Session Formats and Threads


At Charleston, we like making things fun and exciting. One way we do that is by having several different session formats to shake things up a bit.

Plenary Sessions – General sessions of a broad interest for the entire group of conference attendees. These sessions are held in the Charleston Gaillard Center (95 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29401).

Neapolitan Sessions – Designed to be of interest to a broad audience, but drilling down a bit more into specifics than the plenary sessions, these are “mini plenaries” that are run simultaneously in three large ballrooms. Since there are three sessions/flavors at a time, we went with a classic tri-flavored ice cream theme!

Lively Discussions – These 60 minute talks are scheduled during the lunchtime hours, and are intended to include a brief presentation or statement of the speakers’ point of view followed by vigorous and lively discussion and Q&A from the audience. We encourage presenters to limit or eliminate PowerPoint slides and focus on audience involvement. Lively Discussions are spread among all of our conference locations.

Concurrent Sessions – The workhorse of the conference is a standard 40 minute session from a single speaker or group of speakers in a traditional presentation style. Concurrents are scheduled across all of our conference locations.

Stopwatch Sessions – Moderated by a time keeper and presented in only 6 minutes each, these succinct sessions are scheduled during a concurrent session timeslot with 5 presentations back to back. Time is provided at the end of the session for Q&A with all five presenters.

Innovation Lightning Rounds – These 10 minute sessions focus on innovative or entrepreneurial thinking in libraries – new ways to solve problems, new technology or existing tech utilized in new ways, etc. They will feature five 10-minute presentations back-to-back in a 60 minute time slot, with a moderator for introductions, Q&A, and time keeping.

Poster Sessions – The poster sessions will have two options: in-person or virtual. In-person posters will have a physical poster board and will have a time on the agenda for attendees to meet with presenters. Virtual posters will feature poster PDFs and pre-recorded video presentations will be available for viewing throughout the conference event, and a live Q&A session will also be available for presenters to participate in if desired during the virtual conference week.


Our lively lunch discussions, concurrent sessions, innovation sessions, and poster sessions are also organized by topic into the following threads:

  • AN: Analysis and Assessment
  • CD: Collections/Collection Development
  • LS: Library Services
  • MT: Management
  • PR: Preservation/Archiving
  • SC: Scholarly Communication
  • TE: Technology & Trends
  • UC: Up & Coming
Up & Coming (UC): The UC thread is intended for attendees who are…
  • New to the profession of library and information studies, including librarians, library staff, vendors, publishers, content providers, consultants, and researchers.
  • New to the Charleston Conference.
  • New to the specific areas of focus of the Charleston Conference (collection development, acquisitions, instruction, scholarly communication, technical services, vendor/publisher relations).
  • MLIS students and recent graduates.
  • Those with no or limited prior experience presenting at professional conferences.
The UC thread is a terrific opportunity for up & comers to:
  • Become actively involved in the Charleston Conference.
  • Make a stronger case to attend the Charleston Conference.
  • Share your unique experience and knowhow in a supportive, reputable professional sphere.
  • Hone your presentation skills.

Please note that plenary sessions, Neapolitan sessions, and preconferences are not organized by thread. Also, please note that these categories are chosen by the presenters themselves and are not assigned by the Conference organizers.


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