We have extended the proposal deadline through the end of the calendar year.

Submit your proposal here. (A preview of the proposal submission questions is available in order to assist you in preparing your submission.)

The last year has been one of reckoning for academic libraries and the society they belong to. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with social unrest and increased recognition and understanding of the experience of historically marginalized communities, and in particular  Black Americans, has brought to the fore many inequities that had previously been hidden, ignored, or unspoken. As academic library workers return to campus and join those who never left, we must reckon with the role we play in perpetuating inequities in our libraries, on our campuses, and in our communities. How can libraries and library workers move beyond performativity and truly embrace and engage in equity-minded practices for the betterment of our communities?

Equity-mindedness refers to “the perspective or mode of thinking exhibited by practitioners who call attention to patterns of inequity in student outcomes. These practitioners are willing to take personal and institutional responsibility for the success of their students, and critically reassess their own practices.” Equity-minded practitioners examine both their own practices and the practices of their libraries and larger institutions. In libraries, we must commit to changing practice, policies, and structures to ensure equity and real inclusion for library workers and members of the communities we serve at large.

Topics could include but are not limited to:

  • What does equity-mindedness look like in academic libraries moving forward after 2020?
  • What did the pandemic illuminate that was previously hidden, ignored, or unspoken?
  • How are our instruction programs addressing the endemic disinformation campaigns of our online networks? How can information literacy tackle racism and other xenophobic campaigns?
  • How do/can we center anti-racism in our creation of equity-minded libraries? What does this look like in all aspects of academic librarianship?
  • How do/can libraries work towards equity with underserved students on our campuses?
  • What existing structures in libraries need to be challenged and reimagined in order to ensure equity? How can libraries hold themselves accountable in more transparent and democratic decisions?
  • What does an equitable library workplace look like and how can we create these workplaces? What are common operations, policies, and procedures that serve to perpetuate and perhaps exacerbate existing inequities, a culture of white supremacy, and toxic workplaces? 
  • In a predominantly white profession, how are library workers building systemic strategies to become radically inclusive and accountable to equitable goals? How are white librarians working to become co-conspirators and be in non-performative solidarity with People of Color?
  • Is it even possible to “reform” libraries to be equity-minded, or is a larger transformation necessary? How do we get there?
  • How can libraries ensure their collections reflect the diverse cultures of their communities? How do we use culturally validating resources to work in collaboration with our communities? What does programming and outreach look like when the wants and needs of students from historically underserved communities are included from the beginning? 

We will accept proposals on your research or practice related to the conference theme for the following session types:

  • Pre-Conference Sessions: These 4-hour workshop sessions will provide a research framework for practical activities that engage participants around a topic. Preconferences will be scheduled on Wednesday, March 30, 12:30pm-4:30pm.
  • Research into Practice Sessions: These sessions will present original research around the conference theme in a 45-minute session.
  • Engaging in Practice Sessions: This presentation is a 45-minute session that is structured to include audience participation in the form of engaging discussion questions or activities, and have a practical take-away for the attendees.
  • Panel Presentations: These sessions bring together 2-5 presenters into a cohesive conversation intended to engage audience members in a 45-minute session.
  • Poster Sessions: These sessions will be posters on a topic related to the conference theme.
  • Round Table Discussions: These sessions will offer conversation on a current topic in libraries, in a casual, round table setting.
  • Interest Group Showcase: An optional 45-minute session to present on a topic that is related to the conference, and highlight the work of the IG.

Submit your proposal (View a preview of the proposal submission questions in order to prepare for your submission.)

Fine Print

All proposals will undergo blind peer-review by volunteer reviewers. Upon receiving the recommendations of the reviewers, the CARL Conference Planning Committee will conduct an equity check to ensure diversity in presenters, institution type, and topics.

All presenters must register and pay for the conference (a limited number of Presenter Travel Grants will be available – check back soon for application details).  All presenters, regardless of session type, will be asked to submit a paper and/or summary of their session to the proceedings.