Call for Papers

The 89th Annual Meeting of the Music Library Association will be held in Norfolk, VA from February 26 – March 1, 2020. The MLA Program Committee invites proposals for program content until 8am Pacific Standard Time on Monday May 6, 2019.

The Music Library Association Annual Meeting is open to anyone with an interest in music libraries, music collections, or music librarianship. We encourage proposals that are topically or practically relevant to these areas. We especially encourage proposals addressing new or emerging areas. We welcome proposals from library, archives, and information technology professionals, students, faculty, and others. MLA members and non-members may submit proposals.

Types of Proposals

Poster presentations take place within a specified conference time block. Other types of sessions may be 25, 55, or 85 minutes in length.

  • Presentation (prepared paper or panel)
  • Plenary presentation (prepared paper or panel). Plenaries are always 85 minutes in length. No other meetings, sessions, etc. are scheduled during plenaries. The content of plenaries should be of broad interest to Annual Meeting attendees.
  • Interactive presentation (significant audience engagement via an interactive, hands-on, or discussion-based component. Individual presenter or panel)
  • Town Hall (open discussion forum for topics of urgent interest to attendees)
  • Other type of session not mentioned above
  • Poster presentation

Business Meeting Request

If your committee, subcommittee, interest group, chapter, task force, or user group needs space for a business meeting in Norfolk during the MLA 2020 Annual Meeting, please fill out the meeting room request form by Friday, May 10th, 2019

Proposal Selection

Selection Criteria

MLA Annual Meeting proposals are peer-reviewed by members of the Program Committee. Proposals should address:

  • The main points of your session
  • Relevance to attendees
  • How your proposal is unique or different from others that may address the same topic
  • How presenter(s) will engage the audience
  • Learning objectives, goals, or takeaways

Proposals will be evaluated on the strength of the abstract, based on the above criteria.

The Program Committee will additionally strive to select a balance of proposals reflecting the range of institutions (academic, public, special, etc.), specializations (cataloging, archives, information literacy, collection development, etc.), and attendees (librarians, archivists, paraprofessionals, students and emerging professionals, retirees, etc.) represented at our Annual Meetings. Special consideration will be given to proposals addressing new or emerging areas of music librarianship, as well as those submitted by first-time presenters. Proposals that seek to “de-center” the presenter and encourage discussion and audience interaction are highly encouraged.

Proposal Submission

The deadline to submit a proposal is Monday May 6, 2019.

Session Discussion Spreadsheet

The program committee has created a public spreadsheet to facilitate sharing of proposal ideas and connect potential collaborators. The spreadsheet is an informal tool and the information in it will not be used by the committee in evaluating program proposals.  

Please Note

  • A separate call for business meeting room requests is forthcoming.
  • Sessions at MLA Annual Meetings are for the educational benefit of attendees. Proposals promoting or selling products or services will not be accepted.

The Program Committee looks forward to your proposals!


Erin Conor
University of Washington
Program Chair, 2020 Annual Meeting