Association of Research Libraries

University of Washington Libraries

Library Assessment Conference

Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment


2016 Library Assessment Conference
Arlington, Virginia
October 31–November 2, 2016


Deadline Extended to February 3rd—Submit Your Proposal for the 2016 Library Assessment Conference!

2016 Library Assessment Conference Call for Proposals—Deadline February 3

by Angela Pappalardo | 202-296-2296 | LAConf@arl.org | on December 2, 2015

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the University of Washington Libraries, and the conference steering committee invite proposals for the 2016 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment. The conference will be held in Arlington, Virginia, October 31–November 2, 2016, and builds on the success of the first five conferences held in Charlottesville, Virginia (2006, 2012); Seattle, Washington (2008, 2014); and Baltimore, Maryland (2010).

The conference goal is to build and further a vibrant library assessment community by bringing together interested practitioners and researchers who have responsibility or interest in the broad field of library assessment. The event provides a mix of invited speakers, contributed papers, short papers, posters, and pre- and post-conference workshops that stimulate discussion and provide workable ideas for effective, sustainable, and practical library assessment.

Proposal Topics

Paper and poster proposals that cover any aspect of library assessment in any type of library are invited. The conference steering committee especially encourages proposals in the following areas:

  • Collaborative assessments
  • Data management and visualization
  • Digital libraries and repositories
  • Measurement and measures/indicators
  • Methods and tools
  • Organizational issues
  • Services, collections (including specialized collections), and programs
  • Space and facilities planning and use
  • Teaching and learning
  • Usability and user experience
  • User needs
  • Value and impact

Presentation Formats

Proposals are invited as papers, short papers (lightning talks), and posters. Brief descriptions of the various formats are provided below. Proposals are required to include a title, author names and short biographies, format, and abstract (maximum 500 words) describing the paper or poster.

Papers and short papers will be included in the conference proceedings. Formal written papers and short papers are due by December 1, 2016.

Papers: Papers should present innovative approaches and/or research that are well underway or have been implemented/concluded. Each abstract should include purpose, design/methodology/approach, findings, and practical implications/value. The abstract should detail the focus of the paper and the way(s) in which it contributes to the body of knowledge in the field. Presentation time for papers will be a maximum of 25 minutes. Papers are expected to be 3,000–5,000 words for the conference proceedings.

What does a multi-paper session look like? Multi-paper sessions include two (in a 60-minute session) or three (in a 90-minute session) paper presentations on a common theme. A chair will welcome the audience, coordinate the session, and keep time. Each paper presenter will have approximately 25 minutes to present and discuss the key points of his or her work. Although a presenter may opt to take questions during this time, at the end of the 25 minutes the presenter will be asked to cede the floor to the next presenter of the next paper. Once all presenters have had the opportunity to speak, a discussant may provide a brief response to what he or she has heard. The chair will then facilitate a question-and-answer period during which audience questions are invited. Presenters are encouraged to provide full papers or synopses, either in print or electronically. Paper presenters often supplement their presentations with audiovisual aids illustrating their key points. A computer, LCD projector, and screen will be provided.

Short papers (lightning talks): Short paper presentations should run no longer than 8 minutes each and use no more than 15 slides each. Short papers may present innovative methods or approaches to assessment and/or research that is well underway, and should have results before the conference begins. The abstract for a short paper should include purpose, design/methodology/approach, potential findings, and practical implications/value. Short papers should be 2,000–3,000 words for inclusion in the conference proceedings.

What does a short paper session look like? Short papers will be grouped on a common theme. They often incorporate excellence in slide design in support of a very clearly articulated message. Presenters need to practice in order to get their timing down and their quality up. Short papers are challenging, exciting, and dare we say it—they can be quite fun to create, to give and to attend. Presenters may supplement their presentations with audiovisual aids, synopses, or handouts. A computer, LCD projector, and screen will be provided.

