--- Go to the Opening Page of the [Baren] web site ---

Information for Exchange Coordinators

Exchange coordinator:

Thank you for volunteering for this very important task. Coordinating an exchange is usually a lot of fun, very fulfilling, and might be more work than you imagine…

You will need to sharpen up your organization and communication skills in order to make this exchange a success for everyone.

Expect to spend about 5-9 hours opening, collating and re-packing prints, depending on how fast you work and whether you have help or not. You may also have to make several trips to the post office to pick up prints sent insured or certified and to mail the collated sets.

Following are the basics of coordinating the exchange. You will probably find your own ways of doing things-whatever works!

A Handy Checklist (steps explained below):

[_] Welcome participants and request confirmation

[_] Set up a system for organizing participant information

[_] Send regular reminder emails with deadline, coordinator's email and address, exchange details and information page

[_] Receive prints and keep after late senders

[_] Collate prints

[_] Scan prints and format

[_] Prepare colophon

[_] Mail back prints to participants

[_] Mail archive set to Archive with printed colophon

[_] Email scanned folders and electronic colophon to Exchange Manager

Communication with YOU...

Now that you are an exchange coordinator, a special email address has been created which will direct mail to you and the exchange manager. That email address should be used whenever anyone contacts you about the exchange. The address is coordinatorNN@barenforum.org where 'NN' is the number of the [Baren] exchange you are coordinating. If participants contact you using your barenforum email address, then both you and the exchange manager will always 'be on the same page'.

Communication with the exchange manager.

The exchange manager's email address is exchanges_mgr@barenforum.org.

Please keep in close contact with the exchange manager throughout the exchange. Let the manager know of changes in the participant list, non-communicative participants, late drop-outs, any time you feel there might be a problem, and especially if you feel that any participant should be removed from the exchange for any reason (late delivery, non-communication, whatever).

Communication with participants.

The exchange manager (who appointed you coordinator) will provide you with a list of names and email addresses for all participants and wait-listers in the exchange. In each email you send, please remind participants to communicate to you using your coordinatorNN@barenforum.org email address (that way a copy automatically goes to the exchange manager, too!) and be sure to cc:exchanges_mgr@barenforum.org (the exchange manager) so that as much as possible you both always know what's going on.

Most messages from you to exchange participants should be sent to [BarenForum] at YahooGroups with a copy to each participant in the exchange (copy the email addresses of all participants, comma-separated, into the cc: field of your message. That way your message gets posted to the forum AND to each participant and you can feel more certain that your message will be received and read by all. If you feel any message would unduly embarrass a participant, you may omit the [BarenForum] and address it directly to the participant (with a copy to exchanges_mgr@barenforum.org). It's good practice to file printed copies of all messages sent and received during the exchange so you'll have a record handy in case of problems later on (for example, in case your computer fails).

As Soon As You Are Appointed Coordinator:

  1. Send an email introducing yourself to the participants, welcoming them to the exchange, reminding them of the deadlines, offering assistance to anyone who has questions, and asking that they reply immediately so that you can be confident that you have everyone's correct email address and that they are all real people who have read and understand the exchange guidelines. Always include the Exchange Information web page in your emails for easy reference.
    Example: http://barenforum.org/exchange/exchange_xx/exchange_xx.html

  2. Keep after any non-responders until they reply. After you have posted several requests for non-responders to contact you directly to their email address and to the [BarenForum] and enough time has passed without any response so that you suspect that there's 'nobody home' or that an email address may be incorrect, please contact the exchange manager for assistance / discussion.

At Regular Intervals:

Deadline Reminders - Throughout the exchange work period you should email friendly reminders of the approaching deadline. Once per month is enough until the weeks before the deadline. This will gear up anyone who still intends to participate but has not yet started their prints. Your email updates might be something like this:

Dear Exchange #__ participants:

The no-drop-out deadline is mm/dd/yyyy – if you feel you must drop out of the exchange please let me know as soon as possible – a penalty may be imposed if you drop out later than that!

I have now received prints from:
1) name
2) name
3) name
nn) name

I have NOT received prints from:
1) name
2) name
3) name
10) name



Mailing Reminders - Participants should be regularly reminded to include sufficient return postage and self-addressed label with their prints. I generally suggest that participants attach correct postage to their ready-to-mail return packaging or enclose $10 cash for US domestic, $20 cash for outside the US postage.

US Postal Service rates for domestic and international shipments can be found at USPS -- $5.90 is the current rate for 1 lb. Package Priority Mail in the U.S.A. – $12-$22 for International First Class Package and $28 for International Priority Mail overseas depending on destination. Other carriers include UPS, FED-EX, DHL.

