Program Committee Structure
The program committee consists of seven sub-committees, each divided up by the major disciplines represented at the conference:

  • Archives
  • General (Archives, Libraries and Museums)
  • Libraries
  • Museums


  • A call for session proposals is distributed online and promoted through ATALM's marketing channels, as well as the National Planning Committee's networks.
  • After the deadline, the sessions are sorted into groupings based on discipline. Committee members receive the sessions related to their committee choices. Scoring is done online.
  • After the committees have reviewed and scored the proposals, they are ranked by score and redistributed to the committee.
  • Individual Committees are convened via teleconference for further discussion.
  • If the Committee has concerns about the balance of the programs or the quality of the sessions, it has the option of soliciting additional proposals.
  • Once the Committee has finalized its selections, agreements are distributed to the primary proposer.
  • Committee members help with editing the program book to ensure accuracy.
  • Committee members attend sessions at the conference to evaluate the effectiveness of the program.

Program Committee Schedule

  • Program Proposals Due - February 1
  • Program Committee Members Receive and Score Proposals - February 7
  • Scores submitted to ATALM - February 14
  • Scores compiled, presenters contacted with questions from evaluators, ranked scores returned to committee members - February 14-19
  • Teleconferences with Committees for Final Review - Week of February 19
  • Contracts sent to presenters - Week of March 12th
  • Preliminary Program edited by Program Committee - March
  • Program Announced - May 1

Conference Schedule

Monday, October 8
9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. - Summits
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. - IMLS Grantee Meetings
Tuesday, October 9
8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. - Pre-conference tours and workshops
Wednesday, October 10
8:00 a.m. -9:00 a.m. - Breakfast
9:00 a.m. -10:30 a.m. - Opening Session
11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon - Concurrent Sessions 100
12:15 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. - Guardians Awards Luncheon
1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Inspire Sessions 200
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions 300
3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Refreshment Break in Exhibit Hall
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions 400
Thursday, October 11
8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. - Breakfast
9:15 a.m.-10:15 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions 500
10:15 a.m.-10:45 a.m. - Break in Exhibit Hall
11:00 a.m.-12:00 noon - Concurrent Sessions 600
12:00 p.m.-1:20 p.m. - Honoring Luncheon
1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. - Inspire Sessions 700
2:15 p.m.-3:15 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions 800
3:15 p.m.-3:45 p.m. - Ice Cream Break in the Exhibit Hall
3:45 p.m.-4:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions 900
5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. - Closing Ceremony

Program Formats

ATALM has a variety of programming formats. Each Program Committee may be asked to help plan:

