Mercian Conference 2020: Call for Session Proposals

Claire Browne

The Collaboration's annual conference launches its annual appeal for speakers from across the region to contribute to its key event.

We are delighted to announce the call for session proposals for this year’s Mercian Collaboration Conference:

Dissolving Barriers: Inclusivity and Diversity within Academic Libraries

Tuesday 8th September – online event

2020 is the fourth Collaboration conference which will once again draw library staff from across the region together, albeit for the first time in an online environment, to share, exchange, learn and explore together. Hosted and organised by the Collaboration’s dedicated Conference Group members, the event will once more be offered at no additional cost to delegates or their institutions.

Theme: Dissolving Barriers

2020 has been an exceptional year, with new challenges rising for academic libraries and the wider academic sector, with the lockdown seeing virtually all library staff relocate to work from home. At the same time, the lockdown period has provided a momentary pause to reconsider how we are working towards making our library services, their staff, and the opportunities we offer more inclusive and appealing to diverse audiences.

Whether you have a real-world case study, personal experiences or lessons learned from your library, we’d like to hear from you.

  • How have you helped your library move (or plan to) to a more inclusive or diverse footing?
  • What steps have been taken to dissolve old barriers, and ensure that more of our readers needs are being accommodated?
  • What are the challenges to being a truly inclusive, diverse and effective library team?
  • Has the lockdown accelerated or hindered your plans for inclusivity?

Session Formats:

With this year’s conference being hosted online most speakers will be invited to pre-record their presentations, although we will be hoping to host live online Q&A panel discussions during the day also.

We also welcome proposals for live interactive workshops or discussion sessions.

Speakers can choose from one of three formats:

  • Lightning talk (5-10 mins max – pre-recorded)
  • Presentation (20-30 mins max – pre-recorded)
  • Workshop/virtual forum (30-40 mins max - live)

Papers and workshops may be co-presented.

First Time Speakers

The Conference Group is keen for library staff who may not have presented or spoken at an event before to submit proposed sessions. As such, potential presenters are warmly invited to contact the conference team for support in preparing their session proposal. ( ).

To Submit your Proposal

Submission period now ended

***Submission Deadline: 5pm Wed 1st July***

Review & Notification

Proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Group during early summer, and all applicants will be contacted shortly afterwards with the results. Due to the number of proposals anticipated, regrettably detailed feedback will not be automatically provided. The Group will seek to balance topic, institution and speaker diversity within their considerations.

More Information

For more information on the Mercian Collaboration 2020 Conference, contact the Group Chair or any member of the Conference Group.