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Science and Technology Section (STS): About Our Committees

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


The Conference Program Planning Committees plan and organize the Section's Annual Conference programs. Committee members review past program topics and formats, choose a timely topic of interest to Section members and also to a broad spectrum of ALA members, recruit the best available speakers on the chosen topics, present the program in the most appropriate format, and evaluate the program based on responses from those who attend.

Meeting the deadlines established by the ALA Conference Arrangements Office and ACRL is an essential task of the Committee's chair. As these deadlines come from different sources, they will be received separately. A typical two-year scenario is outlined below.


The Conference Program Planning Committee has traditionally consisted of seven or more members, who serve for two years. It is highly desirable to stagger co-chair appointments to ensure continuity. The timetable would be as follows: the committee appointed at the close of the 1989 Annual Conference by newly-elected vice-chair/chair-elect is responsible for the program at the 1991 Annual Conference.
Current membership can be found on the ACRL-STS website.


Timeframe Activity
Four to six weeks before the first meeting:

Receive list of committee members from the Vice-chair.

Send letter to committee to introduce yourself, stating purpose of committee, listing some of the past program topics and reception sponsors, announcing first meeting, asking members to begin thinking about program topics.

19 months prior to proposed program:

Submit requests for special AV funding to ACRL Budget and Finance Committee. Normal AV equipment such as overhead projectors, slide projectors, microphones, etc. are not included in this request. This is for very special equipment such as a room full of microcomputers, video projection system, etc. The normal AV request is part of the meeting request form submitted by STS chair.

Midwinter Meeting—
18 months prior to proposed program:

Committee meets to discuss possible program topics, formats, and speakers. Selects local arrangements person to locate a site for any STS tour. Committee members are given various assignments to complete over the next six months.

Between Midwinter and Annual Conference:

Send summary of meeting and job assignments to all committee members.

Correspond with committee members, executive committee, and ALA/ACRL offices as necessary.

February 15—
17 months to proposed program:

Deadline for submitting summary of meeting to STS Signal.

May 1—
14 months to proposed program:

ACRL Program Proposal form and ALA Program Proposal form (from ACRL Associate Director) due to ACRL Associate Director.

Annual Conference—
12 months prior to the proposed program:

Committee selects speakers, gives name to program if not yet decided, assigns publicity team, chooses STS reception site if separate from program.

Committee chair reports recommendations to STS Council. Room size, date, time for program are settled at this meeting.

The ACRL Board approves the program proposal.

Between Annual and Midwinter:

Send letters to speakers formally asking them to speak at your program pending outcome of funding request to ALA.

Send letters to committee members summarizing meeting and reviewing assignments.

9 months prior to the proposed program

Submit request for special allocation funding to ACRL Office.

Submit program copy to Conference Arrangements.

October 1—
9 months prior to the proposed program:

ACRL staff notifies units regarding assigned tracks and times of programs.

7 months prior to the proposed program:

Send agenda for Midwinter committee meetings to committee members.

Will receive response regarding program funding from ALA via ACRL office.

Midwinter Meeting—
6 months prior to the program:

Committee does final planning for program.

Final publicity flyer and evaluation form are approved.

List of substitutes for speakers, committee assignments for copying and distributing forms and flyers are made.

Committee assignments for various tasks for the day of the program are assigned including: Timekeeper, AV assistant, light monitor, evaluation form collector(s) and tabulator(s), room location assistant(s) (if breakaway sessions are planned), program moderator, etc.

5 months prior to the program:

Submit final program copy to Conference Arrangements Office.

2 months prior to the program:

Program chairs submit final changes or additional requests to ACRL Associate Director.


Audiotaping permission requests due from speakers.

April 30:

Deadline for submitting AV requests to ALA Conference Services.

Deadline for requesting VIP Housing for conference speakers.

Annual Conference:

Before the program, hold a short meeting with committee to tie up any loose ends and plan the day. You may want to go scope out the room to assist with logistics on the day of your program.

Units pick up badges for non-librarian speakers from ACRL table in the ALA office area.

Hold reception and program.

Collect evaluation forms at program.

After the program:

Send thank you letters to speakers and sponsors of reception and program. Sponsor letters may be handled by section chair.

Send thank you letters to committee members.

Compile data from evaluation forms and pass data onto new STS Program Chair.

June 30:

Conference program evaluations due to ACRL.