Submit a Proposal
Submit a Request
Nominate Yourself or a Colleague
- Christian Larew Memorial Scholarship
- Frederick G. Kilgour Award
- Hugh C. Atkinson Memorial Award
- LITA/Ex Libris Student Writing Award
- LITA/Library Hi Tech Award
It is imperative to establish early, frequent, and consistent communication with your committee in order to complete the work required for your committee. There are some minimum requirements for communication, but you should reach shared expectations with your committee for what additional communication will help. You will be chair of the committee from 1-4 ALA years, which run from the end of the Annual Conference. If you don’t start working with your committee until September or October, you’ve already lost 1/6 of your year! So make sure you get started sooner.
Sample Timeline for an ALA Year:
Plan to use your Connect group’s email address for most committee work in between meetings (you can find it listed on your group’s Connect home page). In addition to ALA Connect, you have access to the LITA Blog, the LITA-L mailing list, LITA Facebook, LITA Twitter, and the LITA Leaders Connect group (which includes both committee and IG chairs). We’ve also provided some tips on selecting which communication tool to use when working with your committee.
As you create documents with your committee, ensure that you are storing your documents in the correct place. Working or collaborative documents should be posted in LITA’s Google Drive. Documents that will be made available to the public should be posted in the Public LITA Documents library on ALA Connect. Archived versions of documents and reports should be saved in your committee’s Connect group in the library. See this tip sheet for more information on document management.
That said, your committee members may have other ways they like to communicate. Do what works, but make sure that you document these discussions where others can access them in order to maintain openness, transparency, and a historical record in LITA and ALA.
There are a few types of meetings you will preside over as chair. The major meetings may include one at Annual Conferences, and those should be a high priority for you if your group decides to meet in person. But most of the work that you do will take place in between those meetings, and you should plan to have a few additional meeting times throughout the year via online meeting software or some other method. No matter what type of meeting, remember that ALA has an Open Meetings Policy, which states that meetings (virtual and in-person) are open to all ALA members and members of the press, unless the meeting will be discussing private information about specific individuals or institutions. There are specific rules surrounding closed meetings, which you should make sure to follow if you are chairing a committee which might be affected by this. Award and nomination jury meetings are always closed to protect the privacy of applicants and nominees. Contact the LITA Office if you have a question about whether a meeting should be open or closed.
As chair, you will preside over the meeting. You don’t need to be formal in your approach to running meetings, but remember that ALA uses Robert’s Rules of Order if you need some guidance on meeting procedure. A brief reference sheet for using these rules is available. For tips specifically on presiding over virtual meetings, see this document on facilitating virtual meetings.
Other things to keep in mind:
Where possible, committee work should be structured and delegated so that it can be done in advance of regular committee meetings. To whatever extent possible, in-person meetings at the ALA Annual Conferences should be used to examine progress in planning committee activities, outline future activities and assignments, and evaluate past activities, not to actually do work that can be done in advance of the meeting.
Meetings, programs, or managed discussions planned for ALA Annual Conferences should be scheduled according to the timeline and guidelines set forth in the LITA Manual. Section 5 of the LITA Manual provides a suggested timetable for important planning benchmarks and should be used as a guide to steps in planning for programs and/or meetings at Annual. Generally you will need to put in room requests for Annual by February.
If you plan to hold programs or managed discussions, be aware that there are specific deadlines and criteria you must meet. Work with the LITA Office as soon as possible after the Annual Conference to ensure you meet these. Detailed information on proposal submission and specific deadlines will be provided to Committee and Interest Groups Chairs each year via the LITA Leaders Connect community and at Joint Chairs Meetings at ALA Annual (which are always scheduled for Saturday from 8:30 to 10:00 AM).
It is also important for chairs of committees and interest groups to watch for emails coming from LITA staff, which will contain additional information about deadlines for program proposals, meeting room reservations, as well as links to ALA meeting planning documents for the current conference. Proposals for Annual Conference plans are due as early as August for the upcoming year, so advance planning is critical from the start of each Chair’s term.
