Program Policies and Procedures


The possibilities for programming in LLAMA are limitless.  Good programs can offer members a tangible educational experience, augment a librarian's skills, and add to that individual's estimate of the association. The LLAMA Board of Directors has established procedures for planning programs (revised 10/89, 12/90, 12/92, 6/94, 2/95, and 6/95).

An overview of the planning timeline

Proposals for conference programs are submitted at the Annual Conference in June, 12 months before the Annual Conference at which the program will be presented.  Advice on program plans may be sought in advance from the LLAMA Program Committee at the Midwinter Meeting 18 months prior to presentation.

Tentative proposals for preconferences are submitted at the Midwinter Meeting in January, 18 months before the Annual Conference at which the preconference will be presented.  Final preconference proposals are submitted at the Annual Conference in June, 12 months before the Annual Conference at which the preconference will be presented.

Final approval for programs and preconferences is given by the Board of Directors at the Annual Conference in June, 12 months before the program will be presented.

The following timelines for action and review are the minimum necessary to ensure necessary funding and conference scheduling.

An overview of the planning process

The Section Executive Committees should assist their program planning committees in the early stages of planning programs and preconferences.  They should encourage planners to consider program-related publications, such as printed papers and bibliographies.  Reaction to program ideas may also be sought from the LLAMA Program Committee at this early stage.

Formal program and preconference proposals are presented to the LLAMA Program Committee for review.  The Committee, following their review, recommends approval of programs to the LLAMA Board of Directors.  No program can be scheduled unless it has been reviewed by the LLAMA Program Committee and approved by the LLAMA Board of Directors.

The LLAMA Budget and Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing all requests for LLAMA funds.  Following Board approval of the content of LLAMA preconferences and conference programs, the Budget and Finance Committee reviews the budgets to be sure they are all well planned and within LLAMA's overall financial resources. The
Budget and Finance Committee prepares budget recommendations for Board action.

Requirements for preconference planners

At its 1995 Midwinter Meeting, the LLAMA Board of Directors established the following requirement for preconference planners: Chairs of preconference programs must have previous substantive experience planning a major program (or other effort).

Criteria for programs

I.  Definition

For the purposes of these criteria, a program shall be defined as "a continuing education experience in a structured format, at a scheduled time, for a specific audience."

II.  Responsibility

The LLAMA Program Committee is responsible for reviewing all program plans approved by Section Executive Committees and committee chairs, and for recommending approval of programs to the LLAMA Board; it will, as appropriate, subject proposed programs to the following review criteria. Program planners must evaluate their proposed programs according to these same criteria.

III.  Criteria

  1. Purpose
    1. The goals and objectives of the proposed program should be clearly defined.
    2. The target audience should be clearly defined.  If possible, it should represent more than one segment of the LLAMA membership.
    3. The topic should be of current importance, of popular demand, or related to the overall theme of the meeting of which it is a part.
    4. If the topic is related to an event of current significance, timely presentation should be emphasized.
    5. If the topic has been addressed in a recent program, the amount of new information or the extent of popular demand should be sufficient to warrant another program.
  2. Content
    1. The subject of the program should conform to the topical areas of LLAMA's units, and, when appropriate, to program themes announced by the LLAMA President.
    2. The proposed speakers should be skilled presenters as well as subject experts.
    3. The scope of coverage of the topic (broad/narrow) should be well defined.
    4. When appropriate, coverage should be balanced by type of library, size of library, and representation of all sides of controversial issues.
  3. Format and Schedule
    1. The amount of time requested, the type of program (e.g., conference program, preconference workshop) and the presentation format (e.g., speaker, panel, small group, etc.,) should be appropriate to the topic.
    2. Co-sponsorship with other LLAMA units, other ALA units, or non-ALA units should be considered when such joint ventures are appropriate to the topic and offer the potential to enlarge the audience.
    3. The program planners should take advantage of local resources and facilities which may be available in a particular city or geographical region.
  4. Cost
    1. The program costs should fall within the LLAMA budget guidelines or be clearly justifiable in terms of the nature and size of the targeted audience and the importance of the topic.
    2. If the  program is to be  co-sponsored, responsibility for sharing of costs and/or revenues should be defined.
    3. External funding sources should be sought when appropriate.
  5. Dissemination of Information
    1. Dissemination of program content via publications and/or taping should be emphasized.  For guidelines, see "Developing a Publication from a Conference Program," in the "Publications" chapter of this Manual.

