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Joining and Using the ALTA E-Mail Discussion List

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This lesson will get you subscribed to the ALTA (Association for Library Trustees and Advocates) e-mail discussion list.

To Subscribe to the list:

Printable copy of these instructions

  1. Log into your e-mail

  2. Compose a message to listproc@ala.org

  3. In the SUBJECT of the message, type this text:
    Subscribe ALTA-L [FIRST NAME] [LAST NAME]
    where FIRST NAME is your first name and LAST NAME is your last name.

Sending Messages to the ALTA E-mail Discussion List

To send a message to the ALTA e-mail discussion list, simply log in to your e-mail account (see here for help), and compose a message to ALTA-L@ala.org.

There are a few netiquette (Net Etiquette) considerations to being on an e-mail discussion list:
  1. Be polite
    Your message is being sent by computer to computers around the world, but remember that humans are sitting at those computers. Saying "Please" and "Thank you" can make a big difference to the way your questions are treated by others on the list.

  2. Choose an appropriate subject
    Experienced Internet users often subscribe to dozens of mailing lists, and use the subject of incoming mail messages to determine quickly what they are about.

    When you write a message to the list, choose a readable and informative subject. For example, suppose your hand is stuck in a glass jar and you want help from the Silly Things We Do To Ourselves, instead of saying "Help me, please - it's URGENT!!!", it's better to write something like "My hand is stuck in a glass jar - what can I do?"

  3. Quote sparingly
    When you reply to somebody else's message, your e-mail software can include their message in your reply so you can respond to specific points.

    It's easy to quote their message in your reply, but it's polite to remove anything that isn't absolutely necessary to put your reply in context. Nothing shows you up as a mailing list novice more than quoting huge chunks of messages to add just one or two lines.

  4. Stay on topic, or change topics
    When responding to a message, stick to the original issue being discussed. If you want to discuss something of peripheral interest, you have two choices:

    1. Take the discussion "outside" the list by replying to the originator in private.

    2. If you want the discussion to remain public, reply to the list, but change the subject of the e-mail message.

    The reason for changing the subject is that some list members (maybe even you) filter and sort their incoming messages according to their subject lines, so you help them to sort their e-mail easily.

  5. Contribute
    It's entirely appropriate - and good manners, in fact - to sit back and just observe a list for a while after you join it. If everybody was a "lurker", there wouldn't be a list at all.

Now that we know how to use the web, how to get and use a Yahoo! mail account, and how to subscribe to and use the ALTA e-mail discussion list, let's have a quick discussion of a few types of files that you're going to run across in your Internet wanderings.

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Page last modified: January 10, 2008

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