Frequently Asked Questions: Subsidized "Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement" Workshop

Scholarly Communication: From Understanding to Engagement

FAQs for Potential Hosts Applying for Competitive Subsidized RoadShow

1.) I’d like to find other institutions in my area so that we may submit an application together. Can you help?
Yes. Institutions may publicly express their intent to apply for 2018-19 by posting a comment in the discussion on ALA Connect. We hope this helps you identify potential collaborators so that you can consider submitting a joint application.

2.) My institution applied to be a host in the past but was not selected. We’d like to be considered for this round. Do we have to apply again?
Applicants will need to update their preferred dates to host and may wish to make other revisions (to the essays or to identify new partners, for example). So we are asking you to resubmit your application. You may be able to reuse much of your previous application material, however, such as the letters of support. If you do not have a copy of your application and would like one, please contact Chase Ollis, Program Officer, at

3.) What advice can you offer about preparing a strong application? We were not selected previously and would like to be considered again.
In the past, many applications were well-crafted, and applicants presented great arguments for their sites, which made it difficult to select only five. We had to decline many well-qualified institutions. Although we do not have specific feedback to share on each application, perhaps a few broad suggestions will help. In general, those who were selected in the past not only met the required criteria and most/all of the preferred criteria, but made a compelling case in their essays and letters around two key points. First, they showed that the approach we offer was the right level for their community. Second, they demonstrated that they had capacity to continue being engaged and illustrated concretely how they would maintain awareness among library staff.

4.) Who is the appropriate audience for this event? Would it be useful for faculty and graduate students as well as library staff?
The primary audience is librarians and library staff who need good grounding in these issues. As mentioned in the Program Description, "The workshop is appropriate for those with administrative responsibilities, with new leadership assignments in scholarly communication or digital publishing, as well as liaisons and any others who are seeking to advance their professional development in scholarly communication." You'll also note, under Host Responsibilities, that hosts “may consider this as an opportunity to invite staff outside the library (i.e. research office, graduate college)". This workshop could well serve as a stepping stone for the library, perhaps along with campus partners, to organize a later event for graduate students and faculty.

5.) Can an ACRL Chapter apply to host this event? What about a library consortium or state association?
Yes, both types of organizations can serve as hosts. You'll see this referenced in the criteria for successful applicants, "Provide a statement of support from hosting authority, i.e. library director/dean, consortia/association administrator, or ACRL chapter leader."

6.) How long does the statement of support need to be?
We’d recommend keeping it brief, a few paragraphs at most. Remember, this is a competitive process so you’ll want to make a compelling argument throughout the application about why we should choose you!

7.) Where should I send my essay and statement of support?
The essay and statement of support do not need to be uploaded, emailed or faxed on formal letterhead. Simply copy and paste the final text into the online application form.

8.) Could we hold the event later than August 31?
No, not for the subsidized program, in part as this marks the end of ACRL's fiscal year. However, institutions can choose to bring the workshop to their regions at full cost at a timing of their choice.

9.) When is the earliest that the sessions could be scheduled?
It all depends on the presenters’ availability. Since decisions are being made by mid-December, the very earliest we could reasonably expect presenters to arrange for time off work and book travel would be early February. This is why we ask for you to indicate 3 dates, at least one week apart from each other.

10.) Will the host institution be responsible for organizing travel, lodging or incidentals for the ACRL speakers?
ACRL will cover costs for travel and lodging. The presenters will make their own reservations. We expect the hosts to work with the presenters to recommend lodging and local ground transportation options and communicate regularly with presenters regarding program and logistics.

11.) Can the host charge a registration fee to cover costs (name badges, photocopies, snacks, $2000 fee)?
Hosts may divide costs among participant institutions. They may choose to charge a registration fee to cover their costs. We have designed this to be a very affordable event for hosts. We expect that the cost for name badges and photocopies of handouts will be nominal. We anticipate that hosts would not need to rent out space or pay for audio visual, but would have complimentary access to facilities and equipment on campus. It is optional whether you would like to include food and beverage (coffee, cookies, lunch, etc.) as part of the event.

If any registration fees are charged, they should be on a cost-recovery basis only. This event may not serve hosts in generating revenue to support other activities. If you feel it necessary to charge individual participants a registration fee, please indicate this on the application when asked and include your rationale along with estimated costs and fee per person.

12.) We are considering a registration fee, but would also like to investigate vendor or institutional sponsorships to cover the costs. Are external sponsorships for cost recovery permissible?
We moved from fully underwriting this workshop to offering a partial subsidy in 2012 in part to ensure local commitment and ownership. We understand that hosts may wish to keep costs for individual attendees low, and you are free to ask each library dean/director to contribute rather than charging individuals a registration fee. Additionally, there may be another college/university mechanism (i.e., a staff development fund) that could be tapped. You could also approach a library friends group, if you have one, or an individual donor who has made a commitment to the library/chapter in the past. As for vendors, if you approach a local business (a printer, caterer or someone similar with whom you routinely do business and have a good relationship) that would be fine. But hosts may not seek funding from a national vendor of library products/services. This includes your local sales representative of a national vendor. In part this is because ACRL approaches these same organizations to fundraise for our conference and other programs. But largely it is because of our desire to ensure that there is local commitment.

13.) What type of facility is needed to host? Is a single room sufficient or are there breakout sessions requiring smaller rooms along with the “main” room?
One single room is all it takes, set up with round or conference tables (not theater style). This allows participants to engage more easily in hands-on activities. Breakout rooms are not necessary.