Program Planning Process and Calendar

Program planners must complete and submit a Program Planning Form during the Annual Conference 12 months prior to presentation.  The program concept and the LLAMA Program Proposal Form must be:

  1. Fully developed in terms of program content and format, goals and objectives, and identified speakers.  When possible, confirmation of speakers should occur before the conclusion of the conference.
  2. Approved by the Section.  Sections proposing more than one program must prioritize their proposals.  (Discussion groups note: Discussion groups may not offer conference programs on their own, but must secure the sponsorship of a section or division-wide committee.  The sponsorship is not required when Program Planning
    Form is submitted, but must be secured by the conclusion of this conference).
  3. Signed by the Section or Discussion Group Chair.
  4. Submitted to the LLAMA Program Committee at the Annual Conference by or before 5:00 p.m. Saturday; the completed and signed form should be left in the folder marked "LLAMA Program Proposals" at the LLAMA Desk in the ALA Office area.  If this deadline cannot be met, planners must bring 20 copies of the Program Planning Form to the first scheduled Program Committee meeting.
  5. Presented before the Program Committee at its first scheduled meeting during the Annual Conference.  Program planners must reserve a presentation time slot; the sign-up sheet is posted in LLAMA Office in the Convention Center.  Planners should arrive about 15 minutes before the scheduled time slot. Each presenter will have 15 minutes to present and discuss a program with the Committee.

On the first reading, those programs which substantially meet the program criteria described above will be approved contingent upon meeting any minor recommendations of the Program Committee. Planners will be expected to proceed on their own, presenting final plans at the Midwinter Meeting, 6 months before the program.

Program planners with ideas having strong potential but needing further work will be invited to return to the committee's second scheduled meeting with a revised proposal addressing the Program Committee's concerns.  A presentation time slot must be reserved; the sign-up sheet will be available at the committee's first scheduled meeting and in the LLAMA Office at the Convention Center. If the revised proposal substantially meets the program criteria, it will be approved contingent upon meeting any further minor recommendations of the Program Committee.  Planners will be expected to proceed on their own, presenting final plans at the Midwinter Meeting, 6 months before the program.

Weak proposals will be turned down, with recommendations on how to "try again next year."  Program planners should understand that the shortened 12-month process may require that the Program Committee will need to say "no" more often.

Tips for Conducting a Successful Presentation to the Program Committee

Following their program proposal presentations, planners can expect to answer detailed questions from members of the Program Committee. This friendly but thorough examination is an essential element in maintaining the high quality of LLAMA programs.  This is also an opportunity for planners to seek input and assistance from the committee.  Successful presenters will:

  1. Complete the forms.  All of the information asked on Program Proposal Form is pertinent.  In this case, information really IS KNOWLEDGE.  Proposals that are incomplete come under close scrutiny - they are immediately suspect as being indicative of insufficient planning, and they usually are!
  2. Keep it simple.  Proposals that contain complex program presentations with many speakers, reactions panels, etc., generally don't work in the real world.  Complex schemes will come under close scrutiny by the committee.
  3. Define the target audience.  Usually one of the first questions the Program Committee will ask is "Who is the program for?"  A very general rule is that a program must be able to potentially draw an audience of 150+ attendees.
  4. Develop a creative program title.  The title has to indicate what the program will be about as well as grab the members' attention.
  5. Delineate the program content.  Programs that address current and/or emerging issues, trends, developments, etc., generally receive stronger committee support.  Programs that are too narrow or broad will come under close scrutiny.
  6. Identify the speakers.  Potential speakers must be identified for a proposal to be approved.  Confirmation of speakers should occur before the conclusion of the Annual Conference.  Evaluations have shown that successful programs have good speakers!
  7. Ask questions!  The goal is quality programming.  Program planners are encouraged to ask the committee for assistance, guidance, and clarification.

Program Planning Calendar

Midwinter Meeting
(18 months before the Annual Conference program)

Preconference planners prepare a Preliminary Preconference Proposal which must be approved by the Section Executive committee and then presented before the LLAMA Program Committee at its scheduled meeting.  Complete the LLAMA Program Proposal.

May 1
(13 months before the Annual Conference)

Preconference planners submit a tentative budget to the LLAMA Executive Director.  Complete Form D, Budget for LLAMA Preconferences.

