ARLIS/NA Call for Proposals

Natural Connections | March 8-12, 2016 | Seattle, Washington

Call for Proposals

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and Visual Resources Association (VRA) Joint Conference, Natural Connections, will be held March 8-12, 2016, in Seattle, Washington. The Joint Conference Program Committee invites proposals for innovative and forward-thinking sessions, individual presentations, and workshops that highlight natural connections in our work.

Seattle is the ideal environment to bring together diverse professionals to meet and learn, reflect on our common values, and refresh our perspectives. Natural Connectionsabound among our professional associations, and also throughout the Puget Sound region between its people and nature, technology and sustainability, and environmental stewardship and the practical needs of a city.

What natural connections are you making in your practice of art librarianship, visual resources management, and innovative scholarship? Please consider sharing your inspired ideas and proven strategies with your colleagues in Seattle. The Program Planning Committee is especially seeking proposals that engage attendees with active learning opportunities and provide attendees with practical approaches for implementing new ideas and technologies. The Committee encourages submissions from all interested individuals, including ARLIS/NA + VRA members and non-members.

Let the Natural Connections theme inspire you! A few examples to spark your creativity:

  • digital humanities/digital scholarship + visual literacy + users/community
  • diversity + collections
  • architecture + new tools & technologies
  • career planning + new members + retirees

When you submit your proposal, please apply 1-4 of the following tags that represent your Natural Connections. You will be able to select these on the submission form. Or add your own!


  • architecture/built environment/landscape architecture/urban planning
  • art and design
  • assessment
  • cataloging/metadata
  • career planning/professional development
  • collections
  • copyright/intellectual property/open access/creative commons
  • digital humanities/digital scholarship
  • diversity
  • e-content/content delivery/DAMS/digitizing
  • environmental stewardship
  • facilities planning
  • GIS
  • new members
  • preservation
  • resource sharing
  • retirees
  • tools & technologies
  • users/community/outreach
  • visual literacy

Types of Proposals

Presentation: A single submission of an individual presentation, potentially addressing new research, a case study, or other innovative idea. Presentations should share new information with attendees, and should provide attendees with new tools, strategies, skills, or inspiration. The Conference Program Co-Chairs and the Conference Program Committee will group 2 to 4 selected presentations in a Session that runs from 60 to 90 minutes.

Session: A 60- to 90-minute event with speakers addressing a common topic or theme. A session could involve 2-4 speakers with a moderator, multiple lightning talks, or other possibilities. Describe your ideal session format and include the names of suggested speakers in session proposals, if known. Suggesting a moderator is optional.

Special Interest/User Group: A 60- to 90-minute informal facilitated group discussion on topics related to a specific community within either or both ARLIS/NA and VRA.

Workshop: An opportunity to teach and explore current and emerging topics in an intimate atmosphere. Workshops encourage a focused, hands-on experience led by experts who combine active learning, collaboration, and discussions. Sessions last two, four, or eight hours. Consider ways to benefit from local educational or cultural institutions in the Seattle area.

How to Submit Proposals

Submit your individual presentation and session proposals via our online submission form.

Submit your workshop proposals via our online submission form.

Calls for Poster Sessions and Moderators will go out in the fall.


Deadline for submissions is Friday, June 26, 2015.


Please contact any of your Seattle 2016 Conference Program Co-Chairs with questions. We’re happy to help!

ARLIS/NA + VRA Conference Program Co-Chairs:

  • Chris Strasbaugh (VRA), Director of Visual Resources, Vanderbilt University,
  • Dan McClure (ARLIS/NA), Director of Library Services, Pacific Northwest College of Art,
  • Denise Hattwig (ARLIS/NA), Curator, Digital Collections, University of Washington Bothell Library,