18th Distance Library Services Conference: Call for Proposals

URL: https://libguides.cmich.edu/dls2018

Call for Proposals

The Call for Proposals is closed.

The Distance Library Services Conference is an opportunity to present your research, knowledge, experience, and best practices to your peers. Librarians, faculty, administrators, and staff involved in providing library services at a distance or online are invited to submit a proposal. The proceedings will be published separately and featured in special issues of the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning.

For librarians and libraries, service excellence often influences how we interact with our users and colleagues, build our collections, and design our physical and digital spaces. During this conference we explore how service excellence influences distance library services.


Proposals should fall into one of three general tracks:‚Äč

  • Teaching & Learning
    (e.g. technologies, strategies, instructional design, assessment, best practices, successes/failures)
  • Marketing & Outreach
    (e.g. advocacy, assessment, collaboration, strategies)
  • User Experience
    (e.g. assessment, best practices, initiatives, student success)


Proposals will be accepted for the following session formats:

  • Panel Sessions
  • Paper Presentations
  • Poster Sessions
  • Workshops


Along with presenter information, all proposals must include the following:

  • Title
  • Format
  • Track and tags
  • Short description
  • Abstract
  • Intended audience

In addition, paper presentations and workshops are required to provide Learning Objectives, and workshops must also provide examples of Learning Activities.


To be eligible for consideration, all proposals must meet the following criteria:

  • Proposals must be submitted online by the deadline date.
  • Proposals should be for original work that has not been previously published.

All proposals undergo a blind, peer-review process that ensures that each proposal has an equal chance to be selected. IMPORTANT: Proposals which include information that identifies individuals or institutions will be considered ineligible.


All presenters will be required to:

  • Register for and attend the conference
  • Agree to not substantially alter the conceptual content of their proposal after acceptance
  • Comply with deadlines


The deadlines for submitting a proposal are:

  • April 23, 2017, for Paper Presentations
  • October 1, 2017, for Poster Sessions, Panel Session, and Workshops


The Conference Advisory Board will be provided with blind copies of the proposals. Proposals will be evaluated based on several factors:

  • Relevance to distance library services
  • Currency 
  • Originality and specificity of proposal content and description
  • Format appropriateness
  • Quality of learning objectives (paper presentations and workshops only)
  • Quality of learning activities (workshops only)
  • Potential interest to conference attendees

Program balance and room space may also be a factor in proposal selection

All submitters will be notified regarding their status of their proposals in June 2017 for Paper Presentations and November 2017 for Poster Sessions, Panel Sessions, and Workshops.


The Distance Library Services Conference does not provide funding, compensation or reimbursement for conference presenters, with the exception of invited speakers and the Conference Award winner. 

Give your proposal the best chance of success by acquainting yourself with these proposal elements before beginning the submission process.

Proposals must be submitted using the online form. Proposals cannot be saved and submitted at a later date, so you are advised to have as much information as possible about your proposal before beginning the process.


The individual submitting the proposal will be designated as the proposal's organizer. The organizer will receive notification of the proposal’s acceptance or rejection, and if accepted, will serve as the main point of contact. The organizer will be expected to respond to requests for information from the conference planners, communicate proposal and conference information to co-presenters, and adhere to deadlines. The conference planners reserve the right to make changes to the proposal as necessary to ensure that it is appropriate for the conference, and the organizer will be involved in all such changes.


The organizer is responsible for providing the required contact information for co-presenters, if any, as indicated on the proposal form.


The conference offers four presentation formats: Paper Presentation, Panel Session, Poster Session, and Workshop. Please read the format descriptions and requirements and choose the format that best fits your proposal. 


Each proposal will be required to select one track: Teaching & Learning, Marketing & Outreach or User Experience.


Select up to two (2) tags that broadly reflect your proposal's topic.


The title of the proposal should appropriately reflect the main theme, issue, or information to be discussed. An ideal title is creative and piques interest your session.


The short description is what will appear in the conference program if the proposal is accepted. It is intended to attract attendees to your session, so you should consider using creative and active language in the description. For example:

  • “Shed the librarian stereotype of copyright whistleblower! Turn fearful faculty members into empowered copyright role models…”
  • “Have you heard about ‘embedded librarians’ and would like to know more? Have you considered embedding in online classes, but aren’t sure what’s involved? Join us as we explore…”
  • “Join a lively discussion on the role of distance librarians in a brave new world where students are no longer neatly defined as ‘on-campus’ or ‘distance.’ We will explore…”

Proposals undergo a blind, peer-review process, so do not include identifying information, such as presenters, libraries or institutions, in the short description; instead, use descriptors such as "large public university" or "academic library." Descriptions containing identifying information will be considered ineligible. If the proposal is accepted, the short description may be edited for style and clarity.