14.) What kind of A/V will the workshop require? Knowing that may help us determine which facility to use and which institution should serve as host. 
The presenters need a podium, microphone, screen, projector and computer. They also have participants working with flip charts and markers. Internet connectivity for the presenters is good to have (but not essential) and participant internet is nice, but not required. An audience microphone isn’t generally needed, but you know your room acoustics best. If you expect a large number of participants, the room is large and/or has high ceilings, an audience microphone may be helpful. If you think your participants will bring devices and expect to have power at their tables, you could choose to supply it. The presenters don’t ask participants to work on laptops during the day.

15.) There is a max of 100 participants and a minimum of 45. Can we self-limit to, say, only 50?
Yes, that is possible. Since it is the host responsibility to manage all aspects of registration and participant selection, if any, you could limit to less than 100. Please include the number of participants you expect to invite and include a brief sentence or two on why.

16.) I have found a few available dates at our campus conference center, and they are willing to hold one for us now. Would you be able to recommend that we hold one specific date over the others?
It's far too early to suggest a date. We will undertake a two-step process: the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee will review applications and make selections, and then the presenters will be matched up to hosts. This will include some back and forth between presenters and host to nail down the specific date. We can’t promise anything specific just yet and won’t start working out the details with presenters until the committee has made their selections. If you want to include any comments about timing, please indicate this when you apply in the box "other information for consideration."

17.) Our area of the country has a large contingent of higher education institutions. Would it be feasible for ACRL to approve 2 requests from our region?
While feasible, this would be highly unlikely. The ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee will review applications and select up to five locations, aiming for geographic diversity. In every year we have offered the subsidized version of this workshop, we have had to turn away applicants. We expect that the selection process will involve some tough decisions this time as well.

18.) Will there be an online version?
ACRL has extended the reach of the scholarly communications roadshow workshop by adding related materials to its popular Scholarly Communication Toolkit. Now librarians can make use of these tools – including short videos, presentation templates and handouts – to enhance their own knowledge or adapt them to offer related workshops on their own campuses. In addition to the in-person workshop, presenters may offer live webcasts through ACRL’s eLearning program and develop additional recorded videos that would be housed in the ACRL Scholarly Communication Toolkit.

19.) On the application form there are several boxes to fill in for "Participant institutions.” What is a “participant institution?” Are these just the other institutions we would invite?
That's right. We are asking applicants to identify one “host” to be the primary coordinator for the registration and event coordination/logistics duties. We expect most hosts will provide the space for the workshop to be held. You also need to indicate one or more “participant institutions” which are the other libraries who would be sending their staff.
20.) How much weight will the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee give to the preferred criterion of being an organizational member in the selection process?
It’s hard to give a firm answer. You'll see there are several preferred criteria that may be used to weight applications, and that the committee will aim for geographic diversity as well. We expect a large number of applications and it could be that the selection process involves some tough decisions. The selectors on the ACRL Research and Scholarly Environment Committee may look closely at all the preferred criteria. Get more information on becoming an organizational member.

21.)  If selected, how would you advise we handle the lunch break during the workshop. Any tips on timing or logistics?
For most campuses, we strongly urge you to have lunch catered in the room (rather than expecting participants to leave and return). This will ensure the best use of time for participants and presenters. If you have thoughts on how you would approach this, please include a few details in the box "other information for consideration."

22.) If we’re not selected as one of the locations to receive the workshop at a lower cost, what other options are there?
ACRL also offers the opportunity for institutions to bring this workshop, as well as a number of others, to their own regions at full cost. Please contact ACRL Program Officer Chase Ollis at to discuss dates and locations, pricing, and for complete workshop details.

23.) Where have subsidized versions of the workshop been held in past years? I'd like to know if another school in my immediate area was recently selected.
The competitive, subsidized version of the workshop has been held at:





West Virginia University

Morgantown, WV


Bowdoin College

Brunswick, ME


University of North Carolina, Greensboro

Greensboro, NC


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL


NYU Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, UAE


Portland State University

Portland, OR


University of Nebraska, Lincoln

Lincoln, NE


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA


Council of Research and Academic Libraries (CORAL)

San Antonio, TX


University of Delaware

Newark, DE


Georgia College & State University

Milledgeville, GA


College of William and Mary

Williamsburg, VA


University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA


University of Missouri

Columbia, MO


ACRL, Maryland Chapter

Baltimore, MD


Auburn University Libraries

Auburn, AL


Iowa State University Library

Ames, IA


Tri-College University Libraries

Fargo, ND


University of South Carolina

Columbia, SC


Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI


Baylor University

Waco, TX


Council of Atlantic University Libraries/Conseil des bibliothèques universitaires de l’Atlantique

Fredericton, NB, Canada


California State University

San Marcos, CA


University of Mississippi

Oxford, MI


Academic Libraries of IN

Indianapolis, IN


Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries

Edmonton, AL, Canada


PA Academic Library Consortium, Inc.

Philadelphia, PA


University of TX Libraries

Austin, TX


Wesleyan University

Bloomington, IL


Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library

Atlanta, GA


Colorado State University

Pueblo, CO


James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA


University of New Mexico

Albuquerque, NM


University of Toronto

Toronto, ON, Canada


City University of New York

Brooklyn, NY


Washington Research Libraries Consortium

Washington, DC


University of Hawaii at Manoa

Honolulu, HI


St. Thomas University

St. Paul, MN


Academic Library Association of Ohio

Columbus, OH


Auraria Library

Denver, CO


Bryan College

Dayton, TN


Florida State University

Tallahassee, FL


Kansas State University

Manhattan, KS


Lehigh Valley Association of Independent Colleges

Bethlehem, PA


ACRL Louisiana Chapter

Baton Rouge, LA


State University of New York

Buffalo, NY


Texas Tech University

Lubbock, TX


University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez

Mayagüez, PR


Washington University

St. Louis, MO