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University Libraries Section (ULS): About Our Committees

Whether you are a chair, committee member, or prospective member, this is your go-to resource for information about ULS committees.


The Professional Development Committee supports the continued development of University Libraries Section members by providing professional development opportunities. The committee will organize and/or coordinate professional development programs and offerings outside of the ALA Midwinter, ALA Annual, and ACRL Conferences. These professional development opportunities ensure ULS members are able to obtain the relevant experience and continuing education needed to further the profession and address the challenges facing university libraries. The committee works closely with the ULS Executive, Membership, Communication, and Conference Program Planning committees.

Committee membership

The committee usually has seven members. See current roster.

ALA Connect

The Professional Development Committee on ALA Connect: Post and find agendas, minutes, and committee happenings.

Please note that you will need to sign in to ALA Connect using your regular ALA web site username and password to access ACRL ULS committee content.

Committee responsibilities

Develop program ideas and areas of focus

  • Review the literature, hot topics in the profession, etc.
  • Generate ideas within the Professional Development Committee.
  • Gather ideas from ULS discussion groups and committees.
  • Periodically survey ULS members for their interests in programs and formats.

Call for proposals

  • The committee should make periodic calls for proposals using the form located here.
  • Completed proposals should be forwarded to the entire committee for evaluation using the proposal evaluation rubric (under construction).

Organize and execute programs

  • Two committee members can work on organizing each program, with the chair overseeing all the work and answering any questions. One committee member serves as the primary point of contact with the presenters for each program, and will also introduce and moderate the presentation itself. A second committee member is available to assist with tech support and to collate questions that come in through the chat box during the presentation, and serves as back up to moderate the presentation in the event that the primary committee member has an emergency or conflict.
  • Contact presenters to introduce the committee members who will coordinate their presentation and their specific roles. Share general information about the presentations such as: 
    • The Program will be delivered via ACRL's Zoom subscription.
    • Programs usually run an hour on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Central to account for all time zones.
    • Slide decks are encouraged. As compared to in-person presentations, online presentations can benefit from more slides that transition frequently (still with limited text on each) in order to keep viewers' attention.
    • Presenters can choose whether or not the attendees can see them via a webcam in addition to seeing their slide deck, or just see slides.
  • Confirm with presenters that the information they submitted in their call for proposals is the same information they would like the committee to use for marketing.
  • Schedule the program AND a practice session according to the speakers, committee members, and ACRL's schedule. It can be helpful to use the ACRL schedule's availability for Zoom to create a Doodle poll for committee members and all presenters. One date that works for all parties can be used for a practice session, and another can be used for the actual presentation. ACRL employees will be present at both to familiarize attendees with the technology and provide technical support and manage the presentation recording.
  • When dates have been selected for both the practice session and presentation, complete the ACRL LibCal for the date and time selected. E-mail Elois Sharpe with any questions you might have. You will subsequently receive confirmation for these bookings, which will include information on how to register for the sessions. The registration link for the presentation itself will provide an individualized link for each committee member and presenter which will also be used for the presentation. Review the registration link carefully and email Elois Sharpe with any changes you'd like to make.
  • Speakers must sign an agreement with ACRL to allow the program to be recorded. Elois Sharpe will provide the details and forms.
  • Work with presenters to determine the extent to discuss the specifics of their presentation, such as length of time for presentation versus questions, the extent to which they would like a committee member to moderate, etc. This can be done via email, during the practice session, or during a separately scheduled call/meeting, depending on the presenters' preferences.
  • Work with the Communications Committee to publicize the event using their online request form, which results in posts on ACRL ULS social media channels. Please note that the form should be submitted a minimum of 72 business hours before you would like to see publicity begin. All ACRL ULS PDC Committee members should work together to publicize the event through other means such as professional listservs, using the following template. It is helpful to establish a plan for who will send emails to which listservs, and when, and for the primary committee member for a particular program to send the first email to a listserv and then forward it for distribution to other committee members who will assist with publicity.
  • Prior to the program, the primary committee members should ask the chair of the committee to create a brief evaluation for the program. This evaluation should be provided in the chat box several times at the end of the program, and should also be immediately provided to the ACRL employee who monitored the program to make sure it's included in follow up emails to registrants and attendees.
  • When the program is complete, the committee chair should send a formal thank you to all participants.
  • After the recording is available, the ACRL ULS Communications Committee should add it to the ULS YouTube channel

Speaker e-mail example

In some cases, the PDC will elect to seek out speakers to address a particular topic deemed especially pertinent by the committee. A sample email of this variety is below.


The ACRL University Libraries Section Professional Development Committee is charged with creating continuing education opportunities for academic librarians. The committee would like to host an online session on space assessment. The session would be a mix of best practices for space assessment, formal and informal methods, large and small projects, and some practical examples. While this might sound like a an overly broad set of topics, the committee intentionally set large parameters so the speakers could decide what to talk about based on their expertise and interests. The intended audience will be librarians new to space assessment who may or may not be assessment librarians. The committee has identified you as a potential speaker, and I am writing to ask about your interest in being a part of the presentation.

Ideally, the committee would like to have three speakers. The session is tentatively scheduled for XXX, with the speakers’ availability determining the date. The session can take on a variety of formats with a mix of presentation and Q&A. Although the committee encourages an interactive approach, the format should be what the speakers think will work best. The session will be online using Zoom hosted by ACRL.

Please let me know if you are interested in presenting, and if you have any questions about the program, then please do not hesitate to ask.

Program introduction script

Welcome and logistics

Welcome to [TITLE], part of a series of online discussions brought to you by the ACRL University Libraries Section’s Professional Development Committee. I am [NAME], a member of the committee. I will be moderating this program along with my colleagues, [NAME] and [NAME]. This is one of an ongoing series of online programs sponsored by our committee, and at the end of the session I will give you more information about upcoming programs.

This session is being recorded, and when the recording is ready, we will send the link to the video to everyone who registered for the program. The program today will consist of approximately 45 minutes of presentation from our panelists, followed by a question and answer session. Please post your questions in the chat box, and we will collect all of them and answer as many as we can at the end. We will post a link to a program assessment in the chat box after the Q&A session. Please take a few moments to give us your feedback on today’s program.


With those announcements out of the way, I am very happy to start today’s program. We are joined today by [X NUMBER] [DESCRIPTION]. They are:




And, without further delay, I will hand it over to our panel.



Thanks so much, to [NAMES OF PRESENTERS] as well as my comoderators from the ACRL ULS Professional Development Committee. I would also like to thank Elois Sharpe and Sophie Skinner from ACRL. Remember that we will send the link to the recording for this session when it is available.

A reminder to please fill out the assessment instrument, a link to which has been posted in the chat window.

The upcoming webinars from the ULS Professional Development include:


The committee will provide more information about these programs over the next few weeks, and we hope you will join us for those. Thanks for coming!