Volunteer as an ALA Ambassador at Conference

Recruitment and placement of volunteers interested in joining the 2013 ALA Annual Conference Ambassador Program is now underway, and I’m hoping you will be interested in joining us.

If you have already attended a minimum of three ALA Annual conferences and will be at the conference in Chicago between June 28-July 1, 2013, please consider serving a shift as an ALA Ambassador, Concierge, or Mentor.

Volunteers are welcome to take up to two shifts (generally two hours each) either in the usual kiosk near the Registration Desk just outside the exhibition hall, at the ALA Membership Pavilion within the Exhibition Hall, or through new opportunities this year, including:

Roaming Ambassadors, who will wear identification badges while they walk through the Exhibition hall on set shifts and answer the same sort of questions answered at the kiosks

Concierge shifts in an area for first-time attendees; concierges offer more targeted services in terms of answering first-time attendees’ questions and providing information to more fully engage them as active participants in the American Library Association (e.g., through divisions, round tables, and volunteer opportunities

Mentors, who will:

Lead one-time, one-hour sessions with up to five first-time attendees at a time by providing a brief orientation to the conference and Exhibition Hall, and answering questions to help first-time attendees more quickly acclimate to the conference

Remain available through the end of the day on Sunday, by email and/or cell phone, to answer follow-up questions from those they mentor

Registration for new Ambassador Program participants is a two-step process:

Please begin by sending Paul Signorelli (paul@paulsignorelli.com) an email message telling him you would like to be registered within the Ambassador Community site on ALAConnect—the site where the schedule of available shifts is maintained.

After Paul confirms that you have been added to that online community, you can use instructions he will provide to choose one or two shifts that appeal to you, and you’ll also be receiving notification of online and onsite orientation opportunities to prepare you for the assignment you choose. Paul will also be available via email to help you resolve any problems you have in selecting assignments.

The Ambassadors’ program is well-received and significantly enhances attendees’ conference experience. Hundreds of first-time attendees feel welcome and connected to others due to efforts of volunteers like you. Every one of you who participates really makes a positive difference by helping attendees avoid feeling frustrated and overwhelmed as they try to navigate the numerous meetings, events, and onsite resources offered at a conference as large and rich in content as ours. The Ambassadors will have a booth in the Registration area as well as at the ALA Membership Pavilion on the exhibit floor at booth #1231

I anticipate the usual great response, and want to be sure you have a chance to participate if this volunteer project appeals to you. Feel free to contact Paul or me if you have any questions, and please don’t hesitate to share this information with others who may be interested in participating.

We’re looking forward to seeing you in Chicago and hope this experience will add to the pleasure of participating in the conference.


Tina Coleman,
ALA Membership Specialist

P.S. If you haven’t yet had a chance to register for the conference, you’ll find the link to the login and registration pages at http://ala13.ala.org/register-now.

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