Category Archives: Conferences

ACRL Midwinter Presidential Forum: Leadership Development for New Library Roles

irene_herold2016webJoin ACRL for its upcoming Presidential Forum at the 2017 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Atlanta. Titled “Leadership Development for New Library Roles,” the dynamic session will feature academic library leaders who will share their experiences leading workforce and organizational change and offer strategies useful to all library staff wanting to build new roles and skills to support value-added services.

The forum, hosted by ACRL President Irene M. H. Herold, University Librarian at University of Hawaii At Manoa Library, will take place from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 22, 2017, at the Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta, Savannah A/B Ballroom.

Find out about the many other ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits highlights as they’re added. For general information, visit the Midwinter Meeting website.

Show Us Your Roxane!

ACRL 2017 Roxane Gay poster contest entryAuthor and cultural critic Roxane Gay will be delivering the middle keynote at ACRL 2017 next March in Baltimore. She also happens to be featured on our new, completely fabulous conference poster!

To help celebrate the release of the poster, show us your best Roxane Gay face on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with the hashtag #acrl2017 by November 11 to enter to win a SIGNED copy of Bad Feminist, a GALLEY of Difficult Women (read it BEFORE the release this January!), or a Roxane Gay Difficult Women tour t-shirt. Make sure your posts or accounts are set to public so they are visible in the hashtag too!

Thanks to The Tuesday Agency for providing such awesome prizes!

ACRL 2017 Schedule, What’s New

ACRL 2017 logoThe ACRL 2017 program schedule is now available on the conference website. ACRL 2017 features more than 300 thought-provoking sessions hand-selected by your peers.

You can sort the schedule by date, session format, primary tag, or search for particular speakers. And while you can’t be in two places at once, your conference registration allows you access to over 200 of these sessions in the Virtual Conference for one full year after the event!

While you’re on the ACRL 2017 website checking out all the great programs waiting for you in Baltimore, make sure to visit the What’s New page for details on all of the new additions to conference, including our upcoming conference app, trivia night, and more!

ALA Rethinking Annual Conference

Editor’s note: The following is a message from ALA Conference Committee Chair Clara N. Bohrer.

The ALA Conference Committee is seeking your assistance as we rethink the ALA Annual Conference, looking at member experience, conference-based collaboration and networking, learning and sustainability.

As an ALA Committee, we appreciate that the ALA Conference offers significant benefit to members:

  • It brings together librarians and library staff (across types of libraries and specializations), authors, editors, library trustees and friends, and library suppliers to share their best thinking, explore common issues from their distinctive perspectives, discuss emerging trends, and challenge assumptions that might otherwise stifle innovation.
  • The Conference provides an opportunity to showcase for new audiences the best work of ALA’s divisions, round tables, committees and partners: the latest research, the results of outstanding projects, successful models, innovative practices.
  • It offers a powerful platform to speak to the communities that our libraries serve, through conference-based advocacy work.
  • While ALA’s work goes on year-round, Annual Conference offers the face-to-face engagement that is often essential to addressing critical issues or resolving problems.
  • Regardless of type of library or specialization, the Conference offers an opportunity to develop and nourish each member’s unique national network.

Right now, the ALA Annual Conference offers 2,400-2,700 programs, discussion groups, meetings, and events in 350-370 concurrent meeting spaces. While this shows the vitality and amazing span of this field, we believe that it is necessary to do this in a more structured and efficient way. We know from post-conference surveys that attendees do not like the expansive, spread-out campus which requires running back and forth between multiple venues, consuming both time and personal energy. We know that attendees have a difficult time finding the most relevant content for their current needs because it gets buried in the volume and complexity of the Conference. We also know that using 350-370 rooms across a large campus is ultimately not a financially sustainable practice for our Association.

Our focus is the best possible conference experience for all participants, forward-focused innovation, and long-term sustainability for our association. So, we are seeking your collaboration with the ALA Conference Committee as we examine what we are currently doing, think about possible new opportunities, and explore new ways to collaborate. We will end up doing less of some things. We may end up doing some things we don’t currently do  — but would like to do.

The Committee has asked Mary Ghikas, ALA’s Senior Associate Executive Director, to develop a couple of different models, looking at three inventories:

  • The things we do at conferences – programs, discussion groups, meetings, special events.
  • The places we use at conferences – meeting rooms at both the convention center and hotels.
  • The conference schedule – the designated time periods for programs and other conference activities.

We are looking at reducing the “places” inventory from 350-370 to 200, which would have a significant and positive impact on the time that participants spend going from place to place. It will also require collaboration, imagination and open communication with each other. How can we more effectively coordinate and collaborate in conference content development? How might we coordinate discussion group schedules and improve access to these vital venues for peer-to-peer sharing and learning?  How can we reduce the schedule conflicts between meetings and programs and between programs and discussion groups within a related content stream?

It will be the task of the ALA Conference Committee to examine and discuss the models presented, to share and obtain input from across the Association on the models, and to select or modify a model for implementation at the 2018 Annual Conference in New Orleans and future annual conferences. The Committee’s structure is an asset in this process. The ALA Conference Committee has a representative composition, bringing together various stakeholders – from the broad ALA membership, from ALA Council and Executive Board, from Divisions, from Round Tables. The annually-appointed Conference Program Coordinating Team (CPCT), a subcommittee, is also representative, including someone from every division, as well as the Round Tables Coordinating Assembly. The CPCT will participate in rethinking the Annual Conference with the ALA Conference Committee and assist in obtaining feedback across the Association. Work will be done through space on ALA Connect, where proposed models will be posted, as well as at our face-to-face meetings at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference.

In the future, we will be asking for your feedback on models. We value your input. If you have any questions feel free to contact me.


Clara N. Bohrer, Chair

ALA Conference Committee

ACRL 2017 proposal submission deadline October 14

ACRL invites you to share your research and creative endeavors with your colleagues at ACRL 2017 logoACRL 2017, At the Helm: Leading Transformation. Submit your proposal via the Call for Participation available on the conference website. The submission deadline is approaching! Poster session, roundtable discussion, TechConnect presentation, and Virtual Conference proposals are due October 14, 2016.

Why Present at ACRL 2017?

  • Advocate for your research, project or initiative.
  • Expand your connections and get feedback from the best in the profession.
  • Boost your professional experience and confidence.
  • Invite new collaborations and opportunities into your life.
  • Inspire your colleagues by presenting on the most dynamic issues and ideas facing the profession.
  • Add your presentation to your CV and feel good about contributing to the profession.
  • Good work juju (it’s true, ACRL presenters receive good juju all year long!).

A Format for Everyone

ACRL 2017 offers a variety of session formats to suit a wide range of presentation and learning styles. From first-time presenters to seasoned experts, there is a format best suited to your ideas.

Get Started

Consult the conference tags to stimulate your thinking and position your proposal within the conference theme. The tags will serve to create a conference map and guide attendees to themes of interest and inspiration.

Due Date

Poster session, roundtable discussion, TechConnect, and Virtual Conference webcast proposals are due Friday, October 14, 2016.

Check out the conference website for complete details. Questions should be directed to

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