The official instructions in the LITA Manual are out of date. In general, all records should be posted on the committee’s ALA Connect page. Post the meeting minutes as soon as possible after the meeting. Make sure that you have identified in advance who is keeping minutes for the meeting! Notify your committee members via your Connect group when you have posted items. If there are particular members of LITA staff or the Board who need to be consulted, it would be a good idea to send the information to them as well.
Interest groups are much less formal than committees. Anyone who wants to can participate, and interest groups can accomplish a great deal if properly managed. Interest groups are a great way to work with people outside of LITA or with people who want to get involved with a group but don’t have the interest or ability to serve on a committee. Interest groups have created a toolkit for implementing makerspaces in libraries, Patron Privacy Checklists for Libraries, and other resources that go beyond one program at ALA Annual each year, so be bold in discussing what your group wants to accomplish.
A great way to help orient a new chair and preserve continuity of leadership for your committee is to reach out as soon as possible to the incoming chair with an offer to meet or exchange messages and answer any immediate questions the new chair has regarding their first steps as your successor. Be ready to pass on the documentation from your time as chair to the new person at this first meeting or exchange, and provide your contact information so that you can be a resource to the new chair. This handoff meeting both preserves the legacy of your leadership and allows the incoming chair to keep the group moving forward in the transition period.
The items you should handoff to the new chair include:
The former chair is expected to be available to the incoming chair as an important resource for procedural and historical committee information. While you are not expected to do any of the work of the committee, it is a great gesture to reach out periodically to the new chair for the first several months to make sure things are going well. Schedule a phone call or coffee date (if geographically feasible) to talk over the work of the committee.
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As chair of a committee or interest group, you have a responsibility to work with LITA staff and leadership. This includes being proactive about asking for help.
LITA is unlike other ALA divisions in that it has a fairly flat hierarchy. You can ask questions of any officer on the board, including the president, and feel free to show up to any meetings unless they are explicitly closed.
Learn more about board structure and duties. The board consists of
Be sure to read, or at least skim, the Bylaws and Manual, especially the sections on committees and interest groups. Not everything in the Bylaws or Manual is correct or up-to-date, so make sure to double check normal practice with someone else.
Another handy and not well-known enough page to read over is the LITA History. This will explain why things have evolved the way they have, and help newer members to know what more long-term members have done in the past.
The LITA staff are professional association staff who work out of the ALA headquarters in Chicago. Just as librarians are professionals with training specific to libraries, association professionals have training specific to managing and promoting the work of the association. LITA has two staff members. Their names and contact information are available on LITA’s website.
There’s also a page on the LITA Documentation site for when you’re not sure which staff member to contact about a particular topic.
Each committee has one or more staff liaisons who will help you with the practical matters associated with getting your committee’s work done. Make sure to note who your staff liaison is and communicate with them early and often. Because LITA only has two staff members, they rely on you, the member leaders, to get work done and be proactive.
Each committee has an official charge, which you can find on the committees website. Make sure that you read this and understand what it means. Charges are not always clear to the uninitiated. Ask for clarification from your LITA Board liaison and former chairs if necessary. Be able to explain it in plain English to your committee members and other LITA or ALA members. Starting with clarity about what you need to accomplish will aid you in planning your committee’s work.
If you feel your committee’s charge does not accurately reflect your committee’s work, you can work to update the charge. Committee charges are reviewed periodically by the Bylaws & Organization Committee, and a committee can suggest a change in their charge to the Bylaws & Organization Committee at any point.
That said, the “official” charge may not tell the whole story. There may be some unwritten traditions and rules in your committee that may or may not be worth preserving. You can usually find this out from former chairs, members, and LITA staff. Just because something has always been done a certain way is no reason to continue, but if something works, it may be worth it to continue. Make sure that you document “unofficial” procedures for the future. Your committee’s ALA Connect group might be a good place to do this.
Make sure that you understand the history of your committee. Read old meeting minutes on ALA Connect. Set a time to meet the former committee chair at an ALA conference or have a phone/online conversation. Ask for documents relating to procedures and the committee’s work, and ask what worked and what didn’t, and why. As above, this will help you define the charge for your committee, but it will also help you avoid making mistakes. If the former chair is not available, you should plan to have such a conversation with your Board and staff liaisons.
