Proposal Instructions

Proposals for the PLA 2018 Conference must be submitted using the online proposal form. Incomplete proposals can be saved and revised at any time prior to the submission deadline, April 14, 2017. A Login ID and password 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.

Organizer/Primary Speaker
An Organizer/Primary Speaker 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. 

Type of Session
PLA 2018 will feature two session formats -- preconferences and programs.

Preconferences are in-depth educational sessions for 50-100 attendees. They can be a half-day or full-day in length. Preconferences will be held on Tuesday of the conference, March 20, 2018, and typically require an additional registration fee for attendees. Preconferences are held based on a cost-recovery basis and may be cancelled due to insufficient registration.

Programs are 60-minute sessions that can feature a single speaker or panel of speakers, or can be a guided audience discussion or activity. They will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of the conference. Attendance can vary from 50 to 500 people.

Imagine the Possibilities
At PLA 2018, we'll challenge attendees (and speakers!) to Imagine the Possibilities both at conference and back at home. Tell us how your program will offer a unique vision for attendees!

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.

Please provide a description of the proposed session that clearly and concisely outlines your proposed session. 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.

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)

Learning Outcomes
Please identify three (3) learning outcomes for your session. How can you help PLA Conference attendees Imagine the Possibilities? Learning outcomes should use active verbs, be measurable, 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. Each learning outcome should begin with the phrase "At the end of this session, participants will . . . ." Learning outcomes 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.

Knowledge Level of Audience
Being aware of the depth of information to be presented helps attendees decide which programs are a good fit for them. Please indicate the level of knowledge required on the part of the audience:

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

Level of Interaction
Learners can process and retain more information when they engage with the material, participate in the session, and collaborate with each other. You will be asked to identify the level of interaction and active learning in your proposed program:

  • Low interaction (example: single speaker/panel with Q&A at the end of the program)
  • Medium interaction (example: single speaker/panel with questions/discussion throughout the program)
  • High interaction (examples: facilitated discussion; small group interaction, practice, or review; hands-on activity or application)

Program Track
You will be asked to select one program track that best describes the main focus of your session from this list. These do not necessarily reflect the final list of tracks that will be used at the conference.

Broadcast: Programs in the BROADCAST track will provide participants with tools, strategies, and ideas for effective marketing, advocacy, and diffusion of information.
Collaborate: Programs in the COLLABORATE track will offer participants inspiration, examples, and the “how-to’s” of successful connections both within and outside of the library.
Plan: Programs in the PLAN track will provide participants with insight, guidance, and support for setting and tracking goals and initiatives.
Imagine: Programs in the IMAGINE track will examine current trends and emerging realities to explore the larger questions and issues about the future of libraries.
Invent: Programs in the INVENT track will provide participants with ideas to invoke the creative spirit in their libraries and inspire innovation and solution-focused thinking.
Lead: Programs in the LEAD track will provide participants with the information and tools needed to build healthy organizations that innovate and excel.
Play: Programs in the PLAY track will provide participants with the opportunity to discover new concepts, skills, and fun ways to build better libraries.
Challenge: Programs in the CHALLENGE track will show participants how to use risk to their advantage and provide ways to overcome fear and achieve positive results.

Primary Topic
You will be asked to select one primary topic from the following list. These  do not necessarily reflect the final list of topics that will be used at the conference.

Collections/Tech Services
Serving Adults
Serving Youth
Spaces and Places

Session Tags
Select up to five tags that describe the content of the proposed session. The tags will help conference attendees identify additional sessions that may be of interest to them. You must select at least 1 and may select up to 5 tags.

Click here to view the available tags

Additional Speaker(s) 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, and email). 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.

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 SPEAKERS AT PLA CONFERENCES.

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