Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Association/Organizational Virtual Communities of Practice?


As many may be aware, there are several changes being considered in the Public Library Association (PLA) Bylaws.

A major proposed change is the creation of various Communities of Practice to replace PLA committees:

"Communities of Practice will replace many of the PLA Committees. Communities of Practice will be virtual groups that are interest- focused and member-driven. Members will have the power to create groups, as well as morph and/or disband them at their discretion. This will allow all 11,000+ members, many who are not able to travel to in-person committee meetings, to get involved with the organization and the public library issues they care about most. Communities of Practice, should the members choose, will still be able to meet in-person at ALA Annual Conference and Midwinter."


Communities of Practice (CoP) Overview

For a forthcoming presentation, I am greatly interest in learning of Any and All Past, Present and/Future Association/Organizational Virtual Communities of Practice, particularly those of the Online Social Networking Kind.

Note: At this time, I am only interested in *Virtual* Association / Organizational Communities of Practice.

I am also interested in Any and All relevant literature, Web sites, blogs, wikis, etc.

Please submit Any and All Contributions as a comment to this posting.




Anonymous said...


Forum One Communications tracks "online communities." Looks like they have non-profit clients.

Online Community Report
a site for online community professionals edited by Bill Johnston

Forum One Communications Jan. 2008 newsletter

Beth Arthur
Threshold Information Inc.
Business, Science & Patent Search Services

Chris said...

The Army Corps of Engineers was, at one time, exploring the use of Tomoye as an online CoP platform. The started out using Groove, which is now part of the Microsoft Office suite, as a collaboration tool. They have since, very systematically codified what a CoP is and how one works here:

The federal government, in general, seems very open to CoPs - especially related to technological change.
Here is a powerpoint as just one example.

http://www.daml.org/meetings/2004/12/pi/SICoP.pdf This in an older document, but cites KM.gov and the Federal CIO Council.

It's been my experience that most of the interaction takes place virtually (not necessarily in a social network environment), but there is face-to-face interaction on a fairly regular basis. I suppose "regular" could be once a month or once a year.

My $0.02,
Christine Carmichael, MS LIS
Creighton University

JW said...

Yes, I am also interested in any material and postings for this worthy cause.

Lyndsay2020 said...

Hi Gerry

Some experience from a fellow membership body (from across the ocean) might be of interest to you.

CILIP Communities [www.communities.cilip.org.uk] was launched at Member's Day in October 2006 after a 6 month pilot process. We produced a detailed final project report Summer 2007, focussing on the lessons learned.

Highlights from 2007:
- opening up the blogs to CILIP's Groups and Branches
- setting up a CILIP Members blog landscape (aggregated blog)
- holding electronic hustings for the election of a new Council. Mostly populated by the candidates but giving the membership an opportunity to learn more about their prospective Councillors.

There is a mixture of member-only access (ie. forums) with some open-access (blogs)is seen primarily as a member benefit.The Communities Team's objectives for 2008 are to grow participation and continue to develop the platform for greater member engagement.

Good luck with your plans.