Conference Proposal Submission Information

Thank you for your interest in submitting a program proposal for the 2020 ILA Annual Conference in Springfield, October 20-22. This document will provide the information you need to submit your proposal. 

If you have any questions, please contact Cyndi Robinson at

Speaker Expectations

1. Register and pay the appropriate registration fee for the conference*
2. Read and respond to ILA emails and requests for information in a timely manner.
3. Submit session handouts electronically prior to conference.

*Conference speakers who are employed by or a trustee of a library (academic, public, school, special), library agency, or library school located in Illinois are required to register and pay the appropriate registration fee for the conference. Speakers from outside the Illinois library community will receive a one-day waiver of their registration fee. 

Submitting Your Proposal

You will be asked to provide the following information about your proposed session:

  1. Organizer and speaker(s) names and contact information

  2. Program Title and description

  3. Program track and session tags

  4. Learning outcomes for attendees

  5. Speaker qualifications

  6. Preferred day, time, and room setup

  7. Target audience, program format, and program level

  8. Additional information about your proposed program

Step 1: Search for Speaker Information

Have you presented a session at a past ILA Annual Conference or Reaching Forward Conference? If so, your information should already be in our system. Before you create a new record for yourself or any additional speaker(s), you can save time by searching for existing contact information from previous conferences. Please enter a Last Name, Email Address, or Company/Library Name in the text boxes below and click Search. If you do not have an existing record, you will be prompted to create one after your search.

Step 2: Submit Primary Speaker/Organizer Information

If you have an existing record from a previous conference, please confirm that your information is correct. If you are creating a new record, you will submit the following information.

Required Fields: First Name, Last Name, Institution, Email, Address, City, State, Zip, Phone, Title

Are you employed by or a trustee of a library (academic, public, school, special), a library agency, or library school located in Illinois?

  • YES
  • NO

If no, are you requesting a honorarium?
Please note: honoraria will not be paid to staff or trustees of Illinois libraries, library agencies, or library schools. 

  • YES
  • NO

If yes, what is the requested honorarium?

Please indicate estimated travel costs, only if the speaker is not an employee or trustee of an Illinois library, library agency, or library school.

Speaker Bio and Photo
A speaker biography and photo can be submitted at this point, or later if the program proposal is accepted.  

Step 3: Abstract Information

Program Title
While creative and interesting session titles help capture the attention of both the proposal review committee and prospective conference attendees, be sure that your title clearly communicates your topic.

Program Abstract
In 150 words or less, describe your session using the guidelines below. Try to get to the core of what your session is about, while making it sound informative and interesting. Refer to the call for proposals for guidance in crafting your abstract. If accepted, this copy will appear in the final program listing on the conference website, in the conference app, and in the conference program book. Direct this description to conference attendees, not to the review committee. Additional background information about your proposal can be entered later in the submission process. 

  • Do not include presenter's names or biographical information; speakers will be listed separately.
  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms

  • Sessions cannot be an advertisement for a vendor or demonstration of a vendor-provided product or service. Specific products or services may be described if essential for understanding a session's topic. Library staff who use the product or service must participate in the presentation.

Program Track
Please select a primary track for your abstract. The Conference Program Committee reserves the right to change primary program tracks or list programs in additional tracks.

If you are submitting a program proposal focusing on any aspect of serving youth, please submit it in the Youth and Young Adult Services track. 

Advocacy and Funding Personal Enrichment and Growth
Assessment and Evaluation Programming
Buildings and Facilities Reference and Readers’ Advisory
Collaboration and Community Engagement Small and Rural Libraries
Collections and Technical Services Teaching and Learning
Customer Service Technology
Diversity and Special Populations  Trustees          
Leadership, Management, and Staff Development Youth and Young Adult Services   
Marketing and Outreach  

Session Tags

Select up to three (3) tags that describe the content of the proposed session. The tags will help conference attendees identify additional sessions that may be of interest to them.

Access Services Accessibility and ADA-Compliance Administration
Adult Services Advocacy Assessment and Evaluation
Best Practices and Standards Budget Conscious Programming/Services Budget Planning and Finance
Buildings and Facilities Campus-wide Initiatives Career Advice
Cataloging Change Management Circulation
Civic/Community/Campus Engagement Collaboration Collection Development
Continuing Education and Professional Development Design Thinking Digital Literacy
Digital Resources Digitization Disaster Planning
Distance/Online Learning Early Literacy eBooks
 Electronic Resources Emerging Technologies Equity, Diversity, Inclusion
Facilitation Failure Friends Groups and Foundations
Fundraising and Development Future Forecasting Games and Gaming
Genealogy Government Documents and Services Guidelines and Standards
Human Resources IACRL @ ILA (academic-focused) Information Literacy
Innovation Instructional Design Intellectual Freedom and Ethics
Intellectual Property Leadership Library School Education

Local History

Makerspace Management


Mentoring Metadata
Mindfulness Mobile Technology Multi-Generational Engagement
Multi-Type Networking Open Access
Open Education Resources Organizational Change Outreach Services
Partnerships and Collaboration Personal Growth Personnel and Staffing
Popular Culture and Fandom Preservation Privacy
Programming Project Management Public Policy/Government Relations
Public Relations Public Services RDA
Readers’ Advisory Reference Services Research
Resource Sharing Rural and Small Libraries Self Care
Serials Scalable Programming/Services Scholarly Communication
Special Collections/Archives Special Needs Populations Strategic Planning
Sunsetting Teaching and Learning Technical Services
Technology Training Trends and Forecasting
Trustees Urban Libraries User Experience
Work/Life Balance Young Adult Services Youth Services

Learning Outcomes
Please identify three (3) learning outcomes for your session. 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. Phrase each learning outcome as a completion of this sentence: “At the end of this session, participants will…”

How are the proposed speakers qualified to speak on this topic? Have they presented on this topic before?

Preferred Program Day
We will attempt to honor requests, but there is no guarantee you will receive your requested time or date.

  • No Preference
  • Monday, 10/19 (Preconference)
  • Tuesday 10/20
  • Wednesday 10/21
  • Thursday 10/22

Preferred Program Time of Day
We will attempt to honor requests, but there is no guarantee you will receive your requested time or date.

  • No Preference
  • AM Preferred
  • PM Preferred

Please indicate if this program is being submitted on behalf of an ILA Forum or Committee
Check the appropriate Forum(s) and/or Committee(s).

Program Audience
Please check all that apply:

  • Academic
  • Public
  • School
  • Special

Presentation Format
Let attendees know the type of program you will be presenting.
Select One:

Hands-on/Workshop (60 minutes)
Panel Session (60 minutes)
Ignite Session (5 minute presentation; 20 slides max) Preconference (half-day afternoon, Monday 10/19)
Keynote/Invited Speaker (60 minutes) Unconference (120 minutes)
Paired Programming (120 minutes)  Social/Meal Event (varies)

If this is a paired program, please indicate the name of the other program.
This will help the committee identify paired programs.

Program Level

  • Beginner (little to no experience with the topic)
  • Intermediate (some experience with the topic)
  • Advanced (expertise in the topic)

Is there any additional information you'd like the committee to have about this program? 

Please enter any additional comments here.

Preferred Room Setup

  • No Preference
  • Theater (rows of chairs)
  • Rounds (round tables with chairs; a limited number will be available)

Step 4: Submit Additional Speaker Information

You will repeat the process in Steps 1 and 2. 

Step 5: Submit Your Program

You will receive an email confirmation with login information for the Abstract Service Center. Changes and additions to your program proposal can be made until March 16. 

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