International Association
of School Librarianship

Host an IASL Conference: Partnership Agreement

Conference Planning Manual for 2025/2026| Suggested Budget Guidelines for an IASL Conference


The prime objectives of IASL are to:
  • advocate the development of school libraries throughout all countries
  • encourage the integration of school library programmes into the instructional and curriculum development of the school
  • promote the professional preparation and continuing education of school library personnel
  • foster a sense of community among school librarians and other professionals connected with children and youth
  • foster research in the field of school librarianship and the integration of its conclusions with pertinent knowledge from related fields
  • promote the publication and dissemination of information about successful advocacy and program initiatives in school librarianship
  • share information about programs and materials for children and youth throughout the international community.

One way in which these aims are realized is through partnerships with organisations that host the IASL annual conference. The nature of host groups (including well-established school library associations, educators of school library staff, librarians and/or teachers, providers of existing library services and others intent on establishing and promoting school librarianship) determines the nature of the partnership. Each conference is shaped to meet the purposes of the Conference Hosts through a unique blend of local and IASL events and activities. Local events and activities are of course determined by local purposes for hosting the conference.

In any partnership, there are expectations and responsibilities on both sides. This document summarises many of these so that those wishing to host an IASL conference gain a realistic overview of their involvement. It is set out in terms of

  • the support/assistance offered to the conference hosts by IASL;
  • description of required elements that preserve the character of IASL conferences; and
  • advice to conference hosts.

Many of these points are open to negotiation. For reference, the Conference Planning Manual for 2025/2026 gives detailed information on running a successful conference.

Support and Assistance from IASL

IASL is responsible for providing:
  • Access to IASL members (both practitioners and researchers), as delegates, presenters, reviewers of proposed papers, advisors and session chairs (on average 100 IASL delegates attend each conference)
  • A range of awards that attract international delegates and two awards specifically for schools in the host country (IASL manages the entire award process, except for one award which is made in conjunction with the host country)
  • A loan of US$1000 to enable hosts to begin conference organisation (this must be refunded from registration monies before the conference begins)
  • Free advertising of the conference (not its sponsors) in the IASL Newsletter, the School Libraries Online Website and through IASL-LINK (the organization's listserv, items from which are routinely posted to other relevant listservs and newsletters)
  • Website hosting of conference information and links to the Hosts' registration materials
  • Publication of the proceedings and distribution beyond the conference. (As publisher, IASL issues the ISBN and holds joint copyright of the papers with their authors. IASL will provide the host country with editorial assistance in preparing the proceedings to IASL standards if required. In the event of a joint conference with an organisation that usually publishes proceedings, negotiation will be required.)
  • A conference management guide and other support from IASL mentors as required,
  • Electronic templates for brochures, registration forms, budgetary and financial information, the program handbook
  • Agendas, activities and facilitators for the range of IASL meetings and fund raising events.

Required Elements

IASL's expectations center on sound conference administration, assurance that the program and publication standards are the best possible, and that the traditional elements of IASL conferences are included within the host country's program.


Conference hosts must provide:

  • Regular information to the IASL Executive Committee (e.g. minutes of meetings, or summaries thereof where the working language is other than English) for the period of conference organisation. It is suggested that an IASL member who is also a member of the Organizing Committee is appointed specifically to liaise with IASL's Vice President Association Operations and Executive Secretary.
  • Copies of audited accounts to the Executive Committee within six months of the conference closing.
  • An intention to make financial return to assist in funding IASL activities in other countries (IASL will not cover any losses, but does not set an expected profit margin as this depends on local resources and commitments). The profit from the conference resides with the Host. The Host agrees to provide IASL with the amount equaling a Zone A annual membership fee for every non-member who registers for the conference, plus 20% (twent percent) of the member registration fee for every conference attendee (paid or sponsored).
  • A reduced registration fee for IASL members
  • Facilities to display IASL membership materials and publications
Program and publication standards

IASL expects:

  • Application of procedures comparable to those stated in the IASL Conference Manual concerning the review and selection of practitioner and research presentations
  • The inclusion of half day and full day practitioner workshops before or after the conference
  • Application of procedures in accord with descriptions in the IASL Conference Manual concerning formats and standards for the publication of proceedings (IASL is usually the publisher, although proceedings may be printed locally. Only those distribution contracts signed by IASL's President will be honored.)

IASL expects the conference program to include:

  • Flag ceremony (usually during opening ceremony)
  • Awards Ceremony (may be during opening ceremony or with a plenary session)
  • An early opportunity to introduce IASL Office holders to all delegates and the involvement of International delegates as session chairs and in other roles as required by the Hosts
  • Annual General Meeting
  • Regional Meetings
  • Assembly of Associations
  • Special Interest Group Meetings
  • Visits to local school or community libraries, teachers' resource centres and/or similar institutions
  • Fund raising event (e.g. auction)
  • An informal reception associated with the conference opening and a conference dinner
  • Over the years, national and international delegates have expressed a preference for program scheduling in which these events do not conflict with workshop and paper presentations. 

Facilities are also required for:

  • IASL Executive meeting (a full day before the conference, 6 people)
  • IASL Board meetings (1-2 hour meeting early in the conference and a half day meeting after the conference, up to 20 people).

Advice to Hosts

Organizations host IASL conferences for many reasons. To ensure that IASL gives the most appropriate support to hosts, it is essential that those wishing to host a conference:
  • clearly define their purpose for holding an IASL conference
  • identify local organizations that need to be influenced or involved (the stakeholders who need to support organisers in meeting that purpose)
  • put time into building a strong group process among those who will create the program
  • communicate regularly with IASL through the Executive Secretary and Vice President Association Operations to establish the best balance possible between local traditions and needs, and those of IASL; and
  • have as Conference Coordinator an IASL member who has attended at least one conference previously.

Applying to Host an IASL Conference

When proposing to host an IASL conference, please address the above requirements and be sure to include in the letter of invitation to the President the following information:

  • A statement of the goals you, the hosts, wish to achieve in holding an IASL conference, together with an indication of the conference theme.
  • A draft budget based on and including the number of delegates required to break even i.e. make no loss, nor profit (please see the conference manual for details of essential considerations)
  • An indication of expected sources of financial support
  • A statement outlining the key IASL goals that this conference will realize

Please also include the following statement:

The Coordinator of the IASL Conference [name] to be held in [place] [dates] agrees to meet IASL's requirements for conference administration, program and publication standards, and to ensure that the traditional elements of IASL conferences are included within the program.

For more advice on writing successful conference proposals, please click here.

In the letter accepting your invitation, the President of IASL will make a similar undertaking outlining the responsibilities of IASL (as described above) in supporting your efforts.

Applications to host an IASL conference can be made at any time and should be forwarded directly to the President. 

The deadline to submit a proposal to host the 2025 conference is April 1, 2024.  The deadline to host the 2026 conference is Novmeber 1, 2024.

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