SLA 2021 Annual Conference

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SLA2021: Destination Everywhere

We invite information professionals everywhere to join us August 4-13 for a virtual interactive experience to benefit from the ideas, insights, and connections SLA provides! More information will be added here as planning continues.


SLA is seeking innovative, engaging conference sessions designed to educate and inspire special librarians and information professionals. SLA invites both SLA communities and individuals to submit proposals for education sessions and continuing education courses to be considered for the 2021 SLA Annual Conference.

The deadline to submit proposals for education sessions or continuing education courses is February 15. To submit your proposal, log in or create an account at Guidelines, step-by-step instructions, and reference documents are available on the home page to assist you with the submission process.

To provide additional guidance, SLA held an informational webinar on January 14 for those planning to submit proposals. If you missed it, you can access the Presentation Slides and Zoom Recording

Community Planner Meet-ups

The deadline for the call for proposals for the 2021 Annual Conference is coming up on February 15. You are invited to join other Community Planners in an informal meet-up to discuss session ideas, ask questions of an ACAC member, and make connections for potential joint proposals. These meetings will be held on Zoom. All are welcome to attend.

January 27, 10:30 am ET Register Now

February 4, 3:30 pm ET Register Now

February 11, 10:30 am ET Register Now

When submitting a proposal, please keep the following in mind:

  • Content Level: Education sessions and courses should be assigned a content level of fundamental, intermediate, or master class (advanced).
  • Format and Length: Formats for education sessions include:
    • • Pre-recorded presentation (on-demand or mock live, 5-60 min presentations)
      • Live presentation with live Q&A (speakers answer chat questions on camera, no breakouts, 30, 45, or 60 min)
      • Interactive Session (includes presentation plus breakout discussions, exercises, etc, 45, 60, or 90 min)
  • Engagement: Consider past conference sessions you’ve attended that have been especially helpful, thought-provoking, engaging, and/or memorable to you. What set them apart from the rest?
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Speakers of diverse perspectives and backgrounds make for better education sessions. A wide variety of voices and perspectives challenge the audience to think differently about the topic. This variety generates far more dynamic and engaging discussions and better represents the diversity of the audience. Planners should make creating a diverse panel a primary factor in selecting speakers for sessions. For additional guidance, please see Guidelines and Tips for Promoting Diverse Speakers and Panels, a document created by SLA’s Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, and Community (DICE) Community.

Contact with any questions.

<style=”margin-top: -15px;”=””>Each year, as many as 12 SLA members are invited to write papers and present them at the SLA Annual Conference. The papers provide conference attendees with opportunities to hear directly from peers about experiences they’ve had, research they’ve conducted, and best practices they’ve developed.</style=”margin-top:>

Paper authors must submit an abstract describing the topic of their paper. Abstracts should be 250-300 words in length, which is roughly one page in 12-point text. The abstract deadline for papers to be presented at the SLA 2021 Annual Conference is Monday, February 22. Send abstracts to Stuart Hales at SLA headquarters (

<style=”margin-top: -10px;”=””>Are you an SLA community planner, or are you considering submitting a proposal for an education session, continuing education course, or poster? Here are some key dates to keep in mind:</style=”margin-top:>

(Key: Red = Posters; Blue = Community Events; Black = Education Sessions or CE Courses)

December 2020
2021 planners’ guidelines provided
Webinar recording available: “Creating a Successful Submission”

January 2021
Early January: Call for submissions—submission website opens for all education session types and CE courses
January 14: Webinar on “Q&A for Planners and Individual Proposers”

February 2021
February 15: Submission site closes for education sessions, CE courses
February 15: Contributed paper abstracts due
Proposals posted for membership to review
Outreach to SLA communities regarding community events process and guidelines for 2021
Late February: PDAC review meeting—CE course selection

March 2021
Early March: ACAC review meetings—education session selection
Call for poster submissions
Notification to submitters of education session and CE course selection decisions

April 2021
April 1: Community events confirmed by SLA communities
April 26: Poster submission deadline
Education session titles and descriptions posted on website
Planners’ webinar to review next steps
Education schedule and community events schedule to planners

May 2021
Full conference schedule posted
Presenters confirmed by planners
Mid-May: Poster committee review meetings and poster selection
Mid-May: SLA communication to presenters with timeline, guidelines, and deadlines for bio, headshot, and presenter agreement
Late May: Notifications to poster submitters
Late May: Speaker training webinar

June 2021
June 1–July 12: Presenter recordings
Early June: Deadline for presenter bios, headshots, and signed presenter agreement

July 2021
July 19-20: Poster presenters set up booths
July 19-30: Planning calls with planners for community events
July 19-30: Rehearsals for live events, general sessions, and education sessions

August 2021
August 4: Conference kickoff!

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