Board of Publications Meeting Minutes, December 2, 2013
Members present: chair Denise Colley, Ron Brooks, Marcia Dresser, Doug Powell; ex officio member Berl Colley; ACB staff/contractors Sharon Lovering, Annette Carter, Larry Turnbull. Members absent: Bob Hachey, Ron Milliman.
Judy Jackson tendered her resignation from the Board of Publications, effective Sunday, December 1, 2013.
Chair Denise Colley called the meeting to order at 9:05 PM EST. Ron moved and Marcia seconded adoption of the agenda as distributed; the motion passed. Ron moved and Doug seconded approval of the minutes with one correction; the motion carried.
Sharon is currently working on the January issue of the ACB Braille Forum and beginning the process of affiliate renewals. Lane Waters has indicated that something must be done about the braille edition because all of the bids are considerably higher this year. Unfortunately, there are only a few places that have the capacity to produce the volume of braille that we need
Oral History Project
Berl conducted four interviews in November and hopes to interview three more people by the end of December.
Web Site Task Force
Ron reported that the bulk of November's call was devoted to ironing out the details of the protocol that committees should use for submitting projects to the web administrator for posting to the ACB Web site. The protocols for recurring projects, such as the holiday auction and the walk-a-thon, should be passed on from year to year so there is no loss of information. Concern was expressed that we do not have a shopping cart on our site.
People can now listen to all streams of ACB Radio on the phone through Audio Now; so far, there have been about 300 calls a day. The holiday auction will air on Sunday, December 8, from 7:00 to 11:00 Pm EST on all streams. For the month of November, we averaged 25 listeners on Mainstream, with a peak of 30; 15 listeners on ACB Cafe, with a peak of 25; 45 listeners on Treasure Trove, with a peak of 60; and 15 listeners on both Mainstream and News/Information, with a peak of 20. We had 1,077 Web hits in November; also during November, we had 750 downloads from the Main Menu archives, and 540 downloads from the show "Speaking out for the Blind." Those are the only two shows whose archives are stored on our server; other shows store their own archives on their sites, so we just link to them instead of re-inventing the wheel. Larry resets the server clock each day to keep the pre-recorded shows in sync. He uses a different program for the live shows, which runs straight off the server clock, so the live shows always start on time.
We now have 255 people following our Facebook page, 15 more than last month.
Marcia moved and Doug seconded approval of the editor's report and committee reports; the motion carried.
Policy Manual Update
Denise, Doug, and Marcia met by phone and decided what needs to be modified in the 2013 revision of the policy manual. The BOP is supposed to set the advertising rates for the convention newspaper, but we have no basis on which to do this; Denise will clarify with Lane Waters. We also discussed the process of getting the summaries of the Board of Directors' meetings to the membership. We hope to have a draft of the 2013 policy manual by January.
If Larry uses a 32K bit rate, which provides excellent sound quality for voice, the $20 per month plan will allow six months of the Braille Forum and the E-Forum to be available for download as RSS feeds. Twelve months of issues can be stored this way with the $40 per month plan. Both plans include an app for downloading these RSS feeds. After some discussion, the BOP decided to go with the $20 plan for now; it would be easy to switch to the $40 plan if we find it necessary.
Many people are enjoying ACB Radio on Audio Now; we average 300 calls per day. When the live event stream is not being used, local and national convention sessions could be rerun on that stream. Larry can create a seventh stream exclusively for the ACB Braille Forum and the E-Forum. We can use the audio produced by Potomac Talking Books for the Braille Forum; for the E-Forum, we can create MP3 files using Kurzweil or Open Book and a NeoSpeech synthesized voice such as Paul or Kate. Audio Now would be an excellent vehicle to provide the E-Forum to those who do not have computers and who don't want to navigate NewsLine. Larry and Kim will present all of these options when the ACB Radio management team meets tomorrow. Denise will put an announcement on the ACB Leadership list to recruit someone who would be willing to create these MP3 files.
Web Site Security
Our server is secure, and there is nothing on the acb.org site that can be compromised. Carla Ruschival expressed concern that the "donate" page and the ACB Mini-Mall do not have shopping carts, and that we need them immediately. Kim replied that there will be several conference calls this week looking at these technical issues, and she thinks this can be resolved quickly. For the purposes of the policy manual, we will state that ACB must maintain the highest level of security on our Web site to protect our members and their data. Only four affiliates are still using the acb.org domain, and Larry would rather not take on many more unless they are basic pages. Affiliates wanting shopping carts and other complicated material should have their own domains.
Many of the questions received in the national office would be unnecessary if the Frequently Asked Questions page were updated. The BOP members will take a look at the page and communicate via email. Sharon will let us know about the kinds of questions she gets. Paul Edwards drafted some FAQs regarding the BOP, which will go up on the BOP Web page. We will also look at the ACB mission statement and submit any suggestions to the Board of Directors.
Annette reported that the November large print edition is much improved, particularly on the back cover where the line break was inserted. There were minor formatting problems on page 9 and page 33.
According to the ACB Constitution, when an elected member of the Board of Publications resigns, the Board of Directors appoints someone to fill the remainder of the term. The five members of the BOP met in executive session right after this meeting to discuss possible candidates to serve for the remainder of Judy Jackson's term. The names of these candidates will be submitted to the Board of Directors.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:25 PM EST, immediately followed by the executive session.
Marcia N. Dresser, Secretary