Keynote Committee Duties

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Details for Code4Lib Conference Keynote Committee members.


Note: we need approximate dates for all of these steps.

  • Cultivate nominations from Code4Lib community on the wiki
  • Contact nominees to confirm their willingness & availability (see Initial Nominee Contact)
  • Ensure all nominees have comparative & sufficient bios
  • Add available nominees & their bios to Diebold-o-Tron, schedule the voting to run two weeks
  • Announce voting on the listserv
  • Send follow-up notices one week & a three-couple days before voting closes
  • Close voting & contact the top two nominees (see Successful Nomination Follow-up)
  • If one or both nominees are unable or unwilling to speak, move down the voting list in order
  • Once two keynotes have been confirmed
    • notify the Conference Planning Committee
    • list on the conference website
    • notify the speakers who were nominated but ultimately not selected (see Unsuccessful Nomination Follow-up)
    • & notify the community

Keynote Speaker Logistics

When they agree to speak or shortly after

Keynoter speakers will need information on:

  • conference registration - historically, there has been a special registration code for keynotes which allows them to register without being charged
  • hotel logistics - there's usually a discounted room block, the conference should ensure that the keynote speakers have a chance to reserve a room themselves
  • travel logistics - who books, if the host books does the speaker have any restrictions or preferred carriers, if the speaker books are there restrictions on what can be reimbursed, if there are several regional airports is one of them preferred
  • reimbursement policies and procedures - what expenses are reimburseable (in particular policies vary on alcohol), do they get reimbursements or a per diem for conference expenses, what paperwork do they need to submit to whom, if floating all these expenses presents a hardship for them is there a way to have someone else handle them up front
  • if a W9 is required and where to send it - (answer: no?)
  • that their talk will be livestreamed - this is not obvious to non-code4libbers

They will also need to sign a speaking contract. Experienced speakers may have their own, and/or host institutions may have a standard. If the host's standard contract has non-OA-friendly terms on intellectual property, be prepared to help the speaker negotiate those as many code4libby speakers will care.

If they are expected to book their own hotel, they should receive hotel information before general registration is opened to ensure the hotel does not fill before they get a room. If the committee books, likewise, do this early.

A few weeks before the event

Keynoter Speakers will need information on:

  • travel between the venue and the airport (particularly if the committee will be providing this travel, i.e. will anyone be meeting you at the airport and if so where)
  • A/V setup (what computer is at the podium, can they plug their own in, what dongles will they need, do you provide dongles, is there wifi/podium internet, are there speakers if they want to play video - many venues have PCs and do not provide Mac dongles; speakers may have their own but committee would be well-advised to bring some)
  • event hashtag and other social media (remember non-code4lib speakers are probably unfamiliar with the IRC channel, @code4lib, etc.)
  • is there anywhere it might be good for them to upload their slides
  • who will be introducing them and what information that person needs

Many speakers will appreciate receiving their check at the event, but will not be surprised to get it in the mail later. If you'll be sending it after, provide a time frame, and don't make them have to send follow-up emails to get it.

Email Templates

These are provided merely as convenient suggestions and need not be followed exactly. Still, the general content should be the same. We would be remiss to neglect mentioning the Code of Conduct, for instance.

Sections in Mustache-style double curly braces should be replaced with the appropriate information. Don't forget to replace them! You'd feel silly sending someone a template.

Initial Nominee Contact

Dear {{nominee name}},

On behalf of the Code4Lib {{year}} Conference Committee, I want to inform you that you were nominated as a possible keynote for the conference, which will be held near you in {{location}} on {{dates}}. You were nominated by a member of the Code4Lib community for doing awesome work. We have a transparent planning process in which keynote speakers are selected by community vote. No commitment is necessary at this point, but we'd like to know if you would consider such an invitation should your nomination be selected. If you are unable or unavailable to speak, we would like to know so that we can ensure a fair and transparent vote.

Code4Lib isn't solely about code or libraries. It's a volunteer-driven collective of hackers, designers, architects, curators, catalogers, artists, and instigators from around the world, who largely work for and with libraries, archives, and museums on technology. We are dedicated to providing a harassment-free community for everyone. For more information, please see our Code of Conduct at

You can learn more about our community and our annual conference at or by viewing our prospectus at

Thank you for your consideration,

{{your name}}

on behalf of the Code4Lib Keynote Speakers Committee

Successful Nomination Follow-up

Important: verify the honorarium sum with the Conference Committee before sending this email.

Hello {{name}},

We have finished the Code4Lib {{year}} invited speaker vote and I am excited to let you know that your nomination was selected! I'm sure that what you have to say will benefit the community, and clearly the rest of the community agrees. I hope you consider accepting our invitation.

The conference is able to cover your expenses, including airfare, lodging at the conference hotel, and meals. Additionally, we would like to offer you a {{monetary sum}} honorarium as a token of our gratitude. We know that preparing for a keynote presentation is a lot of work and we would be deeply grateful if you are able to add your perspective to our community.

Code4Lib {{year}} will take place from {{date range}} in {{location}}. We are scheduling two invited talks, and we would like to open our first full ({{date}}) and last ({{date}}) days with one apiece. If you are available, please let me know if either or both of those days could work. Of course, you are welcome to attend as much of our event as you would like.

Please don't hesitate to ask any questions at all. Thank you so much for considering our invitation. I hope you are able to accept.


{{your name}}

on behalf of the Code4Lib Keynote Speakers Committee

Unsuccessful Nomination Follow-up

Hello {{name}},

Thank you so much for your willingness to participate in this year's Code4Lib keynote speaker selection process. We had an extremely competitive slate this year, and the community vote resulted in the selection of other speakers. We were very excited to have been able to include you and sincerely hope that you will be willing to be considered again next year.


{{your name}}

on behalf of the Code4Lib Keynote Speakers Committee