PLA Webinar Guidelines and Requirements

What you need to know before proposing or presenting a webinar for PLA…

Webinar Selection

Webinar Basics

Technical Information

Your Presentation

Webinar Selection

A primary source of PLA webinars is our biannual call for webinar proposals, with deadlines of November 30 and May 31 of each year. Proposals submitted by November 30 are considered for presentation in January–June of the following year, and proposals submitted by May 31 are considered for presentation in July–December. To complete the proposal form you'll need the following information:

  • Proposed title for the webinar;
  • Short description of the webinar (limit 250 words);
  • Learning outcomes: (three outcomes that complete the phrase, “At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will…” using active verbs to describe what attendees will know or be able to do as a result of attending the webinar);
  • Alignment with PLA Strategic Plan (identify PLA goal area advanced by this webinar: Transformation; Leadership; Advocacy and Awareness; Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice; or Organizational Excellence)
  • Type of audience (all public library staff; library directors and administrators; etc.) and knowledge level of audience (no previous knowledge; some knowledge; extensive knowledge);
  • Name, email address, title/position, library/institution, brief bio (limit 150 words each), and Twitter handle (if applicable) for each instructor;
  • Photo of each instructor (at least 150 square pixels; JPG or PNG only);
  • Instructors' relevant qualifications and experience with the proposed webinar's topic;
  • Instructors' previous experience with online teaching and/or presenting; and
  • Whether or not the proposed content has been previously proposed or presented as a webinar or in-person (if yes, describe where and how the content was proposed or presented).

PLA may also directly solicit webinars from presenters, as well as present informational webinars about our initiatives and other programs. If you're solicited to present a webinar for PLA, you’ll need to submit a webinar information form with the following information at least five weeks prior to the live event:

  • Webinar title;
  • Description (limit 250 words);
  • Learning outcomes (three outcomes that complete the phrase, “At the conclusion of this webinar, participants will…” using active verbs to describe what attendees will know or be able to do as a result of attending the webinar);
  • Brief bio for each panelist (limit 150 words each); and
  • Photo of each panelist (at least 150 pixels square; JPG or PNG only).

Webinar Basics

  1. PLA webinars are typically 1 hour long; 40–45 minutes of actual presentation time plus approximately 10 or so minutes for Q&A. Given this time restriction, we recommend no more than three panelists per webinar.

    • Prior to the live webinar, panelists are expected to promote their webinar via their various communication channels (social media, online communities, email lists, etc.).

    • On the day of the live webinar, all panelists will need to join the webinar at least 30 minutes (but no more than 45 minutes) prior to the start time.

    • In addition to the live webinar, all panelists must also participate in a 30–60 minute training session at least one week prior to the live webinar.

    Technical Information

    1. PLA webinars are presented using the Zoom platform. Please review the technical requirements for webinar panelists.

    2. Once you've joined the webinar, there are two ways to connect your audio: via computer or via telephone.

    3. You should plan to participate in the panelist training session from the same location and using the same equipment you'll use for the live webinar. That way, any technical issues we discover and resolve during the training session will most likely remain fixed for the live webinar.

    Your Presentation

    1. It's best if we can use your actual slideshow during the training session, even if it’s still in draft at that time.

    2. Use transitions, fly-in text, and animations judiciously.

    3. We encourage you to consider including interactive elements in your presentation to keep the online audience engaged:

      • One of the simplest ways to engage attendees is to ask them to “raise your hand” in response to a question or statement. Previous PLA webinar presenters have had great success with this method of interaction.

      • We can also do formal yes/no or multiple-choice type polls. If you plan to include any attendee polls in your presentation, then please let us know as soon as possible so we can discuss with you how best to integrate them into your presentation.

      • Whenever possible, we encourage you to ask attendees to share their experiences/ideas or ask questions in the Chat window. If the size of the audience and number of responses allows, you can then verbally acknowledge or summarize the responses for the audience. It’s easy for attendees because most are already familiar with using a chat window.

    4. If you wish to use video with audio embedded in slides or shared via another application, then let us know as soon as possible. Zoom requires installation of a desktop application to share audio.