Talk to other committee and IG chairs during your term (committee chairs have access to the chairs mailing list). These are your colleagues who are facing many of the same issues as you are. You should attend the Committee and IG Joint Chairs Meeting (always scheduled for Saturday from 8:30-10:00 am at Annual Conferences).
Your committee or interest group may have ideas for programs or services that it could offer. In many cases, you will need to work with another committee to ensure your idea can be accomplished in an efficient manner. If you aren’t sure, ask your Board liaison if your idea should be handed off to another group for approval or completion. All committee and interest group chairs are automatically members of the Chairs Committee, and this is another resource for finding out how you can work with other committees.
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We all know that no project or relationship is perfect. A mark of leadership is your ability to foresee potential problems and react to them, as well as to take responsibility when things aren’t going well.
Some normal problems you can expect are as follows:
You may have agreed to chair a committee without understanding the time involved. Or, maybe something changed at your job. Maybe you had a family emergency. For whatever reason, you are falling behind.
As you probably know, “I’m busy” is not an excuse. When you say this to other people, they hear “I didn’t care enough about this to manage my time effectively.” That may not seem fair, but you agreed to be chair. There are probably other people in LITA who would welcome the leadership opportunity and are less “busy.” Make sure that you don’t wait until it’s too late to complete something. Be honest as soon as you start to feel swamped. Set up a discussion with your members to delegate work. More often than not, members feel that their skills and talents are not being used to their full potential. You as the chair should manage the work, not do it all yourself. Divide up work into very small chunks. Rather than trying to complete everything in one three hour call, could you have one hour calls once a week?
If you have a genuine emergency (family member in hospital, library building flooded, etc.) make sure to let your committee, the LITA staff, and Board know as soon as possible, particularly if there are deadlines to be met. You will probably want to hand over your responsibilities to someone else, either temporarily or permanently.
We are the first to admit that “life happens” and is often our of our control. Let us help if you need help.
As above, the charge for your committee may be unclear to you. You may discover that your committee members, past committee chair, or the LITA Board have a very different set of priorities in mind than you do. Changes within ALA or the library world at large may change your vision while you are in the middle of working on it.
Change is a reality of life and keeps things interesting. Strong leaders welcome change and are able to be flexible to change course in the middle. But this is sometimes easier said than done. Periodically review your plans for your committee. What no longer rings true? Discuss potential problems with your committee and with LITA leadership sooner rather than later. Drop things that are no longer working, and try something new in their place.
People join LITA committees for all sorts of reasons, some more noble than others. Some may truly believe in the charge of your committee and want to affect change in ALA and the library world as a whole. Some may be looking for a line on their CV for the promotion and tenure committee. Maybe they’re frustrated at work and need an outlet for accomplishment and recognition. From time to time, you may feel that your committee is not helping you accomplish anything, either by apathy or by not staying focused on the business at hand.
Consider first if you have provided a good framework for your committee members to participate. Do you have a schedule for regular check-ins on ALA Connect? Do you have clear guidelines and plans about what work is to be done by whom? As chair, it is your responsibility to set the agenda and start the conversation.
If certain committee members never speak up in meetings, add their thoughts to a discussion, or volunteer to do something, get in touch with them personally. Is there something you could do to make them more comfortable? Are they confused about what to do? Is there something you could do better? As professionals, LITA committee chairs and members should be able to give and take constructive criticism, and it is important to not let someone’s talents go to waste because of a misunderstanding.
If someone is genuinely not participating in the work of a committee and none of the above works, make sure that you communicate this to your Board and staff liaisons. If a member misses two meetings without explanation or if they don’t respond to repeated contact, they should be removed from the committee (see the LITA Manual for procedures). If someone is consistently apathetic or disruptive, make sure you have discussed this with the LITA President-Elect, President, and Executive Director.
