Proposal Elements

ACRL 2021 proposals include the following core elements.

Please read the descriptions and consider each one to give your proposal the best chance of success. View the ACRL 2021 Proposal Tips webcast recording to discover ways to strengthen your proposal submission (PPT slides also available). Review ACRL’s privacy policy before starting your proposal.


May 22, 2020
Contributed Paper, Panel, Preconference, Workshop

November 9, 2020
Lightning Talk, Poster, Roundtable, TechConnect, Webcast

Session Format

Choose the session format you feel is the most appropriate for your proposal.

Program Title

Creative, interesting and informative titles and descriptions are most favorably viewed by the proposal review committees and prospective attendees.

Program Tags

Select up to two tags that reflect the program’s main topic areas. Identify a primary (required) and secondary (optional) tag for your program.


Provide both a detailed description (500 words max.), as well as a short description (100 words max.).  Keep in mind that ACRL 2021 is an anonymous peer-review process.  Do not identify presenter and institution names in your proposal (e.g., replace the name of your institution with a descriptor such as “private, four-year institution”).

The detailed description should outline your session’s main points, its relevance to attendees, how it is unique and different from others that may address the same topic, and the ways you will engage your audience. The short description should actively describe your session (e.g., ” Find out what fee-based and open source textbook options are available, how content can be effectively delivered, and how librarians can lead in the adoption of digital textbooks on their campuses.”) If the proposal is accepted, the short description will be used in promotional materials and may be edited for style and clarity by ACRL.

Primary Contact

Each proposal must identify a Primary Contact who will receive notification of the proposal’s acceptance or rejection. If the proposal is accepted, the Primary Contact will serve as the main point of contact for the ACRL staff.  The Primary Contact will work with his or her co-speakers to determine the scope of content, the order of speakers within the program, audiovisual needs, etc.; will confirm program details, descriptions and arrangements with speakers and staff; and will facilitate the program’s presentation.  The Primary Contact also needs to be familiar with ACRL policies concerning expenses, honoraria, recording, and publishing; communicate regularly with co-speakers; respond to requests for information from ACRL staff and committee members; and adhere to deadlines.

Learning Outcomes

Develop three learning outcomes for your session.  A well-written learning outcome will identify what participants will be able to do as a result of attending your program. How will your target audience’s skills, attitudes, knowledge, behavior, status, or life condition change or improve by participating in your program? Think about the intended impact of the program and how it fills a need or solves a problem. Tip: Consider using a verb or action phrase + “in order to” + an impact statement to design your outcomes. The first phrase describes the skill or task you want to learner to perform, and the second phrase describes its impact and why it is important.  Examples of well-written learning outcomes:

  • Define assessment in terms of student learning in order to identify its relationship to good teaching.
  • State several concepts and applications of assessment in order to apply it as a practical information literacy tool.
  • Critically examine different classroom assessment techniques in order to evaluate them for application in your own setting.
    *Adapted from: Debra Gilchrist, Assessment is Learning. ACRL Immersion Program

Additional Speakers Information

The Primary Speaker is required to provide full contact information for all of the speakers involved in the proposed session. ACRL requires complete contact information for every speaker (name, title, organization, address, phone, and e-mail) so we may issue appropriate speaker agreements to all presenters.


In accordance with ALA practices, librarian presenters cannot receive honoraria nor have expenses reimbursed for presenting conference programs. Non-librarian presenters may be eligible for complimentary registration. 

Session Hashtag

Optional. If provided your hashtag will be published in conference materials.  Your hashtag should be short but descriptive and check Twitter to ensure it’s unique (e.g., Title: Mashup or Crashup: Collaborating with Intra and Extra Library Partners to Create a Merged Library Service Desk; Hashtag: #acrlmashup).