Print Information Form Reminders - Participants should be reminded to fill in the Print Information Form for the exchange so that a colophon can be compiled. The proper Information Form can be reached from each Exchange Information Page.

Six Weeks Before the Exchange Deadline
Email everyone who hasn't yet delivered prints (most of them!) and let them know that

Dear <name>, <name>, <name>, <…>:

In fairness to all participants, especially those on the Waiting List, you MUST respond to this email prior to the no-drop-out deadline of mm/dd/yyyy and confirm to me that you intend to complete this exchange on time.

If I do not hear from you prior to mm/dd/yyyy then your name may be removed from the exchange and the next wait-lister may be promoted.

At the Deadline
If all prints aren't delivered by the deadline, you may extend the deadline up to two weeks. If you decide that the extra time is warranted, send an email to the [BarenForum] with cc to participants' email addresses and say something like:

Dear <tardy names>,

The deadline to deliver prints to me has been extended to mm/dd/yyyy. This new deadline is FINAL. Prints received after that date will be returned (if sufficient return postage was enclosed) and a penalty may be imposed.

Please reply to coordinatorNN@barenforum.org immediately to confirm that you have received this message and will deliver your prints prior to the deadline.



Drop outs and other problems:

Although as coordinator you have substantial influence, you should never take it upon yourself to remove a participant from an exchange nor impose any penalty. Those are the unhappy duties of the exchange manager. If you feel that a participant ought to be removed from the list of exchange participants (has not responded to your numerous email requests, has become abusive, intends to deliver late, etc.) or be penalized, please discuss this with the exchange manager as soon as possible. The exchange manager will do the 'dirty work' of removing and/or penalizing a participant.

If / when a participant notifies you that they are dropping out of the exchange you should notify the exchange manager of the drop-out, notify ALL the waitlisters and ask them to reply to you immediately that they are prepared to fill the empty slot. Give the waitlisters a few days to respond, then promote the waitlister who was listed first and responded into the exchange and notify the exchange manager of the change. If no waitlisters are available to fill the slot, then an invitation should be posted to [BarenForum] -- usually someone will take the empty spot – and when they do, inform the exchange manager, of course!

As Prints Arrive...

There are 930 prints in a full exchange, so being VERY organized and methodical will really help.

Prints will start arriving as early as a month before the deadline (or more than a month after, to the coordinator's dismay!). You must keep track of who has already sent prints and/or money for return shipping (may or may not come together), what type of carrier and mail preferences (insured, certified, etc.), and notices of "the prints are in the mail."

Although not absolutely required, a check list will be a big help – your check list could be as simple as a piece of paper with the names of participants and columns labeled:

  1. Participant Name
  2. Email Address
  3. Mailing Address
  4. Prints arrived date
  5. Amount received
  6. Insurance amount (same as received, if any and if paid)
  7. Mailing preference
  8. Packaging included
  9. Comment

Or it could be a spreadsheet in your computer which makes it easy to print mailing labels. Whatever you do, keep it up to date and accurate so you are always confident about the state of the exchange.

Each time you receive prints you should email the participant to let them know.

Opening and inspecting the packages as they arrive will allow you to keep your list up to date and to collect additional materials (mailing labels, money, prints) you need in a timely fashion. If you wait until it's time to collate the prints to open and inspect the contents you might discover several without return addresses or without postage or return packaging – not a nice sort of surprise!

Collate the Prints

Barbara Mason had a stunning breakthrough in the organization of exchange #24... She got legal size hanging file folders and just filed the prints in 31 folders...this worked so well she hopes other coordinators will follow suit. The best part is that she was able to file them a little at a time, so did not have 31 piles of prints layed out all over the house like most of us have had in the past. It took two cardboard filing boxes but it held them all in very tidy order. Barbara highly recommends this method and will gladly send the file folders on to whoever needs them next... She says it is working almost too well...

OR... you will need a large area of CLEAN floor, counter top, tables, or other clean surface to deal the prints (collate them) into 31 separate stacks, each stack containing one of each participant's print. Prints should be dealt or collated face up in reverse colophon order (so first print listed on colophon is on top), and you should attempt to keep similar example numbers 3/31, 4/31, 12/31, xiv/xxxi, etc. together if possible. Suite 1/31 should be reserved for scanning and for mailing to the archive:

Archive set for Exchanges should be sent to the Exchange Manager

The Exchange Manager will forward to our archives.

