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CALL FOR PROPOSALS: NCLA 65th Biennial Conference

Call for Proposals is now closed. See timeline below for important dates.

The North Carolina Library Association invites proposals for the 65th Biennial NCLA Conference, to be held October 16-20, 2023. The theme for this conference is "Cultivating Community: Strengthening Roots, Supporting New Growth." People, communities, and libraries, like plants, need strong roots and supportive structures to truly grow and thrive. We want to cultivate these communities through coming together to exchange ideas, rejuvenate ourselves, and come away with seeds of change and growth, ready to strengthen our own roots.

At this time, we are accepting proposals for Pre-Conference Workshops, Paired Presentations, Presentations, and Panel Discussions (more information on each format below.) We encourage proposals that represent all aspects of library work (including technical services, access services, interlibrary loan, reference, instruction, library administration, technology, youth services, archives, and more) and library workers (including librarians, library students, paraprofessionals, and members of underrepresented groups).

Note that there are two presentation options this year for proposals: 
  • Virtual-Only > A fully virtual conference day will be held on Monday, October 16, 2023. Proposals submitted as virtual cannot be transferred to the in-person conference or vice-versa. Programs will be pre-recorded but we expect the presenters to be available and online to offer live Q&A at the end of their session’s timeframe. 

  • In-Person > The in-person conference will be held October 17-20 at the Benton Convention Center in Winston-Salem. 

Important Dates: 
  • February 13, 2023: CFP opens 

  • March 13, 2023: Poster proposals open [See call for posters here]

  • April 21, 2023: CFP closes; Proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the Programs Committee (see criteria below)

  • May 15-19, 2023: Acceptance emails sent for presentations 

  • June 16, 2023: Poster proposals close 

  • July 17-21, 2023: Acceptance emails sent for posters 

  • July 1, 2023: Conference registration opens 

  • September 15, 2023: Pre-recorded programs due to Programs Committee (virtual)

  • October 16-20, 2023: NCLA Conference

Criteria for Evaluation: 

All proposals will be reviewed and evaluated by the members of the Programs Committee based on these criteria: 

  • Clarity and thoughtfulness of proposal - The Programs Committee favors proposals that are very clear about their content, explicit about what presenters will do in the session and what attendees will take from the session, and thoughtful in identifying a meaningful focus and providing a compelling rationale. Preference may be given to proposals that have a unique take or perspective on a relevant issue. 

  • Connection to conference theme (see above) - While all proposals will be considered, the Programs Committee may favor proposals that directly address the conference theme, “Cultivating Community: Strengthening Roots, Supporting New Growth.” 

  • Content and issues are timely (see list of potential topics for ideas) - The Programs Committee favors proposals that address issues of relevance to library work and workers, including those of broad significance as well as those specific to a particular area. 

We are aware that present circumstances mean that our work can change rapidly, and we recognize that, as a result, you may need to alter your presentation. You will have the opportunity to update your presentation information closer to the date of the conference. 

Examples of potential topics:

  • Innovative programs and services 

  • Collaborations between librarians and libraries 

  • Supporting and empowering marginalized/underrepresented groups in your community 

  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion 

  • Self-care

  • Sustainability efforts 

  • Sustaining library outreach 

  • Marketing in libraries 

  • Design thinking, re-imagining ourselves 

  • Addressing digital equity gaps 

  • Combating mis/disinformation

  • Critical media literacy 

  • Online teaching and learning in libraries 

  • Community partnerships  

  • Library advocacy

  • Social justice and libraries  

  • Financial health 

  • Collection development 

  • Cataloging for the future 

  • Providing access to library materials to your community 

  • Future of LIS education 

  • Equity in library policies

  • Mentoring 

  • Genealogical research or local history

  • Library programming 

  • Digital citizenship 

Proposal Information Needed

  • Primary Contact Name

  • Primary Contact Email

  • Primary Contact Library/Institution

  • Membership Affiliation (NLCA, NCSLMA)

  • Format of Proposed Program

  • Presenter’s Name, Title, Library/Organization, and Email 

  • Moderator’s Name, Title, Library/Organization, and Email (for Panel Discussions only)

  • Pre-Conference Workshop OR Presentation Title

  • Pre-Conference Workshop OR Presentation Description (maximum of 500 words)

  • Pre-Conference Workshop OR Presentation Takeaways

  • Related Tracks [will choose from list]

  • Additional Information [Is there anything else you would like the Programs Committee to know about this proposal? (Section-sponsored: we encourage you to explore the association’s sections ( to see if your topic relates to their scope/mission.You can reach out to one or multiple sections if you have interest in being sponsored, which is up to their discretion; Speaker's unique expertise on/relationship to this topic, etc.)

Session Formats: 

Proposals should fall into one of these categories: 

  • Pre-Conference Workshop (half-day, 3 hour) - (In-Person Only) These sessions will be offered on Tuesday, October 17. These sessions should be interactive and collaborative. 

  • Paired Presentation (15 minutes per presentation; 2 presentations per time slot; 10-15 minutes of combined Q+A) - Presentations will be paired (by the Programs Committee) with another presentation on a related topic during the same session. Limit 2 presenters per paired presentation. 

  • Presentation (45 minutes including Q+A) - Session presented by an individual or a group (up to 3 presenters). 

  • Panel Discussion (45 minutes including Q+A) - (In-Person Only) Session featuring a moderator and up to 4 panelists discussing a particular topic. 

  • Posters [Call for Posters will open on March 13]

Presenter Information/Expectations 


    • Virtual presenters will pre-record their sessions and submit them to the Programs Committee ahead of the conference. All recordings must have transcripts and/or captions for accessibility. More details will be provided after acceptance. 

    • On the day of the virtual conference, virtual presenters are expected to be available and online to offer live Q&A at the end of their session’s timeframe. 


    • In-person presenters will need to provide their own laptop/device and adapters to connect to the projection equipment in the room. More details will be provided after acceptance. 

    • Plan for 10-15 minutes of Q+A time after your presentation. 

Please direct any questions to .


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