The abstract is the most important part of your proposal. The proposal abstract should outline your research/topic/session’s major points, its relevance to distance librarianship and the conference theme, and how it might be unique and different from other sessions addressing the same topic. Your abstract should be well-thought out, clearly worded, and proofread. Remember: Proposals undergo a blind, peer-review process, therefore, do not include identifying information, such as presenters, libraries or institutions, in your abstract; instead, use descriptors such as “large public university” or "academic library." Proposal abstracts containing identifying information will be considered ineligible.


Paper presentation and workshop proposals must include two (2) learning outcomes. The following is adapted from ACRL's Program Proposal Instructions:

A well-written learning outcome will identify what participants will be able to do as a result of attending your presentation, panel, poster or workshop. When designing your session's learning outcomes:
  • Consider how your session will impact your target audience's skills, attitudes, knowledge, or behavior.
  • Think about the intended impact of the session and how it fills a need or solves a problem. 

Here are examples of well-written learning outcomes:

At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Define assessment in terms of student learning in order to identify its relationship to good teaching.
  • State several concepts and applications of assessment in order to apply it as a practical information literacy tool.
  • Critically examine different classroom assessment techniques in order to evaluate them for application in your own setting.


All proposals must indicate an intended audience. This serves to direct conference attendees to sessions that best suit their experience level.


Proposals are evaluated by the Conference Advisory Board using a blind review process and will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Relevance to distance library services
  • Currency 
  • Originality and specificity of proposal content and description
  • Format appropriateness
  • Quality of learning objectives (paper presentations and workshops only)
  • Quality of learning activities (workshops only)
  • Potential interest to conference attendees

Program balance and room space may also be a factor in proposal selection.

The Paper Presentation format consists of a paper and presentation. It is a unique opportunity to both present on and publish your research. You are encouraged to report the results of completed research, describe research in progress, or present a position on a compelling problem or issue related to one of the conference tracks.

Papers will be published in the conference proceedings and special issues of the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance LearningTherefore, papers are expected to be scholarly, well-organized, clearly written, and composed according to the organization and style presented in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.; 2009). Your presentation should highlight the issue(s), results, and conclusions of your research while only briefly touching on the research methods. You are encouraged to supply handouts and/or PowerPoint slides for posting on the conference website prior to or after the conference. Session evaluation forms may be provided at the discretion and expense of the presenter.

 Authors will retain copyright and agree to grant use exceptions to Central Michigan University in the following instances:

  • Central Michigan University reserves the right to publish the paper in the official conference proceedings of the Distance Library Services Conference.
  • Central Michigan University reserves the right to sign a contract with Taylor and Francis Group, LLC that allows Taylor and Francis to print, publish, reproduce, and distribute the aforementioned paper in (but not limited to) the Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning and to distribute it through third-party database aggregators.
  • Central Michigan University reserves the right to provide public access to the paper content, after a two-year embargo, through the Distance Library Services Conference website.

Requirements: Written paper no less than five pages in length (excluding appendices) and a conference presentation lasting no more than 55 minutes. Please see below for paper guidelines and standards. Completed paper is due by Nov. 29, 2017.

Panel sessions are an opportunity for three or four presenters from different institutions to interactively address an issue of importance to distance librarianship and should focus on helping attendees understand multiple perspectives on a topic. Active participation is an important element of these sessions, so panelists are encouraged to engage in debate, pose questions to the audience or each other, and help the audience engage actively.

Requirements: Panel sessions should not exceed 55 minutes. Panelists should be from different institutions and are required to attend the conference. The deadline for submitting a proposal is October 1, 2017.

Poster sessions provide an informal forum to report on innovative projects, introduce new services and resources, or test research ideas of interest to distance librarianship. Posters should be a creative visual representation of a topic, including graphs, tables, charts, and images.

A poster session contest will be held to encourage creativity in poster design and content. Attendees will vote on their favorite posters and the winning poster will be awarded a $50 Amazon gift certificate. 

Requirements: Physical poster not to exceed 4' x 6' and participation in poster contest. Electronic formats (laptops, iPads, etc.) can be used to supplement the poster, but they cannot be used in place of a physical poster. Presenters are required to set-up and host their display for 60 minutes. Please see Poster Sessions for specific guidelines and best practices. The deadline for submitting a proposal is October 1, 2017.

Workshops are two (2) hour sessions that provide active learning opportunities for attendees. Participants will engage an issue, learn a new skill, or develop an action plan or other activity where hands-on learning is integral. Workshops should allow participants to be involved in and contribute to the learning process and the learning experience should excite and encourage the participants to be fully engaged. Participants should leave the workshop with ideas, information, techniques, or skills to share with their colleagues.

Workshops will be held on the first day of the conference. Participant computers are not provided as part of the standard equipment. Participation will be limited in order to provide a meaningful environment for active learning.

Session Length: Two hours. The deadline for submitting a proposal is October 1, 2017.

The Call for Proposals is closed.