Call for Proposals

MLA 2022 Annual Conference: Bridging the Divide
October 19-21, 2022
Blue Water Convention Center, Port Huron

Thank you for your interest in sharing your expertise and experience with Michigan's library community! MLA’s Annual Conference is scheduled for October 19-21, 2022, at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron. The conference workgroup is currently in search of sessions that will speak to professionals in all aspects of library work, including leadership, youth services, programming, cataloging, IT, grant funding, capital improvement projects, reference, and more.

The 2022 conference theme is Bridging the Divide. Libraries help bridge a multitude of divides in their communities, including technological, socioeconomic, political, and access to information. Sessions that speak to this theme will be prioritized.

Proposed sessions should meet the following criteria: 

  • Present in-person at the conference hosted October 19-21, 2022 at the Blue Water Convention Center in Port Huron.
  • Sessions must address an issue or speak to a topic that is specific to the audience described above.
  • Sessions must be educational in nature; no sales of products or services will be tolerated.  
  • Sessions must deliver an engaging learner experience (e.g., utilize engaging visuals, elicit participant insights).
  • Presenters should plan to develop and share additional handouts/resources attendees can review and immediately adapt/adopt following their sessions.


Please feel free to contact Amber Sheerin, MLA Program and Event Director at [email protected] with any questions you may have prior to your submission. 

Committee Selection Process

The following criteria will be used in assessing the viability of including a program in the schedule. The workgroup retains the right to reject, modify, or combine proposals.

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

Audience – Is the target audience clearly identified?

Practicality – Is the topic appropriate for a conference breakout session in content and target audience?

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

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

Qualifications – Do the presenter(s) have sufficient background experience to present on the proposed topic?

Diversity and Inclusion – Does the presentation help give voice to underrepresented groups that have been historically marginalized or offer diverse viewpoints?

Agreements and Selection Notification

MLA will send all individual presenters a Presenter Agreement indicating the date, time, and details of their presentation. This will be confirmed by the presenters and returned to MLA.


  • Monday, April 4, 2022 – Final day to submit breakout proposals
  • Monday, May 9, 2022 – Selection notifications and agreements distributed via email to program presenters.
  • Friday, July 1, 2020 – Signed breakout speaker agreements due
  • Friday, September 30, 2022 – Handouts due. Handouts received after this date may not be posted for attendees before or during the conference.
  • Wednesday, October 19 – Friday, October 21, 2022 – MLA Annual Conference
Submit a Proposal

General Guidelines

  • Most educational programs are scheduled for 60-minute time blocks, including time for Q&A. MLA is willing to consider 30-minute sessions or longer multi-part sessions, if requested.
  • Program submitter does not need to be the presenter. 
  • Program submitter will be considered the primary contact person. 
  • Presenters must appear in-person at the conference. 
  • Contact information is required for each presenter.
  • Presenters are not reimbursed or compensated for session time, mileage, or any other expenses.
  • Handouts will be posted to the MLA website before the conference. Handouts will not be printed.
  • Presenters must register for the day(s) they attend if they intend to stay beyond their allotted presentation time.

The submission form will require the following information. Download the guidelines.

Session Title

In 10 words or fewer please provide a title for your proposed session. The best titles are clear, succinct, and describe exactly what will be covered in the session.

Session Description

In 500 characters or fewer, please provide a concise description of your proposed session. If accepted this will appear in the final program listing and on the conference website. Please write it in 3rd person, make it lively, informative, and interesting. It may be edited for publication.  Speakers will be listed separately; they should not be listed in the session description. 

Abridged Session Description

In 150 characters or fewer please provide a short description that may be used for social media and related marketing purposes.

Equity, Diversity, Accessibility, and Belonging 

Fostering a culture of equity, diversity, accessibility, and belonging is the top strategic priority of MLA. Describe how this session aligns with those goals or contributes to wider representation of diverse groups and points of view. How might this session contribute to wider representation of diverse groups and points of view?

Conference Theme 

Describe how this session speaks to the conference theme "Bridging the Divide". 

Session Format

Please identify the session format. Examples include:

Case Study Presentation – A session focusing on the results of a specific study, program or service.

Skill Building Workshop – A session in which participants will learn about a specific skill and how it can be applied to improve results, workflow, and/or efficiency.

Panel Presentation with Moderator – A moderated session focusing on a particular issue, program, or service. 

Knowledge Level of Audience

Please indicate the level of knowledge attendees should have on this topic in order to gain the most benefit from attending.

Foundational – For those with no previous knowledge of the topic

Applied – For those with some previous knowledge of the topic 

Learning Outcomes

Please identify three (3) learning outcomes for your session that begin, “At the end of the session, participants will...”

Learning outcomes should use active verbs, be measurable, and state what the participants should know or be able to do after attending your session. Learning outcomes should not simply repeat topics that will be addressed or activities that will take place during the session. Your proposal will be evaluated on the clarity and specificity of its learning outcomes.

Session Track

Please select up to two tracks that you think best describe your session:

Create – Sessions focus on concepts, programs, or services new to libraries and/or what’s trending for the new decade

Connect – Sessions focus on services and programs that engage staff, patrons, and/or the community with the goal of improving library services.

Reimagine – Sessions focus on how libraries are re-thinking and adapting services and programs to the changing needs of staff, patrons, and/or the community.

Lead – Sessions focus on how library staff, patrons, and/or community can lead others towards inspiring solutions.

Target Audience – Library Types (Choose all that apply)

  • All/General
  • Public
  • Academic
  • School
  • Special

Target Audience – Job Functions (Choose all that apply)

  • Acquisitions
  • Administrative Services
  • Cataloging
  • Children’s Services
  • Circulation
  • Collection Development
  • Director/Dean
  • Friends
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Instruction
  • Manager/Department Head
  • Marketing
  • Media Specialist
  • Outreach
  • Paraprofessional
  • Reference
  • Student
  • Support Staff
  • Technical Services
  • Teen Services
  • Trustee
  • Other 

Presenter Information

The following information is required of every presenter:

  • Name
  • Organization
  • Job title
  • Email
  • Phone
  • Address 
  • Previous speaking experience or qualifications on the chosen topic
  • Biography of 500 characters or less
  • Headshot photo


If my program submission is accepted, I agree to the following:

  • I will be responsible for registering and paying for the conference if I plan on attending other sessions or events beyond my allotted presentation time.
  • I will be required to provide my own computer or tablet during the presentation time. 
  • I understand I must provide a digital handout to MLA by October 1, 2022, and handouts will not be printed by MLA.
  • I understand I will not be reimbursed or compensated for presentation time, mileage, or any other expense related to my participation in the conference.
  • I agree to MLA's Code of Conduct and COVID-19 Policy 

Uniting the Michigan Library Community

MLA is proud to partner with organizations serving the library community.

Friends of Michigan Libraries logo