Call to Order and Introductions
The March 2, 2021 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications convened at 9:01 p.m. Eastern when the Chair called the meeting to order. Deb, Zelda, Penny and Susan and all BOP ex officio members were present. Paul was absent, and his absence was excused. Several guests were also present, and the meeting was streamed live on ACB Radio.
Adoption of the Agenda for the March 2, 2021 ACB Board of Publications Meeting
Deb read the agenda aloud for anyone who had not seen it earlier when it was shared on several ACB e-mail lists. Zelda moved and Penny seconded the motion to approve the agenda with no additions, and the motion was adopted unanimously.
Approval of the Minutes for the February 2, 2021 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications
Zelda moved and Penny seconded the motion to approve the minutes from the February 2021 BOP meeting, with the correction that Penny had made following helpful suggestions shared by BOP members on the BOP e-mail discussion list. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Open Forum – Opportunity for guests to comment on non-agendized items
Sandra Sermons reported to the BOP that the International Relations Committee has articles destined for the August ACB Braille Forum well in hand, focusing on the theme, “The World Turned Inside Out.” Articles will compare and contrast what countries in the so-called developed world are doing for their blind citizens as contrasted with the kinds of things countries in the more developed world are doing. Sandra assured the BOP that all articles will have been submitted by mid-June, to meet the publication deadline.
A guest, Tabitha Kenlon, suggested that the ACB Voices blog is a good source for articles that ACB can re-purpose as op eds and opinion pieces in mainstream publications. Katie said that she would share Tabitha’s suggestion with the Public Awareness Steering Committee.
E-mail list transition
Katie reported that both moderators which the BOP approved last month to manage the ACB-Conversation list have accepted their appointment, and they will be participating in training during the coming two weeks.
All Things Editors
Zelda said that she is moving along well with planning for the March 30 editors’ workshop which she and Paul will be presenting on ACB Radio. She said that more than 50 percent of the affiliates’ editors have indicated an interest in attending the event, and she will contact affiliate presidents one more time to encourage them to urge the people in their affiliates who handle communications with members to attend. Susan offered to help Zelda, and Katie will assist with the ZOOM aspects of the meeting. Zelda hopes to meet with Paul soon, and she will meet with Rick Morin, who can help her create an e-mail discussion list for affiliate editors.
Candidates’ Page and Candidates’ Forums: process and timeline
The Candidates’ Page article is slated to be included in the May ACB Braille Forum. Susan will get the question(s) to Deb later this week in order to meet that deadline. The policy which defines rules and parameters for the Candidates’ Page is defined in the Editorial Policy Manual. The article which Deb submits will detail the process for this year. We can expect the May ACB Braille Forum to arrive in large print readers’ and digital readers’ mailboxes on or around the first of May. Braille magazines will arrive a little while later. Deb anticipates making the deadline for candidates to submit their answers to the question(s) May 31. The page should then go online on June 15.
We will host the BOP Candidates’ Forums on June 29 (the fifth Tuesday in June) and 30 (the fifth Wednesday in June).
Deb said that candidates who plan to submit a page should contact her for help with recording a 30-second announcement to be played on ACB Radio.
Deb is looking for ACB members who are not planning to run for office to help with the candidates’ forums.
BOP Awards: Publicity
Deb already has one nomination for the Vernon Henley Award. Sharon will be sending out a list of all the ACB Braille Forum articles that are eligible to be nominated for the Ned Freeman award soon.
Since we have learned from Zelda that many affiliates do not have traditional newsletters but, rather, communicate with members via other kinds of media, Deb wondered aloud whether we might want to look at the criteria for the Liggett award and expand it beyond affiliate newsletters. We can’t do this in 2021, but we might well take a look at it after this year’s awards have been given at the 2021 convention.
