Proposal Process for YALSA Programs at the ALA Annual Conference

Program Definition

A program is "a continuing education experience in a structured format, at a scheduled time, for a specific audience." 

Program Planning Process

The call for program proposals runs from June through August for proposals for the conference held during the following year. An online form will be available via events page.  Any interested individual may submit a program proposal. In July, the YALSA membership will vote online to determine which of the eligible proposals will be accepted as programs for the conference. Individuals who submitted proposals will be notified about the status of their proposal at the end of August.

Criteria for Proposals

Proposals must fall within one of the categories identified in the annual call for proposals. Individuals may submit multiple proposals; however, no individual will be chosen to present or co-present more than one program. Proposals that are largely sales pitches or that focus only one particular product will not be accepted. All presenters, moderators, speakers, etc. will be expected to cover their own travel and conference registration costs. In most cases, programs need to be either 90 or 120 minutes in length.


  • Are the learning outcomes for the proposed program clearly defined?
  • Is the target audience clearly defined? To what extent does the targeted audience represent more than one segment of YALSA's membership? YALSA’s stated focus is on serving teens ages 12 – 18. Does the proposed program content fit with this age range?   
  • Is the topic one of current importance, or popular demand?
  • When was the last program on this topic presented, and is the amount of new information or demand sufficient to warrant another program?
  • To what degree does the proposed program highlight innovations and best practices?


  • Does the amount of time and the suggested format represent the most workable and valuable method of presentation for the program topic?
  • Does the program take advantage of local resources and facilities which may be available in a particular city or geographical region?


  • Is the amount of AV equipment requested appropriate for the type and size of proposed program?
  • Does the program take advantage of local resources and facilities which may be available in a particular city or geographical region?

Program Proposal and Selection Timeline



Person(s) Responsible



  • Determine priority areas for programs
  • Staff use the Organizational Plan to identify priorities


  • Online form is updated
  • Program Officer for Conferences & Events


  • Call for proposals opens for the following year’s conference
  • Program Officer for Conferences & Events


  • Proposals vetted for eligibility based on stated criteria
  • Members vote online to choose slate of programs
  • Program Officer for Conferences & Events facilitates the voting


  • Final slate announced and posted online

Program Officer for Conferences & Events

Notes about Rights & Permissions

  • YALSA has the right to publish all publications, products and/or presentations connected to committee-sponsored activities and programs. 
  • YALSA requests that all program participants sign a Letter of Agreement with YALSA in advance of a program. The Letter of Agreement also covers audio and video taping rights.  Program coordinators must inform all program participants of this procedure when they agree to participate in a program.