Call for Proposals: 2024 VLA/VLACRL Annual Conference

Now Accepting Proposals

Proposal Submission Deadline: April 16, 2024

The VLA 2024 Annual Conference will be an opportunity for library workers across the state to celebrate the communities we serve and look forward to all the things we do best. Our theme, Welcome to the Libraratory, invites us to share our experimentations, creative solutions, and innovations in our libraries. 

VLA welcomes proposals that highlight: 

  • Experimentation, creative solutions, and innovations, even those that failed, as we often learn most from our FAILs (First Attempt In Learning).
  • Best practices, ideas, and tools for partnering together with other libraries, local and national organizations, regional affiliates, other agencies to innovate new opportunities and solutions in our communities.
  • Growing the diversity of our profession along with the career development, employability, and retention strategies.
  • The State of Libraries today and how we can create the future that helps us and our communities thrive.

VLA provides two options for submissions.

What do I need to complete the Proposal Form?

1) Know your Session Type:

  • Roundtable Discussion – Session rooms will be set with round tables and each table will discuss a different topic during a 45-minute period.
  • Presentation – A 30-minute presentation on a particular issue, program or service followed by a 15-minute casual discussion and/or Q & A session with audience. Usually features 1-3 speakers.
  • Panel Discussion – A moderated session featuring multiple speakers focused on a particular issue, program, or service. Panel discussions allow panelists to share thoughts, opinions, and experiences about a particular issue, program, or service followed by discussion driven by audience participation. May feature 3-5 speakers including a moderator.
  • Poster Session – Create a poster to showcase your program or research. This combined event on Wednesday evening will incorporate public, academic, special libraries and library partnerships and coalitions. The maximum size of a poster is 4 feet by 4 feet.
  • Lightning Talk  – This fast-paced session allows 5 people to present for 7 minutes each; this is a great opportunity to showcase a variety of topics in a quick and clear manner.
  • Libraratory Workshop  – Our conference Makerspace Studio will have flexible seating and a non-traditional setup -- no rows of seats, no projector for PowerPoints. Only a microphone will be provided, so get creative! Hands on activities are encouraged --bring your cool device but note that the studio will NOT have ventilation so no fumes, please!

2) Have your session title, description (50 words or less), three learning objectives & take-aways, and a description of how the program encourages attendee engagement.
3) Provide contact information for all speakers: name, email and organization.
4) Choose your preferred session date and time (choices are Thursday afternoon, Friday morning or Friday afternoon.)

Tips and tricks for submitting a stellar proposal:

  1. Keep your proposal clear and to the point. We get a lot of proposals; make it as easy as possible for the reviewers to get enthusiastic about your submission.
  2. Consider your audience. Explain why librarians and library staff would be excited to attend your presentation.
  3. Include the theme. Look for keywords and concepts in the call for proposals and incorporate them into your submission.

Proposals will be reviewed and presenters will be notified in May 2024. Requested session times and dates will be honored wherever possible. Up to two presenters per session will receive $75 off the conference registration fee. If you have any questions, please contact VLA Executive Director Lisa R. Varga at [email protected].

Click here to download the conference scoring rubric.
YOUR participation is what makes the VLA Annual Conference possible – we hope to hear from you! 

Nan Carmack, 2024 VLA President,
Natasha Payne-Brunson, 2024 VLA Conference Chair,
Christine Woods, 2024 VLACRL Conference Within A Conference Chair,
and the 2024 VLA Conference Committee

Hotel rooms at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott will be available at the VLA group rate of $158.00 per night plus taxes and fees. A link to reserve hotel rooms will be posted when conference registration opens in June/July.