  • Summits. A Summit can be a half or full day and typically are held the day before the conference officially starts. Summits engage stakeholders in developing action plans and/or protocols that help ensure productive and unified approaches to building support for indigenous cultural institutions, identifying viable and needed initiatives, and developing methodologies for advancing cross-cultural understanding. Summits are scheduled for Monday, October 8. There are usually at least four Summits going on concurrently.
  • Fieldtrips. Also known as pre-conference tours, Fieldtrips feature local attractions and typically involve some type of educational component. They may be 1/2 day or full day. A committee member (or members) takes responsibility for planning and executing the field trip. Working with Conference staff, the committee consults with staff of the cultural facility to determine maximum size of the tour group and develops a budget. On the day of the tour, committee members greet participants at the bus, serve as guides, and distribute refreshments. Cultural facilities typically waive all entrance fees and provide behind-the-scenes tours or learning experiences not typically available to the public. There are usually a minimum of four Fieldtrips.
  • Pre-Conference Workshops. – Workshops may take place at cultural venues or the hotel and may be 1/2 day (3 hours) or full day (6 hours). Most workshops have extensive handouts, involve a lot of interaction, feature hands-on activities with the goal of providing attendees with tangible skills. A minimum of one committee member will be assigned to a workshop and will be responsible for helping the presenters throughout the day with logistical needs. There are usually a minimum of 10 Workshops.
  • “Inspire” Talks. (Wednesday/Thursday)Inspire talks are akin to keynotes. They are 30-minute presentations on timely, innovative, or challenging topics. Held immediately after lunch, these sessions are meant to inspire and are ideally suited for single presenters. A total of 22 Inspire talks are needed.
  • “Flash" Talks: (Wednesday/Thursday) These are 10 minute, high-impact sessions that enable presenters to present key information in a concise format. All are accompanied by PowerPoint slides. Typically, four Ignite talks are scheduled per 60-minute session, leaving 15 minutes for Q&A. Talks are grouped by area of interest, i.e., archives, libraries, museums, language, STEM, etc. A total of 28 Flash Talks are needed.
  • Forums or Listening Sessions.(Wednesday and Thursday) These are 60-minutes in length and designed to allow for sustained interactions for participants and organizers around a particular topic. Forums enable organizers to get early feedback, facilitate a conversation around critical issues, or begin to frame new directions or approaches in a particular area. Ideally, organizers should document input received and produce a white paper. There is no established number of Forums or Listening Sessions
  • Panel Sessions (Wednesday and Thursday) Panel Sessions are 60 minutes and typically feature three or more presenters who share ideas, viewpoints, and experiences on key topics and issues. Questions and comments from the audience are encouraged. While each of the nine concurrent session divisions should have at least one session relating to the eight disciplines, the primary focus areas of libraries and museums may have more sessions. The majority of sessions should have broad appeal to a variety of disciplines.
  • Labs (Wednesday and Thursday)Labs are are 60 minute sessions designed to provide hands-on activities that enable participants to learn new skills and techniques in a variety of areas, although most are related to collections care. Double and triple sessions are permitted.
  • Maker Space(Wednesday and Thursday)Maker Spaces are demonstrations of public programs that can be offered in a library or museum setting. They take place in the pre-function areas and are typically "come and go" presentations. Ideally, presentations train participants to replicate the Maker Space programs in their communities. Double and triple sessions are permitted.
  • Regional Luncheon or Breakfast Roundtable Gatherings (Wednesday) Regional Luncheon Roundtable Gatherings are held during the “Guardians Awards” luncheon and provide a brief opportunity at the beginning of the luncheon to network with others from designated areas. Table Delegates are responsible for introductions and sparking conversations. Depending on how many people attend from each state, there may be one or more tables available. Each table is identified with signage indicating the region or state represented. Centerpieces or table decorations indicative of the region may be introduced, as well as small gifts. Each table accommodates 10 people.
  • Topical Roundtable Breakfast and Luncheon “Conversations”(Thursday)Topical Roundtable “Conversations” are held provide a brief opportunity to spark discussions and bring together people with similar interests on specific topics. Each table accommodates 10 people.
  • Posters: (Wednesday/Thursday) Posters combine the visual display of materials with the opportunity for informal discussion. A 60-minute session, scheduled for Wednesday the 10th at 11:00 a.m., enables poster presenters to interact with conference audiences. Posters stay up for the duration of the conference. The available space for posting is a 4’ x 6’ tri-fold poster placed on a 6’ classroom-sized table. ATALM provides the tri-fold posters, adhesives, and other materials to enable the assembly of posters on site. There are typically 30 posters, of which the majority represent IMLS Library Enhancement Grantees. In addition to helping select the posters, committee members attend the conference and help poster presenters with set up, place table tents, and ensure photographs are taken of each poster. At the end of the conference, they gather the posters up and bring them to the registration desk.

Selection Criteria

In considering programs, the committee gives priority to sessions that:

  • Meet current needs or addresses issues related to a particular discipline;
  • Provide useful and practical information;
  • Have a strong audience engagement component;
  • Have at least one indigenous presenter;
  • Feature presenters that are likely to attend and participate in the full conference

ATALM 2018 Conference

October 8-11, 2018
Mystic Lake Center
2400 Mystic Lake Boulevard
Prior Lake, MN 55372