It’s all about connecting . . . tips for virtual committee work

Did you know that many of ALSC’s Committees now operate virtually? If you can’t attend both Annual and Midwinter conferences, you can still participate and contribute to the the work of ALSC. More geographically as well as demographically diverse and varied voices help to make the ALSC community stronger.

The ALSC Metamorphosis Team Task Force was formed in August 2011 with the exciting task of helping five more committees go virtual. The “Frontier Five” committees now operating virtually are Education, Managing Children’s Services, Arbuthnot, Children and Libraries, and Oral History. Other committees that operate virtually include Children and Technology, Quicklists Consulting, Distinguished Service Award, Grant Administration, and the Website Advisory Committee.

Along the way the ALSC Meta Task Force has collected some tools and tips that anyone working virtually might find helpful. We’ve created Best Practices for Virtual Committees, a section of the ALSC wiki which provides tips as well as recommended tools and  practices for committees operating virtually. Working collaboratively at a distance poses its own set of challenges — whether communication or scheduling or sharing and editing documents. There are also helpful tips for navigating and utilizing ALA Connect. We hope that the wiki will serve as a place to get ideas and support as well as a place for you to share your ideas and success stories.

What online tools can you just not do without? What advice can you share about what worked for you in the past? We are looking for input from anyone with experience working virtually. Because it is a wiki, anyone can contribute, and we’d love to hear from you!

You can visit the Best Practices for Virtual Committees Wiki at


Our guest blogger today is Robin L. Gibson, a member of the ALSC Metamorphosis Team Task Force. Other members of the Task Force are Jill Bickford, Chair, Annette Birdsall, Beth Gallego,  Anne Heidemann, and Suzanne Kovach.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at

One comment

  1. Lisa

    I’ve served virtually on several ALSC committees and find it to be a great way to stay involved if traveling to midwinter and annual is not always an option. The best practice wiki is a great idea, as free or inexpensive technology for virtual meetingneeds is still catching up to what committees and workgroups actually need. Any shared ideas will be appreciated. Here in NJ, our state level children’s services section holds some of its winter meetings virtually because of the weather. We use Google Talk or Chat, but it’s less than ideal.

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