Conference Schedule and Structure

We have a packed program with talks, preconferences, lightning talks, & breakout sessions. The full conference & pre-conference schedules are available on the main conference page. The main conference is single track, meaning that you will hear the same talks as everyone else at the conference. This cuts down on the “fear of missing out” that you might find yourself feeling at multi-track conferences where you have to choose one session out of many that are at the same time. There will be some sessions that you might not understand, but this is normal. This happens to everyone. No one is an expert in everything, so don't worry that you don't know every single thing that is mentioned in the presentations.

Even if you don’t have a scheduled talk, there are other ways you can share with other conference goers.

Breakout sessions are facilitated unconference discussions about a particular topic. Some present on a project that is in progress to get other’s feedback, others talk about standards, formats, and tools of the trade. You can also have breakout sessions about big picture topics, or possibly get like minded folks together to start planning a local/regional code4lib community gathering.

Lightning talks are five minute talks on a topic of the presenter’s choosing. The lightning talks are an opportunity to provide a platform for someone who is just getting started with public speaking, who wants to ask a question or invite people to help with a project, or for someone to boast about something they did or tell a short cautionary story. Some lighting talks tend to steal the show at the conference!

Both lightning talks and breakout sessions signups take place at the conference. Signups are usually on a posterboard by the registration; specific details about signup times and places will be announced from the podium, as well as social media.

Conduct & Safety


Morning and afternoon breaks will include snacks and caffeine. On full conference days, lunch will also be provided. No lunch or snacks will be provided on the preconference day. See the schedule for more details

Newcomer Dinner

One activity we want to highlight is the Newcomer dinner on Sunday, March 8, 2020. See information about the dinner and the sign-up list here. Attendees are responsible in assessing the accessibility of the restaurant space of their choice.

All-Conference Reception

There will be an all-conference reception at the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh - Oakland. See the venues page for more information.

Game Night

Another event is Game Night on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. While you do not need to bring something to participate, please let us know if you do plan to bring games. Most importantly, bring yourself!


A round of applause for everyone who has helped to plan the conference! So much of what goes into making this event possible each year happens through the tireless efforts of our community members. The work isn't quite done yet, and we're still looking for volunteers for a few on-site tasks - the Whatever Crew is always looking for more volunteers, if you’re not quite sure what you want to do, but still want to help with the conference.


Use the #c4l20 hashtag for conference related tweets, posts, pictures, and so on. The IRC channel is #code4lib, and there will be volunteers at the conference who would be more than happy to help you with IRC. We also have a Code4Lib Slack (requires registration) that volunteers can help you get set up at the conference. All channels are very active during the conference so check these channels often for announcements, information, etc.

A note on information overload

There will be A LOT of information thrown at you in a short period of time at code4lib. You will be mentally exhausted before conference end. For reference, the majority of folks “hit the wall” around the afternoon of the second full day. If you need to take a break, do so. Try a #nap4lib! The talks are recorded, so you can catch up on anything you might have missed during your break.

Other Note

If nothing else - if you have a question, ask! Ask the conference volunteers, folks who look like they know what they’re doing, folks who don’t exactly look like they know what they’re doing, the Slack channel, Twitter, or IRC streams - the choices are plentiful.

Thank and see you at the conference!

The Code4Lib Local Planning Committee -