Call for Proposals: 2016 DLF Forum

The Digital Library Federation invites proposals for our 2016 DLF Forum, to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 7-9 November 2016. Separate calls are being issued for allied meetings: the DLF Liberal Arts Colleges Pre-Conference (6 November) and Digital Preservation 2016 (9-10 November), the annual conference of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA)—all in the same location:

Proposals are due by May 15th at 11:59pm Pacific Time.  

About DLF and the Forum:

The DLF is a robust and inclusive community that 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 2016 Forum will be held at the historic Pfister Hotel, just blocks from Lake Michigan, the Milwaukee Art Museum, restaurants, and nightlife. The hotel has an incredible Victorian art collection, an artist-in-residence program, and a spa. Our local hosts will be the Marquette University Raynor Memorial LibrariesUniversity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Libraries, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries. Thanks to the generosity of donors, DLF can again help subsidize childcare at the Forum. (Contact for more information.)

We strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event, and operate under a Code of Conduct. To make suggestions or ask questions of DLF Forum organizers and our volunteer Committee on Inclusivity, please contact us at

Submissions and Evaluation:

Proposals should fit within the broad frameworks of 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 DLF community missions, priorities, problems, and concerns. The Forum traditionally has no set theme so that it may speak to matters of interest to all. 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.

Proposals of up to 250 words each (up to 500 words for full panel sessions) should be submitted along with requested metadata, using our online system:  

Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

Presentations or Panels: Traditional format, but with a premium on Q&A. Presentations are allocated 20 minutes, and organized panels with 4 or more speakers will be given a dedicated session. 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, with time for audience questions at the end.

90-second Lightning Talks: We’re doing away with physical posters this year, in favor of more high-profile, high-energy lightning talks, held in a plenary session, with the opportunity to point listeners to additional information online.

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 and technology needs, and to specify both the ideal and minimum number of consecutive, 1-hour sessions needed for the workshop.

Lunchtime 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 addressing a specific challenge or issue that would benefit from a collective approach.

Deadline: May 15th, 2016 at 11:59pm PT.  

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. (A 50-word short abstract is requested to aid in this process and for the final program.) Presenters will be notified in July and guaranteed a registration slot at the Forum.

US Presidential Election Notice:

Most DLF Forum attendees will need to plan ahead for early/absentee voting in the 2016 US Presidential Election. Full, state-by-state nonpartisan ballot information and important voter deadlines are available here: Vote early and join us to watch the election returns in Milwaukee!

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