2020 Virtual DLF Forum Call for Proposals


The 2020 Call for Proposals is now closed. Thank you for your interest in our events. We hope to see you online in November!

When we opened our original call for proposals, the world was a very different place. CLIR’s Digital Library Federation Forum is and always has been a meeting place, a marketplace, and a congress for digital library practitioners from DLF member institutions and the broader community. Now that our event must be virtual, we look forward to bringing our meeting place, marketplace, and congress online—as always, with community at the center. 

Indeed, our guiding focus for this year’s Forum is building community while apart, chosen as a top priority by respondents to our recent DLF community survey. As one step to this end, all of our 2020 events will be free of charge, and resources will be made widely available after our events. Later this summer we’ll share information about how to register for our events.

The explicit reckoning of the Black Lives Matter movement shows that pervasive racism persists and contributes to wrenching inequalities in the United States, especially among our Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. CLIR/DLF has long recognized this inequity; diversity, social justice, and ungated access to cultural heritage have been integral to our mission. We reaffirm our commitment to continue pursuing greater equity and justice throughout the DLF Forum, working for and with our community to strive for inclusivity that prizes the chorus of diverse voices needed for a lasting equality.

CLIR/DLF is therefore pleased to open a new call for proposals (CFP) for our online DLF Forum, which will take place alongside DLF-affiliated events during the week of November 9. While we welcome proposals from anyone with interesting work to share, the planning committee will prioritize submissions from BIPOC people and people working at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other BIPOC-centered libraries, archives, and museums, in alignment with our commitment to do more to ensure marginalized voices have better and more central representation. To do so, we have self-identification options in the proposal submission form.

The Basics

  • The DLF Forum will take place Monday, November 9, and Tuesday, November 10, 2020.
  • For 2020, Learn@DLF will appear as pre-recorded tutorials released along with the DLF Forum program and not as a separate pre-conference event.
  • Digital Preservation 2020 will take place on Thursday, November 12. More information on that event can be found here:
  • The Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium has been postponed to 2022, but all are invited to join us online for 5 for 5: Conversations on Five Years of Digitizing Hidden Collections, a day of curated programming on Friday, November 13. More information on that event can be found here: 
  • Accepted presentations and panels will be delivered via pre-recorded video that will “go live” at specific times during the conference. We’ve made this decision to avoid technology challenges and to provide a more accessible format to all of our attendees. Videos must be submitted to CLIR/DLF by Thursday, October 15. DLF will be offering plenty of support to accepted presenters in the form of tutorials, resources, and individual assistance.
  • We’re still identifying the platforms we’ll use, but there will be some method for community discussion during “watch parties” as videos are posted.
  • Because of our virtual format and our emphasis on bringing our community together, we will be offering a greatly reduced number of sessions than we typically offer in our traditional in-person DLF Forum. To make space for as many voices as possible, individuals may present only once on the conference program. However, we will offer additional ways for community members to share content and resources whether conference proposals are accepted or not.O

New Submissions and Evaluation

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 of advancing research, learning, social justice, and the public good through the creative design and wise application of digital library technologies. 
  • Activate and inspire participants to think, make, and do.
  • Engage people from different backgrounds, experience levels, and disciplines.
  • Include clear take-aways that participants can implement in their own work.


Sessions are invited in the following lengths and formats:

  • 45-minute Panels: A panel discussion of three to four speakers on a unified topic. A maximum of four speakers is allowed per submission. Proposals with representative and inclusive speaker involvement will be favored by the committee, and all-male-identifying panels will not be accepted. The main goals of the panel format at the DLF Forum are to bring together diverse perspectives on a topic and to encourage a community discussion of these approaches or findings. 
  • 15-minute Presentations: A presentation by one to two speakers on a single topic or project. A maximum of two speakers is allowed per submission. Presentations will be grouped by the program committee based on overarching themes or ideas.
  • Learn@DLF Tutorials: Presented out of the formal schedule but made available and highlighted during the Forum, tutorials are training sessions or demonstrations between one and fifteen minutes in length about specific tools, techniques, workflows, or concepts.

Proposals of up to 250 words each (up to 500 words for 45-minute panel sessions) should be submitted along with a 50-word short abstract for the program, using our online system:

If you submitted a proposal to the original CFP, you should have received an email from us already about next steps. If you did not receive an email, reach out at


As in previous years, all submissions will be peer-reviewed. Broader DLF community input will also be welcomed through an open community voting process, the results of which will help inform the Program Committee’s final decisions. Selected presenters will be notified in September and will have a minimum of four weeks to prepare their recordings.

We are still looking for sponsors for this year’s events! If you or someone you know may be interested, check out our sponsorship opportunities or contact us.



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