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There are a few types of meetings you will preside over as chair. The major meeting is at ALA Annual conferences, and those should be a high priority for you should you choose to hold an in-person meeting there. But most of the work that you do will take place in between those meetings, and you should plan to have regular meeting times throughout the year virtually.
Virtual discussions benefit from clear planning and facilitation, which might feel over-the-top for in-person discussions. This document provides tips on facilitating virtual committee meetings. Note that it does not refer to Robert’s Rules of Order (the parliamentary procedure ALA/LITA uses), which is usually too formal for most committee meetings. However, those rules of order can be easily integrated with the tips below.
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In today’s world, there are many different methods for communication: in person meetings, email, video conferences, phone calls, and collaborative editors, among others. This document is intended to help you decide which to use when communicating with your committee.
In person meetings can generally only happen during ALA Annual, and not all committee members may be present. To ensure that committee work happens throughout the year, we recommend that virtual communication be the primary communication method for every LITA committee.
Email is helpful for data gathering and information sharing that doesn’t require real-time interaction. Use it for scheduling meetings, sharing progress, and issuing follow-up reminders. Email is beneficial because committee members may respond whenever they have time and have more time to think about their answers, and it leaves a record which is relatively easy to search for at a later stage. However, discussions may take longer, people may feel less compelled to participate than if they were in a meeting, and information isn’t always collected in a single place.
See this document on picking a web conferencing software.
Video conferences are helpful when two or more committee members must discuss key issues, brainstorm a solution, prioritize, or make decisions in a forum that requires synchronous interaction and discussion. The ability to see colleagues’ reactions can make video conferences more engaging and productive than phone conferences. Visual cues can make it easier for those who are hard-of-hearing to follow along, and video allows them to invite in an ASL interpreter or captionist if needed. Facilitators should consider selecting video conferencing software that also allows users to call in via telephone, as not everyone may have access to a webcam or microphone. This is another method that allows hard-of-hearing users to use TTY devices during the meeting.
As video conferences require finding a time where everyone is available to meet for a set length of time, they are not the preferred mode of communication for quick, one-off questions or for sharing updates/progress where no further discussion is necessary.
(See doc on facilitating; the tips below are for participants)
Phone calls may be convenient for one-on-one discussions, if you have something that will take too long to discuss over email and video communication may not be necessary, feasible, or convenient. Video conferences are generally preferred to phone conferences for meetings with three or more people, but a phone conference may be a backup solution if a video conference fails.
Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, etc.). Chairs should ensure their committee documents are in LITA’s Google Drive folder and that ownership of the documents is assigned to email@example.com.
Collaborative editors are useful for drafting documents, creating agendas, taking notes for meetings, and project management/tracking. Collaborative editors erase the need for sending documents back and forth and tracking version numbers, and they allow for information about the committee to be saved in a single folder. Collaborative editors are often used in conjunction with one of the above forms of communication.
Some chairs like to use a single Google Doc for all of their agendas and minutes as a running document in reverse-chronological order. This way there is only one URL for the group to remember and use throughout the year, and everything is one place for browsing or searching. See this tipsheet for more advice about Document Management.
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Running your virtual team is an all-year commitment. Once the excitement following ALA Annual Conference has hushed, it can be easy to let some of your team’s work fall to the wayside. This can result in a rush of work in the weeks leading up to conference season. This guide is intended to give you some concrete steps to help you evenly distribute the work you have to do throughout the year.
In-person meetings and conferences are an exciting time to brainstorm and to get ideas flowing. Sometimes this is when decisions are made and ideas or initiatives are born. Do you ever find that once you get back on the plane and head home, that some of the driving force behind your great ideas can get stuck in neutral?
While you are meeting your teammates face-to-face, be sure to make concrete plans to meet online, call, or follow up regarding the exciting things you discussed when you met face-to-face.
When scheduling a meeting, there are several tools to make the process hassle-free.
The first step is to determine everyone’s availability. Doodle is an easy and free tool to survey availability. The poll creator sets initial days/times, and then can email a link to group members. Once group members have participated, a day and time can be selected. When using Doodle, ensure you enable time zone support so that there is no confusion for attendees in different regions.