Zelda will be describing and promoting the Liggett award during the editors’ workshop that she and Paul will present at the end of March. They can do some relevant research at that meeting to discover what other kinds of communications methods our affiliates are using. Consensus among BOP members as expressed during this discussion was that we might consider revising the Liggett award criteria under the title of “Communications Award.”
Deb also said that, after looking over our awards policies, there seems to be no prohibition for BOP members nominating people or organizations or publications for awards.
BOP Chair’s Report
Deb and Katie have been working to accomplish the transition from ACB-L to ACB-Conversation.
Editor’s Report: Update on ACB Braille Forum and E-Forum Themes
Sharon submitted the following report via the BOP e-mail list:
Editor’s Report, March 2021
Issue type: electronic
Page count: 96
Email distributed (1/31/2021): 4,960
Email bounces: 376
* Mostly “mailbox full,” “undeliverable,” “vacation/auto reply,” or “blocked.”
Email received: 4,583
Return rate: 7.6%
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 80
Large print to be distributed: 2,281
Braille to be distributed: 648
Cartridge to be distributed: TBA
Email to be distributed: 5,016
Issue type: electronic
Page count: 96
Deadlines for the Next Issues
May 2021 (Braille Forum): focuses on all things book: libraries, book clubs, telephonic and virtual book groups, Library Users of America, etc. Deadline: March 22nd, 2021.
June 2021 (E-Forum): focuses on ACB’s fitness campaign, Get Up & Get Moving. Deadline: April 22nd, 2021.
I was astonished by how much good material came in for the April issue. It’s the first time I can remember having a table of contents take up 3 pages.
There was one article I had to hold out due to the time-sensitive article about the membership portal. I’m sending it off to Perkins today.
I continue to record the information about ACB’s community calls into our phone system. Each day has its own separate box on the phone system, which makes it much easier to record — most of the time, anyway.
I continue to work on cleaning up and modernizing old issues of the Forum 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 have completed 2001, am working on the 2000 issues, and have 1990 through 1999 yet to work on.
Yes, I’m still working on identifying people in old convention photos. It’s been an interesting challenge.
Once I get April out the door, I will update the ACB Job Connection. I receive job listings from a variety of sources – the Department of Justice, various states’ Lighthouses for the Blind (South Texas is prolific), Industries for the Blind, and other departments and organizations.
Putting on my governmental affairs hat, I continue to record the Washington Connection. I will be working with Clark to get it updated shortly. Stay tuned!
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon added that she had already sent out the April Forum to Perkins, and that she planned to send out the Freeman candidates next week.
Debbie reported that Rick’s transition to new job responsibilities is going well. Jason will continue to help over the coming month.
The ACB Radio staff is developing policies and defining rules for best practices.
All of the Leadership meetings are now available as podcasts.
ACB Radio will be airing affiliate sponsorships again. The announcements will be 30 second spots, and the ACB Radio team plans to write them.
Jason has been editing the love-songs fund-raiser concert to create an MP3 with only songs. It should be ready to send out to all of the people who contributed to the fund-raiser soon.
ACB Radio has plans for streaming affiliate convention, already into October.
The ACB Radio team and others are working to create the ACB Media Network, where all of ACB’s various communications will reside – including ACB Radio streams, YouTube, Facebook Live, and all of the podcasts. The whole network will be searchable.
ACB E-Mail Lists
The transition to ACB-Conversation is covered above.
Statistics were not currently available.
Public Relations – Communications steering committee
Katie reported that the communications break-out session held during the Presidents’ Meeting was well attended and the Public Awareness Steering Committee received useful feedback from attendees.
Daveed Mandell asked how ACB members with experience in journalism and communications might become more involved in these aspects of the organization. Deb suggested that he look at ACB committees to see which ones might be a good fit for his skills and interests and also that a good way to become informed and then more involved is to attend meetings of the BOP such as this one.
There being no further business, the March 2, 2021 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications adjourned at 10:15 p.m. Eastern. The next meeting of the Board of Publications will take place on April 6.