Call for Papers

Connection Development: Collaborations and Communities Across the Americas, Iberia, the Caribbean, and their Diasporas
June 5-9, 2023
Washington, DC, USA

We are pleased to invite you to join us to SALALM LXVIII hosted by the Library of Congress, Dumbarton Oaks, and Georgetown University in Washington, DC. Meetings and events will be held at each of our host institutions and the conference headquarters will be the Gateway Marriott Hotel in Crystal City Virginia.

Libraries connect. They connect people to people, people to ideas, and ideas to ideas. Libraries are hubs of collaboration within their larger organizations or settings; academic libraries connect different departments and entities on a campus; public libraries connect community members to organizations. These connections typically extend beyond that community via consortia and organizations established to serve the needs and interests of similar libraries. Much can be gained, however, when libraries and librarians move into other spaces to develop connections. 

As we all have personally and professionally experienced, crises can challenge and even upend our services and priorities. In academic and research libraries, we saw how the COVID-19 pandemic inspired a shift from prioritizing our physical collections to a consideration of those services we could provide that would be of the greatest immediate benefit to our users. In some instances, academic and research libraries looked to public libraries (typically more involved in community outreach and engagement) for ideas about how we might pivot from a focus on the collections we hold to the connections we foster. As professionals, many librarians study and write about the concept of “collection development.” In this conference we will reframe that phrase and ask ourselves what it would look like if we put “connection development” at the center of our work.

For our first in-person conference since 2019, SALALM LXVIII has chosen Washington DC as a particularly fitting locale given this year’s theme. The Washington, DC area is a nexus of “connection development” where people from a multitude of cultures, nationalities, and identities converge, interact, establish relationships, and affect change. It is the home of many notable universities (e.g., Georgetown University, University of Maryland, American University, Catholic University, Old Dominion University, etc.); an academic library consortium (WRLC); a robust public library system, and offers unique and catered services for visiting and in-residence researchers (Dumbarton Oaks); as well as the seat of international leadership in library collections and services (Library of Congress). Washington DC houses many key agencies and organizations that have shaped our past and are shaping our future (Organization of American States, InterAmerican Development Bank) as well as embassies from around the world and cultural centers (Mexican Cultural Institute). 

This conference is an opportunity to highlight collaborations that are intra- or inter-institutional, national or international. We will highlight collaborations that help get libraries and their communities through past and present moments of crisis. We will look at the different ways people across the Americas, Iberia, the Caribbean and their diasporas create communities to work together to affect change. These communities might be communities of academic and librarians, they might be communities of public health workers and educators. These communities might exist online or face-to-face and they might also be communities that were created online to help ease personal remote isolation whether short-term for a pandemic or long-term for physical, emotional, or socio-political reasons.

As librarians we will explore our role in working alongside these communities to support their initiatives and goals. We will also examine the methods and ethical concerns related to documenting, collecting, archiving, and making these experiences part of the public record. We will reflect on how we advocate with communities in times of crisis and the kinds of outreach we do. We will work together as we contemplate new avenues for collaborating across institutions to better center our communities’ needs.

SALALM invites submissions for individual presentations, panels, roundtable discussions, posters, or workshops that address:
  • Connection development
  • Historical or new collaborations
  • Institutional collaborations
  • Knowledge creation during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Documenting collaborations
  • Archiving personal stories
  • Community outreach and engagement
  • Expanded definitions of “community”
SALALM encourages proposers to connect with each other and submit proposals for cohesive panels that bring in different voices and perspectives on a topic, area, or project. In order to provide more opportunities for participation, in addition to 20-minute presentations, SALALM will have lightning-round presentation panels and poster sessions.

SALALM LXVIII will be headquartered in the Crystal City Marriott in Crystal City, Virginia. Washington Reagan International Airport (DCA) is the nearest airport and offers a free shuttle to the hotel. In addition to meetings and events at the hotel, SALALM LXVIII meetings will be held at Dumbarton Oaks, the Library of Congress, and Georgetown University. Other Washington DC area venues will also be on the schedule. Please see the conference website ( for information about the hotel and local transportation. This website will continue to be updated.
Proposal submission form

Presentations/round tables: March 1, 2023
Posters: March 31, 2023