Some groups also like to use WhenIsGood (also free) for scheduling meetings. It’s up to you which tool works best for you.
Once you determine the time for a meeting, consider using The Time Zone Converter’s event link generator. Enter the time of the event and your time zone, and then you can send a link that attendees can click on in order to see the time in their own time zone.
Google Calendar is another useful tool for organizing and scheduling meetings. It allows for individuals to create multiple calendars, with various sharing options, to manage and schedule events. With this tool you can make recurring events, add guests, specify notifications, make the calendar public or private, color code sessions, and add video calls (to events). Shared calendars can be useful for multiple users, and there is an app for mobile access. It also integrates with many tools; many of the virtual meeting tools have a Google Calendar plugin that populates a personal calendar. In fact, many web conferencing services have built-in tools for scheduling meetings. Committee members do not necessarily need to subscribe to the software to have meeting integration with Outlook, etc.
Also, each ALA group has a dedicated ALA Connect group, which includes a calendar tool. Events can be downloaded from the Connect calendar to Outlook, Google, or iCal personal calendars, although the system does not send email notifications when a new event is added to the calendar.
While tools help the scheduling process, creating a consistent meeting schedule early on allows group work to stay on track.
In order to ensure that team members are prepared for meetings, it’s a good idea to set a reminder in your own calendar a week in advance of your scheduled meetings. You can use this as an opportunity to email your team to remind them about the upcoming meeting and to remind members about pending action items. You can also add reminders in Google Calendar and Outlook.
You may also want to create a shared calendar to store your group’s project deadlines and targets. This allows all committee members to engage with calendar content. It also helps you to prevent your committee work from getting lost on the back burner.
One easy way to do this is with Google Calendar, which allows you to create and share a group calendar. You can even view a snapshot of your shared calendar in Outlook if you prefer to get notifications that way.
At the beginning of your team’s mandate, you can outline important milestones in your shared calendar. This can include important due dates, elections information, meetings, and other things that you don’t want to fall off your radar. Your dates don’t need to be set in stone; you can use the shared calendar to remind you to schedule a meeting later in the year.
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Running webinars and hosting online instruction sessions are not very different than hosting virtual meetings, from the presenter perspective. Here are some tips to help things run smoothly.
Tip: Ideas for educational programs should go to the Education Committee. Your committee or interest group is free to develop the content in consultation with this committee, who will help with scheduling, marketing, and logistics.
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This guide was originally developed by the 2013 Emerging Leaders LITA project team and was repurposed for this toolkit.
We can use many of the same skills we use in our daily work to facilitate the work of a committee and/or interest group. Some methods used in software development, such as waterfall and Agile, work very well in managing committee projects. There is a lot more to project management than we can cover here, so make sure to read up beyond these basics if you want to explore this topic further.
When working on a project, it is important to be organized.
During the time you are chair of your committee you will be expected to achieve certain outcomes. To that end, you should expect to spend some time setting goals for your committee and planning its work in consultation with your committee members. Understand the concrete deliverables expected from your group. These may vary in complexity, and you should work backward from the deadline(s) for those deliverables to understand what is realistic.
For instance, if your deliverables are finite, such as a certain number of programs, a conference, or a scholarship recipient, you will want to manage your time to make sure that you meet the very real deadlines that exist inherently in these. If you fail to deliver the programs, conference, or scholarship recipient, it will be very clear.
Not all committees have such concrete deliverables. Your committee may need to handle work as it comes up, without specific items to accomplish. In this case, you may want to establish a baseline of what has been accomplished in prior years and aim to meet that your first year, exceed it your second year, or whatever works best for you.
In either case, planning the work ahead of time in consultation with the members of your committee and with clearly communicated deliverables and timeline will keep everyone on track. Set specific goals and outcomes related to those goals, and delegate committee members to specifically “own” deliverables.
Example concrete deliverable planning:
Committee Members in Charge: John, Mary
Deadline: January 30, 2021
Example non-concrete deliverable planning:
Last year: 3 conference calls, 2 in-person meetings. Accomplished X, Y, Z.