Annual Conference
(12 months before the Annual Conference program)

Program planners complete a Program Proposal Form and a Tentative Budget which must be approved by the Section Executive Committee and then presented before the LLAMA Program Committee at its first scheduled meeting. Consult with Section Executive Committee to select an appropriate date and time for the program.  Programs should not conflict with the Section Executive Committee meeting. Final time slots are assigned by the Program Committee.  The LLAMA office can provide estimates on such items as AV, handouts, etc., for the tentative budget. 

The Program Committee will either give provisional approval, request that planners revise plans and present them again later during this conference, or defer proposals for substantial reworking and possible consideration the following year.

At the final meeting of the LLAMA Board of Directors, the LLAMA Program Committee recommends approval of the concept and content of all programs for the Annual Conference one year later.

October 1
(9 months before the Annual Conference program)

The LLAMA office files meeting space request forms for all programs and preconferences with the ALA Conference Services Office.

November 1
(8 months prior to the Annual Conference program)

Program planners must submit final budget requests.  Complete Form C, Final Budget for Conference Program.

Midwinter Meeting
(6 months prior to the Annual Conference program)

The LLAMA Program Committee reviews conference program budgets and recommends final approval to the LLAMA Board of Directors.

Audio-Visual Equipment

All audio-visual equipment for conference programs is paid for by ALA Conference Services if it is ordered before May 1.  Equipment ordered after May 1 is paid for by LLAMA.  All equipment should be requested through the LLAMA office.

All audio-visual equipment for preconferences is paid from the preconference registration fees.  All equipment should be requested through the LLAMA office.

Cosponsorship of Programs

In 1996, the LLAMA Board of Directors revised the standing policy on cosponsorship which had encouraged cosponsorship by other groups for LLAMA preconferences, conference programs and special conferences whenever possible and appropriate.  "In name only" cosponsorship was eliminated because it did not promote honest efforts at true cooperation among sections and divisions.

Cosponsorship of LLAMA preconferences, conference programs and special conferences, as well as co-sponsorship by LLAMA units of programs by others, is now permitted only when it involves substantive participation in the planning or presentation of the program.  To accomplish this, cosponsorship must be sought at the beginning, rather than at the end, of the program development process.  Cosponsorship should be considered when the participation of another group can enlarge the scope of a topic, bring additional
expertise to the program, or increase the potential audience.

Endorsement of a program may be sought from non-participating units to increase publicity and attendance for the program. 

A program offered by a discussion group, whether affiliated with the division or with a section, is required by ALA to have cosponsorship by the division or one of its sections or standing committees, or by another membership unit of ALA.  This policy applies to approved conference programs but does not apply to discussion group meetings.

The new cosponsorship policy becomes effective at the 1998 ALA Annual Conference.

Forms of Cosponsorship

Cosponsorship of programs may take two forms:

  1. Joint sponsorship, in which two or more units collaborate in planning a program from the outset, with a co-planner from each unit sharing responsibility;
  2. Participating sponsorship, in which one unit initiates planning and invites the substantive participation of a second unit.

Program planners may also seek "endorsement" from non-participating units to increase publicity and attendance for the program.

[A statement defining endorsement of programs will be prepared by the LLAMA Program Committee for approval at the 1997 Midwinter Meeting.]

Conference or other non-revenue programs initiated by LLAMA units

Program planners seeking joint sponsorship should invite discussion by parties from both units at the earliest planning meetings. Planners should follow the LLAMA program and budget approval process, submitting modified forms which define the sharing of responsibility and are signed to indicate approval by both executive committees.

Program planners seeking participating sponsorship should identify possible cosponsors as soon as possible in the planning process. Planners should follow the LLAMA program and budget approval process, submitting program and budget proposals which identify the cosponsor, define the nature of the cosponsor's participation and
are signed to indicate approval by both units.Preconference, post conference, special conference or other revenue
programs initiated by LLAMA units:

LAMA units planning preconferences, post conferences, or other revenue program activities should give careful thought to the benefits to be derived from cosponsorship before seeking participation from a non-LAMA unit.  Cosponsorship of a revenue based event has financial implications for the division and must be discussed with the LLAMA Executive Director or Deputy Executive Director before planning can go forward. 

