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Calls for Proposals for DLF Forum and Learn@DLF

The Calls for Proposals for the DLF Forum and Learn@DLF closed on May 1.
Thank you for your interest in our events.
We hope to see you in St. Louis!

CLIR’s Digital Library Federation (DLF) invites proposals for the 2023 DLF Forum (November 13-15) and our pre-conference workshop day, Learn@DLF (November 12), which will be held in-person at the St. Louis Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri. 

A separate call has been issued for Digital Preservation 2023, the annual conference of the NDSA (November 15-16), to be held in conjunction with the Forum this year.

The submission deadline for all events is Monday, May 1, 2023, at 11:59pm ET

About Us and Our Events

The Digital Library Federation’s mission is advancing research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. The DLF Forum, our signature event, is a conference explicitly designed to enact and support the community’s values. Learn@DLF is our pre-conference workshop day designed to help folks take a deep dive into skills and topics that interest them. We strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive atmosphere in all of our events that reflects our Code of Conduct

Who Attends

The DLF Forum and Learn@DLF attendees are a multi-disciplinary cross-sector audience of people who work in the digital library, museum, archives, and cultural heritage fields, from librarians, project managers, curators, technologists, and developers to administrators and service providers. The Forum welcomes practitioners from academic, art and cultural heritage, and non-profit organizations, government agencies, and more. They come from all over the country and world and represent all levels of professional experience. Forum attendees are inquisitive, engaged, and action-oriented with a focus on learning new skills and solving problems together.

We Encourage Proposals From

  • DLF members and non-members;
  • Regulars and newcomers;
  • Digital library practitioners from all sectors (higher education, museums and cultural heritage, public libraries, archives, etc.) and those in adjacent fields such as institutional research and educational technology;
  • Students, early- and mid-career professionals, and senior staff alike.

Submissions and Evaluation

Please note: Due to pre-pandemic contracts, all sessions for the 2023 DLF Forum and Learn@DLF will take place in person. We look forward to exploring potential alternate event formats in the future.

Based on community feedback and the work of our Program Committee, we welcome submissions geared toward a practitioner audience that:

  • Clearly engage with DLF’s mission;
  • Activate and inspire participants to think, make, and do;
  • Engage people from different backgrounds, experience levels, and disciplines; and/or
  • Include clear takeaways that participants can integrate and implement in their own work.

We especially welcome proposals from individuals who bring diverse professional and life experiences to the conference, including those from underrepresented or historically excluded racial, ethnic, or religious backgrounds, immigrants, veterans, those with disabilities, and people of all sexual orientations or gender identities.
As we have done in the past, the Program Committee will prioritize submissions from individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), individuals working at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs), and other libraries, archives, museums, and organizations that center BIPOC to promote inclusivity to the greatest extent possible. Self-identification options will be provided in the proposal submission form but are not required.  

All submissions will be peer reviewed. Reviewers will use this rubric to rate each proposal based on the values listed above. They may also recommend the proposal for a shorter format.

Broader DLF community input will also be solicited through an open community voting process, which will inform the Program Committee’s final decisions. 

We strongly encourage prospective presenters to review our Resources for Forum Presenters and Facilitators page, Rubric, and past DLF Forum programs (from 2022, 2021, and 2020) to understand what makes a successful DLF Forum proposal. Strong proposals will demonstrate how presenters intend to design their proposed sessions to be interactive, inclusive, and action-oriented and will also outline clear learning objectives.

Additional information to foster well-balanced sessions and represent as many voices as possible:

  • While there is no limit to the number of authors listed on a proposal, each submission type lists a maximum number of presenters
  • Further, individuals may present only once at the 2023 DLF Forum.
    • This policy applies whether one is the submitting presenter or a secondary speaker. 
    • There is no limit to the number of non-presenting collaborators or co-authors. 
    • The speaking limit restriction does not apply to co-organizing Working Group meetings, Lightning Talks, or Learn@DLF sessions. 
  • You may submit proposals to more than one event as long as they are different.
  • Looking for co-presenters on a particular topic? Try using our 2023 CLIR Events Unofficial Program Sessions and Connections for connecting with other prospective presenters. Note that the Program Committee and CLIR+DLF Staff do not monitor the document and it is not part of the official submission process.  

Submission Formats

Sessions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

Learn@DLF, November 12:

  • 3-hour Workshops: In-depth, hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. Five facilitators maximum per submission. Q&A and discussion should be incorporated throughout in an interactive and inclusive format. Workshop organizers are asked to provide details on technology needed, participant proficiency level, and learning outcomes. Interested in presenting something longer? Consider submitting a ‘part I’ (morning session) and ‘part II’ (afternoon session) as two separate proposals. 

DLF Forum, November 13-15:

    • 45-minute Workshops: Hands-on training sessions on a specific tool, technique, workflow, or concept. Up to five facilitators are allowed per submission. Workshop organizers are asked to provide details on technology needed, participant proficiency level, and learning outcomes. Additionally, please explain in your proposal how workshops will be interactive.
    • 45-minute Working Sessions: Working sessions are open sessions for community organizers, creative problem solvers, and existing or prospective DLF working groups to begin or get feedback on in-progress projects, collaborate on addressing challenges, and discuss thought-provoking questions. Up to five facilitators are allowed per submission.
    • 35-minute Panels: A panel discussion of three to four presenters (max) on a unified topic, with an emphasis on community discussion. Proposals with representative and inclusive speaker involvement will be favored by the committee. Panels will be slotted into 45-minute sessions, leaving a minimum of 10 minutes for Q&A and discussion at the end of each session. 
    • 10-minute Presentations: A presentation by a maximum of two presenters on a single topic or project. Three Presentations will be grouped by the Program Committee based on overarching themes or ideas and will be slotted into 45-minute sessions, leaving a minimum of 10-15 minutes for Q&A and discussion at the end of each session.
    • 5-minute Lightning Talks: High-energy talks held in succession for all conference attendees. A maximum of two presenters are allowed per submission. There is no formal Q&A for lightning talks, but we encourage conversation at the reception that follows.

Proposal Requirements

  • Proposal title
  • Submission format and event
  • First and last names, organizational affiliations, and email addresses for all presenters and authors
  • Brief abstract – limited to 50 words
  • Full proposal – limited to 250 words for all formats except for panels, which are limited to 500 words
  • Five keywords for your proposal
  • Learning objectives (workshops only) – limited to 50 words; brief, clear statements about what attendees will be able to do as a result of taking your proposed workshop
  • All submissions are under a CC-BY 4.0 license, which allows for sharing and adaptation of content but which requires appropriate credit and an indication of any changes made by others. Presenters must agree to share their work under this license in the submission form.


We look forward to reviewing your proposals. All who submit proposals will be notified over the summer, likely by mid-July. Accepted presenters will be offered a reduced registration rate and will be expected to register or request an extension by August 15. More information about registration can be found here.


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