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How To Be An ALCTS Leader

Information and documentation for ALCTS leaders.

Virtual Meeting Best Practices Webinar

The Virtual Meeting Best Practices Webinar took place in December 2019 and was hosted by the Leadership Development Committee.

Topics include:

•Scheduling a Virtual Meeting
•Joining the Meeting
•Technology Issues
•Chair/Facilitator Responsibilities
•Establishing Meeting Norms/Rules
•Benefits of Meeting Virtually

For the Chair

  • Chairs can use the ALCTS Zoom account to host virtual meetings.
  • Become familiar with the platform in order to avoid technical difficulties.
    • Know how to share your screen, use the chat, and test video and audio functions
  • Provide the agenda by sharing your screen. Be prepared with any other documents as needed to share on screen.
  • Identify who is present; some participants may only show on screen as a call-in user.
  • Flow of discussion can be complicated in a virtual meeting.
    • If there is silence, ask participants by name one at a time if they have any questions or feedback about the topic.
    • Ask members to “raise their hands” virtually with questions instead of interrupting.
  • Keep an eye on the chat box and read any questions or comments aloud.
  • The ALCTS Statement of Conduct ( should be shared with all participants prior to the virtual meeting.
  • Follow the ALA Open Meeting Policy
    • The ALA Open Meeting Policy A.7.4.4, states, "all meetings of the American Library Association and its units are open to all members and to members of the press. Registration requirements may apply. Closed meetings may be held only for the discussion of matters affecting the privacy of individuals or institutions.” The ALA Open Meetings Policy applies to all ALA units and to all meetings conducted by those units.
    • ALCTS virtual committee meetings must be publicized by posting a meeting announcement on the committee’s ALA Connect space 10 days prior to the meeting.

For Participants

  • Treat the online meeting with the same care as you would an in-person meeting:
    • Once a meeting has been scheduled, keep your obligation, making others in your workplace aware of it as appropriate.
    • Arrive at the meeting on time and prepared.
    • Participate in the meeting with no distractions.
  • Use your camera when available.
  • Investigate best headphones for virtual meeting use, considering your workspace and noise/privacy issues. 
  • The flow of the meeting is better if participants do not need to mute themselves, but do mute yourself if you have feedback or there is background noise where you are sitting.
  • Become familiar with the virtual meeting platform, e.g. how to “raise your hand,” send chat messages as needed, share screens, etc. Each platform is slightly different.
  • One of the most common reasons for the meeting starting late is technical problems. Log in a few minutes early to test the volume controls and be ready to start the meeting on time. Do not treat a virtual meeting as a “just in time” scenario where you can easily walk in the door at the official starting time.
  • Follow the ALCTS Statement of Conduct ( for online meetings.