På IUG-mötet i San Francisco 2013 var jag på en session som handlade om regionala föreningar. Det visade sig vara regioner i USA, inte internationella föreningar, så jag var en udda fågel. Men visst har vi en hel  del gemensamt. Jag fick lite minnesanteckningar som jag publicerar här:

IUG Regionals Forum
Ballroom 1&2
April 24, 2013

Presenter: Rose Nelson, Colorado Alliance of Research Libraries, Member of the IUG Steering Committee
Attendance: 17 people
Regional Groups section of the website (under Other Resources on homepage à Regional and Interest Groups)

The groups each have a listserv for sharing information about events and regional conferences.  Some areas are more active than others.  Regional groups are a great way to include people who couldn’t make it to the national meetings.  They are a good chance to share information from the national conference or share local projects or regional interests.

Web hosting is available but there is likely a fee for the service.  Or, you can create your own website.  IUG can host a listserv for your region.  Each region should have a contact/coordinator.  Some may need to be updated.

Questions or ideas?

Suggestion: We had a tradition of how to run the regional conference and then learned about other models.  I think it would be interesting for areas to write up how they organize.  It might be a good idea to do a presentation about how to maintain a regional IUG group.

Suggestion: I think sharing the programs that the regions have put on would be very interesting.  Sharing the program or a list of topics, especially, would be helpful.

The format of the Regionals website is new but most of the information is the same.
Suggestion: A small group of people might help to maintain website, update information, and facilitate sharing between regional groups. 

Q: You mentioned IUG can host listservs?  Is there a charge?
A: I don’t think there is a charge but I will follow-up.
Marjorie from Innovative:
New library relations team is tasked with supporting the regional groups.  Nathan James is library relation manager for Southeast, and he is at the forum.  Your local library relations manager can help support you either financially or organizationally.

Suggestion: We have invited people from Innovative to our regional and inevitably it has been people from sales who come.  We would be interested in having a trainer or person with a different background attend.

Response: That’s a great idea.  Library relation managers can help to fill that kind of gap and otherwise provide organizational support.  Let us know what you need (refreshments, programming, problems, etc.).  For example, at one regional a trainer came and taught print templates.  At another, they did a WebEx about create lists.  We don’t want to exclude sales, but that shouldn’t be the whole focus.

Suggestion: It would be helpful to share in a group like this about what would make a good regional conference and how to handle the logistics. 

Response: That’s a good idea.  We want to encourage collaboration (but not take over). 

One of the big questions is whether you want to deal with money (budgets, charges, etc.).  Staying away from monetary transactions makes it much simpler.  Otherwise, legal issues can become complicated.  It can also make it harder to find volunteers.   Hosting a website can be a challenge if you don’t charge/handle money. 

Southern California charges for cost recovery and accepts credit cards in a very small window.  Aims for zero-balance.  Has a small bank account, which comes in very handy.  Is registered as a non-profit.
Suggestion:  It would be helpful to have a starting guide for forming a regional group.  Some kind of guide with samples of bylaws, paperwork, etc.  Prevent people from having to reinvent the wheel.

Suggestion:  We’re a multi-state regional.  We have found it helpful to attach ourselves to another regional conference.  That helps to bring in other people.  We held the conference in New Mexico but skyped it back to Colorado.

Web based training can be another way to bring people together.  For example, in Texas it was hard to organize across the state.  They did a teleconference with more people online as were in the room.

Another idea is to purchase webinars for the group.  A couple of hours of training can be a good way to come together and learn new things.  A group can sponsor it or InnoU coupons can be used for sessions.

One difficulty with the InnoU session is that getting a speaker phone loud enough can be difficulty.  Some sound engineering may be necessary.  Audio over IP can also be difficulty to do two-way audio. 

Q: Are your regional conferences a recap of IUG?  Or how do they function?
A: We looked at what presentations have been done at IUG to get ideas or solicited presentations from individuals who presented at IUG.  Another group says that they would start by presenting at the regional and then turn it into a presentation for the national conference.

Library density is a major issue.  In some regions institutions are very spread out.  This is an issue in Texas and Great Lakes region.  In Arkansas it’s much easier and less of a production to put everything together. 

One thing we struggle with is doing a program in the morning that is interesting to everybody in the audience.   What ideas cross all areas?

We talked about technology and new developments.  Some people liked it and some didn’t.

Something we run into is that some III sites use Innovative for more things than others.  We’ve been fearful of broaching some areas for fear of upsetting Innovative.

The “New Innovative” is more accepting of working with other vendors.  There is a movement toward openness.

How much autonomy do we have as groups to talk about non-innovative things?

You choose what you talk about; it’s your organization.  We’ll support you regardless of what programs we do.  We would be disappointed if you brought in a competitor to do a demo as part of your regional conference.  But where there is a synergy between an Innovative system and an outside group, that is okay.  Vendor neutral collaboration is okay; “cooperative competition.” 

Comment: One of the things we did last year was have a good keynote that was not related to innovative.  It went well; we are again having a good speaker come and that helps make it applicable to everybody.  (Though it can backfire; sometimes a speaker will bomb.)

It’s hard to please everybody.

One thing we did was have Innovative come in the morning and then had an outside speaker later talk about technology and then had other come and talk about project management.  Trying to get more than just technical services to the meeting. 

Is there a way to communicate between people in groups? 
Some people here are representatives, others are not. 

Programming can be difficult if there isn’t a central group deciding what to do.  It’s also hard because some people want things directly related to jobs. 

Does it always have to be a conference?  Are there other events that would be valuable?  Online groups might be helpful with distance problems. 

Sign-up sheet for a contact list was circulated.     

There are many more regional training opportunities.  These have been popular.  This might be another option that does not require a whole conference.

 We have difficulty that there are not enough people participating and doing sessions (but they still complain that there aren’t the sessions people want to see).  Many groups struggle to find presenters. 
Some groups give free registration.  Other regional groups have tried requiring some kind of participation to attend.    

Including a speaker list on the website might be helpful.

Another suggestion if you can’t find speakers; it may help to have people from other areas share their presentations.  Some are willing to share their sessions to be presented by others. 
/Anders Fredriksson