Call for Proposals

The 2019 Call for Proposals is now closed.

Thank you for your interest in our events.
We hope to see you in Tampa in October!


The Digital Library Federation invites proposals for the 2019 DLF Forum (October 14-16) and Learn@DLF (October 13), our pre-conference workshop day, which will be held at the beautiful Tampa Marriott Water Street in Tampa, Florida. A separate call will be issued for Digital Preservation 2019, the annual conference of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (October 16-17, 2019).


For all events, we welcome submissions from members and nonmembers alike. Students, practitioners, affiliated and independent scholars, and others from any related field are invited to submit for one conference or all three (though, different proposals for each, please).


Proposals are due by Sunday, April 28, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.


About DLF, Learn@DLF, and the DLF 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 conference, the DLF Forum (#DLFforum), brings together practitioners from digital libraries, archives, and museums 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.  


Learn@DLF (#LearnAtDLF) is a dedicated pre-conference workshop day for digging into tools, techniques, workflows, and concepts. Like the DLF Forum, it has no set theme to encourage a wide range of topics for the workshops (see Submissions and Evaluations section below).


We strive to create a safe, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive event that reflects our Code of Conduct. Once again, this year the DLF Forum will include subsidized childcare, scholarships and discounted registration opportunities, gender-neutral bathrooms, a quiet room, color-coded lanyards for photography preferences, badges that reflect pronouns, a fragrance-free environment, accessible spaces for all, accessibility tips for presenters and moderators, attention to dietary preferences, and other needs collected through our registration form. More information is available on our Information for Attendees page. If you have suggestions for the DLF Forum organizers or any questions about the venue before registering, please contact us at



Submissions and Evaluation:


We’re excited to announce a few changes for 2019.


The DLF Forum is known for its wide variety of topics and formats. We hope to increase the breadth and depth of the offerings at our signature event by introducing new program “tracks” and a revised reviewing process.


Based on community feedback and the work of our Program Committee, we welcome submissions for the Forum and Learn@DLF in the following areas:

  • Collections and resources;

  • Technologies, infrastructure and/or vendor relations;

  • Services and programs;

  • Policy and legal issues;

  • Project management, including workflows and processes;

  • Assessment;

  • Labor, staffing, and the future of work;

  • Education and/or professional development;

  • Social contexts and ethics;

  • Other DLF community missions and priorities.


We depend on you to propose action-oriented topics geared toward a practitioner audience, considering aspects of design, labor/staffing, social context and 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.  


We’ve incorporated a few additional parameters into our CFP this year, 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 project, this year each submission type lists a maximum number of presenters.

  • Further, we ask that individuals present only once at the 2019 DLF Forum, whether one is the submitting speaker or a secondary speaker, though there is no limit to the number of non-presenting collaborators or co-authors for each presentation. The speaking limit restriction does not apply to co-organizing Working Breakfast / Lunch sessions, presenting a Lightning Talk, or two-part Learn@DLF sessions.

  • We know how much the DLF community values discussion and Q&A, and some of our submission formats lend themselves better to that than others. This year, we’ve indicated which formats are intended to include Q&A or open-ended discussion and which are not. We plan to do our best to schedule those sessions without Q&A ahead of breaks and meals to provide opportunities to continue discussion.

  • We’ll be adding some experimental opportunities for conversation outside of the program schedule. Be on the lookout for those when the program is released this summer!


Submissions are invited in the following lengths and formats:


At Learn@DLF, our pre-conference workshop day on October 13:

  • 3-hour Workshops: In-depth, hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. No more than 5 leaders are allowed per submission. As is natural to a workshop format, Q&A and discussion will be incorporated throughout. All workshop organizers are asked to provide details on technology needed, proficiency level, and learning outcomes for participants. Please be aware that Learn@DLF requires a separate registration fee from the DLF Forum, with meals and breaks included. Interested in presenting something longer? Consider submitting a ‘part I’ (morning session) and ‘part II’ (afternoon session).



At the DLF Forum, October 14-16:

  • 55-minute Panels: Traditional format, but with a premium on conversation. Time is inclusive of Q&A, and 4-5 speakers are allowed per submission. Proposals with representative and inclusive speaker involvement will be favored by the committee, and male-only panels will not be accepted. Panel organizers should not fill the full 55 minutes, but rather should reserve at least 8-10 minutes for Q&A, including interactive exchanges on next steps, possible DLF community action, and discussion or debate.

  • 55-minute Workshops: Hands-on training sessions on specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts. No more than 5 leaders are allowed per submission. All workshop organizers are asked to provide details on technology needs and learning outcomes for participants.

  • 18-minute Presentations: Traditional format, but with a premium on conversation. Time is inclusive of Q&A, and 1-3 speakers are allowed per submission. Presentations will be grouped by DLF based on overarching themes or ideas. Rather than planning to present for the full 18 minutes, speakers should reserve at least 5-8 minutes for Q&A, including interactive exchanges on next steps, possible DLF community action, and discussion or debate.

  • New this year! Snapshot 7×7: A riff on snapshots offered at past DLF Forums, this year we welcome submissions of 7-minute talks with a twist: each will be composed of 21 slides that auto-advance every 20 seconds. Each high-powered Snapshot 7×7 session will include seven talks meant to engage, inform, and energize the audience with reports of work in progress, new technologies and services, questions or provocations, and more—with strict time parameters to ensure concise information sharing. No more than 2 speakers are allowed per submission. 7x7s will be grouped by DLF based on overarching themes or ideas and will not include time for Q&A. Speakers are encouraged to provide contact information and links to projects and further materials.

  • 90-second Lightning Talks: High-profile, high-energy lightning talks held in plenary (ie. not competing with other sessions), with the opportunity to point listeners to contact information and additional materials online. Interested speakers can submit abstracts now to appear on the program—or sign up the day of the event, if space allows! Sign-up sheets will be at the registration desk. No more than 2 speakers are allowed per submission. While Q&A will not be formally incorporated into the Lightning Talk session, we welcome and encourage discussion at the subsequent reception.

  • 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 and working groups. Participants eat together while discussing a specific challenge or issue that would benefit from a collective approach.


Proposals of up to 250 words each (up to 500 words for full panel sessions and Learn@DLF workshops) should be submitted along with a 50-word short abstract for the program, using our online system:


Submissions Deadline: Sunday, April 28, at 11:59pm Eastern Time.


As in previous years, all submissions will be peer-reviewed. (Interested in being part of the review process? You’ll have a chance to let us know in the proposal submission process in ConfTool.) As always, broader DLF community input will also be welcomed through an open, “community voting” process to be announced in at the end of April, the results of which will help inform the Program Committee’s final decisions. Presenters will be notified in June and guaranteed a discounted registration slot at the Forum.