Call to Order and Introductions
Deb Lewis, Chair of the Board of Publications, called the meeting to order at 9:03 p.m. Eastern. Board members and staff attending included Deb, Penny, Paul, Zelda, Susan, Sharon, Bob, Katie, David, Dan, Jeff, and Debbie. Christine Chaikin attended as a guest.
Adoption of the Agenda for the March 3, 2020, ACB Board of Publications Meeting
Paul’s work group report and Jeff and Debbie’s ACB Radio report were moved higher on the agenda. With those changes in mind, Paul moved and Susan seconded the motion to approve the agenda. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Approval of the Minutes for the February 4, 2020 meeting of the ACB Board of Publications
Susan moved and Zelda seconded the motion to approve the minutes, and the motion was adopted unanimously.
Open Forum – Opportunity for guests to comment on non-agendized items
Christine suggested making “Dots and Dashes” available in an audio format.
Deb responded that the Public Awareness Steering Committee is in the process of looking at all our various communications channels, and “Dots and Dashes” will be included in that ongoing analysis. If we were to publish “Dots…” as an audio file, we would need to make it a podcast, which would require much more work. Besides, everything that is included in the weekly announcement has already been shared in several formats before being included in the weekly “Dots…” announcement.
One aspect of the Steering Committee analysis will be looking at the number of ACB members who can access information only in an audio format. If we find that there is a significant number of members who can access only audio, then we could consider making it a weekly podcast.
Penny suggested adding “Dots and Dashes” to the Washington Connection phone line.
Deb said that is a suggestion we can take to the Steering Committee for consideration.
Update from Paul’s work group on seminar planning
Paul said that he has about 36 minutes of the first program recorded. He is going to be drop-boxing the program to Debbie in four segments. The topic is using the Victor Stream to retrieve ACB-related information. He covers setting up Newsline to get the Braille Forum, setting up podcasts to get ACB Radio podcasts, and other kinds of ACB-related information that can be retrieved via the Stream. The program includes explanations of how to do things and then real-time demonstrations of accomplishing those tasks using the Stream.
Debbie believes ACB Radio will air the program as an ACB Radio Special Event.
The program will be converted to a podcast and may be run on one of the special ACB Radio streams periodically. Paul expects to have the program finished by the 15th of March.
Paul’s group also wants to host the “Forum on the Forum,” before convention, possibly in early May, with as many BOP members as possible participating in the Forum, which is envisioned as a space where ACB members can talk about their magazine, what they like, what else they would want to see in it, etc. It will be a Zoom meeting. A tentative date for the Forum on the Forum is the second Tuesday in May, May 12.
The discussion turned to identifying a topic for the BOP workshop that we will hold at convention. Thinking about the themes developed by the group, as well as Public Awareness Steering Committee plans to reconfigure e-mailing options, one possibility could be a “Getting the Word Out” theme that would cover e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
Another topic option would be Zoom, which, Jeff suggested, could include two sessions, one focused on basic information for people who just want to know how to participate, the other on intermediate level understanding of all the various settings and what they do. Dan said that people are really wanting to understand Zoom. Jeff said that we would need at least two hours. Deb said that we have never gotten more than an hour for our BOP programming at convention, but, of course, we could ask for more, especially since we will not be holding our board meeting at convention.
Paul suggested that we could present the first session as our convention workshop and then follow that with the second session presented as a webinar.
Deb said she will ask Janet if we can possibly have two sessions at convention, and if we can have a second time slot for our workshop, when that might be. But we will plan on holding the basic Zoom workshop at convention and then producing a webinar on the advanced topic after convention.
Jeff said they will be postponing their major server upgrade/outage for at least a week. Then, the following Friday, they will be going dark and expecting an outage of everything for at least 48-72 hours. They are moving about a terabyte of data from one server to another. This is a no-risk operation.
Jeff and Eric will have a conversation about the best weekend to do this, considering that the 13th and 14th is “certification weekend.”
Dan expressed his gratitude to ACB Radio for the excellent job they did of streaming the ACB board meeting.
Deb said that we should consider adding this as required coverage for all board meetings in our next update of the BOP Editorial Policy Manual.
Paul made a motion that the ACB Editorial Policy Manual should be amended to incorporate an expectation that ACB Board meetings will be streamed in the future. The motion was greeted with general applause. Penny seconded the motion. The motion was adopted unanimously.
Dan said that he has received many requests for airing segments of the presidents’ meeting and the legislative seminar as separate files. Jeff responded that they will be putting these up in a podcast feed as soon as the editing is completed. They will present the meetings as one large audio file, and they will also break up the large file into smaller segments.
Dan also asked if people (affiliates) need any special permission to air this coverage, and Deb and Jeff said that they don’t. Paul said all they need to do is to acknowledge that the podcast originally aired on ACB Radio. Jeff and Debbie said that ACB Radio will record an introductory sound file to be placed at the beginning of ACB Radio-recorded events, for use with all such events in the future.
Debbie reported that Mainstream West has been set up, and now Rick is working on scheduling.
They are getting new people who want to do new shows. BPI will be doing a show.
There will probably be more than 20 affiliate ads, which have been very popular.
Jeff also reported that the new version of ACB Link should be in the app store on Thursday or Friday.
BOP Presentation at ACB Leadership Meeting Follow-Up
Deb and Debbie had good things to say about the BOP presentations at midyear, and Dan said that people especially enjoyed the awards presentation with so many different kinds of awards described all at once.
