Proposals Sought for Grassroots Programs at 2009 ALA Annual Conference

For year’s I have been annoyed at the program submittal process for ALA conferences. Specifically, the provision that many ALA divisions practice that require program submissions to be “sponsored” by a committee, group or a division member. To me this policy extremely limits new voices from participating in national conferences...

Well, low and behold & I might add, a huge kudos to Jim Rettig, ALA President, for creating a new avenue for new talent to participate. This came through email today...

Proposals Sought for Grassroots Programs at 2009 ALA Annual Conference

Do you have a great idea for an Annual Conference program but don’t belong to a committee or other group that can plan and produce a program? As part of ALA President Jim Rettig’s “Creating Connections” initiatives, you are invited to submit a proposal for a program to take place at the 2009 ALA Annual Conference July 9-15 in Chicago.

The purpose of a Grassroots Program is:

  • To expand opportunity for participation in ALA by giving members who do not belong to committees or boards within ALA an opportunity to plan and produce a program at the Annual Conference
  • To provide programs at the Annual Conference that address very current issues by compressing to the greatest degree possible the program planning schedule
  • To enrich the variety and quality of programs at the Annual Conference.
    Proposals can be submitted by a single ALA personal member or by any group of ALA members who do not serve together on a committee or board within ALA. Proposals can address any topic of interest to ALA members. Proposals must be original; they cannot replicate a program previously presented at an ALA Annual Conference, Midwinter Meeting or national divisional conference. Proposals previously submitted to a committee, board or task force in ALA, one of its divisions or one of its round tables, cannot be resubmitted

Proposals will be judged on:
  • Relevance of the program’s topic to ALA members and the profession at large
  • Timelines
  • Knowledge of proposed speaker(s) on the topic
  • Originality – i.e., the degree to which the proposed program looks at a topic in a new and fresh way or treats a topic that has not received as much attention as it deserves, either because it is very new or due to some other factor

Proposals can address ALA’s key action areas:
  • Diversity
  • Equitable Access to Information and Library Services
  • Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Intellectual Freedom
  • Advocacy for Libraries and the Profession
  • Literacy
  • Organizational Excellence or other areas.

A jury will select up to 10 programs to take place during the conference. The jury will be made up of members of the student ALA chapters at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and UCLA as well as several members of Jim Rettig’s presidential initiatives advisory committee.

Each selected program will be listed in the program book for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference and will be noted as being part of the Grassroots Program Track as a juried program. You are also welcome to publicize your program by whatever means you would like, but please indicate that it is part of the “Grassroots Program Track.”

Each program will be allotted a $500 budget to cover speaker costs or other expenditures.

Additional information and a submission form can be found at

Deadline for submission is Feb. 6, 2009.

All I can say is ... Yay!

No comments: