In the menu on the right, you will find information on all the Groups (Special Interest Groups and Communities of Practice) that operate within Academic Libraries North (ALN).   

These groups look to bring together like-minded colleagues to provide expert advice, support strategic directions and enable professional development. ALN supports these exceptional connections and the opportunities they present and will look to build on them with the potential for some new groups in the future to meet the changing needs of our members.

Group Chairs
Most of our groups operate with two co-chairs who lead the group for between 2 and 3 years. Co-chairing means that the workload is manageable and there are plenty of opportunities to use each other as sounding boards for ideas. You can find out the roles and responsibilities of a chair/co-chair here.

Our Chairs get great experience chairing these groups, describing it as "...a really positive experience" and generally saying that, though they might have been nervous about the time commitment of taking on such a role, they find it isn't too time-consuming once they start and the benefits "far outweigh any time pressures that may arise". For a flavour of what it means to Chair or Co-Chair a group, please take a look at our case studies.

Each year, the group chairs report back on the activities and events that their groups have been involved in over the past 12 months, and give a flavour of their plans for the next 6 months. The groups report using the following template: SIGs-CoPs Report to Board Template

Membership of Groups
Our groups look to bring together like-minded colleagues working on similar challenges to provide advice and peer support, support ALN’s strategic objectives and enable professional development. They also produce outputs to support the wider community. The following document should help people to understand what it means to be part of an ALN group and what the expectations are for group membership - ALN Group Participation Expectations.

Useful Documents

If you are planning to run a Focus Group or a Task & Finish Group as part of the work of your group, the following documents should offer you some guidance:

Guidance for Focus Groups

Guidance for Task & Finish Groups

If you have any ideas for potential new groups, please get in touch with the Development Managers.