If the decision is reached to cosponsor a revenue based event with a non-LAMA group or agency, a written agreement must be drawn up which clearly defines the responsibilities of members and staff of each group, the sharing of direct and indirect costs, the distribution of revenues, and the ownership of products of the program.  The agreement, signed by the executive directors and the chief officer of each group, must be attached to the program proposal and budget forms.

Conference or other non-revenue programs initiated outside LLAMA seeking cosponsorship from a LLAMA unit

When a LLAMA unit is asked to cosponsor a program activity being planned by a non-LLAMA group, the LLAMA unit should

  1. assess the program proposal according to the LLAMA program criteria,
  2. define precisely the extent of LLAMA participation expected by the other group, and then
  3. submit a written request for approval to the LLAMA Program Committee.

The request may be a modified LLAMA program proposal form, a copy of the other unit's program form, or a separate memorandum, but it must indicate the nature of LLAMA's responsibility and be signed to show approval by the executive committees of the LLAMA unit and the initiating unit.  However, LLAMA cosponsorship of other groups' conference program which entail financial participation by LLAMA must obtain budget approval in the same way and at the same time as LLAMA-initiated programs.

Preconferences and other revenue programs initiated outside LLAMA, seeking LLAMA co-sponsorship:

Invitations to LLAMA or one of its units to cosponsor preconferences, post conferences, special conferences or other revenue program activities of other groups or agencies, should be carefully evaluated in consultation with the LLAMA Executive Director or Deputy Executive Director.  The programmatic aspects of the proposal should be assessed by the invited LLAMA unit according to LLAMA criteria, and reviewed by the LLAMA Program Committee (for conference programs) or Special Conferences and Programs Committee (for non-conference programs or workshops).  Procedures for a written agreement, final program approval and final budget approval shall be the same as for preconferences initiated by a LLAMA unit.

No program or preconference can be scheduled if it has not been reviewed by the LLAMA Program Committee and approved by the LLAMA Board of Directors.

Evaluation of Conference Programs
(Approved by the LLAMA Board June 26, l990)

Purposes and Process


  1. Evaluate each program against LLAMA's criteria for conference programs.
  2. Evaluate each program against the objectives stated in the program proposal.
  3. Evaluate the delivery of each program -- i.e., organization, presentations, handouts, effectiveness.
  4. Evaluate each program by someone knowledgeable in the LLAMA program preparation process.
  5. Provide Program Committee members the opportunity to keep informed about programs and program presentation.
  6. Provide all programs with comparable evaluations.


  1. The LLAMA Program Committee chair assigns a conference program to each Program Committee member.  If there are more programs than members, the chair will seek assistance from other LLAMA members who are aware of the LLAMA program planning process.
  2. At the beginning of the program, the evaluator will give the audience evaluation form to two people from the audience who say they intend to stay through the program and are willing to evaluate it.
  3. At the end of the program, the evaluator will fill out the committee member form and obtain the audience form from the two participants.
  4. The evaluator will send copies of both parts of the evaluation to the chair of the committee which presented the program with copies to the section chair, the LLAMA Program Committee chair, and the LLAMA Office.
  5. This evaluation does not replace evaluations by the audience on forms developed by the committee presenting the program. The Program Committee encourages these additional evaluations.

Fiscal policy for LLAMA programs

Financial accountability for LLAMA's funds rests with the LLAMA Executive Director.  No contracts may be entered into for ALA, LLAMA or any of its units without the formal approval of the LLAMA Board of Directors, and the approval and the signature of the LLAMA Executive Director or Deputy Executive Director.

ALA and LLAMA require that all expenditures fall within budgeted amounts.  Budgeted expenses cannot be paid until the invoice or request for reimbursement accompanied by original receipts is received by the LLAMA Executive Director.  The LLAMA office will process requests for payment through the ALA Accounting Office.

Preconferences:  Preconference budgets are reviewed by the LLAMA Budget and Finance Committee and recommended to the LLAMA Board of Directors at the Annual Conference preceding the conference at which the preconference is to be offered.  To meet this deadline, preconference planners must submit the Budget for a LLAMA Preconference and Speaker Expenses Worksheet (Form D) to the Budget and Finance Committee and the Executive Director by May 1, thirteen months before the preconference is to be held.