Be careful not to pick up two prints together – check each example number – this will save much time later on when you discover that you are 'short' a print or two…

If the prints are dry (as they should be!), discard slip sheets -- but if you suspect the slip sheets may be necessary for certain prints, by all means, use them! Some artists will have used newsprint or glassine or other ACIDIC slip-sheet paper, so be careful which slip sheets you include, as it would be a shame to have some of the prints become toned over the years due to inclusion of acidic slip sheets. How can you tell for sure if a slip sheet is archival? You probably can't, but please use your best judgement !!!

If there are extra prints, return them to each artist along with the suite.

Include colophon

Print 31 copies of the colophon (see below) and deal your printed colophon onto the top of each stack to complete collation.

Scan the prints

PLEASE NOTE: If you are not comfortable with any of the following, let the Exchange Manager know right away.

Scan or digitally photograph each print.

Scan the entire sheet (not just the image area) including the edges of the paper.

Crop each print exactly around the outside edge of the paper close to the image (do not crop to the image).

Scale each print image so that it is 1000 minimum pixels in the long dimension or larger.

Save each image as: lastname.jpg
That's it, no first name, no title, just the participants last name without capitalization and the extension .jpg

VERY IMPORTANT: Put all the images in a folder (archive) and ZIP the folder.
Email the zipped archive and an electronic copy of the colophon to the exchange manager exchanges_mgr@barenforum.org AND to exchange_gallery@barenforum.org.

Preparing the Colophon

Before you begin to collate, I suggest you prepare the colophon page(s). You should match the size of your colophon to the dimensions of the exchange. An electronic copy of the colophon should be emailed to the exchange manager.

Use the information from the "Exchange #nn Details" emails you will receive as participants complete their colophon information on-line. If you haven't been receiving those, send email to the exchange manager and request that they be forwarded to you so that you can prepare your colophon -- you may put the prints in any order you choose -- two obvious orders are

a) alphabetical by last name
b) in participant sign-up order

Most coordinators assemble the prints in alphabetical order by artist last name. Check to be sure you have detail for each print in the exchange... If not, email the artist and ask that he/she visit:


and submit the information right away.

If you can, it's very nice to include a thumbnail image of each print along with the information about it in the colophon -- it'll help with your collation and it makes it easier for those browsing the prints to locate the print information. Here's how a typical colophon entry might appear (using the 350 pixel images you scanned to create thumb-nail images):

Mike Lyon, exchanges_mgr@barenforum.org, Kansas City, MO, USA, "Blue Shoes"

My primary model for seven years, Sarah, with her daughter, Lily in her blue jelly flip-flops. Oban Moku-hanga three color (Prussian Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, Sumi) reduction on three blocks in 19 block states. One basswood block and two shina plywood blocks. On Baren Mall Yamaguchi Hosho paper (very nice!). Fifty sheets printed in all. Twenty-three for this Baren Exchange #14(a) Salon de Refuse. Completed Saturday, August 17, 2002 after ten long days of carving and printing.

[thumbnail image] Artist Name, artist@email.address, City, State, Country, "Title", Comment

...< etc >...

If you are unable to do the scanning for your exchange, contact the Exchange Manager.

Packing and Mailing

Pack up portfolio boxes FIRST (as you can use their original packing materials if necessary for other artist's prints).

Try to mail the packages out the way the participants requested (and paid for) and use the return packaging supplied -- some may request insurance or registered mail. It's a good idea to request delivery confirmation where practical. Registered mail can't have any shiny tape, as the post office has to 'seal' every tape seam with a rubber stamp to verify that the package wasn't tampered with.

Be sure to include your return address.

For mailing outside the country you will need to fill out a customs declaration -- contents should be described as "printed matter" with $0 value in order to avoid delays in mailing (unless otherwise requested by the participant).

After you mail everything, if you didn't receive enough postage to cover your mailing costs, contact the exchange manager for reimbursement of your out-of-pocket.

It may happen that one or more packages get lost in the mail and are never delivered. If that happens, please contact the exchange manager for guidance.

You are almost done!

Now e-mail your list and tell them the packages are on the way.

After you complete your exchange, maybe you'd send your additional thoughts so that we can update our suggestions for future coordinators? I'm sure everyone would appreciate what you have to say.

Good luck! Thank you, thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU for doing this! Let me know if you have any questions.

-- Mike Lyon, previous exchange manager who developed most of this page of instructions


--Maria Arango, current galleries web manager who revised it

Last Revised 2/9/2009

[Baren] forum | Information about [Baren] | F.A.Q.
Joining [Baren] | Who is [Baren]? | Administration | Archives