18 Sep 14 New Internet Service Provider

We have completed our switchover to our new Internet Service Provider.


18 Sep 14 New Internet Service Provider – switchover is scheduled for tonight

As we have been preparing for the switch to our New Internet Service Provider we have discovered there will be some minor service interruptions.  


Again, our outbound IP address will change from to  Any outside services that are linked to our IP address, e.g. subscriptions, will need to be notified of the change.


There is a possibility that some outside web browsers will not receive a timely update to the new addresses, due to the variable time DNS needs to propagate to some ISPs.  Affected users will be unable to reach ALA until that provider updates their DNS. This will resolve naturally over time.


Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.





Sherri Vanyek
Director, Information Technology & Telecommunication Services
American Library Association
50 East Huron
Chicago, IL. 60611

Phone: (800) 545-2433 x2437
Direct:  (312) 280-2437



15 Sep 14 migration

This week, we plan on finishing migrating the wikis off of Dreamhost by moving the remaining in house. There are 41 wikis that remain on This will only affect wikis hosted on

We will be able to do this with minimal outage. We will put the wikis into read only mode tomorrow morning. They will still be available, but they will not be editable. This will allow us to migrate them without losing any new changes that may be made. We anticipate the migration to take 2 days, Tuesday and Wednesday. At the end of the process, we will change the DNS which will take the new in house wikis live. At that time, the wikis will be editable.

Any delays in the DNS propagation will simply send users to the old read-only wikis. This will allow us to migrate them without the users noticing any downtime. The DNS propagation time varies. Traditionally, it has taken a few hours. However, under the worst circumstance, it can take up to 3 days.

Please contact me with any concerns.

08 Sep 14 Mediawiki Upgrade

Mediawiki installations are being upgraded to version 1.23.3 today. There should be no noticeable downtime as the upgrade rolls out. No interaction is required by users.

03 Sep 14 Help us improve ALA Connect!

Five years, one redesign, and dozens of new features after its launch in 2009, we’re doing our largest feedback survey to date to learn how ALA Connect is working for you and how we can make it even better.

We’re asking both ALA members and non-members to fill out the online survey, which will be open through Sunday, October 12, 2014. Everyone who completes it will be entered into a drawing for an iPad Mini.

We’re also seeking ALA members who will participate in a one-hour site review and feedback session with $75 compensation. The ALA members who wish to participate must be either new to ALA Connect or have visited the website, but have not previously engaged in group discussions or forums on the site. The valuable input gathered from the interview will help launch a redesign of the site that encourages collaboration among ALA members. Please contact if you’re interested in participating in this more granular feedback session.

27 Aug 14 Website outage

I am rolling out a new update to the web server. There was no expected outage, however, it seems one of the new features knocked several of the microsites offline. They are coming back online as the update processes touches each one of them. They should all be back online before 4pm CST. I apologize for any issues this may have cause.

25 Jul 14 Website is back up

The website and all microsites are now back up. Our network security device had failed, which had blocked all traffic to the server. We have rectified the issue and are back up and running. I apologize for any issues this may have caused.

25 Jul 14 Website outage

Currently and all microsites are down. We are working on the issue. Unfortunately no further information is available.

10 Jul 14 Sympa Mailing Lists and DMARC

Yahoo and AOL have introduced a new technology called DMARC. Without going into the technical details, it completely breaks all internet mailing lists as we know it. We have instituted a work around in Sympa. All lists now have a subscriber called Do not, under any circumstances, delete this user. Without this user, mails sent to and from AOL and Yahoo members will be bounced. Any email sent from Yahoo or AOL is now being modified to so that it comes from Name@yahoo via <>. The real sender is not the original sender. This is by design in order to work around the problem. Going forward it is important to reply to the list, not to an individual sender. If you reply to an individual sender, the email will be sent to and will be discarded. If you have already deleted this user, please add it back as a list member. The options should be set to reception:nomail and visibility:hidden.


If you are interested in the technological aspects of DMARC and want a more in depth analysis, PC world wrote a great article at


We plan on upgrading Sympa later this summer. The newest version has features to help work around the DMARC problem. However, it should be noted that this new technology fundamentally breaks mailing lists, and the work arounds are not a fix. They simply work around the issue. The problem is not exclusive to Sympa and extends to all known mailing list technologies available.

09 Jul 14 Website outage

There is a mandatory Drupal security fix that is being applied this evening. There will be rolling outages from 7pm to 8pm CST. Each microsite will probably be down for no more than a few minutes. After the update is applied to that particular site, it will come back up and I will move on to the next one.