Organization Manual: Spring Conference Program Committee

The activities of the Spring Conference Program Committee are to plan and publicize the Chapter’s Spring Conference. Typically, this involves organizing presentation sessions, interest groups, and on some years arranging a keynote speaker.

When the ILA/ACRL Bylaws were formulated in 1976, the President was designated to serve as Program Chair. That practice continued for several 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 bylaws revision in 1995 split the Program Committee into two separate committees, Spring and Fall. Later as the ILA fall conference evolved, the Fall Committee was dissolved and replaced with a Fall Conference Liaison.

Drafted by Brett Cloyd and Jan Dellinger, May 2008. Revised December 2022 by Mary Anderson.

Chair’s Duties

    1. The chair leads the planning process of the committee to:
      • Set a date and location for the conference
      • Develop a theme, logo, and description for the conference
      • Make local arrangements (catering, facilities, equipment, parking, etc.)
      • When applicable, select and coordinate the visit of a keynote speaker
      • Explore vendor sponsorship for aspects of the conference
      • Coordinate publicity with the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC)
      • Call for proposals and selection of concurrent and lightning round presentations
      • Identify session managers and volunteers to help at the day of the conference
      • Establish a conference schedule. This typically includes 2-3 concurrent sessions held at the same time for a total of 12-16 over the course of 2 days in addition to interest group sessions. Meals will include 2 lunches and 1 breakfast for a 2-day conference and possibly snacks as well.
      • Coordinate conference registration in consultation with the ILA Administration Office []
      • Develop an evaluation tool to get feedback from attendees
    2. Coordinates the planning process of the Committee with the ILA/ACRL Executive Board. The chair serves on the Board and provides committee updates at each Board meeting. 
    3. 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 conference bills.
    4. Maintains the Google folder 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.


  • Write articles for ILA Catalyst
  • Send conference information via the ILA/ACRL listserv
  • Work with Electronic Communications Committee to post conference information on the ILA/ACRL website and social media platforms


Registration is a key component to the conference. It is usually best for one person on the committee to take on this responsibility. Components include:

  • Developing a registration form in coordination with the ILA Office
  • Announcing a registration period
  • Maintaining a registration spreadsheet
  • Creating name tags for those who request them for conference day. These can be obtained through the ILA office or purchased ahead of time.
  • Coordinating the design of the conference program

Vendor Sponsorship

  • Identify possible vendors who might serve as corporate sponsors (e.g., EBSCO, ProQuest, Wiley, Gale, and MOBIUS)
  • Create a common solicitation letter and supporting information for vendors
  • Coordinate with the ILA Office regarding sponsorship payments

Keynote Speaker

  • Solicit ideas for a keynote speaker from the Executive Board and other appropriate sources
  • Contact potential keynote speakers in early fall to negotiate honorarium and travel arrangements based on guidelines set by the Board.
  • Once the speaker is chosen:
    • Communicate with the keynote speaker about conference theme and presentation details
    • Provide advice to keynote speaker about travel plans
    • Arrange for the keynote speaker’s local lodging and transportation
    • Complete the ILA Speaker Agreement form with keynote speaker. The form can be obtained from the ILA office.
    • Provide ongoing communication with the speaker during the planning period

Conference Technology

  • Identify the modes that the conference will be held (in person, online, hybrid, etc.)
  • If the conference is to be held fully or partially in person identify whether the host institution will provide computers or presenters will be asked to bring computers.
    • If the latter, make sure to note the type of computer(s) that will work with the campus
    • Arrange for on-site technology assistance to be available during the conference.
  • If any portion of the conference is held online identify and test the technology in advance of the conference. 

Schedule of Activities

Fall Semester

  • Contact committee members. Ideally the new year for the committee begins in June, but it often is on the same schedule as other committees and starts in January.
  • Set event location, dates, and reserve spaces
  • Develop a conference theme, logo, and description
  • Coordinate with ECC to put save the date information on the website, listserv, social media, and the ILA Catalyst
  • Keynote speaker – confirm by January but earlier if possible
  • Begin the process to solicit vendor sponsorships
  • If joint conference with IPAL, work with President to negotiate the sharing the financial costs and possible profits or losses.
  • Identify local lodging for conference attendees

Spring Semester

  • Call for proposals January/February
  • Propose any registration fee changes
  • Second/final call for proposals in February/March
  • Review proposals and select those to present
  • Identify interest groups and facilitators
  • Work with ILA to create electronic conference registration form
  • Coordinate with ECC to put registration information on the website, listserv, social media, and the ILA Catalyst
  • Arrange catering
  • Arrange parking
  • Arrange dine-arounds
  • Coordinate with the Awards Committee to ensure the awards are included as part of the conference schedule
  • Coordinate with IPAL to determine if Richard Fyffe Scholarship presentation will be part of the conference
  • Develop a post conference survey

Post Conference

  • Work with president to send remaining invoices to ILA. These will have to be submitted by the President or Treasurer with the appropriate form: ly/ILAExpenditure
  • Review and share survey results with ILA/ACRL and IPAL boards

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 representative of the conference location should be appointed either from within the Committee or as an ad hoc member, to help with finalizing local details.
  2. 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.
  3. Arrangements may be necessary for speakers and conference attendees arriving on the day before the event. Dinner as a group is appropriate.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Line up technical support personnel well in advance of the Spring Conference.


Spring Conference Program Committee Chair

2024 Kris Stacy-Bates, Iowa State University
2023 Mary Anderson, Loras College
2022 Eric Jennings, University of Northern Iowa
2021 Beth McMahon & Mary Anderson, Central College (online only)
2020 Mary Anderson, Central College (conference cancelled)
2019 Anna Schmall, Mt. Mercy College
2018 Carrie Dunham-LaGree, Drake University
2017 Pam Rees, Grand View University
2016 Rebecca Funke, DMACC – Ankeny Campus
2015 Liz Kiscaden, University of Iowa
2014 Mary Peterson, Simpson College
2013 Cyd Dyer, Simpson College
2012 Jennifer Sterling, William Penn University
2011 Beth McMahon, Central College
2010 Beth McMahon, Kirkwood Community College
2009 Lisa McDaniels, University of Iowa
2008 Jan Dellinger, Hawkeye Community College
2007 Brett Cloyd, University of Iowa
2006 Stephen Dew, University of Iowa
2005 Ed Goedeken, Iowa State University
2004 Claudia Frazer, Drake University
2003 Jane Campagna, Scott Community College
2002 Sandra Keist, Grand View College
2001 Jennifer Davis, St. Ambrose University
2000 Kathy Parsons, Iowa State University
1999 Barbara Allen, University of Northern Iowa
1998 Ellen Neuhaus, University of Northern Iowa
1997 John Goodin, Luther College
1996 Chris Neuhaus, University of Northern Iowa

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

Update these instructions for next year’s committee.