Welcome and Review of Agenda
Katie called the March 7 meeting of the Board of Publications to order shortly after 8:00 PM. She read the proposed agenda aloud, and there were no additions or corrections.
All BOP members were present, including Dan, who, as ACB president, is an ex officio member; Sharon, editor; and Rick and Larry, reporting on ACB Media. In addition, there were several guests who attended via ZOOM.
Approval of February Minutes
Penny made and Cachet seconded a motion to approve minutes of the February 7 BOP meeting. The motion carried unanimously.
Public’s Point of View
No hands were raised.
ACB Braille Forum Report
Sharon submitted the following report:
Editor’s Report March 2023
Issue type: Electronic
Page count: 48
Email distributed: 5,105
Email bounces: 39
Return percentage: 0.76%
Email delivered: 5,066
Issue type: hard-copy
Page count: 48
Braille distributed: 492
Cartridge distributed: TBA
Large print distributed: 2,081
Email distributed: 5,215
Issue type: electronic
Page count: 48
Email to be distributed: TBA
Deadlines for the Next Issues
May 2023: TBA; deadline: March 24, 2023
June 2023: convention; deadline: April 24, 2023
I’m mostly recovered from double pneumonia and back in the office as of Monday, March 6th. I sent the April issue off to Perkins this afternoon. Thanks to the Multicultural Affairs Committee for all their articles on diversity in ACB!
Another major project the office is working on is the D.C. Leadership Conference. I am brailling the hotel restaurant menus; Kaitlyn is making the large print copies.
I continue to work with the history and oral archives committee on preserving and digitizing old recordings and documents from ACB events, and identifying people in photos. As part of that work, I am working on cleaning up and modernizing old issues of the Forum to the large print standards and organizing them on our Sharepoint drive (at the moment, from the 1990s through today, plus a few from the 1980s that I had loose copies of). I’m including Word, text, and BRF file formats in the Forum folders on Sharepoint. I found a complete set of 1982 issues, and am scanning and cleaning them up in between deadlines.
I am also poring through minutes of ACB board meetings, looking for motions that led to policies/policy changes, and documenting them in a Word file. I have completed 1980 through 1987 so far, and am working on 1988.
In my spare time, I continue working to identify people in prior years’ convention photos. I’m currently working my way through 2011. I also have a hard drive with numerous historical photos on it that I will match up with my descriptions lists as time permits.
Sharon Lovering, Editor
American Council of the Blind
Sharon reported that the e-mail format of the ACB Braille Forum continues to increase in popularity. In February 5,105 subscribers received the magazine via e-mail; in March, the number of e-mail subscribers increased to 5,215. Taking into account all of the new members whose information she has been entering into the AMMS database, she expects the number of e-mail subscribers to increase even more significantly in April.
Katie had received a call from Kim Charlson, who reported recent staffing changes at the Perkins Library. Kim asked how the BOP would react to the possibility of having two narrators for single issues of the magazine, and no one objected. Making use of two narrators has the advantage of recording the magazine more quickly.
Sharon said, “I’m all in favor of anything that allows us to get the magazine to our readers more quickly.”
ACB Braille Forum Themes
Sharon said that she was pleased with contributions from the Multi-Cultural Affairs Committee for the April issue. Cachet said that she had heard back from teachers and students, and both groups are willing to contribute to the May issue.
June’s theme will be the coming convention. July’s issue will be our potpourri issue. The Audio Description Project has adopted November, and the International Relations Committee wants to contribute to the December issue again.
The 2023 Convention
The Candidates’ Forum is scheduled for June 14 (ahead of convention). Katie wrote the article describing the Braille Forum Candidates’ Forum for the April issue. We will ask candidates to respond to the same questions we have used over recent years.
Cachet suggested that the BOP might create a writers’ space at convention, which can welcome current and former contributors to the Forum and the blog, as well as people who might be interested in becoming contributors, themselves. She anticipates calling the BOP program space a “BOP Meet and Greet,” i.e., meet other writers and talk about creating great written content for ACB publications.
She also suggests creating an opportunity for sharing stories, with a special emphasis on encouraging younger members and students to participate by reading stories aloud and sharing story ideas with one another and with the BOP.
Penny and Deb both suggested inviting Friends in Art to participate in the story-time program. Katie will reach out to FIA and invite them to participate.
Katie has reached out to AAVIA to ask if they want to participate with the BOP in a workshop on the topic of copyright. She has not heard back from them yet. She suggested that such a joint program could also be presented via the ACB Community after convention.
Deb will discuss these two proposed BOP convention programs with Janet.
There will be no BOP Convention Wrap-up program this year on Zoom.
ACB Media/Affiliate Engagement Policy
Katie had shared the proposed policy, which was developed by the ACB Media Support Committee, on the BOP e-mail list. After discussion, BOP members agreed to endorse the policy and to advise the ACB Board of Directors of the BOP’s endorsement, in advance of the March 9 ACB Board meeting, where the board’s approval will be on the agenda.
Zelda had not had time to evaluate the proposed policy but she will advise Deb and Rick if she has any reservations about adopting the proposed procedure.
The support committee, Dan and Rick emphasized, has an advisory, not a governmental role. Ultimately policies are adopted either by the Board of Directors (for example with respect to this affiliate engagement policy) or the Board of Publications (for example, with respect to content standards).
In response to Katie’s concern regarding whether a 45-day period on either side of the national convention (when ACB Media will not be supporting affiliate conventions) presents an undue burden for affiliates, Rick said that, prior to developing the policy, ACB Media had already committed to support this year’s Florida convention in June, and they expect to do this. They have asked Florida to honor the service black-out period in the future if possible. And, he added that ACB Media will be as flexible as they can when working with affiliates or other entities (such as the ADP Institute) to schedule ACB Media’s assistance with planning, facilitating, and streaming events.
He added that it is important to keep in mind that policies can always be amended when the need arises.
The next thing the ACB Media Support Committee will address is policy related to content. The BOP’s participation in these discussions will be crucially important.
He said that he and Cindy and Deb have held preliminary discussions about creating a base line against which content can be evaluated, and now the support committee will be expanding that discussion. Their work, in combination with the BOP’s input, will lead to developing the necessary guidelines and criteria.
ACB Media Updates
Rick said that, during the recent Leadership meetings, there have been between 100 and 125 listeners on the media stream and around 80 participating via Zoom – which is close to the number of people who registered for the event.
He said that, although they considered utilizing an Alexa skill for allowing only registered participants to access the Leadership meetings, Based on available resources, they decided, instead, to utilize channels 6 and 7.
He said that streaming the Spanish-language translation, provided in real time by three ACB members, was successful and represents a major milestone achievement for ACB.
ACB Editors’ Workshop
Zelda confirmed that the workshop was scheduled for March 24.
Cachet reported that the ACB Community’s daily e-mail list is once again displaying in multiple colors, making it hard for some to access the information. Deb said that she will revisit the topic of appropriate formatting with Cindy, and, if it seems like a good idea, perhaps we can invite Cindy or her designee to attend a BOP meeting to explore the topic of formatting further.
Deb has not had a chance to work on a weekly media-announcement list with Sheila but plans to get together with her soon. Sheila is already posting a weekly list of upcoming events on the presidents’ e-mail list.
The Employment Committee has begun posting twice-weekly job vacancy announcements on the Conversation and Leadership lists.
The meeting adjourned at 9:02 p.m.
The next BOP meeting is scheduled for April 4.