What Makes a Successful PLA Conference Proposal?

The PLA Conference is the premier event for public libraries, drawing thousands of librarians, library support staff, trustees, friends, and library vendors from across the country and around the world for a multi-day event offering over 100 top-quality education programs.

Hear from successful past PLA Conference presenters and from PLA member volunteers who review proposals about how to make your ideas stand out from the crowd. This on-demand webinar covers the PLA 2020 proposal process (deadlines, requirements, and selection criteria) and examples of successful past proposals, along with specific recommendations for how to take your idea and develop it into a truly outstanding proposal.

Originally presented March 14,  2019.


Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of this on-demand webinar, participants will:

  • Understand the criteria that make for a successful PLA 2020 Conference proposal;
  • Know the deadlines and requirements for PLA 2020 Conference proposals; and
  • Identify resources to improve future PLA and other conference proposal efforts.

Additional Resources

Who Should Attend

This webinar is intended for individuals interested in proposing an educational session for the PLA 2020 Conference, February 25–29 in Nashville. It is appropriate for public library staff at all levels, with particular relevance to those who are newer to proposing or presenting at PLA Conference.


Sonia Alcantara-Antoine, director of Newport News (VA) Public Library, is  a member of the PLA Annual Conference Program Subcommittee and was a speaker at the PLA 2018 Conference. She shares her experience from a PLA 2018 speaker perspective, an example of a successful past proposal, and challenges to be aware of and suggestions for addressing them.

Nathan Flinchum, public services coordinator of Roanoke (VA) Public Library, was involved in the creation of the Virginia Library Association’s Presentation Academy. He provides recommendations for how to take an idea and develop it into a great proposal.

Juliane Morian, associate director at Clinton-Macomb (MI) Public Library, is chair of the PLA 2020 Conference Program Subcommittee. She gives an overview of the PLA 2020 proposal process and what we’re looking for.



This on-demand webinar is free and available 24/7 for your viewing convenience.

How to Register

No registration is required.

Tech Requirements

To playback this archived webinar you should have either the latest version of Flash running on your computer, or use a browser with native HTML5 support. Please use the most up-to-date version available of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer. A fast Internet connection and computer is recommended.

Credits or CEUs

PLA does not award credit hours, or CEUs, for its on-demand webinars and cannot verify participation.


If you have questions or problems accessing a recording, send a message to plawebinars@ala.org or call 800-545-2433 ext. 5PLA (5752).