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Call for Proposals

Annual Calls for Proposals are issued for our Spring Institute for Youth Services Conference and our Annual Conference. Calls for Proposals for webinars, workshops and additional resources are issued as needed. Review details of open and upcoming calls for proposals below.

MLA 2020 Annual Conference Program and Poster Proposals

MLA 2020 Annual Conference
October 28-30, 2020
Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center
Kalamazoo, Michigan

Submissions welcome through May 3, 2020. Click the button below to submit your proposal:

Submit A proposal

Program Submission General Guidelines

  • The 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 are strongly encouraged to submit a headshot.
  • 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.
  • Programs proposals must include at least three session objectives and identify a target audience.

Agreements and Selection Notification

  • MLA will contact each submitter in writing with regards to final decisions of the acceptance process by May 29, 2020.
  • 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.


  • 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. Digital copies are 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 October 2, 2020, and will be posted to MLA’s website before the conference.

Selection Criteria

The annual conference work group aims to offer a wide variety of content for all libraries and professionals. The following tracks will be used to classify programs.

  • Create/Build – Sessions focus on concepts, programs, or services new to libraries and/or what’s trending for the new decade
  • Engage – Sessions focus on services and programs that engage staff, patrons, and/or the community with the goal of improving library services.
  • Innovate – Sessions focus on how libraries re-think and adapt 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 and healthy choices.

The following criteria will be used in assessing the viability of including a program in the schedule. The work group 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 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?
  • Qualifications – Does the speaker(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?

All proposals will be assessed a score value from 0-50 based on the above criteria to help in fairly determining which proposals to accept for presentation. The points will be assessed as follows and the scores from the individual committee members will be combined to produce an average overall score.

Criteria Points
Purpose 10
Audience 5
Practicality 5
Engagement 10
Timeliness/ Relevance 10
Qualifications 5
Diversity and Inclusion 5
Total Score 50


  • May 3, 2020 —Final day to submit proposals.
  • On or before May 29, 2020 —Selection notifications and agreements distributed via email from MLA to poster and program presenters.
  • On or Before June 26, 2020 – Signed speaker agreements must be returned to MLA
  • October 2, 2020 —Handouts received for posting on MLA website
  • October 28 – 30, 2020 —MLA Annual Conference, Radisson Hotel, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Program AV & Room Setup

  • All presentation rooms will be supplied with an HDMI compatible 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 using a non-HDMI compatible device will be responsible for providing their own connection cables.
  • MLA will take every effort to make sure the presentation rooms are set up according to the 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 MLA to record any program.


Please feel free to contact MLA’s Amber Sheerin or Kevin King, MLA 2020 Conference Chair, with any questions you may have prior to your submission. Contact info:

Amber Sheerin, Michigan Library Association: [email protected]

Kevin King, Kalamazoo Public Library: [email protected] 

Submit A proposal



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