General Tips for Submitting Poster Sessions

  • Remember that this is a VISUAL presentation - try to explain your idea in a visually appealing way.
  • Write in a narrative paragraph form. Don't use an outline form. 
  • Do not use the first person in the abstract: I, we, my, mine, our.
  • Spell out acronyms in their entirety the first time used, followed by the acronym in parenthesis. Example: American Library Association (ALA)
  • If your poster session deals with an innovative program introduced in the library, or a research study, make certain it has been evaluated. In other words, how did you measure your outcomes to prove your success or hypothesis? Examples of evaluation may include (but are not limited to) feedback gathered on comment forms, a quick survey, a pre- and post-test, or usage statistics. The idea here is to be able to supply useful information if someone asks, 'How do you know it did or did not work?'

    Include a statement in your abstract explaining how your project was evaluated. Poster sessions are sometimes rejected because there is no evidence that the program or study has been evaluated.

  • This can be an informal evaluation such as feedback gathered on comment forms, a quick survey, or statistics about how often a new service was used.  The idea here is to be able to supply useful information if an attendee asks, "Well, did it work?" For example, if you are presenting a new library instruction method using dramatic skits, people will logically want to know if the method worked. A strong proposal might have feedback from a quick survey of students. A stronger proposal might have pre-test and post-test data.

    Include a statement in your abstract explaining how your project was evaluated. Poster sessions are sometimes rejected because there is no evidence that the program or study has been evaluated.

  • Keep in mind that the only basis on which the reviewer can evaluate the poster session is the abstract. Make certain that it clearly conveys the purpose of your poster session, is well written, and is void of grammatical and typographical errors.
  • Print and keep a copy of your poster session abstract before sending it.
  • For questions, contact Luke Vilelle (lvilelle@hollins.edu).

 

Tips for Poster Session Titles

  • Poster sessions with interesting titles have the advantage when it comes to attracting visitors. Which poster session would you be more attracted to?

    "A Circulation Outreach Program Encouraging Library Use Among Adult Users in Puerto Rico"

    "Opening Doors In Paradise: The Power of a Library Card"

  • Brainstorm several different titles, and ask colleagues to rank them!
  • Consider choosing a title that is short enough to be cast in an extra large font, which can be read from a distance. If you want more detail in your title, include these in a subtitle.

 

Tips for Poster Session Abstracts

In 250 words or less, superb poster abstracts should include the following:

  • A concise description of the project itself.
  • If the topic is not brand-new, it would be helpful to explain how your work has brought something new to the state of human knowledge about the topic.
  • If your project is a ?how our library did something good? type project, it's important to have evidence of evaluation. Participation levels, user evaluations, peer-review, a change in relevant data (web server statistics): anything to show the relative success of your project. The evaluation does not have to be complete by the time of your poster submission, but some evaluation should be complete by the time of the ALA conference.
  • Some explanation of how your session will "make the most of the medium." Will you have graphs? Models? Photographs? Sample materials?
  • If you plan on a laptop, it needs to run off a battery; we have no power.

See also: