Best Practices and Information for Program Planners

from the ALCTS Program Committee

Submitting a Proposal

Most proposals come from ALCTS sections, interest groups, or committees. However, proposals may also originate with individuals or other groups without obtaining approval from a sponsoring unit first.

Complete the Proposal Form

Note: When completing the form, the Contact Information should be that of the Program Planner (usually the person completing the form). Do not enter the contact information for the Program Committee Chairs—the completed proposal form is routed to them automatically.

Program Structure and Speakers

All program time slots will be 60 minutes. It may be possible to split longer programs into two time slots, but there will be at least a 30-minute break even between consecutive time slots.

ALCTS programs (except the President’s Program) should include at least two speakers. The Program Committee usually recommends that perspectives from more than one institution or type of institution be represented.

Speakers who are not attending the conference other than for the program may receive a 1-day speaker badge. (Request speaker badges in March.)

  • If there are more than two speakers during the session, hold questions until the end.
  • If there are more than two speakers, have a timekeeper.
  • Leave time for discussion and questions and answers.

Advertising and Promotion

Write your program description carefully. This is your primary opportunity to sell the program.

There never can be too much advertising.

An ALCTS e-forum prior to the conference may help generate interest in a program. Contact Rebecca Kemp Goldfinger and Nadine Ellero, the e-Forum Co-coordinators, to submit an idea


“In-name-only” cosponsorship expands advertising for the program. Think about possible in-name-only cosponsorship in advance of meeting with the Program Committee. Cosponsorship should be from groups (divisions, committees, affiliates, interest groups) within or outside of ALCTS. Please ask the cosponsoring group to complete the cosponsorship form.

Do not approach a potential sponsor or funding source on your own. ALCTS and ALA have specific procedures for seeking sponsorships for monetary support from organizations and companies.

Contact the chair of the ALCTS Fundraising Committee to discuss sponsorships.

See the Cosponsorships page for more information.

Room and A/V Setup

The required room setup for programs that will be recorded is theater-style seating. If a different setup is desired and the program does not need to be recorded the Program Committee must be notified and be given justification.  

The standard AV setup for ALA Conference sessions consists of:

  • 1 screen
  • 1 LCD projector
  • 1 computer (Windows, includes internet access)
  • 1 podium with microphone

Requests for special A/V arrangements must be approved by the ALCTS Executive Director and ALA Conference Services. The deadline for special A/V requests is usually in February.


Handouts to be reproduced by ALCTS are limited to two pages, which should be double-sided. These handouts usually consist of abstracts and brief speaker biographies.

The deadline for program handouts that are to reproduced by ALCTS is usually 4 weeks prior to conference. Send these to the ALCTS office.

Speakers or program planners are encouraged to post materials on the ALA Conference Scheduler before or after the conference. We recommend that you post any available materials before the conference if possible. If not, please share materials in the Conference Scheduler after the conference. (A link to the Conference Scheduler will be posted in April 2018.)


The ALCTS office will create an online evaluation form.  In the weeks leading up to conference, Program planners will be given a URL for the evaluation form that should be added to add to program material.


Webinars, web courses, or publications may be good follow-ups to a program. To turn your program into continuing education, contact the Chair of the Continuing Education Committee.

Consider turning your program into a publication. ALCTS, in its Bylaws, “claims the right of first refusal for publication of any work emanating from an ALCTS body or program.”

Planning Schedule

Remember all ALA deadlines are final – No Exceptions will be allowed.

Program Planners (or their designate) must be available to be contacted by the ALCTS Office and the Program Committee Chairs throughout the year prior to the program. Both the Chairs and the Office will need to communicate with you at various times. Program Committee Co-Chairs: Kevin Clair at and Hayley Moreno at; Office Contact: Julie Reese,

Annual Conference – 1 year before your program

  • Meet with Program Committee to discuss proposal.
  • Programs submitted are tracked.


  • ALA Conference Coordinating Committee meets to finalize program schedule and tracks.
  • IG chairs make Midwinter room requests with any AV request.


The ALCTS Office will schedule program room requests, audiovisual, and computer equipment requirements. The following sets have been approved by ALCTS & ALA Conference Services.

  • Standard Program Room Set: audience = 300, head table for four, podium
  • Program AV and Computer Set: laptop, if necessary, LCD projector, screen, one podium microphone, two table microphones, one floor microphone.

Other room sets and equipment requests must be approved by the ALCTS Office and ALA.


Preliminary program for programs. Description limited to 75 words. Descriptions with more than 75 words will be edited.


IG and Open Forum topics published in ALCTS News (

Midwinter (January)

  • Meet with Program Committee.

Immediately following Midwinter

  • Finalize all aspects of programs (title, description, speakers, special AV needs).


  • AV deadline for Programs if additions or changes needed. NO, ABSOLUTELY NO AV ORDERS WILL BE HONORED FOR PROGRAMS AFTER THIS DEADLINE.
  • Program speaker letters mailed from ALCTS office.


  • Requests for 1 day conference Speaker Badges are due


  • Program Handout (1-2 pages) deadline. Post handouts in the ALA Conference Scheduler.


Annual Conference

  • Attend your program, thank your speakers, get feedback.