2020 Symposium on the Future of Libraries Opens Call for Session Proposals

For Immediate Release
Tue, 05/28/2019


Miguel Figueroa

Center for the Future of Libraries

American Library Association


CHICAGO – The Center for the Future of Libraries is accepting session proposals for the 2020 Symposium on the Future of Libraries (January 24 - 28, 2020, in Philadelphia, Pa.).

Sponsored by the Center for the Future of Libraries, the Symposium features three days – Saturday, Sunday, and Monday – exploring the near-term trends already inspiring innovation in academic, public, school, and special libraries, and the longer-term trends that will help us adapt to the needs of our communities. The Symposium on the Future of Libraries is included with full registration for the 2020 ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits.

To help provide opportunities for library professionals to share their work and insights in various ways, the call for proposals seeks submissions for three distinct session formats:

  • Information Sessions allow presenters to focus on a specific trend, topic, or issue to help attendees better understand what they need to know to make sense of the future. Information Sessions feature a traditional theater room set with a front podium and/or speakers’ table.
  • Workshops offer an interactive room set with rounds or tables that encourage collaborative, hands-on learning. These sessions provide time for instruction but allow attendees to engage in active learning through discussion, activities, or other constructive learning. These sessions are meant to help attendees develop skills to be more strategic, effective in leadership, or proactive in using foresight tools or strategies.
  • Discussions are designed to spark conversation across participants. Lead discussants or facilitators poses questions or prompts and encourage attendees to share their perspectives and insights. These sessions might be especially useful for early-stage exploration or community-building around new and emerging ideas.

Individuals interested in submitting a session proposal will be asked to select one of the session formats and provide a session title, description, preferred session times, and participants' contact information. Submitters will need to sign in using an ALA login (free to create as a member or non-member). First review of proposals will begin July 15th - priority placement will be given to those proposals received by the first review date. The call for proposals will close on August 15th.

The 2019 Symposium on the Future of Libraries featured over 35 educational sessions exploring accessibility, algorithmic biases, computational thinking, extended reality, loneliness and social isolation, machine learning, social justice spaces, speculative design, the subscription economy, workforce development and entrepreneurship, and more.

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Center for the Future of Libraries Advisory Group.