Proposal Guidelines

The conference review committee is reviewing proposals. Authors will be notified in early June of their status, and accepted authors will be asked to RSVP through the Ex Ordo site to confirm their place in the conference.

Please see below for information on the 2020 proposal process.

Proposal Topics

Paper and poster proposals that cover any aspect of library assessment in any type of library are invited, including but not limited to these topics:

  • Assessment program establishment/development/sustainment
  • Collaborative assessments (including consortial, ARL, ACRL, PLA, Libraries without Borders, etc.)
  • Critical and/or theoretical perspectives on assessment
  • Data management and visualization
  • Digital libraries and repositories
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Measurement and measures/indicators
  • Methods and tools
  • Organizational and institutional assessments (including accreditation)
  • Organizational issues and approaches
  • Services, collections (including specialized collections), and programs
  • Space and facilities planning and use
  • Teaching and learning, learning analytics
  • Usability/User experience
  • Value and impact

Presentation Formats

Proposals are invited as papers, posters, and workshops. All proposals must include a title, author names and short biographies, format, and abstract (maximum 750 words) describing the proposal. Abstracts should be submitted in the following format: (1) purpose, (2) design, methodology, or approach, (3) findings, and (4) practical implications or value.

Accepted papers will be included in the conference proceedings and are due by November 30, 2020. Accepted poster proposals will be asked to submit a digital file of their poster for inclusion on the conference website in advance of the conference.


Papers should present innovative approaches and/or research that is well underway or has been implemented/concluded. Each abstract should be submitted in the following format (with a separate entry box for each category): (1) purpose, (2) design, methodology, or approach, (3) findings, and (4) practical implications or value. The abstract should detail the focus of the paper and the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field. Presentation time for papers will be a maximum of 20 minutes (15 minutes for the presentation and up to 5 minutes for Q&A). Papers are expected to be 3,000–5,000 words for the conference proceedings.

What does a multi-paper session look like? Multi-paper sessions (90 minutes) include four paper presentations on a common theme. A moderator will welcome the audience, coordinate the session, and keep time. Each paper presentation will have approximately 15 minutes to present and discuss the key points of their work. There will be time (about 5 minutes) for a few questions following each presentation, and additional question and answer time will be available at the end of the session. Presenters will asked to provide draft papers (full papers or detailed synopses) in advance of the conference, but should not attempt to read their paper during the presentation.

Paper presenters often supplement their presentations with audiovisual aids illustrating their key points. A computer, LCD projector, and screen will be provided. More specific information and tips for effective presentations will be provided after the proposal review process.


A poster is a formal graphic presentation of a topic displayed on poster board. This format offers an excellent opportunity for presenting data and visualizations, big ideas, and action. Posters will be exhibited and presented during a reception. Posters should not be used to advertise a product or service. Consult the poster guidelines page for full details on poster set up, logistics, and tips for effective poster design.

Each poster abstract should include about 750 words describing (with a separate entry field for each category): (1) purpose, (2) design, methodology, or approach, (3) findings, and (4) practical implications or value. Accepted poster submissions will be asked to submit a PDF file of their poster to be included on the conference website in advance of the conference.

What does a poster exhibition look like? All posters are presented during the poster exhibition and reception and posters will be grouped by theme. Posters are presented on tri-fold standing poster boards (36 x 48 inches) throughout the room. Poster presenters stand beside their posters and discuss their work on-on-one or in small groups of attendees. Most attendees meander through the posters, stopping to review or discuss those that pique their interest. Most poster presenters supplement their posters with a handout that summarizes their work and provides contact information for further follow up.


Workshops can be half-day or full-day and are intended to provide conference attendees an immediate takeaway of practical skills, methods, and tools they can employ at their own libraries. Workshop sessions are interactive and participant numbers are limited to ensure time for hands-on, active learning activities for participants.

Workshop proposals should include:

  • The workshop title
  • 2–3 paragraph description, including details about how the workshop will actively engage participants in hands-on learning
  • 2–3 learning outcomes
  • Brief biography (100 words) for each leader, including experience leading workshops
  • Audience level of participants (i.e., beginner, expert)
  • Whether a half-day or full-day workshop is envisioned based on the content, or if flexible to do either*

*Please note that the final length of the workshop will be determined by the conference steering committee in collaboration with the facilitator(s).

Proposal Submission, Evaluation, and Notification

To submit a proposal, please visit the proposal submission site. The primary author will be required to create a profile. One author will complete the form submission and enter co-author information. If you submitted a proposal in 2018 or attended the conference, your Ex Ordo credentials will remain the same. Proposal submissions are due by Monday, March 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Pacific standard time.

The Library Assessment Conference Steering Committee will evaluate paper and poster proposals based on:

  • Relevance to effective, sustainable, and practical library assessment
  • Significance of contribution to the body of work associated with library assessment
  • Clarity of expression
  • Status of research (For paper proposals, are the results in hand? When appropriate, please include the timeline for completion of research.)
  • Results/findings can be used to enact change

The committee will evaluate workshop proposals based on:

  • Relevance to effective, sustainable, and practical library assessment
  • Applicability to a variety of libraries (e.g., research, community college, etc.)
  • Clearly articulated plan for how the workshop will engage participants in hands-on activities
  • Demonstrated experience in leading workshops or other hands-on instructional activities

Authors will be notified of their status in April 2020. Each accepted presenter will be guaranteed a conference registration place and will be expected to pay the registration fee by August 31, 2020. Additional registration information will be available in May.


Drafts of papers will be due by September 23. Paper drafts are shared with the steering committee and are not made publicly available. Final papers, to be published in the online proceedings, will be due by November 30.

Papers will be published in the conference proceedings, which will be freely and openly available via the conference website. Paper and poster abstracts and PDF poster files will also be available on the conference website. Authors retain the copyright to their original work and are encouraged to publish their work in other established venues and professional journals. Please see the copyright agreement page for more information.

More Information

For additional information, please email