The PILLARS Symposium:

Preparation, Information Literacy, Libraries, Academic Resources,

and 21st Century Skills for Transitioning from Secondary School to College is Calling for Proposals!


  • Why: A three-day symposium that will bring educators and librarians together to share knowledge on the topic of student readiness for college and beyond.
  • When: Wednesday, July 7 – Friday, July 9, 2021 (exact start & end time TBD)
  • Where:¬†Virtually, from your computer.
  • What: This symposium is designed to introduce educators to a wide range of teaching and learning resources for practical use in the 21st-century classroom. Presenters will share their knowledge on teaching information literacy instruction, writing, using primary resources, bridging the digital divide, and related topics that will prepare secondary students for success in college and beyond. The format will include formal presentations, breakout sessions, and opportunities to connect with educators around New York State. This symposium is presented by and for educators in New York State, and we welcome the perspective of guests from other regions who will join as presenters and attendees.
  • Who: Presenters and target audience include but are not limited to:
    • Secondary school teachers, librarians, administrators
    • Academic librarians, professors, administrators
    • First year college transition specialists
    • Public librarians – both YA and Adult Services
    • Public historians and cultural heritage institution educators
    • Students (recent HS graduates and first-year college students)
    • Others invested in student success with High School to College Transition

We encourage applications from inter-disciplinary presenters (e.g. faculty & librarian, teacher & student, or public & school librarian).

Information for potential presenters:

We are looking for presentations on the following topics:

  • First-Generation College Students
  • Underserved students/populations
  • Special Education (IEP/504)
  • Non-traditional students
  • English Language Learners
  • What is expected for research and learning
  • Role of public library supporting student success
  • Collaboration with academic libraries
  • First-year transition
  • What is expected for research and learning
  • Role of public library supporting success
  • Organization of resources
  • Reading and writing expectations
  • Library instruction & orientation
  • Improving basic research, reading, and writing skills
  • Remote / hybrid / hyflex learning
  • Universal design/ accessibility
  • Resources for learning, and how to find them
  • Social, Emotional Learning
  • Resilience
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion (EDI) within instruction
  • Student empowerment
  • Digital Equity
  • Primary sources and cultural heritage materials in the classroom
  • Other ideas, not listed

Presentation duration: Presentations should be 45-60 minutes in length, in a format that best suits your topic, and include time for discussion or Q&A and audience interaction if applicable.

Technology requirements: Computer, reliable internet connection, microphone/speakers (headset recommended) or telephone, quiet space for presenting, webcam optional.

Deadline for proposals: Friday, January 29, 2021

This event is a production of Empire State Library Network (ESLN) and is co-produced by New York School Library Systems Association (SLSA). 

The PILLARS 2021 Symposium is presented at no cost to attendees thanks to the support of our organizations and sponsors.

For more information, please contact the planning committee at