Posters: A poster is a formal graphic presentation of a topic displayed on poster board. This format offers an excellent opportunity for presenting specialized studies or gathering detailed feedback on work, results, and action. Posters will be exhibited and presented during a reception and attendees will vote for the top posters. Posters should not be used to advertise a product or service. Consult the guidelines on preparing a poster presentation (PDF). Each abstract for a poster should include purpose, design/methodology/approach, findings, and practical implications/value. The language of the conference is English but bilingual French/English and Spanish/English posters will also be accepted. A PDF file of the poster will be posted on the conference website as soon as the file is available.

What does a poster exhibition look like? All posters are presented during the poster exhibition and reception and posters will be grouped by theme. Posters are presented on tack boards throughout the room. Each poster presenter has a 4x4 space. Poster presenters stand beside their posters and discuss their work one-on-one or in small groups of attendees. Most attendees meander through the posters, stopping to review or discuss those that pique their interest. Most poster presenters supplement their posters with a handout that summarizes their work and provides contact information for further follow up.

Proposal Submission, Evaluation, Notification, Publication

To submit a proposal, please visit the proposal submission site. The primary author will be required to create a profile. One author will complete the form submission with a short biographical statement (50 words or less) for themselves and each co-author. Proposal submissions are due by Wednesday, February 3, 2016.

The Library Assessment Conference Steering Committee will evaluate proposals based on:

  • Relevance to effective, sustainable, and practical library assessment
  • Significance of contribution to the body of work associated with library assessment
  • Clarity of expression
  • Status of research (For paper proposals, are the results in hand? When appropriate, please include the timeline for completion of research.)

Those submitting proposals will be notified of their status in early March 2016. Drafts of papers and short papers will be due by October 1 and final papers for the proceedings will be due by December 1, 2016.

Each accepted presenter will be guaranteed a conference registration place and will be expected to pay the registration fee. Additional registration information will be available in early 2016. Papers and short papers will be published in the conference proceedings, which will be freely and openly available via the conference website or an institutional repository. Poster abstracts and PDF versions of posters will also be available on the conference website. Authors retain the copyright to their original work and are encouraged to publish their work in other established venues and professional journals.

More Information

For additional information, visit the Library Assessment Conference website or send e-mail to LAConf@arl.org.

About the Association of Research Libraries

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of 124 research libraries in the US and Canada. ARL’s mission is to influence the changing environment of scholarly communication and the public policies that affect research libraries and the diverse communities they serve. ARL pursues this mission by advancing the goals of its member research libraries, providing leadership in public and information policy to the scholarly and higher education communities, fostering the exchange of ideas and expertise, facilitating the emergence of new roles for research libraries, and shaping a future environment that leverages its interests with those of allied organizations. ARL is on the web at http://www.arl.org/.

LAC 2016 Save the Date


About the Conference

The Association of Research Libraries and the University of Washington Libraries are pleased to announce the 2016 Library Assessment Conference: Building Effective, Sustainable, Practical Assessment, to be held in Arlington, Virginia from October 31–November 2, 2016. The conference goal is to build and further a vibrant library assessment community by bringing together interested practitioners and researchers who have responsibility or interest in the broad field of library assessment. The conference provides a mix of invited speakers, contributed papers and posters, and workshops that stimulate discussion and provide workable ideas for effective, practical and sustainable library assessment. This biennial conference builds on the success of the first five conferences held in Charlottesville (2006, 2012), Baltimore (2010), and Seattle (2008, 2014).

Steering Committee members

Jackie Belanger, University of Washington
Sue Baughman, Association of Research Libraries, Co-Chair
Bob Fox, University of Louisville, Ex Officio as Chair of the ARL Assessment Committee
Steve Hiller, University of Washington, Co-Chair
Lisa Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Martha Kyrillidou, Consultant
Vivian Lewis, McMaster University
Megan Oakleaf, Syracuse University
Jennifer Paustenbaugh, Brigham Young University
Stephen Town, University of York, UK, Ex Officio as Liaison to the Northumbria Conference