Call for Proposals (deadline passed)

The Digital Library Federation invites proposals for the 2017 DLF Forum, to be held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 23-25, 2017. Separate calls will be issued for allied meetings: the DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-Conference (October 22) and Digital Preservation 2017, the annual conference of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (October 25-26).

Proposals are due by May 22nd at 11:59pm Pacific Time.  

About DLF and the Forum:

The DLF community works to advance research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. Our annual Forum (#DLFforum) brings digital library, archives, and museum practitioners together to set ambitious agendas, share new methods and experiments, develop best practices, and better organize our community to accomplish its shared mission. Proposals are encouraged from DLF members and non-members alike. All are welcome at the Forum and warmly encouraged to participate in DLF’s programs year-round.  

The 2017 Forum will be held at the Westin Convention Center, just steps away from countless Pittsburgh attractions including Market Square and the Andy Warhol Museum.

We strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event that reflects our Code of Conduct. Once again, the Forum will include childcare subsidies, gender-neutral bathrooms, a quiet room, color-coded lanyards for photography preferences, badges that reflect preferred pronouns, accessible spaces for all, accessibility tips for presenters, and attention to dietary preferences and other needs collected through our registration form. To make suggestions or ask questions of DLF Forum organizers and our volunteer committee on inclusivity, please contact us at

Submissions and Evaluation:

The Forum traditionally has no set theme so that it may speak to matters of interest to all, including:

  • digital library, archives, and museum collections and resources;
  • technologies and infrastructure;
  • services and programs;
  • staffing, education, and professional development;
  • social contexts and ethics;
  • labor and vendor relations;
  • or other DLF community missions, priorities, problems, and concerns.

We depend on you to propose action-oriented topics geared toward a practitioner audience, considering aspects of design, labor, social responsibility, leadership, collaboration, implementation, and assessment. We also welcome community-spirited proposals by digital library practitioners from the commercial sector; however, please note that vendor tables are available for promoting or selling products or services.  

Proposals of up to 250 words each (up to 500 words for full panel sessions) should be submitted along with a 50-word short abstract for the program, using our online system:  

Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

  • 18-minute Presentations or 1-hour Panels: Traditional format, but with a premium on conversation. Presentations are allocated 18 minutes (including Q&A), and organized panels with 4 or more speakers will be given a dedicated session of approximately one hour (edit 9/20/2017: panels are allocated 55 minutes including Q&A). Panel organizers are especially encouraged to include as diverse an array of perspectives and voices as possible.  Speakers should reserve significant time for interactive exchanges on next steps, possible DLF community action, and discussion or debate.
  • 6-minute Snapshots: Brief talks, meant to engage, inform, and energize the audience: reports of work in progress, new technologies and services, questions or provocations, and more. Snapshots will be grouped based on overarching themes or ideas.
  • 90-second Lightning Talks: High-profile, high-energy lightning talks, held in a plenary session, with the opportunity to point listeners to additional information online. Interested speakers can submit abstracts now, to appear on the program—or sign up the day of the event , while space lasts! Sign up sheets will be at the registration desk.
  • Workshops: In-depth, hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. Workshop organizers are asked to provide details in the proposal on learning outcomes for participants, technology needs, and to specify both the ideal and minimum number of consecutive, one-hour sessions needed for the workshop.
  • Lunchtime Working Sessions (edit 9/20/2017: we also have breakfast working sessions): Use the Forum to organize and get stuff done! These are Birds-of-a-Feather sessions for community organizers, creative problem solvers, and existing or prospective DLF interest groups. Participants eat together while discussing a specific challenge or issue that would benefit from a collective approach.

Deadline: Monday, May 22nd, 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.  

All submissions will be peer-reviewed by our volunteer Program Committee. Broader DLF community input will be welcomed through an open process to be announced in May, the results of which will help inform the Program Committee’s final decisions. Presenters will be notified in July and guaranteed a registration slot at the Forum.

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