to utilize the following tools:

• Posts (which are like blog posts)
• Online docs (which are like collaborative, wiki-like pages or Google Docs)
• Group calendar (for listing meetings, deadlines, etc.)
• Surveys (for asking multiple questions at once)
• Polls (for asking a single question)
• Chat room (text-based, including the ability to save a transcript of the discussion)
• Discussion forums (also known as “bulletin boards”)

“Phase one offers new features that are unavailable via other ALA Web-based services,” said ALA President Jim Rettig. “Members can view all of their current ALA affiliations in one place.  They can search for other members and add them to their online network. And they can work together on a document online, rather than passing it around from one e-mail address to another. I look forward to seeing the new communities members create and the issues and interests they address.”

ALA Executive Director Keith Michael Fiels said, “ALA Connect has a unique value for members. It enables members to collaborate within a vibrant and dynamic online community, facilitating their professional growth and extending their contacts within the Association. Members can now easily form new groups around shared interests, respond to emerging issues or create and manage shared projects.”