ACRL 2013 Conference Proposals Due May 11!

ACRL 2013 LogoFriday May 11 is the deadline for ACRL 2013 Conference contributed paper, panel session, preconference and workshop proposals.  Do you have questions about the submission process?  Get the ACRL staff scoop below!

Q. Is there still time to submit a proposal?
A. Indeed!  Even if you haven’t given it much thought yet, there is still more than two weeks for you to brainstorm, discuss with your colleagues, draft your proposal and make your best presentation ideas come to life at ACRL 2013.

Q. Why would I want to submit a proposal?
A. Speaking at ACRL 2013 is a chance for you to share ideas that you are most passionate about, get feedback from your colleagues, and meet new people in order to grow your professional fan club. It is also great speaking experience and an honor to have a proposal accepted.  Being a speaker at conference is one of the best built-in networking opportunities and makes a great case for justifying your attendance to your boss. Another perk is that all contributed paper, panel, preconference and workshop presenters are invited to the VIP Chair’s Reception where we celebrate and thank speakers for their contributions. The Indy Chair’s Reception will be at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art on Thursday night.

Q. How much work is it, really?
A. The main components of the proposal form are basic contact information, the format you are applying for, your program title, two descriptions (short 75 words and long 500 words), three learning objectives, and tagging information to help us organize the content — that’s it! We really try to make it painless to submit a proposal. The proposal form lets you start and save your work and come back later to finish if you would like to.

Q. Will I get selected? How does that work anyway?
A. It is certainly an honor to get selected by an ACRL 2013 review committee of your peers. The conference tag line is “peer revered” for a reason; acceptance rates are typically about 20% – 50% for these session formats. There is a selection committee for each session type that consists of 6 — 12 members for each format type. They blind-review all the proposals (please remember that including institution or personal info in your descriptions will disqualify you!) and score them according to a rubric for each session type. The committees will meet at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim this June and discuss the scores and make the final selections. They do their best to accept the most interesting proposals with a wide range of session topics within each format to make for a well-rounded conference.

Q. How can I increase my chances of getting selected?
ACRL proposal review committees will review hundreds of proposals, so consider how you can make yours stand out.  Creative, interesting and informative titles and descriptions are most favorably viewed by the proposal review committees and prospective program attendees.  The detailed description should outline your session’s main points, its relevance to attendees, how it is unique from others that address the same topic, and the ways you will engage the audience. Make sure to read the ACRL 2013 Program Proposal Instructions before you begin your proposal and you may also want to check out additional online resources for tips such as, Tips for improving your next conference proposal (Educause) or Developing a Conference Presentation: A Primer for New Library Professionals (Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research).

Q.  What if I still have questions? Is there a real person who can help me?
A.    We would be happy to assist you. You can reach me, Margot Conahan (; 312-280-2522),  or my colleague Tory Ondrla (; 312-280-2522) with your conference proposal questions. We look forward to seeing you at ACRL 2013.

Imagine, Innovate, Inspire!


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