Proposal Instructions


Proposals for the PLA 2014 Conference (March 11-15, 2014 in Indianapolis) must be submitted using the online proposal form. Incomplete proposals can be saved and revised at any time prior to the submission deadline.  A Login ID and password (number) will be emailed to the designated Organizer/Primary Speaker in a confirmation message when a proposal is submitted—whether complete or not—along with a copy of the proposal information. The Login ID and password are needed in order to retrieve and edit a proposal at a later date. 

Program Organizer/Primary Speaker, Facilitator

An Organizer/Primary Speaker for preconferences/concurrent session programs, or Facilitator for ConverStations, must be identified for each proposal. This individual serves as the primary PLA contact throughout the conference planning process and will receive all official notifications. If the proposal is accepted, responsibilities include:

  • Working with the other session speakers to determine the scope of content, the order of speakers, audiovisual needs, etc. 
  • Confirming session details, descriptions and arrangements with speakers and staff;
  • Updating the program information in the online database, and
  • Facilitating the program's presentation. 

PLA depends on Organizers/Primary Speakers/Facilitators to perform a variety of functions in developing the program and ensuring that it is successful at the conference. These include becoming familiar with PLA policies concerning expenses, honoraria, audiotaping, and publishing; communicating regularly with speakers; responding to requests for information about the session from PLA staff and committee members; adhering to deadlines; and arranging for on-site support if not personnally attending. Once a proposal is submitted, the Organizer/Primary Speaker/Facilitator has tacitly agreed to perform these functions or to identify a substitute if the proposal is accepted.

PLA reserves the right to edit or reorganize session content, combine proposals, and make other changes as necessary to render the session appropriate for presentation at its meetings. The involvement and agreement of the Organizer/Primary Speaker/Facilitator will be sought on all such changes. However, PLA has final authority on all session-related decisions, and acceptance or rejection of this proposal does not preclude PLA from developing sessions with similar or identical topics, objectives, or speakers. 

PLEASE NOTE: a session cannot be an advertisement for a vendor or solely a demonstration of a product/service.  Specific products/services may be used or described only if essential for a correct understanding of the session’s topic.  Library staff who currently use the vendor product/service must participate in the presentation.  (POLICIES ON VENDOR PARTICIPATION)

Type of Session

Preconferences are offered as half-day, full-day, or one-and-one-half day sessions. Please select, from the list provided on the form, the length that will most closely match the amount of content expected to be delivered. Preconferences are held on Tuesday and Wednesday of the conference, March 11-12, 2014. Room sets are tailored to the presentation. Attendees will be required to register for an additional fee (beyond conference registration). Preconferences are held based on a cost-recovery basis and may be cancelled due to insufficient registration.

Concurrent program sessions are 60 or 75 minutes in length and are held on Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning. They are set in large rooms, average 300-500 seats, set theater-style.     

ConverStations are facilitated discussions, held at the same times as the concurrent program sessions and also 60 or 75 minutes in length. These are intended to include audience participation, with discussion of the predetermined topic led by a facilitator. Rooms are set in rounds of ten to encourage discussion among attendees. No audiovisual equipment is provided.

Session Title

Come up with a creative and interesting session title. This always helps to capture the attention of both the proposal review committee and prospective conference attendees.

Session Topics and Tags

  1. Please select one primary topic from the list.  These topics do not necessarily reflect the final list of track names that will be used at the conference.
  2. Select up to five secondary topics/tags to help attendees search the website for sessions that may be of interest to them.

Primary Topics

Collections/Tech Services
Serving Adults
Serving Youth

Secondary Topics/Tags

Accessibility (ADA-compliance) Genealogy Professional Development
Acquisitions Government Documents & Services Programming/Services
Administration and Management Guidelines and Standards Project Management
Adult Services Hot Topics Public Programs
Advocacy Human Resources Public Relations
Assessment and Evaluation Information Literacy Public Services
Budget Planning & Finance Innovation RDA
Buildings & Facilities Instruction Readers' Advisory
Career Advice Integrated Library Systems (ILS) Recruitment
Cataloging Intellectual Freedom Reference Services
Children's Literature Intellectual Property Research and Statistics
Children's Services International Issues Resource Sharing
Civic Engagement Knowledge Management Rural & Small Libraries
Collaboration Leadership Serials
Collection Development Learning Commons Social Change 
Community Surveys Legislation Social Media
Continuing Education Librarianship Special Collections
Copyright Library School Education Special Needs Populations
Digital Libraries Literacy Strategic Planning
Digitization Local History Support Staff
Disaster Planning Marketing Technical Services
Distance Learning Mentoring Technology
Diversity Metadata Training
E-books Mobile Technology Transforming Libraries
Electronic Resources Multicultural Services Trends & Forecasting
Emerging  Technologies Networking Trustees
Equity of Access Organizational Change Urban Libraries
Ethics Outreach Services Virtual Communities & Libraries
Facilitation Outsourcing Young Adult Literature
Foundations Partnerships Young Adult Services
Friends Groups Personnel & Staffing Youth Services
Funding Popular Culture  
Fundraising Preservation  
Games and Gaming Privacy  


Please provide a description of the proposed session that clearly describes what the session is about. Do not include presenter names, abbreviations, or acronyms in the description. If your proposal is accepted, this description will be used in promotional materials and may be edited for style and clarity by PLA staff.

Target Audience

All proposed sessions are considered for their ability to attract and educate public library administrators and staff. If the proposed session is targeted toward a different audience or librarians with specific interests, please use the space on the form to explain. Also, please indicate the level of knowledge required on the part of the audience in order to get the most benefit from attending the session: 

  1. People with no previous knowledge of the topic.
  2. People with some knowledge, who want to increase their understanding.
  3. People with extensive knowledge, who want to learn about new developments. 

Learning Objectives

Please identify three (3) learning objectives for your session. Objectives should use active verbs, be concrete, and state what the participants should know or be able to do after attending your session; they should not simply repeat topics that will be addressed. Objectives should begin with the phrase "At the end of this session, participants will . . . ." (Examples: "…participants will be able to identify ten threats to library security…" "…participants will be able to implement outreach programs to reach minority adults in their communities …"). Objectives should be achievable and realistic given the length and scope of the proposed session. These will be available to attendees in the online information about approved sessions. 

Additional Speakers Information

This section allows the Organizer/Primary Speaker to input information on any additional speakers proposed for the session. The speaker entry form requires complete contact information for each speaker (name, title, organization, address, phone, fax and e-mail). The form also requires that you include the speaker's ALA and PLA membership status and that you indicate whether or not the speaker is employed in a library. Please have this information ready when you begin to enter your proposal. 


In keeping with ALA practices, members of the association and those who work in libraries are not eligible to receive honoraria or have expenses reimbursed for presenting conference program sessions. Non-librarian presenters may be eligible for per diem, and/or travel reimbursement.  All requests for expense reimbursement and honorarium are subject to PLA approval. Acceptance of the proposal does not guarantee funding.  Preconferences have unique policies regarding funding and payment of speakers. Please review them here: PLA POLICIES GOVERNING PRECONFERENCE MANAGEMENT AT PLA NATIONAL CONFERENCES. ConverStation facilitators and co-facilitators are not eligible for expense reimbursement or honoraria.