2024 FLA Annual Conference
Breakout Session Proposal Guidelines

Conference Theme:  Florida Libraries - Fundamental to Freedom
Location: Hilton Doubletree Universal, Orlando, FL.
Dates:  May 15-17, 2024


The Florida Library Association is accepting proposals to present preconference and breakout sessions at its 2024 Annual Conference.  PLEASE READ the following criteria carefully and let us know if you have any questions.  (Please note:  This is NOT the member group or committee group signup form.  That scheduling sign-up will be released at a later time.)

The following subject areas were identified in our 2023 conference survey evaluation as topics of interest.  Presentations on one of these topics below will be weighted heavier in the evalution process.

  • Management/Leadership (examples include: writing strong policies, professional development, mentoring and developing a team, process improvement, etc.)
  • Cataloging
  • Safety in libraries; planning safety manuals
  • Supporting diverse communities
  • Children's services
  • Emerging technologies - CHATGPT/AI and IT solutions for libraries
  • Marketing and community outreach
  • Helping teach deaf and blind children to read
  • Book challenges/book bans/intellectual freedom
  • Weeding and collection development
  • Adult programming
  • Building new branches
  • Youth and teen  services
  • Adult services
  • Technical services from state colleges
  • New revenue sources
  • Mental health self care
  • Bringing health literacy programs in to the public library
  • Dealing with difficult patrons
  • Disability issues
  • Metadata
  • Career 411 (interview preparation panel)

General Submission Information

  • The deadline for submitting proposals is August 31, 2023 at 11: 59 p.m. Submissions will not be accepted after this time. 

  • 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. 

  • When brainstorming content for your session, consider FLA President Doug Crane's theme. Click here to read his message.

  • Proposals are reviewed by the members of the Conference Committee without identifying information. Please do not include your name, your library name or any identifying information in the abstract summary description text. 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 appropriate to the content being presented? Will it inspire innovation or highlight new policies or practices? 

  • Attention vendors: 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.  If any vendor application is not approved, vendors may choose to offer their session via renting meeting space, or feature as a breakfast session or lunch & learn session and cover the cost of the food.  (Typically around $1000 for 50 ppl).

  • 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 the fall of 2023. Program Organizers must register for the conference and be present at the program they proposed.

  • FLA does not pay any honoraria or speaker fees.  Speakers who are librarians must pay a registration fee for the conference.  Speakers who are not librarians may speak at their session complimentary but will need to pay a registration fee if they plan to attend other FLA sessions/functions.

  • Accepted speakers will need to agree to the FLA Code of Conduct. (will be sent with acceptance letter)

  • Speakers must be available if requested to send their draft PPT to the conference planning committee for review at least 1 month prior to the event and/or schedule a briefing call to discuss content and other important logistics.

  • Hybrid speaker technology may not be available.  FLA prefers programs with all in-person speakers.

  • Proposals not accepted might be considered for a pre-recorded on-demand video session.

  • 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 a separate meeting room rental fee of $1500 that covers costs of meeting room, AV equipment and light refreshments/food and beverage. FLA does not pay any speaker fee or travel reimbursement.  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.

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. 

Attention:  This is not a committee or member group sign-up form.  That scheduling form will be released closer to conference.  Any member groups that would like to have meetups must have a representative of that group present.

A call for Lightning Round submissions will be issued in early 2024 by the FLA Conference Planning Committee. Check our website and your email inbox for notice of the submission process.

A call for Poster Sessions will be issued in early 2024 by the FLA Professional Development Committee. Check our website and your 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.