Soon Sharon will be sending out the list of items that the BOP will be voting upon.
BOP Activities at ACB 2020 Conference and Convention
We will not be holding a board meeting, but we will be hosting a town hall, and a workshop.
When it became time to include the notice about the Braille Forum Candidates’ Page and candidate activities, Deb and Sharon used last year’s article to create a similar one for this year, modifying dates appropriately. Five board positions and the three Board of Publications positions will be up for this year’s elections. The due date for submitting responses to the questions on the Candidates’ Pages is May 15. Our Candidates’ Forum which will be online and using ACB Radio, would be on June 17. Then, the actual Town Hall event will be scheduled for Wednesday of convention week.
David volunteered to help with the town hall event, as well.
Deb asked BOP elected members whose positions will be up for election this year to let her know if they are not planning to run again, so she can put any who are not running to work on the town hall meeting.
As things stand now, Susan and Deb will be hosting the town hall meeting. Katie has also offered to help.
Our plan, discussed at last month’s meeting, is to hold a more informal town hall event where people can actually talk with the candidates. She envisions an event with perhaps eight round tables where attendees would be seated. Then, each of the at least eight candidates for office would visit the tables, one after another, and respond to members’ questions. Hosts will need to assist the candidates to make sure they visit each of the tables and that all of the members attending have a chance to meet each of the candidates.
To assure ACB Radio’s involvement, one of the tables will be designated for ACB Radio.
Dan said that the key to success for this event will be lots of promotion resulting in at least 40 attendees.
We will use Constant Contact to inform our members about the Candidates’ Page and the BOP Candidates’ Forum. If one wants to participate in the BOP online Candidates’ Forum, then completing the candidates’ page in the Braille Forum is a prerequisite.
Update on ACB Braille Forum and E-Forum Themes
Deb said that we had a real problem getting enough material for the April ACB Braille Forum.
We have themes for May and June, but we need to decide on themes for upcoming issues after that.
Themes that were mentioned in the ensuing discussion included: back to school; physical activity and recreation, including the stories behind why we choose the kinds of recreation we choose; the role of literacy in our lives; literacy and employment (possibly for October) – with a possible debate concerning auditory reading vs. braille reading; self-defense and safety (possibly for August); summer (July), including all things summer, summer memories, vacations, family reunions, summer nostalgia, summer camp, blindness camps.
We can approach various affiliates to help us populate the various themed issues, e.g., LUA for literacy; BRL and AABT for the literacy and employment theme.
The deadline for May, where gardening is the theme, is March 25. Susan is writing about creating a bird garden; Katie will write about gardening books available from the NLS.
BOP Chair’s Report
Deb covered the mid-year board meeting for the ACB Braille Forum and assisted Zelda and Penny with their mid-year presentations. In addition, she has been participating on the Public Awareness Steering Committee.
BOP Editor’s Report
Sharon had submitted her editor’s report, as follows:
Nutshell Report February 2020
Issue type: Hard copy
Page count: 80
Braille distributed: 673
Braille returned: 3
Braille return rate: 0.4%
Braille received: 670
Cartridge to be distributed: unknown
Cartridge return rate:
Large print distributed: 2,434
Large print returned: 36
Large print return rate: 1.5%
Large print received: 2,398
Email distributed: 4,563
Email bounces & unsubscribes: 225
Email received: 4,338
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 90
Email distributed: 4,557
Bounces as of 1/31: 220
Email return rate: 4.8%
Email received: 4,337 (as of 1/31/2020)
Issue type: hard copy
Page count: 80
Braille to be distributed: 669
Cartridge to be distributed: TBD
Large print to be distributed: 2,414
The March issue went out the door to the producers on January 31st – several days ahead of schedule. Lots of convention-related items came in for this issue, along with a number of really good articles about non-convention-related topics. Meka White’s article about accessibility is excellent. Hayley Agers’ teamwork article is equally good.
I’m also working on formatting the Mini Mall catalog for large print. It will go along with the March issue.
The February E-Forum went out Friday over Constant Contact. It has some wonderful articles on leadership by various authors, including Susan Lichtenfels, Linda Bolle, and Devorah Greenspan (whose article made me want to listen to “Leader of the Pack” to hear the motorcycle roar).
Our affiliates have been quite busy updating their membership rosters. Missouri sent me 15 deceased members in one day – plus two others that I already knew of. Kansas, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, Washington, BRL, LUA, and many other affiliates have been working hard, too. Thanks to Nancy Christine in the Minneapolis office for handling the updates while I was out on bereavement leave.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
ACB Email Lists
Bob sent his report, as follows:
List Statistics, February 2020
Bob said that the chat list has spiked a bit at 336.
There was somewhat of a controversy going on concerning whether or not list members should accept voice attachments. Bob said he had always accepted such attachments and, if a list member should decide not to open one, the decision was theirs to make. Deb agreed with Bob. And, the rest of the BOP agreed as well.
At the time of the meeting, we didn’t have the report yet.
Katie said she didn’t have anything substantial to report. She is still trying to figure out where the PR Committee fits into the Public Awareness framework. Deb responded that she is still trying to figure out the same thing with respect to the BOP. Both Katie and Deb have had discussions on this topic with Eric.
There was no further business. The meeting adjourned at 10:41 p.m. Eastern. The next BOP meeting will occur on April 7.