The Best of Chapters Competition was created to honor presenters at
chapter conferences for their excellent research and to allow a broader
sharing of that valuable work. All chapters are strongly encouraged to
participate in the competition. Many of our MLA members have done
outstanding presentations at chapter meetings, and the association
benefits strongly by the opportunity to hear the presentations again
with a wider audience.
Submissions from chapters are usually due sometime in late May or
early June, with announcements of winners usually occurring
sometime in mid-July. The Chair of the Best of Chapters Committee
alerts the Chapter Chairs by means of the Chapter Chair listserv each
year regarding the specific schedule and deadlines for that round.
Each chapter may proceed with its own way of nominating papers for
this competition, whether done by the executive committee of the
chapter, an appointed committee for the purpose, ballot by the chapter
members, or other method.
Guidelines for Chapter submissions:
You may nominate papers from past meetings as well as for the
current meeting just held.
Papers previously submitted for the Best of Chapters competition but
not chosen as winners are eligible.
Papers submitted for the Best of Chapters competition may not be
submitted as proposals to the general Program Committee during the
Presenters of nominated papers must be a member of either the local
chapter of MLA, the national association, or both.
Papers already previously presented at the national conference in any
way, including poster sessions, roundtables, etc. are not eligible.
You may nominate up to two papers.
Nominated papers may consist of panel presentations.
Presentations selected as winners may need to be limited to 45
minutes in length for presentation at the national conference
When the nominated paper is sent to the BoC Coordinator, the chapter
chair will send an accompanying note to certify that this was the paper
actually given and selected. Papers should NOT be re-written after
For written papers: textual presentations need to have any examples
shown etc. duplicated and sent along with the text. If the required
material is not submitted, the submission will be rejected at the point of
receipt as incomplete.
For PowerPoint presentations: in addition to a copy of the printed
slides, written text summarizing the expanded points of the slides of a
minimum of 6 pages also must be submitted (however, the more the
better as this will better document for the committee the actual content
of the presentation). If the required material is not submitted, the
submission will be rejected at the point of receipt as incomplete.
All audio musical examples used for a presentation should also be
included in the submission and they should be sent on CD or as an
Presentations consisting solely of audio and/or video are allowed. Any
accompanying written text used for the presentation should also be
submitted, or if presentation text was delivered freely, a written
summary should be created and submitted.
Inadequate and poor documentation reduces the chance of a
nomination being chosen as a winner, as the committee cannot
determine what the content of the presentation was or its quality. It is
the responsibility of the chapter to work with the presenter to submit
strong material, as one would for any other competition or award.
Once initial nominations are received, chapters will be asked to submit
the presentations themselves. Material may be submitted as email
attachments when the size of files are not overwhelming for transfer
and receipt, or pointers to websites may be used. Three copies should
be sent of all mailed materials, including written text, audio, and video
content. No materials will be returned once the competition is
completed. A list of all materials being submitted should be sent to the
chair, and the list should indicate how each of the materials is being
sent to the chair.
The committee is selected to include a broad geographic
representation and type of music librarianship representation.
A weighted voting system is used to rank the nominations.
The number of winners selected will be up to 2 (this is due to the
amount of time given to the Best of Chapters Session at MLA).