Professional Development

It’s all about making connections!

Connecting is easier than ever: The NEW ALA Connect 

Maybe you’ve seen the messages from ALA leadership over the past few weeks warning us that all discussion lists and other association communications will cease to exist in their current form as of June 30, 2021. After that time, all communications between ALA and ALA divisions/committees will be handled through the new ALA Connect. And maybe these announcements have filled you with dread over the thought of having to now go to a separate place in order to stay in touch with ALA, ALA divisions, and your committees. 

Fear not! I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the features of the new ALA Connect: the best of which is that all communications can be sent directly to and replied directly from your email! A recent session on the features of the new ALA Connect provided useful and encouraging information, including:

  1. You still log into the system using your ALA login (, I had to login twice; once on the ALA home page and again when I got to the Connect page.
  2. Once you are logged in, you can set your preferences from the “My Connect” tab. 
  3. Once preferences have been set, the only time you’ll need to go back to this page is if you are posting a document, like meeting minutes or something like that; or if you want to change your preferences.
  4. Enrollment in your communities (divisions/committees) is automatic!
  5. All communications can be set to go directly to your email on a real time, daily, or weekly basis.
  6. You can respond to communications directly from your email including responding to all or privately to the sender. 
  7. If you are on the ALA Connect page, navigation is pretty easy with tabs for “microsites” (those are division or committee pages) that are specific to your appointments or interests. 
  8. Help is available via (real people get the message, you don’t have to go through an automated triage).

A very short review of the functions can be viewed via this link (  

The system is live now so give it a try!

And speaking of ALA connections… 

Intellectual Freedom sessions at ALA Annual Virtual Meeting, June 23-29, 2021 

The ALA Annual conference provides the opportunity for making connections and the upcoming virtual conference is no exception. 

Two events happening during conference time that do not require registration to the conference are:

The ALSC Intellectual Freedom committee meeting which will be held over Zoom on Tuesday, June 22nd at 11am Central time. Contact Allison G. Kaplan, co-chair of the IF committee for meeting link information at ALA conference registration is not required and guests are welcomed to attend.

The Intellectual Freedom Awards Celebration to be held on Thursday, June 24 at 5pm Central, featuring a keynote address from Kyle Lukoff, author of the frequently challenged books When Aidan Became a Brother and Call Me Max. ALA conference registration is not required. For more information and to register for this event see:

A third session that should be very interesting and does require ALA conference registration, is the on-demand presentation by the Office for Intellectual Freedom, “2020 Censorship by the Numbers.” This session provides a great opportunity to catch up on the latest trends in censorship which always involve challenges to children’s books including the top challenged title for 2020; George by Alex Gino.

For information about other intellectual freedom focused sessions happening at the ALA Annual Conference, see this helpful OIF blog post:

Allison G. Kaplan is Distinguished Faculty Associate in the Information School at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and co-chair of the ALSC Intellectual Freedom Committee. Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not  represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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