Goal for this year: 4 conference calls, 1 in-person meeting. Expect to accomplish W, X, Y, Z.
Owners for W and Y: Susan, Jane
Owners for X and Z: Mary, Tom, Sam
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There are many different kinds of video meeting platforms available today that can improve virtual meetings and increase participant engagement and interaction. Choosing the right platform and becoming practiced and proficient with their use can ensure great results for virtual meetings. Matching the tools and technologies to meeting objectives is the first step. Video meetings are most useful for sharing information with participants in real time. Software applications include tools for: presentations, webinars, chat, screen & document sharing and more.
Note that LITA offers free access to Zoom for committees and interest group meetings. Zoom is our recommended tool for online meetings and conference calls.
Recommendation: Best used as a text, phone, and video chat client
Cost: Skype is free for video & instant messaging | Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Microsoft 365 support or Outlook Plugin| Meeting Scheduling: Share a link to group call | Record Meetings: No | Audio Support: Use any existing Lync-compatible phones or other audio devices.
+ Free for video and instant messaging for up to 25 people
– Not a fully-fledged VoIP system
– Skype Microsoft Office supported only with Home & Office 365 or Outlook Plugin
– Changing video feed in live call has to be done in the pop up box
Recommendation: Best used as a text, phone, and video chat client
Cost: Skype for Business is included in many institutional subscriptions to MS Office Suite | Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Business Essentials/Premium | Meeting Scheduling: Skype for Business Integrated into Outlook | Record Meetings: Capture audio, video, IM, screen sharing | Audio Support: Use any existing Lync-compatible phones or other audio devices.
+ Close integration with MS Office
+ Skype for Business subscription is not needed for all parties in group, just facilitator
+ Low user per month cost
– Not a fully-fledged VoIP system
– Skype for Business Office 365 Business Essentials and Premium only
– Changing video feed in live call has to be done in the pop up box in both apps
Skype for Business has close integration with MS Office. Anyone who has used the consumer version of Skype will feel right at home with Skype for Business. As a replacement for Microsoft’s Lync, the videoconferencing application is pitched at Office 365 users. Being able to jump onto a video call with colleagues from within Outlook makes the whole experience seamless. As a meeting tool it offers the ability to use a digital whiteboard and also access standard Microsoft Office documents. And if you need enterprise-level SharePoint and Exchange support, this is readily available.
Recommendation: Best used for hosting webinars, online presentations
Cost: Monthly subscription plan starting at $19 Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Screen-share with meeting attendees | Meeting Scheduling: Integrated into Outlook | Record Meetings: Record whole meeting including content shared | Audio Support: VoIP and HD Voice (wideband audio) supported in Meeting Centre
+ Easily scales as your needs expand; meetings, webinars, training events, etc.
+ Secure login
+ File sharing & interactive chat capability
– Pricey when you need to add multiple users; tiered pricing plans: https://www.webex.com/pricing/
– Free version has a two-person limit
– Not compatible for hosting on Chromebooks, but users can attend on them.
– Institutions with IT restrictions may run into issues as users cannot install their own software or add-ins
As one of the leaders in videoconferencing, WebEx is aimed at larger businesses even though it has a free plan that enables just two people to connect for free. The WebEx Meeting Centre is infinitely more useful, as you can set up personalized videoconferencing rooms. Ease of use is comparable to several other ‘full suite webinar’ type of products, like Adobe Connect. Facilitators need a subscription; attendees do not need an account. Users can be required to register for attendance, which helps with tracking for larger groups.
The application offers VoIP audio and integration with MS Outlook on Windows or Mac platforms. If you are new to videoconferencing and VoIP for that matter, beginning with WebEx and then graduating to WebEx Meetings, and subsequently onto WebEx Meeting Centre is a logical progression.
Recommendation: Best used for free unlimited audio conferencing due to ease of use
Cost: Monthly subscription plans starting at $18 Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Office documents | Meeting Scheduling: Use Google Calendar, Outlook or Office 365 | Record Meetings: Only with Pro/Business versions | Audio Support: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) free for any user.
