Programming Planning FAQ

  1. When do I have to fill out a Program Approval Form (PAF)?
  2. Who do I submit the PAF to?
  3. How much notice should I give for a program?
  4. Are there limitations to who receives speaker fees?
  5. Who pays for meals or expenses?
  6. How much does MLA reimburse for mileage?
  7. What happens if a program is cancelled?
  8. Are programs eligible for certification renewal credits?
  9. What other forms will I need to fill out?
  10. Where can I publicize my program? What are the deadlines?

1. When do I have to fill out a Program Approval Form?

The PAF is used for all regular programs, even those co-sponsored with other organizations and units. It is used even if no costs are involved. This helps the Professional Development Panel and the MLA Office keep track of programs, costs, contact people, etc. The only exceptions are...

You do not have to submit a PAF for a Division/Interest Group's regular business meeting that has no speaker or monies involved. You do want to notify the appropriate office/officer for inclusion in the Crab, eCrab, and Happenings and respect their deadlines.

You do not have to submit a PAF for a Division/Interest Group's discussion except in certain specific cases (See Program Planning Tips for the difference between discussions and programs.)

The PAF is not used for Annual Conference programs. Planning for these programs is handled through the Annual Conference Committee.

2. Who do I submit the PAF to?

The PAF is submitted electronically to the MLA Office, who will forward it to the Professional Development Officer.

3. How much notice should I give for a program?

The Professional Development Panel requires that you submit the Program Approval Form at least 3 months prior to the program date. Forms will be accepted any time before 3 months.

You do not have to submit a complete PAF at this time. Minimum information could be: sponsoring unit, contact person's name and contact information, name/description of program, etc. The initial submission of the PAF acts as a place holder and sets the gears in motion. You can update this form later.

4. Are there limitations to who receives speaker fees?

Yes. The Speakers Policy is: "For any member of the Maryland library community - no fee offered; travel expenses are negotiable. For any other speaker - fees and travel expenses are negotiable."

We can and do on occasion pay for meals in addition to travel for Maryland librarians. Generally you would consider how far the speaker/presenter is coming, what they have to offer, how much revenue the program will generate, etc. Alcoholic beverages are not included.

The Annual Conference Committee sets additional restrictions for conference speakers.

All fees must be cleared with the MLA Office prior to commitment. Do not commit to any payment of fees until you have cleared them with the MLA Office.

5. Who pays for the meals or expenses?

They will come out of the revenue that the program makes.

6. How much does MLA reimburse for mileage?

MLA will reimburse 50 cents per mile. Total mileage must be recorded on the final financial forms that you will submit to the MLA Office after the program.

7. What happens if a program is cancelled?

The individual responsible for the program must contact the MLA Office as quickly as possible. A notice will be recorded on the office phone. If your program involves participants who are traveling a distance the more notification the better.

In the event that a decision is made to continue a program even in inclement weather, school closings, etc. the individual responsible for the program still must contact the MLA Office so a phone message can be recorded.

Rescheduling of cancelled programs will be posted on the MLA web site as well as on the phone.

8. Are programs eligible for certification renewal credits?

Your program may qualify for certification renewal / continuing education credits. The Professional Development Panel will assign eligible contact hours at the time the program is reviewed.

9. What other forms do I need to fill out?

If you are the Program Planner there are several forms you will be submitting in addition to the Program Approval Form (PAF). There are financial, planning, and evaluation forms that must be filled out. These forms frequently have submission time limits also. When you are planning a program you need to obtain copies of these forms. Contact the Professional Development Officer, the MLA Office, or your Division president if you do not have these forms.

10. Where can I publicize my program? Are there deadlines?

You can publicize your program in various MLA publications - Happenings, eCrab, and the print Crab. The MLA office will also post your program on the events calendar on the web page. Only programs that have been approved will be posted. Each of these publications has deadlines.

Happenings deadline is the 1st of the month before the mailing is sent. Example: October 1st is the deadline for the November issue.

The Crab deadline is listed on the MLA site.

You can also publicize on Marylib the Maryland library information list. To subscribe to Marylib:

  1. Open your email client and send a message to listproc@list.umaryland.edu
  2. Do not fill in the subject line
    • in the body of the message type only these words:
    • subscribe MARYLIB <your first name> <your last name>
    • you do not need the brackets <>
  3. if you use a signature turn it off / disable it.
  4. You will receive an introductory message with instructions for how to log off, post, etc. Save this message for future reference.

There are other possible ways to publicize your program ... local chapters of library organizations, professional organizations, schools, bulletin boards, public libraries, or national and other state organizations if your program has a wide audience appeal.

Last updated 03 November 2012.