Call for Proposals


MLA 2018 Annual Conference
October 17 – 19, 2018
Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi

Submissions welcome through March 31, 2018
This deadline is firm and will not be extended.

To submit your proposal, please complete this online survey:

The MLA 2018 Annual Conference work group seeks a variety of program proposals that will address topics representing the wide-range of professional responsibilities found in libraries and those that will introduce new ideas or solutions to the challenges currently facing Michigan libraries. Library professionals interested in sharing their insights, experiences and knowledge are invited to submit a program or poster proposal for consideration.

We encourage participation from librarians, staff and administrators from all types of libraries.

Are you working on a new project, but don’t have results ready to present a formal program? Consider presenting a poster session, where you can discuss important topics with peers in an informal setting. A good poster session focuses on one main theme, presents useful information, and stimulates discussion. It’s a great way to jump into presenting without building a full-blown program. Read on for complete details or download the Call for Programs and Posters (pdf).

Program and Poster Submission General Guidelines

  • Submitter may or may not also be the presenter. Either is acceptable. You do not need to be an MLA member to submit.
  • Contact information is required for each presenter.
  • Presenters will be asked to submit 3 keywords to describe their presentation.
  • Program sessions are typically forty-five to sixty minutes of content.
  • Presenters are not reimbursed or compensated for presentation time, mileage or any other expense related to their participation in the conference.
  • Presenters, including MLA members, must register and pay for the day(s) they attend Annual Conference if they plan to participate in any conference activities beyond their presentation or at the poster session reception.
  • Poster presenters will be required to showcase their poster over a two-day period. Poster previews (unaccompanied by the presenters) will be on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from approximately 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. during the Opening Conference Reception. The Your Professional Connection Reception & Poster Session (where the presenters are required to accompany the poster) will be on Thursday, October 18, 2018 from approximately 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. 

Agreements and Selection Notification

  • MLA will contact each submitter in writing with regard to final decisions of the acceptance process by Monday, May 14, 2018.
  • MLA will send all individual presenters a Presenter Agreement indicating date, time and details of their presentation. This will be confirmed by the presenters and returned to MLA.


  • Handouts are required for both posters and programs. Examples of handouts may be, but are not limited to: presenter contact information, a list of additional resources, a copy of presentation slides, a summary of the poster, or related worksheets.
  • Printed handouts are not distributed on site by MLA during the conference, but are rather posted on MLA’s website and mobile app. Presenters may provide hard copies of handouts if desired at their own cost.
  • Handouts will be due to MLA by Monday, October 1, 2018 and will be posted to MLA’s website before the conference.

Selection Criteria

The MLA Annual Conference work group will use the following criteria in assessing the viability of including a poster or program in the schedule. The work group retains the right to reject, modify, or combine proposals.


Does the proposal clearly identify a goal and takeaways for the audience?


Is the target audience clearly identified?


Is the topic appropriate for a poster session/conference breakout session in content and target audience?


Will the presentation and presenter(s) keep the audience’s focus and attention through clear speech, engaging visuals, useful and relatable content?

Timeliness/ Relevance

Is the topic of current interest, bringing new ideas and a fresh perspective to its intended audience and theme?


Does the speaker(s) have sufficient background experience to present on proposed topic?


  • March 31, 2018 - Final day to submit proposals. This deadline is firm and will not be extended.
  • On or before May 14, 2018 - Selection notifications distributed via email from MLA to poster and program presenters.
  • Starting May 14, 2018 - Presenter agreements sent from MLA office to poster and program presenters
  • October 1, 2018 - Handouts received for posting on MLA website
  • October 17 - 19, 2018 - MLA 2018 Annual Conference Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, MI

Poster Setup

  • Poster presenters are required to provide their own poster content.
  • One (1) tri-fold foam presentation board with dimensions of 36’’ height by 48’’ width (24’’ center panel and 12’’ side panels) will be provided to each poster presentation at no cost to the presenter. Presentation boards will be provided at check-in during Annual Conference. The usage of the MLA-provided presentation board is not a requirement; presenters may provide their own board if desired.
  • Poster presenters are required to provide their own means of adhering content to the poster board via tape, tacks, clips, putty, etc.
  • One (1) 6-foot table with linen will be provided for each poster presentation to display poster/materials.
  • Poster setup will be from approximately 3:15 – 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018. Posters/materials will be unaccompanied and available for preview from approximately 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at the All Conference Opening Reception. The Your Professional Connection Reception & Poster Session will be held from approximately 5:45 – 6:45 p.m. on Thursday, October 18, 2018.  Poster presenters are required to be in attendance on Thursday. 

Program AV & Room Setup

  • All presentation rooms will be supplied with a projector, screen and podium with microphone at no cost to the presenter.
  • Wi-Fi internet will be in each presentation room, however, MLA cannot guarantee the speed and dependability of the services at any given time.
  • Presenters must provide their own laptops and have presentations on laptops, flash drives, cloud, etc. Remote mouse devices/pointers are the responsibility of the presenter. All presenters will be responsible for providing their own cables for connection to the projector (HDMI or VGA).
  • MLA will take every effort to make sure the presentation rooms are set up according to needs of presentation (ex: for a panel discussion if applicable).

Recording of Programs

  • Permission to record a single program must be granted by all presenters of that program.
  • Permission must also be granted by the MLA Program Subcommittee to record any program.


Please feel free to contact Leanne Sandoval, MLA’s Director of Professional Development, or Tanya Davidson, MLA 2018 Conference Chair, with any questions you may have prior to your submission.

Leanne Sandoval, Michigan Library Association:
Tanya Davidson, Marygrove College:

To submit your proposal, please complete this online survey:

The submission form for 2018 can be used for both program and poster proposals. You should have the following information ready for submission:

  • Contact information for all participants (name title, organization, address, email, phone)
  • Submission title
  • Submission description
  • Submission abstract – limited to 100 words
  • Target audience information
  • Goals and takeaway statements
  • Three words to describe your submission