What we’re looking for in a proposal
While you may propose a session on any topic pertinent to libraries, technology and pedagogy at AMICAL member institutions, we encourage proposals that address AMICAL’s organizational goals:
- Promote innovative & effective leadership in libraries, academic technology and centers for learning & teaching
- Build or strengthen programs for information, digital & other literacies within AMICAL’s areas of expertise (data, privacy etc.)
- Build capacity for digital pedagogy and scholarship anchored in members’ own liberal arts environments
- Reduce costs for library and information resources
- Expand the adoption and development of open education & scholarship (resources & practices)
The following is a list of some specific topics the Program Committee is particularly interested in, and will be given priority for inclusion into the program:
- Future of academic libraries
- Future of teaching and learning
- Collaborations between AMICAL institutions
- Opportunities for global impact through AMICAL
- Open Educational Resources (OER)
- Students, faculty and librarians collaboration on content creation
- Teaching with digital primary source collections
- Libraries and learning spaces
- Connecting our work to Sustainable Development Goals
- Transitioning effectively through First Year Experience
- Writing center collaborations and academic integrity
- Digital equity and citizenship
Proposals should be directly relevant to at least one of the event’s expected profiles: librarians, technologists and faculty from AMICAL institutions. More specifically, this year’s program will target colleagues who see themselves as change agents, intending to have a broad impact on their institution or the consortium. Specific attendee profiles might include: library directors, faculty development coordinators, writing center coordinators, instruction librarians, faculty, instructional technologists and designers, coordinators of First Year Experience programs, IT directors, and academic leadership.
Characteristics of successful proposals
Proposals are encouraged to:
- Clearly target AMICAL members, speaking to issues relevant to AMICAL institutions, with their American-international liberal arts environments.
- Identify what attendees will gain or be able to do as a result of attending the session.
- Tailor themselves to one of the formats listed below, respecting their limitations and taking advantage of their strengths
- Have speakers with relevant expertise (or strong interest) in the topic they are proposing and be in a role at their institution relevant to the session’s topic.
Proposals that involve or discuss collaboration across professional roles are encouraged, but not required. Note that all sessions will be scheduled in parallel with other sessions, which will be focused on different topics to avoid competing for the same audience.
Proposals can be submitted for any of the formats listed below. Duration and other details may be adjusted later by the organizers due to planning constraints.
|Approx. number of expected sessions
|Community Idea Exchange (CIE)
|10 min presentations repeated over 1 hour
|1-2 speakers per presentation
|15-20 presentations total across 2 sessions
|Interactive session (discussion, networking, consulting, etc.)
Brief, informal presentations delivered simultaneously in a space shared with other presenters to attendees that come and go freely. Presenters can use a poster, or a computer to show slides, websites or other documents.
Each presenter will deliver a 10 min presentation that will be repeated three times over the duration of the session (1 hour) and adapted in response to attendees’ questions and interests. The flexibility in presentation time allows for longer, detailed discussions to happen if that’s of interest to both presenter and attendees. Each presentation round will last about 20 mins: 5-10 min presentation, 5-10 mins Q&A, and 2 mins for participants to move to a new station.
Strong proposals will:
- Have a clear focus – for example, showcasing a local initiative, project, resource, research, or bringing up challenges for which you’re seeking assistance. Noting the topic’s impact on students is always encouraged.
- Inspire or support some kind of action among attendees, and not just be informative. For example, by describing replicable practices, inviting feedback, seeking collaborators, or sharing practical material.
This format is limited to 1-2 presenters, staying within the 10 min presentation limit in both cases.
A session based around interaction between attendees, guided by 1-2 facilitators. For example, a session could take the form of a discussion, peer consultation, networking session, group reflection – or combinations of these or other similar formats.
Strong proposals will:
- Clearly identify the purpose for the session and potential goals, including possible follow-up activities.
