Call for Proposals, ARLIS/NA 2023 Conference, Mexico City, Mexico

Annual Conference ,

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) will hold its 51st annual conference, Transformación in Mexico City, Mexico, April 18th – 21st, 2023.

This will be the Society’s first annual conference convened in Mexico and an opportunity to introduce ARLIS/NA to our Mexican colleagues. Mexico City is a global force and cosmopolitan center of visual arts and culture on our continent and home to over 250 museums and a thriving gallery and contemporary art scene. We invite art information professionals from across the continent to transform their relationships with each other, the field, and their practice.  

Transformación recognizes the ways we have all been called to shift our thinking as professionals in the past several years in relation to a rapidly changing world contending with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, war, and the ongoing effort to build a more just and equitable present and future for all. The conference theme Transformación recognizes that as things fall apart, new futures and possibilities emerge, and in Mexico City we will explore together what transformation can look like across all aspects of the profession.

The Mexico City Conference Program Committee invites proposals from library and archives workers, students, scholars, educators, vendors, curators, visual artists and designers to propose papers, sessions, workshops, and speakers that reflect the theme Transformación as it relates to the practice of visual arts information and scholarship.

The Program Committee encourages submissions that include, but are not limited to:

  • Latin American Libraries, Archives, and Information Agencies
  • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
  • International and Cross-Cultural Collaborations
  • Local Art and Architecture
  • Advocacy, Social Justice, Anti-Racism, Public Policy and Activism
  • Archives, Rare Books and Special Collections
  • Collection Development and Management
  • Critical Librarianship
  • Digital Humanities and Digital Scholarship
  • Alternative Publications, Artists’ Books, Graphic Novels, ‘zines etc.
  • Teaching and Pedagogical Practice
  • Fair Use and Copyright Issues
  • Leadership, Mentoring, Management, and Professional Development
  • Visual Literacy
  • User Experience

Types of Submissions

PAPERS:  An individual paper presentation, potentially addressing new research, a case study, or an innovative idea with a total time of 15-20 minutes. Presentations provide attendees with new tools, strategies, or inspiration that they can apply in their own practice. The Conference Program Co-Chairs and the Conference Program Committee will group individual presentations into paper panels with a common topic or theme, which will run from 60 to 90 minutes, including a Q&A. 

PRE-COORDINATED PANELS:  A pre-coordinated session of 2-5 presenters with a moderator addressing a common topic or theme with a total time of 60-90 minutes, including a Q&A. Panels provide attendees with multiple views/strategies on a single topical area, a comparison of tools or methods, or a number of case studies on related topics.  It is not necessary to identify all potential presenters before submitting. Naming a moderator, who will advocate for and develop the session, is required. The Programs Committee welcomes proposals to panels given in both English and Spanish.

SPEAKER SUGGESTIONS & PLENARIES:  A plenary may be a prepared paper or discussion panel of significant importance to the profession. Plenaries are 60-90 minutes in length. No other meetings, sessions, etc. are scheduled during plenaries. The content of plenaries should be current and of broad  interest to attendees.  Non-member speakers who will speak on a significant topic of interest to ARLIS/NA members may be suggested here. 

WORKSHOPS:  An opportunity to teach and explore current and emerging topics in an intimate atmosphere. Workshops encourage a focused, hands-on experience led by experts who combine presentation, active learning, collaboration, and discussions. They may last two, four, or eight hours. Consider ways to benefit from local educational or cultural institutions in Mexico City.

PLEASE NOTE: ARLIS/NA Transformación is an in-person conference in Mexico City. Please plan your submission and attendance accordingly. Some sessions will be streamed or recorded but hybrid/online only submissions cannot be accommodated.

Additional Details

WORD LIMIT:  All proposal abstracts are limited to 500 words or fewer.

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:  You’ll be asked to list 2-3 learning objectives, takeaways, or goals for your proposal.

TOPICS:  You’ll be asked to select up to 5 topics relevant to your session.

AUDIENCES:  You’ll be asked to pick up to 5 target audiences for your session.

NEW VOICES:  You will be asked if you are a student or in your first five years of librarianship as you may be eligible for the New Voices in the Profession session.

How to Submit Proposals

You must anonymize your proposal description.  All personal or institutional names must be removed from the description and learning objectives (however, these details must remain in other fields of the form), and may be replaced by terms such as “presenter,” “author,” or “speaker”, or in the case of institutions, terms such as “large academic library,” “small museum library,” etc.  The review of proposals is a blind peer review process.  Non-anonymized proposals may be ineligible.

Submit your presentation, panel, and workshop proposals via this “Make a Submission” link.

For full details click here.

The deadline is August 12th at 11:59pm CST.

The call for poster, roundtable, moderator, and other meeting proposals will be announced later this year.

Please direct any questions to Programs Co-chairs:

Lauren Gottlieb-Miller, The Menil Collection (
Gabrielle Reed, MassAr: Massachusetts College of Art and Design (