Frequently Asked Questions
What is American Libraries Direct?
AL Direct is a tightly curated electronic newsletter sent to personal members of the American Library Association. It is a supplement to American Libraries magazine that provides summaries and links to news, announcements, and other information of interest to library and information science professionals. As it is emailed once a week, the newsletter is supplemented by other news from Monday through Friday on the American Libraries website’s widget, Latest Library Links.
How often is it published?
AL Direct is emailed on Wednesdays, starting July 8, 2020.
What appears in AL Direct?
AL Direct and Latest Library Links feature news about libraries and librarians worldwide, ALA activities and products, library-related videos and podcasts, technology trends, books and publishing, intellectual freedom issues, legislation, continuing education opportunities, awards and grants, and special collections.
Does this replace American Libraries?
No. AL Direct is not a replacement for the fully featured American Libraries print magazine. A full-text version of the magazine is also available online, currently back through 2009. AL Direct offers breaking news to ALA members in an aggregated format. The magazine includes feature articles, columns, special reports, job listings, and news analysis. The American Libraries website widget, Latest Library Links, also features daily news headlines.
I prefer the online version. How do I stop getting the print magazine?
Log in to ala.org with your membership number and password. Select “update your profile,” and under “Communication Preferences,” select “by email (if available in that format).” Be sure to click “Save and Continue” at the bottom of the page to confirm your changes.
How do I contact AL Direct?
Send feedback to email@example.com. To inquire about advertising, contact Melissa Carr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I get news about my library mentioned?
Send the URL of a news story, press release, or blog posting about your library to email@example.com. There is no guarantee that it will be used, but it will be considered for the next issue. More news links will be featured Monday through Friday on our website widget, Latest Library Links.
Who gets AL Direct?
All current personal members of ALA who have a valid email address in their membership records will receive AL Direct.
I am an ALA member, but I don’t receive AL Direct. How do I sign up?
Make sure your email address is correct in the ALA membership database. Log in to ala.org with your membership number and password. Select “update your profile,” and under “Contact Information” add or update your email address. Be sure to click “Save and Continue” at the bottom of the page to confirm your changes.
I am an ALA member, my email address is correct, but I still don’t receive AL Direct. What next?
First, check your junk mail folder to make sure AL Direct is not automatically going there. Second, in your email program, whitelist firstname.lastname@example.org as the sender, and informz.net as a domain name. Third, contact your local network administrator to see if a spam blocker or content filter has been installed on your institution’s servers. Some spam blockers misconstrue AL Direct emails as spam, and content filters sometimes misidentify AL Direct content as inappropriate. Inform them that AL Direct is sent once a week from the domain informz.net. If this still doesn’t work, contact AL Direct (include your name and ALA membership number) and a staff member will attempt to identify the problem.
I am an ALA member. How do I change my email address?
Log in to ala.org with your membership number and password. Select “update your profile,” and under “Contact Information” add or update your email address. Be sure to click “Save and Continue” at the bottom of the page to confirm your changes. Or call ALA Member Relations and Services at 800-545-2433.
I am an ALA member, and I have another problem with my membership.
Contact the ALA office at 1-800-545-2433 for a Member Relations and Services representative.
I am not an ALA member. How do I subscribe?
AL Direct is currently available only to personal members of the American Library Association.
How do I unsubscribe?
Click on the “Manage your existing subscriptions” link at the bottom of any issue of AL Direct and check the appropriate box to opt out of American Libraries Direct.
I unsubscribed accidentally. How do I resubscribe?
Email AL Direct to be taken off the unsubscribe list.
Links in AL Direct don’t work.
This is usually due to the settings on your email program. Viewing AL Direct works best if you have email set to view HTML rather than text-only. Sometimes spam or content-control filters on your computer system prevent readers from accessing AL Direct properly. Check with your IT department to see if the newsletter is getting blocked, and ask them to allow it through.
I suddenly stopped getting AL Direct. What happened?
AL Direct uses an email service to send the newsletter to more than 50,000 people, which can cause it to get tagged as spam. Content filters can also prevent the newsletter from getting to your inbox. Check with your IT department to see if the newsletter is getting blocked, and ask them to allow it through. If you still experience problems, contact AL Direct.
What domains should I whitelist?
What other options do I have?
Change your email address to another that might be less restrictive, perhaps your home email. You might also change your email format to text-only, which sometimes will get through when an HTML message won’t.
I don’t have a password for the New York Times or Chronicle of Higher Education.
AL Direct provides links to whatever sources have the best coverage. Some news sources, like the New York Times, require you to sign up and obtain a password to see recent content. You are responsible for registering with these sites individually to access their content. Other sources, like the Chronicle of Higher Education, require a print subscription to obtain a password for online content. AL Direct offers links as they are; you can choose whether or not to visit the sites.
I have comments about a news story that I would like to share.
Feel free to contact the editor. You may also post a comment on the archived page for the issue found on the American Libraries website.
Can I share AL Direct with my colleagues?
Certainly, but keep in mind that if someone to whom you forward the newsletter unsubscribes, you will be unsubscribed from the service.
Is AL Direct archived?
A complete run of AL Direct issues (since its launch in 2006) is archived on the American Libraries website. However, keep in mind that much of AL Direct consists of web links, some of which may be valid for only a short time.