2021 FLA Conference Proposal Guidelines


The Florida Library Association is accepting proposals to present preconference and conference sessions at its 2021 Annual Conference.

Conference Theme: Lead Inclusively

FLA President Laura Spears has tasked its members “to undo the implicit biases in our profession that harm BIPOC library workers and to focus on serving our communities. To Lead Inclusively, we must look critically at our library spaces, services and resources, to better meet the needs of Black, Indigenous and People of Color and those within the LGBTQ+ communities.” When brainstorming content for your session, consider Laura’s call to action to Lead Inclusively.

Location: Hilton Daytona, Florida
Dates: Concurrent sessions: May 19-21, 2021

General Submission Information

  • The deadline for submitting proposals is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, October 27th, 2020.  Proposals will not be accepted after 11:59 p.m. on this date.
  •  Programs with incomplete information will not be considered. For example, a proposal with no description or speakers or without contact information for the Program Organizer will not be sent to the Conference Committee for review.
  •  Proposals are blind reviewed by the members of the Conference Committee. Please do not include your name, your library name or any identifying information in the abstract. If your name is in the abstract the proposal may not be accepted. Proposals will be scored according to     the evaluation rubric.
  • Content - Is it creative, interesting and timely? Is it relevant to effective, practical library service? Does it relate to the President’s statement? Are the speakers experienced presenters? What are their qualifications? Is the format it appropriate to the content being presented? Will inspire innovation or highlight new policies or practices?
  • Programs should not be advertisements for vendors or demonstrations of products/services. Specific products/services may be used or described in a program only if essential to the understanding of the topic being presented. Library staff members who currently use the vendor product/service must participate in the presentation.
  • The person submitting the proposal application will be considered the Program Organizer and must agree to carry out the functions of a Program Organizer as stated in the Agreement Section
  • Program Organizers will be notified of the status of proposals in December 2020. Program Organizers must register for the conference and be present at the program they proposed.

FLA reserves the right to reorganize content, combine proposals, and make other changes deemed appropriate. FLA also reserves the right to assign a different title to a program than was proposed. The involvement and agreement of the Program Organizer will be sought on all such changes.

Program Formats


Pre-conferences are half or full day workshops that focus on a particular subject of interest. These programs should allow participants to develop skills on the topic and should focus on interactive learning using a variety of presentation styles. Pre-conferences that offer practical tips and cutting-edge

techniques, as well as programs that address the conference theme, are preferred. Pre-conferences have separate registration fees that must cover all costs (speaker fees and travel, AV equipment, food and beverage, etc.). Program Organizers of accepted preconference programs or workshops will be contacted by FLA staff several months before the conference regarding the break-even number of participants required to hold the preconference.

Concurrent Breakout Sessions

Concurrent sessions are 60 or 90 minutes long and should allow participants to develop skills related to a specific topic and should focus on interactive learning and use a variety of presentation styles. Programs that offer practical tips, cutting-edge techniques, and focus on the conference theme and tracks are encouraged. Programs can be:

  •  Presentations: Presentations are lecture-style. Topics may include best practices for dealing with a particular issue (based on research into how various libraries are handling the issue), ideas you have for new ways of addressing a common problem, research you have conducted or are currently conducting, or strategies or programs you have implemented at your institution. This type of session should include time for audience questions and answers.
  • Panels: Panels are moderated discussions with multiple speakers offering different perspectives on a topic. A panel could be a debate (two or more people take an active stance on various sides of an issue) or a moderated discussion (panelists from a wide variety of functional areas or organizations offer their thoughts on a particular topic). A panel session should incorporate opportunities for questions.
  • Other: Other types of program formats are encouraged and will be considered by the Conference Committee, such as round table sessions.

 A call for Lightning Round and TechZone submissions will be issued in early 2021 by the FLA Conference Planning Committee. Watch the FLA website and email inbox for notice of the submission process.

A call for Poster Sessions will be issued in early 2021 by the FLA Continuing Education Committee. Watch the FLA website and email inbox for notice of the submission process.

Terms and Conditions:

In submitting the Program Proposal, you are accepting the responsibilities of Program Organizer and agree to carry out the following responsibilities:  1) Receive notification of the proposal's acceptance or rejection 2) Serve as primary contact for the Conference Committee and FLA staff 3) Organize and communicate the program and schedule speakers according to the time slot you are awarded 4) Confirm program details, descriptions and arrangements with speakers and FLA staff according to FLA deadlines  5) Register for the conference and attend the program 6) Be open to the idea of converting your session to a digital format, if needed.