LITA Manual Section 11 Preconferences & Regional Institutes

General Information/Guidelines
Criteria for Evaluating Preconference & Institute Proposals
Evaluation of Preconferences & Institutes
LITA National Forum
LITA National Forum Financial Considerations

LITA Manual Table of Contents

LITA supports the efforts of its committees to provide preconferences and regional institutes. The following guidelines are intended to assist in planning for those events.

General Guidelines

  1. A program proposal must be submitted to the Program Planning Committee for a preconference or to the Regional Institutes Committee for institutes. Approved programs are then submitted to the LITA Board. Budgets are developed by the Executive Director, in consultation with program chairs and/or presenters. After the decision has been made to hold an institute, LITA staff are responsible for selecting the institute date(s) and location(s) in consultation with the program chair and/or presenter. ALA preconferences must be held in the same city as the ALA conference and at a conference site if possible.
  2. A preconference planning committee is responsible for defining the program, speakers, and meeting room requirements. LITA staff handle catering arrangements, registration and onsite management. The LITA Executive Director will assist with negotiations. Only the Executive Director can sign contracts for services with speakers, hotels, equipment rental, vendors, etc.
  3. For preconferences and institutes, LITA staff is responsible for mailing lists, development of and mailing of brochures and news releases, duplication of speaker handouts, registration, and contractual arrangements with the conference hotel for room rates, arrangements for room reservations, food functions, function space allocation, complimentary room assignments, and, in consultation with the institute program committee, meeting room requirements.
  4. For a preconference, each speaker should receive a letter from the program chair stating exactly what is expected of the speaker. The letter should state the topic, any requirements or limitations on that topic, the deadline for master handouts to be submitted to the LITA office, and the date, time, and place at which the presentation will be held.
  5. Any commitment of expenses and/or honoraria to speakers must be made in writing by the LITA Executive Director.
  6. Regional institutes may be hosted by a member or institution, co-sponsored by another organization or licensed to another organization.

LITA Preconference and Institute Budget Guidelines

  1. ALA Policy 7.2.2 states "All institutes, workshops, etc. sponsored by ALA and/or its units shall be self-supporting and shall include provision for ALA administrative costs." This policy was adopted so that all institute costs would be borne by participants and not the general membership. Any institute must be self-supporting and, if possible, should provide some income for the division. The primary purpose of such programs is, however, to provide continuing education opportunities to the library profession. Programs should, therefore, be designed to provide the best possible learning situations for colleagues.
  2. Since LITA is held responsible for costs, the LITA Executive Director and the LITA Board of Directors must give final approval to an institute. LITA staff will set the registration fee.
  3. The LITA Executive Director will develop the budgets for Board approval.
  4. Expenses will normally not be reimbursed for:
    1. Planning and local arrangements committee members' personal conference registration and travel expenses.
    2. Personal registration and travel expenses for ALA members who attend institutes and also serve as discussion leaders.
    However, the LITA Board voted in 1993 to waive preconference or institute registration fees for up to 4 LITA members who have major responsibilities for putting on a preconference or institute. In cases where an institute or preconference is cosponsored with another organization, each organization's members (those involved in planning and presenting the institute or preconference) will abide by their organization's rules on the payment of registration fees.
  5. Once the budget has been approved by the LITA Board of Directors and the LITA Executive Director, no changes in the budget will be allowed unless approved by the same.

Financial Considerations. Expenses below are included in budgets and approved by the LITA Board.

  1. For preconferences, no honoraria are offered. Travel expenses for those who would ordinarily attend ALA Annual Conference are not paid. Limited travel expenses to assist an outside speaker may be available and must be approved by the Executive Director.

  2. For Regional Institutes, presenters are paid an honorarium and reasonable travel expenses. Amounts are negotiated by the Executive Director.

[Preconferences & Regional Institutes Table of Contents]

Criteria for Evaluating Institute and Preconference Proposals

When submitting an institute or preconference proposal to the LITA Board of Directors, the following points should be covered:

  1. Program information
    1. Scope. Is the topic within LITA's priorities and responsibilities?
    2. Purpose of the preconference/institute.
    3. Importance. Is there a demand for the topic?
    4. State of the art. Is enough known to justify such an institute? If the subject has been presented previously, has the topic advanced enough to justify another program?
    5. Timeliness.
    6. Relatedness to general convention theme (if being held in conjunction with the convention).
    7. Cosponsorship. Could/Should the topic be cosponsored with another unit?
  2. Fiscal Implications
    1. All institutes and preconferences must be self-supporting, per ALA Policy 7.2.2.
  3. Approval of Institutes, Preconferences
    1. Final approval of an institute or preconference is by the LITA Board of Directors and the LITA Executive Director.

[Preconferences & Regional Institutes Table of Contents]

Evaluation of Preconferences and Institutes

  1. Attendees should be requested to complete evaluation form at the institute or preconference.
  2. Completed evaluation forms will be compiled by LITA staff. A report will be presented to the LITA Board and the planning committee.

[Preconferences & Regional Institutes Table of Contents]

LITA National Forum

I. General Guidelines

  1. The LITA National Forum is held annually in the fall at a place and time determined by the Executive Committee.
  2. The LITA Executive Committee serves as the Steering Committee for the Forum, making all business decisions and site and theme selections. LITA staff will make site visits as directed and report to the Executive Committee. Sites will be selected at least one and one half year in advance.
  3. The Forum program chair and committee are appointed by the President-elect from members experienced with the Forum and/or from the appropriate geographical location. Because of the lead time for planning, the Past President (who was President-elect at the appointment stage) may preside at the Forum with the program chair.
  4. A Call for Proposals may be issued up to a year in advance, indicating the theme, site and date of the Forum.
  5. The program planning committee works closely with the Executive Committee, Executive Director and LITA staff, meeting at ALA conferences and through electronic means. Together, general session topics and speakers are identified, preconferences are planned, concurrent session program proposals are approved and additional ones sought as needed. The group also identifies other desirable events such as receptions, special events and tours that may be offered. The program chair is responsible for overall coordination.
  6. The LITA office is responsible for promotion of the Forum, including web site, press releases, and electronic and print fliers and brochures.
  7. Evaluation of individual program sessions and the Forum as a whole will be sought from attendees. A compilation of evaluations by LITA staff will be given to the Board and program committee. A compilation of evaluations for an individual presentation will be given to the speaker.

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II. Financial Considerations

  1. Guidelines for honoraria and expenses are set by the Executive Committee and Executive Director.
  2. A detailed budget is developed by the Executive Director for approval by the LITA Board.
  3. Sponsorships are sought for the Forum. Forum program planning committee members will be asked to assist.
  4. The Executive Director negotiates all honoraria and travel expenses and signs all contracts with speakers, hotels, caterers or other providers.
  5. General session speakers are usually offered an honorarium, travel expenses and complimentary Forum registration.
  6. One concurrent session speaker per accepted proposal is offered a reduced registration rate.  All other presenters pay the appropriate rate for their registration class. 
  7. Preconference speakers are usually offered an honorarium and travel expenses. Complimentary Forum registration may be offered.
  8. Forum planning committee members receive the speaker registration rate and assist at the event with the introduction of speakers, collection of evaluation forms and other duties as agreed with the committee chair.

[Preconferences & Regional Institutes Table of Contents