Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals

Submit Now!
Days Days
hours hours
min min
sec sec

The Digital Library Federation invites proposals for the 2018 DLF Forum, which will be held just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, October 15-17, 2018. Separate calls will be issued for allied meetings: Learn@DLF, a day for learning through pre-conference workshops (October 14), and Digital Preservation 2018, the annual conference of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (October 17-18).

Proposals for the 2018 DLF Forum are due by May 7 at 11:59pm Pacific Time.

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;
    • project management;
    • assessment;
    • 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 55-minute Panels: Traditional format, but with a premium on conversation. Presentations are allocated 18 minutes (which includes Q&A), and organized panels with 4 or more speakers will be given a dedicated session of 55 minutes. “Manels”–all-male panels–will not be accepted into the conference, and proposals involving a wide diversity of speakers will be looked on favorably by the committee. Speakers should reserve significant time for Q&A, including interactive exchanges on next steps, possible DLF community action, and discussion or debate.
    • 9-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 by DLF based on overarching themes or ideas. Snapshots are allocated 9 minutes (which includes Q&A).
    • 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.
    • 55-minute Workshops: Hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. All workshop organizers are asked to provide details on technology needs and learning outcomes for participants. New for 2018: only 55-minute workshops may be proposed for the Forum. Full- and half-day workshops as well as 1- and 2-hour sessions may be proposed for Learn@DLF, our pre-conference workshop day on October 14. (See the Learn@DLF CFP, and please be aware that there will be a separate registration fee for the pre-conference.)
    • Breakfast/Lunch 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.


Submissions Deadline: Monday, May 7, 2018 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 June and guaranteed a registration slot at the Forum.

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 together practitioners from digital library, archives, and museum of all types and sizes 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 2018 Forum will be held at the beautiful M Resort in Henderson, NV. We strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event that reflects our Code of Conduct. We’ve heard from many colleagues who are excited about the venue, but we know that, for some, Las Vegas can be a difficult place. We’ve chosen a venue well off the Strip, and are working closely with our 2018 Inclusivity Committee on measures for the Vegas-wary, including a dedicated “Friends of Bill W.” space, lists of helpful resources, DLF wellness programming, and more.

Once again, the Forum will include subsidized childcare, scholarship and discounted registration opportunities, 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 moderators, and attention to dietary preferences and other needs collected through our registration form. If you have suggestions to the DLF Forum organizers or any questions about the venue before registering, please contact us at