Redefining Engagement Conference 2022: Call for Speakers

Conference Group

Yes! It's time to engage! Once again we're looking for exciting, interesting and original talks to be featured at this year's Collaboration conference.

A line of people on a beach at sunrise

Redefining Engagement: Connections, Collections, and Communities (#Mercian22)

The Mercian Collaboration and Conference Planning Group are delighted to invite session proposals for the 2022 Conference, to be held online on the afternoons of 6th and 7th September 2022.


Libraries have a major role to play in facilitating and supporting the learning, research, and teaching goals of a university. Central to this role is engagement with academics, students, and researchers. In recent years there has been a radical shift in the way library services engage with and meet the demands of their user communities. Subsequently, library staff have had to redefine their approach to engagement. The 2022 Collaboration conference is an opportunity to explore how engagement with user communities has been influenced and perhaps altered by the changing landscape in education. At the conference, we will seek to understand the varying needs of library patrons and the different strategies library staff in various roles use to meet the information and research needs of both students and staff members.

Session Themes & Areas of Interest

We especially welcome submissions which could cover, but are not exclusive to, the following themes:

Content & Collections  Partnerships & Liaison
  • Digital accessibility within collections
  • Inclusivity and data driven decisions
  • Measuring community data and engagement through NSS, PTES, PRES etc.
  • Supporting researchers to make their work more accessible, reusable, diverse and inclusive
  • Using collection statistics to inform purchasing and acquisitions
  • Using patterns of enquiry data to support users better
  • Battling post-pandemic engagement fatigue
  • Engagement strategies with the wider university community
  • How to re-engage the disengaged and reaching out to non-users
  • Rebuilding and re-evaluating relationships with departments
  • Repositioning the service post-pandemic
  • The importance of allyship within the profession
People, Customers & Community Services & Workflows
  • EDI strategy for library staff
  • Engaging staff with internal library strategy
  • Ensuring representation of the community in our staff, collections and reading lists
  • Intersectional or inspirational approaches to EDI
  • Marketing our services to academic staff
  • Professional development & mentorship schemes.
  • Re-engaging staff with running a physical service
  • Voices from the frontline, experiences of staff working on reception and help desks
  • Using archives to engage with the community and collections
  • Bridging the gap between EDI theory and practice in library spaces
  • Creative, playful or strategic approaches to UX and user data
  • Customer service experiences and processes
  • Engaging researchers with the ‘open’ agendas
  • Game based learning and teaching
  • Getting interaction and engagement in online teaching
  • Innovations in the development of accessible spaces
  • Using social media strategically, creatively, and efficiently

Eligibility: Who can Submit a Proposal?

Contributions are welcomed from colleagues working within any UK academic institutions, whether they are Collaboration members or not. We particularly encourage submissions from those who are looking to present for the first time. Submissions are invited from individuals, as well as collaborative contributions.

Individuals from commercial organisations are directed towards our Call for Sponsors, should they wish to be represented at this event.

Format: What Types of Session Proposals can be Submitted?

Submissions can be focused on, but not limited to, the above topics. We also welcome submissions which may fall outside of these themes but will still be of relevance and interest to our delegates. Contributions can take the form of a talks, discussions, presentations or interactive workshops in the following durations:

  • 5 minute lightning talks
  • 15 minute short talks
  • 45 minutes presentations or workshops

Should you wish to submit a paper outside of these formats, please contact the Speaker Liaisons Catherine Robertson ( or Funmike Ifie (  Presentation preference is live, but pre-recorded presentations may be considered. We particularly encourage innovative proposals aimed at engaging and interacting with an online audience.


Submission: How to Submit a Proposal

> The submission period is now closed <

> The submission deadline is: 13th June 2022 <

If you are unable to access or use this form, please contact the Speaker Liaisons as above and an alternative format will be provided. All sessions will be recorded and shared, along with the speaker slides and other materials, on the conference microsite following the event.


Selection Criteria

All proposals will be reviewed by the Conference Group selected according to the following criteria:

  • Clarity of proposal
  • Impact on delegates the wider library community
  • Levels of originality and innovation
  • Relevance to the call and event theme

Notification of Outcome

The outcome from all submitted proposals will be communicated during by mid-July, with the formal reveal of the programme to follow in August. Due to the anticipated number of proposals, we regret individual feedback will cannot normally be provided.

Speaker Briefing Events: Now Open for Booking

Are you a first-time presenter, looking to overcome presentation fears or just want more guidance about what goes into a good proposal? In which case, consider attending one of our online speaker briefing events, coming in May 2022. 

Further Information & Support

For more information on the 2022 Conference, please contact the Group Chair Deborah Munro ( or the Executive Officer.

For help or support in drafting your proposal, please contact the Speaker Liaisons as above, or any other member of the conference team.