Conference programs:  Program planners must submit the Final Budget for Conference Program (Form C) to the Program Committee and the Executive Director by November 1, eight months prior to the Annual Conference at which the program will be presented.  The LLAMA Program Committee reviews all program budget requests and recommends action to the LLAMA Board of Directors at the Midwinter Meeting six months prior to the Annual Conference at which the programs are to be presented. 

When the requested amounts exceed the total allocated program support budget, program chairs needing substantial funding to support outside speakers or otherwise enhance program content may be directed to seek additional funding through an ALA grant when such funds are available, or from outside contributors.  However, no outside solicitations can be made until formal approval has been given by ALA's Fund for America's Libraries.  Names of potential sponsors should be submitted to the LLAMA Deputy Executive Director, who will communicate with the Fund and notify the program chair when approval has been received.  (This policy is clarified under "Gifts and Contributions.")

In accordance with ALA practice, neither honoraria nor expenses are paid to ALA member librarians who would normally attend the ALA conference and who have a role in a conference program.  It is expected that librarians will participate in such programs as a professional responsibility.

Non-librarians who speak at LLAMA programs may receive a modest honorarium, travel expenses, one night's hotel stay at the average ALA conference rate, and a per diem meal allowance.  These speaker expenses must be itemized in the program budget and approved by the Board of Directors during the program budget review.

Guidelines for reimbursement of preconference expenses are explained under "Honoraria and Reimbursement."


The program chair is responsible for coordinating all program handouts.  Originals may be sent to the LLAMA office for duplication.  Camera ready copy must be received by May 12; the LLAMA office cannot assume responsibility for reproducing handouts received after that date.  Program speakers may also choose to reproduce their own handouts.  Production, delivery and reimbursement should be coordinated with Yvonne McLean, LLAMA Program Assistant.

Budgets for handouts must be approved by the LLAMA Board as part of the overall program budget.  Handouts on 8 1/2 x 11" bond paper cost .05 per page.

Number of Conference programs

On January 10, 1989, the Board approved the following policy:

The usual number of Annual Conference programs should be no more than 15.  The AIA/ALA Library Buildings Awards Program and the LLAMA President's Program are not to be counted as part of the maximum.

At its November 1991 meeting the Executive Committee reviewed the history of the policy governing the number of programs to be offered and reaffirmed the policy that the Program Committee will recommend to the Board no more than fifteen programs for presentation at an Annual Conference; the number will include Swap and Shop and Fund Fare.  The BES/AIA Library Building Awards Program and a President's Program, although processed through the Program Committee, do not count against the limit of fifteen, as these are not necessarily annual programs.

Promotion of Programs and Publicity

Much of the success of programs depends upon the effectiveness with which they are promoted and publicized.  It is important to meet all deadlines of the ALA Conference Services Office to insure that a program appears in the preliminary program information mailed to all ALA members in May and in the final ALA Conference program.

The LLAMA office staff will compile a flyer with information about all LLAMA conference programs, to be distributed in the literature distribution bins at Annual Conference.  Program chairs may also publicize their programs on LLAMA's electronic newsletter, LEADS from LLAMA, by sending a 250-word program description to

In addition, publicity may be submitted to Library Administration & Management.  LA&M goes to all LLAMA members, so it reaches individuals with a special interest in administration and management and people who are most interested in LLAMA programs. The Summer issue is traditionally devoted to upcoming events at the Annual Conference.  News items must be forwarded to the associate editor by March 20.

On site, announcements may be placed in Cognotes, the daily conference newsletter.  

Black and white photographs of some non-librarian speakers are sometimes included in the Conference Program, Cognotes, and LA&M. Photographs should be sent to the LLAMA office by February 1 for possible inclusion in publicity releases.  Photos must be submitted directly to Cognotes for inclusion in that publication.

The LLAMA office commissions a brochure to promote all LLAMA preconferences.  This brochure includes the agenda, the speakers panel, cost information and a registration form.  It is disseminated through a general mailing, and via electronic listservs.  To meet printing deadlines, information should be submitted as soon as possible after the Midwinter Meeting.

Speaker Information

Program and preconference chairs are responsible for obtaining complete and current information about all program speakers, including address, telephone, email, social security number when reimbursements are to be made, and biographical data when relevant. Complete and submit the Speaker Information Form (Appendix I) by March 1.

Except as indicated above, LLAMA does not provide funds for publicity for conference programs or preconferences.