Organization Manual: Spring Conference Program Committee

The activities of the Spring Conference Program Committee are to plan and publicize the Chapter’s Spring Conference. Characteristically, this has involved sponsoring a keynote speaker, a second speaker and/or a panel reacting to the main speaker, and organizing presentation sessions for Chapter members.

When the ILA/ACRL Bylaws were formulated in 1976, the President was designated to serve as Program Chair. That practice continued for a number of years. In some cases, co-chairs were appointed and the Spring and Annual Meeting responsibilities were divided. The Bylaws of 1992 designated a Chair, appointed by the Vice-President/President-Elect, who would oversee and coordinate all programs for the year. A by-laws revision in 1995 split the Program Committee into two separate committees, Spring and Fall.

Guide for chair and committee

Drafted by Brett Cloyd and Jan Dellinger, May 2008

  1. The chair leads the planning process of the committee. With the chair’s guidance, the committee should:
    • If not already confirmed, set a date and location for the conference.
    • Make local arrangements (catering, facilities, equipment, pre-conference social)
    • Call for proposals and selection of concurrent presentations
    • Identify session managers and volunteers to help at the day of the conference
    • Establish a conference schedule
    • Develop an evaluation tool to get feedback from attendees
    • Prepare conference folders.
    • Write committee meeting minutes
    • Coordinate conference registration (see #7 below)
    • Establish subcommittees as needed.
    • Meet as often as needed but be aware of committee members’ ability to travel.
  2. The chair should coordinate the planning process of the Committee with the ILA/ACRL Executive Board. The chair serves on the Board during the conference planning year and provides committee updates at each Board meeting. 
  3. The chair solicits ideas for keynote speaker and conference theme from Spring Program Committee and the Board.
  4. The chair contacts potential keynote speakers in early fall to negotiate honorarium and travel arrangements based on guidelines set by the Board.
  5. The chair or the chair’s designate:
    • communicates with the keynote speaker about conference theme and presentation details
    • provides advice to keynote speaker about travel plans
    • arranges for the keynote speaker’s local housing and transportation
    • completes the ILA Speaker Agreement form with keynote speaker 
    • provides ongoing communication with the speaker during the planning period.
  6. The chair ensures good publicity for the conference. Options for the committee include
    • Publicity: write articles for ILA Catalyst and ILA/ACRL Newsletter
    • Create handouts to distribute at ILA Annual Fall Conference with a save this date component.
    • Send conference information via the ILA/ACRL listserv
    • Work with Electronic Communications Committee to post conference information on the ILA/ACRL web site.
  7. Conference registration. Registration is a key component to the conference. It is usually best for one person on the committee to take on this responsibility. That person should be the chair or the chair’s designate. Components include:
    • Developing a registration form
    • Announcing a registration period
    • Receiving registrations and checks
    • Maintain a registration database
    • Acknowledge registrations by email and coordinate with the ILA Office in submitting conference registration payments.
    • Create name tags and paper registration receipts for conference day.
    • Work with chair to coordinate volunteers at a registration desk.
    • Design the conference program for conference folders.
  8. The chair oversees the conference budget and makes a final report on conference expenses and income to the Board at its summer meeting. The chair works with the Board President to pay all conference bills.
  9. The chair provides the conference welcome at the opening session, provides assistance to the keynote speaker, and generally oversees the conference day.
  10. The chair will create an electronic file of key documents from the planning process, including committee minutes, registration form, presentation selection rubric, publicity pieces, registration database, conference program, evaluation form and other documents that might assist the next conference committee.  The chair will provide this file to the next chair.

Schedule of Activities

Correspond with members of the Committee to acknowledge their appointments and to outline both the work to be done and the expected contributions from each committee member. Send copies of key communications to the President so that communication channels are open.

Attend transitional ILA/ACRL Executive Board planning meeting, which provides an opportunity to discuss the coming year’s activities with other Officers and Chairs. Meet with the Committee or with President and/or Local Arrangements Chair to discuss programming ideas and to formulate and refine plans for the Spring Conference. Publish “Call for Presentations” form in November Chapter newsletter and on the ILA/ACRL web site (a previous “Call for Presentations” form should be available at Develop and submit a budget to the incoming President.

