Forum Planning Committee – September 2020 Report

The group met 11+ times this quarter.

Recent Activities

First Activity
Accessibility/Streaming SubCommittee (last 6 months):
* Met on February 12, 2020 and April 13, 2020
* We can make a call for volunteers for shepherding sessions as a way to get people involved to meet promotion/tenure requirements (badges in ALA Connect?)
* is a great resource to rely upon to ensure Forum is accessible to attendees
*Forum is transitioning to a Virtual Conference
*Project management will be important for tasks that need to get done (we can use tools like, Trello)
**Each subcommittee will have distinct roles for completing these tasks
**Berika will set up a Trello Board for the entire Forum Planning committee.
*Accessibility will always remain a top consideration:
**Presenters will need to be trained on accessibility to describe visuals for those who are visually impaired and captioning (or ASL live translation) will also be needed
**There also needs to be support for call-in users and those with low vision impairment
**Carli Spina is still slated to give a webinar to accepted speakers on accessibility; she will be updated on Forum and followed up with
** We need to first address the overall structure of streaming and offering a Virtual Forum with these considerations
**We need to enforce standards for accessibility for everyone involved
*LITA Office will be handling logistics (incl. streaming with the Platform selected), this subcommittee is to focus solely on accessibility of events)
* Carli Spina released a pre-recorded webinar for accepted Forum session speakers on "Accessibility for Presenters"
Meets LITA’s strategic goals for Member Engagement

Second Activity
Programming Subcommittee (last 6 months):
* Met on March 10, 2020; June 2, 2020; July 7, 2020, July 29, 2020
* Call for proposals extended 3 times from original March 30th date (April 8, May 22, and June 12)
* Registration will open soon, waiting on ALA to finish the registration form
* We can use FormStack (or alternative) to evaluate each session proposal
* To reduce bias in evaluation of submissions, identifying information will be removed (Name, Title, Institution) but Institution Type will be present (Academic, Public, School, Special, etc.)
* Total of 80 session proposals and a handful of preconference proposals were received
* *Preconference proposals were emailed about possible consideration in becoming a webinar/web course for LITA, ALCTS, and LLAMA respectively
**Session are still in the process of being selected
**All proposals will know their status by the end of August 2020
Meets LITA’s strategic goals for Education and Professional Development

Third Activity
Sponsorship Subcommittee (last 6 months):
* March 5, 2020; June 11, 2020
* After obtaining feedback about sponsorship opportunities for mid-size and smaller companies, we are revising our Sponsorship Propectus and making current sponsor, a top tier sponsor
* On 4/6/20, sponsorship activities were suspended until further guidance is received regarding the COVID-19 public health crisis about Forum Planning (SEE email dated 4/13 on COVID-19 Update.)
*Meeting resumed in June
*Updated emails informing potential sponsors of Core Virtual Forum went out in July 2020
Meets LITA’s strategic goals for Organizational Stability and Sustainability

Fourth Activity
UX/Sustainability Subcommittee (Last 6 months):
* Met on March 6, 2020; May 01, 2020; June 5, 2020; July 10, 2020
* Discussed recruiting additional local arrangements subcommittee members/volunteers for the local arrangement subcommittee by reaching regional listservs (when we thought Forum was going to be in-person)
* Had questions for the LITA Office which has since been addressed:
* On 4/6/20, UX/Sustainability and Local Arrangements activities were suspended until further guidance is received regarding the COVID-19 public health crisis about Forum Planning (SEE email dated 4/13 on COVID-19 Update).
* Resumed meetings on 05/01/20
*Met with Emerging Leaders for their project on sustainability for future in-person Forums
*Discussed ideas for structured socialization:
**Virtual Lounge Zoom room
**Collaboration Room
**Schedule breaks (chair yoga, magic show)
**Evening Social Events (game night, happy hour, escape room, netflix party)
*Establishing a sense of place for attendees
**The goal here is to create an environment and experience so that attendees feel like they have a connection to their fellow attendees and eliminate the sense of being with 100 strangers on the internet and replace it with a sense of being among colleagues.
*Create a map of virtual "rooms" or spaces where different activities/conversations are taking place so that people have a visual diagram of what's going on and available to them.
**Assign attendees to a "table" that will then determine their breakout room
**Send an optional swag-bag to attendees with a handful of items that may be useful during the conference to first 100-200 registrants.
*Session moderation and speaker preparation
**Speaker preparation
***Work with Programming subcommittee to provide recommendations for incorporating interactive elements into the presentation (see the SUNYLA best practices doc for some recommendations)
***Work with Programming/speakers to hold a test practice session to ensure all presenters are acclimated to the tools.
***Session moderations – This topic actually didn't come up in the meeting, but I thought of it later. Is it the UX subcommittee or the programming subcommittee that will be responsible for coordinating session "hosts". We do this for the in person conference and I think it will be just as useful, if not more useful to have in the virtual forum.
Meets LITA’s strategic goals for Member Engagement

Fifth Activity
Web/PR Subcommittee (Last 6 months):
* Met on March 10, 2020; June 01, 2020
*Official Hashtag: #CoreForum2020
*Sent out Targeted communications to LITA, ALCTS, and LLAMA respectively about tracks that might be of interest to membership for Call for Proposals
*We can work on a promotional video to promote Forum
**YouTube offers royalty free audio and library clips where no attributions are needed
*Language for updating the website with a COVID-19 contingency planning update (SEE COVID-19 Update email sent to Forum Planning Members, sent out, 4/13) – website will be updated to announce that Forum will go virtual
*Discuss a weekly PR calendar
**Every other Monday Berika will send out a draft in a Google Doc for promoting Forum
**Friday that same week is deadline for Web/PR Subcommittee to provide edits/feedback on that draft
**Following Monday final draft will be sent to Chrishelle (LITA), Brooke (ALCTS), and Fred (LLAMA) for distribution.
*Volunteer to work on various portions of the Forum website
**Statement of Appropriate Conduct Page – G.
**Planning Committee Page – K.
**Keynotes (will be published this week) — Berika will work with Web/PR Subcommittee on crafting an announcement
**All other pages (forthcoming based on speaker selections from programming and content/work from other subcommittees)
*Will work on article promoting Forum for ALCTS
Meets LITA’s strategic goals for Member Engagement

What will your group be working on for the next three months?
* After LITA Office confirms contract with Learning Times, working with them to set Forum schedule with accessibility and UX considerations
* Wait on ALA office to release registration
* Complete accepting sessions for Forum and send all proposals a response
* Complete planning of social events surrounding Forum
*Follow up with potential sponsors again

Please provide suggestions for future education topics, initiatives, publications, resources, or other activities that could be developed based on your group’s work.
All non-accepted proposals will and those that indicated interest for publication will be placed in touch with the appropriate Core Committee for webinars/web course/web series and publications.

Additional comments or concerns:
For Core Forum going forward (after 2020):
Appointments committee must establish a Forum Planning leadership team consisting of 2-3 overall chairs, AND a chair for each Forum subcommittee (Accessibility, Programming, Sponsorship, UX/Sustainability, Web/PR) to reduce stress/burn out on one person. This must happen upfront, before the committee is established.

Submitted by Berika Williams on 08/04/2020