Board of Publications Board Meeting
October 6, 2008
The BOP started its monthly meeting with an open meeting. The purpose of this open meeting was to give the general membership of ACB a chance to give input to the BOP regarding different issues that are of concern. There was an excellent turn-out of the general membership.
The BOP was called to order at approximately 9:11 PM by Chairman Paul Edwards. He began by calling the role.
Marcia Dresser, Judy Jackson, Ken Stewart, Jeanine Stanley (not present), Ex-Officio member: Mitch Pomerantz, Editor: Sharon Lovering, Paul Edwards, Earlene Hughes
Three other ex-Officio members who were not present were: Director of ACB Radio, Chairman of Public Relations: Ron Milliman, Chairman Internet Oversight Committee: Barry Levine
Paul had everyone who was not a member of the BOP to introduce them. He asked to talk a little about why they were interested in being on the call. Sue Ammeter, a member from the Washington Council of the Blind started the conversation. She stated that she was primarily interested in letting the BOP know that she had been successful in getting some books on breast Cancer put into Braille. She stated that she was especially excited about the fact that October is cancer awareness month. She told the group that on the first day that the books were sent out, there were over one-hundred books mailed out by National Braille Press. Sue reported that the next book scheduled to come out will be one on Diabetes.
After all of the guests concluded their introductions, Paul asked the members of the BOP to introduce them. At that point, Paul explained the structure of the meeting. A motion to adopt the agenda as amended was made by Ken Stewart and seconded by Marcia Dresser. The motion passed. Ken Stewart moved to approve the September meeting minutes Marcia seconded the motion. Motion passed.
Paul expressed his gratitude to Jeanine and Earlene for their diligence in getting the minutes ready for reading by the membership. This expression of appreciation was echoed by the entire BOP.
Sharon reported that editing the Braille Forum is keeping her quite busy. She reported that we are losing many members to death. Paul asked Sharon where we stood with regard to the contracts. Sharon reported that we're still getting bids. Sharon stated that the bids went out as approved. Paul explained to the guests on the call about the bid process. He explained that the bids would be opened sometime in late October or early November. Paul entertained a moment for the guests to ask any questions that they may have had regarding the bids for the Braille Forum.
Paul reported that he believed that we had reached a huge milestone. He stated that we have increased the bandwidth of ACB Radio. He indicated that this increase in bandwidth has, in effect, the quality of production. Larry Turnbeaux is the director of ACB Radio Interactive. Paul stated that we are operating five channels on ACB Radio. New broadcasters are being recruited continuously. One is almost ready to begin. Larry reported that once a suitable contractor is established, then he hopes to regain some of the broadcasters who were broadcasters in the past. Paul explained to the guests that at this last convention some specific goals were set for ACB Radio. For example, more PSA's and to increase what happens on Mainstream Radio. There was a comment made that more publicity needed to be given to ACB Mainstream. There was also a vehement concern expressed that announcements on ACB Mainstream are not current. Additionally, promotions aren't always being run consistently. Larry reported that he would investigate these issues thoroughly and see what can be done so that there is notable improvement. Another concern was that many archives aren't listed correctly. Someone suggested that one way that ACB Radio could be promoted was to write an article for the Braille Forum highlighting the different shows. A second suggestion was made to add a special box on the new phone system, wherein we would feature the shows that would be on ACB Mainstream for the current week. Larry explained to the group how we are able to know how many people are listening to a given show. Paul expressed that he would like to see the programming standardized such that we know when and how many times a show will be broadcast before it is archived. Larry stated that he has talked with Chrissy and Jeff to have some consistency in the dates and times of the shows. Paul asked Larry to be sure and share these concerns back to the staff. Larry stated that he would be happy to do that. Several people who were guests of the BOP indicated a willingness to help with new broadcasts, but they were reluctant because there was no certainty of who the listenership would be. Paul asked Larry to talk to Chrissy about having a meeting with Mainstream broadcasters. Larry agreed to do that. Ken asked that listener counts be included in the regular reports that BOP receives. Ken stated that when tabulating these listener counts that they be reliable.
Another topic of discussion involved internet radio. Larry was asked to investigate which radio(s) may be accessible.
Earline mentioned that she is very involved in getting the ACB store on line. Mitch reported that the ACB Store now has a new chair. Kim Venable is the new chair. Mitch explained that the store will have state-of-the-art items. Earline has a deadline date of October 15, as people will begin doing their Christmas shopping. Paul entertained some discussion about how the website could be improved.
Some of these improvements were as follows:
A. Adding color in addition to text
B. Ability to change font size
C. Logo to be done in an image
D. New navigation bar
E. Organized information using style sheets as a way to help convey some of the content
F. A good way of making headers and footers for each page
G. Get information about the BOP on the website
H. Putting committee lists on the website
I. Creating a more consistent interface
Paul asked the guests if they had any other suggestions. One guest suggested that a link be listed to each of the BOP meeting minutes. Earline explained how she organized the minutes. Paul asked if the BOP would give him the authority to contact Carl Augusto in order to get a website designer to participate on the website taskforce. The BOP was in total agreement with that request. A suggestion was made to contact President Pomerantz and ask for some time on the agenda at the midyear board meeting. It was agreed that Paul would ask for this time.
Paul expressed his excitement around what the PR Committee is doing currently. Paul discussed the PR Handbook. He also discussed the mentoring program and how to use the PR Handbook. Paul reported that the PR Committee is continuing to issue press releases. He stated that we have a long way to go in order to get attention given to our press releases. He stated that we must do a better job in this area. Paul stated further that this is where we need to work very diligently to get the attention of the press so that they will be inclined to give our press releases attention. He concluded this topic of discussion by stating that while we do have some work to do, however, we're on the way to notable improvement.
Listserve Oversight Committee:
Paul reported that a list of all the rules for all the lists are becoming more consistent. He indicated that a suggestion was made to investigate a better list management program. He reported that we're moving forward in the right direction in this area. Paul expressed his appreciation for Barry's good work on the listserve. He mentioned that some guidelines need to be established regarding ACB Announce. Earlene reminded everyone that ACB announce can be accessed by anyone who would like to subscribe. Mitch reported that the ACB office phone installed next week. On this new phone system, there will be several additional message boxes. He believes that this will be a great help in getting information out to our members.
Ken entertained some discussion about the BOP getting involved in communicating to the membership those representatives who represent us i.e. ACB on different committees. It was unanimously agreed by the BOP that issue is one for the President and the national office.
Paul reported that he had a conversation with Melanie regarding the policy of how envelopes should look. Melanie reported to Paul that she is concerned about the cost. She expressed an additional concern about the fact that the logos were electronic. Paul told the BOP that actually that was a bit of good news because of the fact that they're electronic, they can be made bigger. Paul went on to explain that all of this information has been communicated to the Minneapolis office.
Marcia asked if we could go back to the issue of the lists. She expressed a concern about the fact that people are using the list e.g. the Leadership List to discuss confidential information. Everyone agreed that this is not a good use of any of the lists.
Discussion was held regarding the membership brochure. Paul indicated that the issue of the brochure would be discussed at the next meeting.
Earlene asked about setting some guidelines regarding web design. Paul stated that some work could be done, but not completely. The web design committee will make every effort to meet on Thursdays. This committee will make every effort to have some recommendations to bring to the BOP for their consideration and implementation. Once these items are voted on, then the committee can begin their work.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:53 PM.