In consultation with the Committee Members and new President, begin contacting speakers and presenters for the Spring Conference. See that publicity plans are in place. Contact the Newsletter Committee Chair to coordinate publicity in the Newsletter. Confirm all speakers and presenters in writing, using the ILA speaker agreement form, and including travel and accommodation arrangements.

Continue planning of conference details.

ILA/ACRL Newsletter deadline. Submit article about the upcoming Spring Conference. Catalyst deadline. Submit another (shorter) article to the Catalyst announcing the upcoming Spring Conference. Consider separate mailing for the Spring conference.

Post news of Spring Conference on Web site (many copies of previous WWW Spring Conference Advertising can be found at Send Conference information to the ILA/ACRL Listserv [email protected] and, if appropriate, to listservs in surrounding states. Reconfirm arrangements for the Spring Conference speakers a week before event. Check accommodations, meals, registration, facilities.

Spring Conference. Coordinate reporting of events at Spring Conference with Chair of the Communications Committee. Submit bills to the President for payment. Write letters of appreciation to all speakers and presenters.

Write letters of appreciation to committee members, prepare the annual report, and update these Organization Manual pages. Attend the transitional Executive Board meeting and pass activity information to the incoming Chair. Pass archival records for the year to the outgoing Secretary/Treasurer.

Special Information

  1. This Committee often works closely with the President through the planning process. The Chair need not do all the work. A Local Arrangement Chair (residing in the conference city) should be appointed either from within the Committee or as an ad hoc member, to help with finalizing local details. Publicity can be assigned to one or more committee members; however, contact will need to be maintained in order to develop a coordinated effort. It is also possible to utilize communication mechanisms set up by other Chapter committees to make sure publicity is as widespread as possible.
  2. Arrangements may be necessary for speakers and conference attendees arriving on the day before the event. Dinner as a group is appropriate.
  3. Ascertain the equipment needs of all speakers and presenters as soon as possible. The committee should also determine the equipment and technological capabilities of the host site early in the planning process.
  4. If a speaker’s equipment demand is not feasible, given the capabilities of the host site, compromises/solutions should be arrived at between the committee and the speaker as soon as possible.
  5. Line up technical support personnel well in advance of the Spring Conference (possibly enticing these individuals with free admission, if approved by the Executive Board).

The Program Committee Chair

1983 Patricia Foley, University of Iowa
1984 Patricia Foley, University of Iowa
1985 Spring–Rod Henshaw, Iowa State University, Fall–David Tyckoson, Iowa State University
1986 Elizabeth Kaschins, Luther College
1987 David Tyckoson, Iowa State University
1988 David Tyckoson, Iowa State University
1989 David Tyckoson, Iowa State University
1990 William Sayre, University of Iowa, Tim Skeers, Drake University
1991 Jan Fryer, Iowa State University
1992 James Kennedy, Buena Vista College
1993 Robert Rose, University of Northern Iowa
1994 Janice Simmons-Welburn, University of Iowa
1995 Katherine Rattenborg, University of Iowa

The Spring Conference Program Committee Chair

1996 Chris Neuhaus, University of Northern Iowa
1997 John Goodin, Luther College
1998 Ellen Neuhaus, University of Northern Iowa
1999 Barbara Allen, University of Northern Iowa
2000 Kathy Parsons, Iowa State University
2001 Jennifer Davis, St. Ambrose University
2002 Sandra Keist, Grand View College
2003 Jane Campagna, Scott Community College
2004 Claudia Frazer, Drake University
2006 Stephen Dew, University of Iowa
2007 Brett Cloyd, University of Iowa
2008 Jan Dellinger, Hawkeye Community College
2009 Lisa McDaniels, University of Iowa
2011 Beth McMahon, Central College
2012 Jennifer Sterling, William Penn University
2013 Cyd Dyer, Simpson College
2014 Mary Peterson, Simpson College
2015 Liz Kiscaden, University of Iowa
2016 Rebecca Funke, DMACC – Ankeny Campus
2017 Pam Rees, Grand View University
2018 Carrie Dunham-LaGree, Drake University
2019 Anna Schmall, Mt. Mercy College