Call for Proposals

MLA Spring Institute: Growing, Networking, and Inspiring!

March 22 – 23, 2018
GVSU L.V. Eberhard Center

Call for Breakout Session Program Proposals

Submissions welcome through Friday, November 10, 2017.

The 2018 MLA Spring Institute Conference theme is Growing, Networking, and Inspiring, and those are exactly the experiences that the event will focus on.  All topics are welcome to be proposed.  Examples could be, but not limited to: early literacy, diversity, coding/STEM, grants/fundraising, music, personal development, avoiding burnout, programming, collections, and management.

The conference will work to achieve the following goals and outcomes through its programs:

●     Provide quality professional development for those serving youth (ages 0 – 18) in libraries.

○ Attendees will gain at least three ideas that they can apply or adapt at their libraries.

●     Enable an opportunity for those serving youth (ages 0 – 18) in libraries to exchange relevant, actionable knowledge through networking.

○ Attendees will connect with new professional contacts with whom they can exchange ideas.

○ Attendees will build professional relationships that will provide future support.

●     Revitalize and inspire those serving youth (ages 0 – 18) in libraries.

○ Attendees will return to their library with renewed enthusiasm for their work.

Agreements and Selection Notification

  • MLA will contact each program’s submitter and subsequent presenters in regards to final decisions on or before November 20, 2017.
  • MLA will send all presenters a Presenter Agreement indicating date, time, and details of their presentation. This will be confirmed by the presenter and returned to MLA.

Program Submission General Guidelines

  • Program submitter may or may not also be the presenter. Either is acceptable.
  • Communications by MLA will be to all members who are a part of your submission. Contact information is required for each presenter.
  • Presenters are not reimbursed or compensated for session time, mileage, or any other such item.
  • Presenters must register for the day(s) they attend Spring Institute if they intend to stay beyond their allotted presentation time.

Program AV & Room Setup

  • All presentation rooms will be supplied with a projector and screen; a microphone will be available as applicable.
  • Internet access may be available but is not guaranteed.
  • Presenters will provide their own laptops and have presentations on laptops, flash drives, cloud, etc. Remote mouse devices/pointers are the responsibility of the presenter. Apple users will be responsible for also providing their own adaptor for connection to the projector.

Program Handouts & Evaluations

  • Handouts may be posted to the MLA website before the conference. Call for handouts will be on March 13, 2018.
  • Printed handouts will not be reproduced by MLA for the conference.  Instead they will be made available on the MLA website before, during and after the conference. Presenters may provide handouts themselves if desired.

Selection Criteria

The Spring Institute work group will use the following criteria in assessing the viability of including a program on the schedule. The work group retains the right to reject, modify, or combine proposals.

Purpose:  Does the proposal clearly identify a goal and outcome(s), and are those in line with goals and outcomes of the conference as a whole?

Audience:  Is the target audience clearly identified?

Clarity:  Is the proposal easy to understand with technological or industry jargon explained, if necessary, correct grammar and professionalism?  Does the proposal clearly state concrete & specific topics/themes that you’ll be highlighting?

Practicality:  Is the topic appropriate for a conference breakout session in content, time, audience?

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

Qualifications:  Does the speaker(s) have sufficient background experience to present on said topic?

Timeline (on or before)

November 10, 2017—Final day to submit program proposals

November 20, 2017—Selection notifications emailed from MLA to program presenters

December 30, 2017—Presenter agreements sent from MLA office to program presenters

March 13, 2018—Handouts received for posting on MLA website

March 22 – 23, 2018—Spring Institute Conference, GVSU L.V. Eberhard Center


Please feel free to contact the work group chair, Thais Rousseau at or Leanne Sandoval with the Michigan Library Association at with any questions you may have prior to your submission.

Program proposal submission form:


Call for Cool Things My Library Does Proposals

Cool Things My Library Does will be held on Thursday, March 22, 2018 from 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.

Submissions welcome through Monday, January 8, 2018

Do you have a great project you’ve implemented at your library, but don’t think the information would fill a whole breakout session time slot? 

Would you like to share your unique programming ideas with your peers? 

Have you or your library done something so great, you have to share it with the world? 

Does your library do something no one else does?

Please consider submitting a proposal for Cool Things My Library Does. This quick engaging presentation session will give you an opportunity to showcase your brilliance in a comfortable group discussion and reception format.  Think of it like a strolling poster session show-and-tell with props. Topic examples might be unique collections, outreach programs, engaging services or distinctive displays. 

Timeline (on or before)

January 8, 2018—Final day to submit Cool Things My Library Does proposals

January 30, 2018—Selection notifications emailed from MLA to presenters


Please feel free to contact the work group chair, Thais Rousseau at or Leanne Sandoval with the Michigan Library Association at with any questions you may have prior to your submission.

Submission form: