Call for Host of the 2025 DLF Forum

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The Digital Library Federation (DLF) cordially invites libraries, museums, cultural heritage organizations, and academic institutions (or a combination of collaborating organizations) to submit expressions of interest in hosting the in-person 2025 DLF Forum

The DLF Forum is a multi-day immersive experience dedicated to learning, networking, and skill-building. Having evolved since its inception in 1999, the Forum has traditionally been hosted in hotel venues. Embracing deliberate, experimental change in conference structure after participant feedback, we are excited to announce our intention to hold the event at a cultural heritage or academic organization in 2025, following the 2024 event at Michigan State University (Summer 2024) and online (Fall 2024)

We are open to hosting the event anytime between late spring and the end of fall 2025, before the holiday season. Prospective hosts should be located in the United States or Canada. 

DLF will oversee the coordination of the volunteer Planning Committee and conference logistics, assuming fiscal responsibility for the event. Host sites are expected to provide 2-3 designated lead staff members to offer location-specific support as outlined below. Additionally, hosts will be responsible for covering indirect costs. We welcome submissions for any capacity over 200 attendees. 

Evaluation of applicants will be based on their capacity to fulfill these requirements, as well as considerations such as venue space, food and beverage options, local lodging, and transportation options. We welcome collaborative applications from multiple organizations.

Hosting a national conference like the DLF Forum can offer numerous benefits for a cultural heritage or academic organization. Some key advantages include: 

  • Increased visibility. Hosting a well-known national conference provides an opportunity to showcase your organization’s facilities, capabilities, and expertise to a wide audience of professionals, potentially leading to new partnerships, collaborations, and opportunities. 
  • Networking opportunities. Hosting a national conference facilitates networking with professionals from diverse backgrounds and geographical locations. 
  • Enhanced reputation. Hosting a successful conference demonstrates the hosting organization’s leadership, organizational skills, and commitment to advancing the field. 
  • Community engagement. Hosting a national conference can foster community engagement by involving local collaborators, such as businesses, academic institutions, government agencies, and community organizations. 
  • Economic impact. Hosting a conference can have a positive economic impact on the local community, generating revenue for local businesses, hotels, restaurants, and other service providers. 
  • Professional development opportunities. Hosting a conference provides opportunities for staff members of the hosting organization to gain valuable experience in event planning, project management, and leadership roles. 
  • Knowledge sharing and learning. Hosting a conference allows the organization to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and best practices in its field. 

We eagerly anticipate receiving your proposals to make the 2025 DLF Forum a memorable and enriching experience for all attendees. 

Host Requirements and Roles 

If your organization does not meet all of the desired requirements but is interested in the possibility of hosting the DLF Forum, we’d still love to hear from you! Please feel free to apply anyway. If you’d like to discuss the feasibility of hosting this event at your organization before applying, please reach out to Team DLF at We welcome collaborative applications from multiple organizations.

Meeting Space 

  • All meeting, meals, and reception spaces should be ADA-compliant. 
  • Space for 1-2 plenary (general) sessions that can accommodate 200-500 attendees each time, including a stage, projector, and AV equipment, preferably theater style or organized in table rounds. In-house livestreaming or the ability to bring in an outside vendor is a plus.
  • Spaces for concurrent program sessions over 2 days that can accommodate 200-500 people across 5-7 spaces in various room formats, such as theater and classroom, and include appropriate AV capabilities. 
  • Desired, but not required: Space for a reception that can accommodate all attendees and includes some seating and/or standing table options. 
  • Spaces for breaks and meals that are in a central location and easily accessible. If on a university campus, access to dining halls would suffice.
  • If lunch will not be provided, restaurants and other food options should be located within close walking distance of the conference venue. 
  • Space near plenary and concurrent sessions for registration setup for Team DLF and local volunteers to check in registered attendees, provide information, and display sponsor signage. 
  • Space and tables for sponsors (up to 7) to exhibit during the event, preferably in spaces where breaks and/or meals take place. Many sponsors bring their own signage as well. 

Food and Beverage

  • Local catering options (onsite catering, campus dining hall, local restaurants or catering businesses, etc.) should be able to meet a wide variety of dietary needs. 

Technical Requirements

  • Robust wi-fi for conference participants. 
  • Tech support is available during the event to help address any issues in plenary or breakout rooms.
  • Support for presenters to use their own laptops, possibly including access to necessary connecting cables. 
  • For the plenary session room: a projector with a large screen; microphones for speakers and audience Q&A; and the in-house ability to provide live streaming and recording of speakers and slides, OR the ability for DLF to contract services with an outside provider.
  • For breakout rooms: a projector with a screen; one microphone for speakers; one microphone for audience Q&A.


  • The host site should have a variety of hotels within 2 miles. Public transportation between hotels and venues is a plus.
  • Not required, but desired: If the host site is an academic institution, lodging would be made available on campus in dorm rooms (to be paid for by participants). 


  • The venue is in close/reasonable proximity to a major airport (within 90 minutes). 
  • Public transportation options and/or shuttles are available to/from the airport. 
  • Public transportation options around campus (if an academic institution) and/or around the city/town.

Host Staff Roles 

  • The host provides 2-3 primary contacts for the conference who meet with Team DLF regularly, serve on the Planning Committee, and provide knowledge and help make local arrangements like reserving session rooms. 
  • The primary contacts are also the onsite point people for local issues for the duration of the conference. 
  • The primary contacts are also able to connect the planning team with relevant other departments, such as marketing/communications, room bookings, etc.

Costs and Expenses 

  • DLF covers the cost of running the conference, including catering. 
  • DLF manages all sponsorships. 
  • The host site provides complimentary access to general sessions and meeting rooms as well as basic AV and wi-fi in those spaces.
  • Host sites will be expected to cover indirect costs. 

If your organization does not meet all of the desired requirements but is interested in the possibility of hosting the DLF Forum, we’d still love to hear from you! Please feel free to apply anyway. If you’d like to discuss the feasibility of hosting this event at your organization before applying, please reach out to Team DLF at


Please apply through this form.


Sample Conference Schedule 

Day 1 

Welcome Reception (evening event)

Attracts almost all registered attendees. Could be sponsored by our Platinum partner and requires a table for this one sponsor only. 


Day 2, 9:00am-5:00pm

Plenary Session: Opening plenary event for all registered attendees. Consists of information from Team DLF and a speaker or panel. 

AM Coffee Break

Sessions: 6 concurrent sessions 

Lunch Break 

Sessions: 6 concurrent sessions

PM Coffee Break 

Networking event 


Day 3, 9:00am-5:00pm

Sessions: 6 concurrent sessions

(15 minute transition) 

Sessions: 6 concurrent sessions 

AM Coffee Break 

Networking event 

Lunch Break 

Sessions: 6 concurrent sessions

PM Coffee break 

Closing plenary: Closing plenary for all registered attendees. Consists of closing information from Team DLF and a speaker or panel. 

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