- Include an outline of the session’s structure, noting any specific methods they plan to use (such as Liberating Structures) and their approximate timing. Sessions consisting of a practical workshop or which include substantial presentations (more than 25% of the session time) could more effectively be proposed in other formats, such as “Workshop” or “Community Idea Exchange,” respectively.
- Plan for preparatory work before the conference. This work could include: surveying members to understand their needs or challenges, clarifying potential support that AMICAL could provide for initiatives, drafting concrete proposals to share with attendees, and so on.
Duration: 60 or 90 minutes.
A hands on, participatory workshop focused on helping participants build specific skills, led by 1-2 facilitators.
Strong proposals will:
- Include an outline for the session, identifying the specific exercises, activities or other hands-on practical components, with approximate timing. Proposals without a substantial hands-on component will be declined.
- Target one or more specific attendee profiles expected at the conference, as described in “What we’re looking for in a proposal”.
- Aim for one or two important outcomes that can be achieved in the time of the workshop. Facilitators are encouraged to plan for things taking more time than they think, especially when technology is involved.
- Include preparatory work before the conference. This might include:
- Asking questions from attendees during their enrollment to their workshop.
- Assigning pre-workshop tasks to attendees, such as readings, account creation or software installation, etc.
If requested, workshops can be restricted to specific roles or attendees with a specific level of skills.
Duration: 90–180 minutes. Note that your workshop will be scheduled in two parts if it is longer than 90 minutes.
Guidelines for multiple speakers
Note that no format allows more than 2 persons to be involved as presenters, moderators or facilitators.
For sessions with multiple speakers, a balance of speakers from different institutions and/or roles is preferred.
Any speakers beyond the first must be major partners in the development and delivery of the proposed session. We understand that some sessions represent the work of several people (co-authors or project collaborators) who do not fulfill this criteria. You are encouraged to recognize them in your presentation description and materials you share, but they cannot be listed formally as conference speakers, as that exclusively represents the persons who will be delivering the session.
Submit your proposal
The Call for Proposals is now closed! If you would like to submit a late proposal, or check about the status of your submitted proposal, contact us.
Review the guidelines above carefully, since all proposals will be evaluated on the basis of the elements described above. If you find it helpful, see the specific review criteria that the Program Committee will be referring to.
We recommend consulting the submission forms first, then preparing your proposal content as a separate document before entering it in the proposal forms.
If you submit a proposal by 16 January 2023, you may optionally request feedback on your proposal. 1 or 2 members of the Committee will review your proposal and briefly reply about how well aligned the proposal is with the review criteria; if needed, they may suggest revisions that could strengthen it.
All proposals submitted by the deadline of 23 January 2023 will be evaluated for inclusion into the program by at least 2 members of the Program Committee.
A response will be sent out within three weeks of the deadline, noting whether the proposal is:
- Accepted into the program as-is
- Accepted into the program with minor revisions, along with a list of requested revisions
- Declined and will not be included in the program. This may be due to the proposal not being well-aligned with the review criteria, insufficient space in the program, or both.
The committee will not offer any further feedback at this stage, but we will share review notes with you if requested.
Accepted proposals may be scheduled for any day or time during the planned conference dates (23–26 May 2023). Tentative scheduling will be communicated to speakers as early as possible (by the end of February at the latest). Speakers should inform the organizers as early as possible of any scheduling constraints; we cannot guarantee that these constraints will be accommodated, but we will do our best if given sufficient notice.
Full information about financial support for members to attend AMICAL 2023 will be announced later, but note that:
- We expect to be able to cover accommodations for most attendees from Full/Affiliate member institutions.
- We will provide airfare support for a number of attendees from Full/Affiliate member institutions – and contributing a session to the conference program is likely to be one of the factors of eligibility for this support.
Assistance with your proposal
To help you submit a strong proposal, we’ll be holding brief online Q&A sessions to answer questions and offer advice.
Sign up for one or both of the sessions:
You can also send us questions by email at email@example.com