Call to Order and Introductions
The February 2, 2021, meeting of the ACB Board of Publications commenced at 9:00 PM. All elected members and ex officio members were present, as well as ACB Braille Forum Editor, Sharon Lovering; Rick Morin, Debbie Hazelton, and Jason Castonguay representing ACB Radio; Public Relations Committee Chairperson, Katie Frederic; and ACB President, Dan Spoone.
Adoption of the Agenda for the February 2, 2021, Board of Publications Meeting
Zelda made a motion to approve the agenda which Deb had circulated to the board and members of ACB via e-mail, Penny seconded the motion, and the motion was approved unanimously.
Approval of the Minutes from the January 5, 2021 Meeting of the ACB Board of Publications
Sharon pointed out that Katie Frederick is actually Chair of the ACB Public Relations Committee, not the Public Affairs Steering Committee as reported in the January minutes, Penny will make the correction, and the January minutes were approved as corrected by a unanimous vote, following the motion and second made by Susan and Zelda.
The Board went into executive session to discuss the transition of ACB-L to ACB-Conversation. The Board approved selection of two applicants for the position of administrator for the new list. These individuals will act as moderators. Katie Frederick will facilitate the process of managing list administrators, and Deb and other members of the BOP can assist if needed.
Open Forum for Guests to Comment on Non-Agendized Items
There were no topics submitted for discussion.
E-Mail List Transition from ACB-L to ACB-Conversation: Next Steps
An ad hoc committee of Deb, Katie, Zelda and Penny had interviewed eight candidates who had expressed interest in moderating ACB-Conversation. They reported that several candidates were members new to ACB, having discovered the ACB community via ACB Community Calls, and one candidate had learned about ACB from the Hadley Institute. Next steps include informing those chosen of their selection and thanking all candidates and encouraging them to participate on the Conversation list to promote discussions and encourage conversation. Katie and Deb will train the new list administrators, and their hope is to make the transition happen at the beginning of March. They will also host a community call to answer any questions that members may have about the transition or the new list.
All Things Newsletter Editors
Deb asked Zelda to take the lead on BOP training and interactions with affiliate newsletter editors since she has already made a good start on doing this by introducing the topic on the affiliate presidents’ list. She reported that 55 percent of the affiliate presidents had responded to her pleas for editor information. She had suggested that we host a Zoom meeting for affiliate newsletter editors in March to discovered what kinds of topics they would like to see addressed during the Editor’s workshop to be hosted by the BOP during the ACB Conference and Convention. She is planning to host a Zoom meeting for affiliate newsletter editors in March. She said that she has already learned that quite a few affiliates don’t have newsletters but choose to communicate with their members via e-mail lists, phone blasts, and other methods.
She has asked whether newsletter editors would be interested in an editors’ e-mail list that would operate similarly to the affiliate presidents’ list.
Zelda is tentatively planning on Tuesday, March 30 for the editors’ Zoom call, Paul offered to help, and Katie offered to manage hosting for the zoom meeting.
Candidates’ Pages and Candidates’ Forums: Process and Timeline
Sharon needs the announcement of the dates for the candidates’ forums in February. Susan will be in charge of the two questions for the candidates’ pages. We will require candidates who want to participate in the candidates’ forums to answer the candidates’ questions on the Braille Forum Candidates’ Pages. The BOP agreed to host two candidates’ forums, and Deb will send proposed dates to us via the BOP e-mail list.
Candidates can also prepare a 30- to 60-second announcements for ACB Radio, and Debbie will begin planning for those spots now.
BOP Awards: Publicity
Sharon will be getting the articles eligible for the Freeman award to us after the March issue is out.
Zelda will talk about the Liggett award during her March Zoom call for newsletter editors.
In many years, our Henley award nominees have come from Clark and Claire (ACB Advocacy team). We can help.
Penny will also talk about the awards at the board meeting.
BOP Chair’s Report
Deb said that she had ben spending a lot of time on the interviews for and planning for the transition to ACB-Conversation.
BOP Editor’s Report
Sharon submitted the following report in advance of the meeting:
Editor’s Report, January 2021
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 96
Email distributed: 4,937
Bounces: 448 (mostly out of office vacation/auto reply, mailbox full, or “blocked”)
Email received: 4,489
Issue type: hard copy
Page count: 80
Large print distributed: 2,288
Braille distributed: 648
Cartridge distributed: TBA
Email distributed: 4,934
Deadlines for the Next Issues
March 2021(Braille Forum) – low vision: January 25th
April 2021 (E-Forum) – multicultural affairs: February 15th (due to leadership meetings)
I am currently working on the February issue, which focuses on audio description. I’ve got an abundance of articles – including two from Joel Snyder, one of which I’m holding for April, as it focuses on audio description and diversity.
I continue to do the recordings of the information about ACB’s community calls. Each day has its own separate box on the phone system. It’s much easier now to record than it was when we only had one voicemail box for it!
One long-term project I’m working on in between issues is getting copies of the Forum digitized, cleaned up and modernized to current large print standards, and organizing them on our Sharepoint drive (at the moment, from the 1990s through today). I’m including Word, text and BRF file formats in the Forum folders on Sharepoint. I am finished with 2002, and have 1990 through 2001 yet to work on. When I get through those issues, I’ll go back and look at the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, scan what I can, and go from there. It’s been fascinating so far – I’ve found some articles I’d completely forgotten about!
Another long-term project I continue to work on is identifying people in old convention photos. It’s been a bit challenging but fun, looking back.
One item I usually forget to mention is ACB’s Job Connection, our online job bank. As soon as I finish with the February issue, I will tackle the January update. I receive job listings from a variety of sources – the Department of Justice, various states’ Lighthouses for the Blind (South Texas is prolific), and other departments and organizations.
I still record the Washington Connection. I will work with Clark to get it updated again soon
Sharon Lovering, Editor
She added that she had assembled the March Table of Contents that day.
Debbie told the board about the upcoming concert planned for Valentine’s Day evening, featuring Jason and love songs. The concert, she said, would be a fund-raiser for ACB Radio, allowing contributors to receive an MP3 copy of Jason’s concert.
Debbie and others have been working on the ACB Radio lists with the goal of sending out fewer messages and cutting down on errors in announcements. To accomplish this, they plan to take away posting rights to most on that list.
They are providing more training for their broadcasters and streamers. They are starting another Reaper class. Rick and Jason and Debbie talked about the move to Groups.IO.
All of the ACB lists that were on the ACBlists server have been transitioned to Groups.IO. The transition went smoothly.
Jason reported one problem. People enjoy forwarding their e-mail messages to other people, and when they do this, the footer of the original message can be retained, including the unsubscribe link therein. And, when people receive this forward, they can click that link – and unsubscribe the original sender. So, Rick and Jason are looking into modifying the footer, but they haven’t found a way to do this according to Groups.IO processes. They will continue to look for a solution.
Another potentially problematic situation involves the fact that some of our lists are sublists within a larger category, and the way that Groups.IO is configured makes it impossible for ACB’s administrators to know exactly which sublist within a larger list a person is subscribed to. A Groups.IO beta, now available, may solve this particular issue which is a known bug.
Rick said that he has heard from a couple of people wondering where their lists have gone – they weren’t moved to Groups.IO because they weren’t identified as active – but the problem is easily solved.
Dan asked whether affiliate-sponsored lists all have moderators and whether or not we should be responsible for providing training to those moderators. Deb and Rick said that, if an affiliate’s list doesn’t have an administrator, that list shouldn’t belong in our administrative per view. If they don’t have an administrator, they need to take their list somewhere else. We don’t care how, or even if, they moderate their lists, but we do care that they have someone assigned to administer their lists.
Rick said we need to develop training for these list administrators. We need to learn who is an administrator for each list, and while we are finding out this information, we can begin to develop the training. Rick said that, actually, Groups.IO Quick Start Guides already provides lots of very informative training, and we need to encourage list administrators to take advantage of that resource.
After some discussion, Deb proposed that those from ACB Radio who administer ACB’s and ACB affiliates’ lists need to come up with a proposal for the processes they will use to administer affiliate lists, including who is responsible for what, what kinds of training should be involved, and how problems will be resolved.
Questions to which we need answers include:
- What’s the difference between a list owner and a list moderator?
- What, if any, understanding to affiliates need to have concerning their rights and responsibilities and how problems or disputes will be resolved?
- What is the process for our admitting a new list?
If affiliates decide to leave our oversight on Groups.IO, we will provide support to help them leave our umbrella and take their lists somewhere else.
Jeff initiated a discussion regarding what, in addition to ACB board meetings, should be made available via streaming on ACB Radio. Dan said that some trainings are, by definition, not good candidates for streaming, for example, trainings on sexual harassment and misbehavior and trainings on diversity and inclusion, which need to provide a safe space for participants to share feelings. Other kinds of trainings which have been provided to board members have been team-building exercises and, as such, might not be good candidates for streaming.
Paul made a motion and Penny seconded the motion to begin streaming the Board of Publication meetings, beginning with our March meeting. The motion carried, unanimously.
There was no report under Social Media, and the discussion regarding e-mail lists occurred earlier on the agenda. Katie reported briefly on planned discussions for upcoming meetings of the Public Affairs Steering Committee, which included the ACB Communications Plan, and coordinating the Events Calendar with next year’s ACB Braille Forum themes.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:10 p.m. The next meeting of the ACB Board of Publications is scheduled for Tuesday, March 2, 2021.
Submitted by Penny Reeder