ALA Round Table (IRRT) Papers and Projects Committee Invites Presentation Proposals for “Finding a New Normal: Library Policies and Practices.”

Here’s the info – very detailed!

The American Library Association’s International Relations Round Table (IRRT) Papers and Projects Committee invites proposals for a presentation at the 2023 American Library Association Annual Conference, scheduled to take place in Chicago, IL from June 22-27, 2023.

The International Papers and Projects Session provides librarians with an opportunity to exchange information about library services, collections, and projects throughout the world. The program also serves to stimulate the interest of U.S. librarians in international library matters. The 2023 International Papers and Projects theme is Finding a New Normal: Library Policies and Practices.

The world continues to navigate the changing landscape shaped by three years of living with the pandemic, political upheaval, and environmental crisis. Organizations must find balance among traditional, pre-pandemic policies and practices, pandemic-related policies and practices that changed how and where libraries provide service, and the “new normal” of returning to more traditional policies and practices while the pandemic continues. At the same time, organizations must take special care in how they support and validate their employees as well as take strides in leading inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility efforts in their communities.

The aim of this session is to explore the role of library policies and practices that balance the needs of the organization, the needs of the employee, and the need of the patrons. The balance between policy and practice may also be a delicate framework of expectations and understanding new to the landscape of leadership as libraries seek a new normal. This session hopes to showcase the considerations of developing policies to

  1. sustain collections and services,
  2. provide for employees, and
  3. lead inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility practices

as well as

  1. methods of implementation,
  2. successes and failures, and
  3. revisions after implementation.

This session seeks stories of challenges, successes, and failures of getting buy-in and communicating change to library employees and patrons. We are looking for speakers to share on international and U.S. library projects and issues relating to how they have managed this process and what they have learned from it.

Possible questions related to this theme may include, but are not limited to:

  1. How have “post-Covid” policies and practices affected librarians psychologically and physically?
  2. How can we most effectively support librarians in their workplaces, as library policies and practices adapt so that they can continue to provide services to the community?
  3. How are library administrations creating new policies to transition libraries into a post-Covid era? What practices do employees take to implement them?
  4. What obstacles are libraries facing in creating policies and practices to keep buildings open during times of labor shortages, demands for improved EDI focuses, and calls for greater social justice efforts in their organizations?
  5. How have your library’s policies impacted the kind of back-to-work model that your institution has adopted in the post-pandemic era? (in-person, hybrid, fully remote work). What factors influenced these decisions?

We encourage submissions that reflect the diverse approaches of the public sector, the academic environment, special libraries, or other types of information organizations. International library schools may also share how they are preparing their students to think about policy and practice. International submissions will be given priority, but submissions from the U.S. will be considered as well, especially if they may be of interest to the international community. To ensure representation from around the world, the IRRT Papers and Projects Committee aims to accept one presentation per country though exceptions may apply.

ALTERNATIVE PARTICIPATION METHOD OPTION

DUE TO COVID-19

Considering the uncertainty of COVID-19 and its impacts on international travel, we want to ensure the inclusivity of diverse experiences and wide-ranging perspectives on the challenges of policy and practices that our international community continues to face. Thus, we are also welcoming proposals for short 5-minute interview-style videos, in addition to the traditional conference presentations. These videos will be played at the beginning of the conference session prior to the full-length presentations.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Proposals and presentations must be written and delivered in English, which is the working language of the program. By submitting a proposal, the presenters acknowledge that the policy and practice information can be shared widely in a public setting and the speakers are comfortable and able to address aspects of the policy and practiceThere are two submission types for this conference:

Proposals for In-Person Conference Sessions

Proposals for in-person conference sessions should include:

  1. Title of the presentation
  2. Abstract (500-800 words)

A good abstract will

      • describe the library, its community, the policy and practices, and the situation requiring policy and practice change,
      • describe how the policy and practice relates to one or more of the suggested possible questions or the vision of the session,
      • describe how the policy was drafted, what stakeholders were involved, how it was implemented, and what practices resulted from it,
      • describe how the library addressed the situation through leadership or advocacy in relation to the policy and practice,
      • discuss the impact of the policy and practice on the library, employees, community, and its effect on the situation, and
      • address overall if the policy and practice was successful in relation to the situation or if the policy or practice will be adapted or changed in the future.
  1. Presenter’s name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid e-mail address)
  2. A short biographical profile of each presenter (100 words each. If the program is accepted, biographies will be used in program advertising).

Proposals should be submitted electronically (as a single Microsoft Word or PDF attachment) to the International Relations Office via email at [email protected] with copies to [email protected], and [email protected].

Proposals for Introduction Video Clips

If you are interested in sending a video clip, please include:

  1. Type of policy change
  2. A statement (250-500 words)

A good statement of interest will

  • include a summary of the policy and practice, and
  • describe how the policy and practice relates to the suggested possible questions or vision of the program.
  1. Presenter’s name, title, institutional affiliation, and full contact information (including a valid e-mail address)
  2. A short biographical profile of each presenter (100 words each)

Proposals should be submitted electronically (as a single Microsoft Word or PDF attachment) to the International Relations Office via email at [email protected] with copies to [email protected], and [email protected].

The deadline for submitting proposals is February 28, 2023.

PRESENTATION FORMAT

Proposals and presentations/interviews must be written and delivered in English, which is the working language of the program. There are two submission types for this conference:

Format for In-Person Conference Session
Each panel presentation is between 10-15 minutes. Applicants are encouraged to consider creative and effective presentations to connect attendees with the topic and to share information that will let attendees know how they could implement similar solutions/programs for their library communities.  Slides will be edited and vented by the IRRT Paper and Project Committee. Since ALA has announced Annual 2023 is going to be an in-person conference, we are looking for proposals and panelists who are comfortable traveling to Chicago, IL to present.

Format for Introduction Video Clips

If selected the IRRT Papers and Projects Committee will send the presenters a list of questions and schedule an interview over Zoom. This interview will be recorded, edited, and combined with other interviews to create an introduction video to be played at the beginning of the conference session. The IRRT Paper and Project Committee will post the video for public viewing on its platforms.

SELECTION PROCESS

Up to four in-person proposals will be selected to present at the ALA Annual in June 2023. The IRRT Paper and Project Committee will aim to use as many interview clips in the video as they are able. The video will not exceed 10 minutes of content. Notification of acceptance for proposals and videos will be emailed in March 2023.

We would like to invite you to view previous presentation titles listed on IRRT’s International Papers and Projects Session Committee website .

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