+ Works with Slack, HipChat, and Trello
+ No plugins to download for conference attendees
+ Free limited to 10 participants
– Monthly subscription fee: Pro ($18) and Business ($25); annual payment may offer discount for some institutions
– Better scheduling and calendar features are needed; for example if the organizer is away, meetings cannot happen, unless the organizer adds another person and assigns facilitator role.
– No keyboard mapping for non-English keyboards
All of the latest videoconferencing applications strive to remove any technical hurdles that might trip up the user. Not having to install apps or plugins, or remember dial-in codes and phone numbers is what makes Join.me a powerful and effective way to get into videoconferencing for the first time.
You can try the system out with ten other people for free before opting for a premium service. It’s also the ability to share documents (including Evernote) that makes this offering a very practical way into video conferencing for smaller businesses in particular. The Pro subscription allows 50 participants, 10 video feeds, unlimited audio, customization, recording, screen sharing, and a meeting scheduler for Outlook or Google Calendar. The Business subscription allows 250 participants and Salesforce integration. Many integrations including Chrome, Outlook, Office 365, Trello, Slack, GSuite, Hubspot, etc.
Recommendation: Best used for those with a GSuite subscription
Cost: Free for up to 10 users; prices vary for more users |Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Plugin to schedule meetings and join Hangouts video calls from Microsoft Outlook | Meeting Scheduling: Use Google Calendar or Gmail, Outlook or Hangouts desktop or mobile device app, or web browser | Record Meetings: Enable hangouts “On Air” | Audio Support: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) free for any user.
+ Video, chat, audio and screen sharing easy to use if familiar with Google Suite
+ Users do not need an individual account
– Bandwidth needy; users need fast internet speeds for reliable streaming
– Functions on most Internet browsers but works best in Chrome
Recommendation: Best used for groups of 300 participants or less; LITA’s recommended tool for committee and interest group meetings
Cost: Free for LITA committees and interest groups | Platforms: Windows, macOS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Plugin available | Meeting Scheduling: Integrated scheduling gives multiple options | Record Meetings: Local recording allows you to record meeting video and audio locally on your computer or Shared Drive with uploading capabilities | Audio Support: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) free for any user.
+ Good video, audio, and screen-sharing quality
+ Co-annotation and whiteboarding
+ Integration with Slack and other tools
– Not ideal for big groups or presentations beyond 300 participants
Recommendation: Best used for instruction and webinars.
Cost: Free trial |Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android | MS Office Support: Microsoft Lync Add-in | Meeting Scheduling: Microsoft Lync Add-in enables scheduling for anyone who has access to your network | Record Meetings: Recording enabled | Audio Support: Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) free for any user.
+ Unlimited and customizable meeting rooms; webinar, screen-sharing and polling capabilities
+ Users do not have to sign up for an account to use since it’s browser-based
Recommendation: Best used for integration with Chromebox for Meetings
Cost: Basic Plan: $5/mo; Business Plan: $10 month; Enterprise Plan: Contact Google for pricing |Platforms: Windows, Mac OS, G Suite App for iOs, Android | MS Office Support: Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010 & 2013 plug-in | Meeting Scheduling: Set up a meeting and share a link | Record Meetings: Recording enabled | Audio Support: Dial-in phone numbers for every meeting with an Enterprise subscription only; G Suite Basic & Business requires audio participation via a computer or mobile app.
+ Included with GSuite monthly plan
+ In addition to virtual meeting capabilities, Meet allows virtual training, webinars, remote interviews and screen sharing
+ GSuite Enterprise Plan allows for 30 people in a meeting with no time limit
– A Hangouts Meet meeting can only be initiated by someone who is part of an organization that is subscribed to G Suite
– Dial-in phone numbers for every meeting with an Enterprise subscription only; G Suite Basic & Business requires audio participation via a computer or mobile app.
– Every participant must be individually admitted to a meeting.
Hangouts Meet is better suited to an internal audience or a familiar audience — mainly due to the “camera on” default and the ability for any participant to start presenting their screen at any time.
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