The IFLA Science & Technology (SciTech) Libraries Section EXTENDS a call for speaker proposals to Monday, May 8, 2023, for presentations to be made at a Joint Panel Case Study Session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) in Rotterdam, Netherlands, August 21-25, 2023. This session will be co-hosted by the Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Section and the Social Sciences Section.

Session Theme: Decoding Citizen Science: Putting Libraries in the Public Sphere. – this will be a 75 minute panel session based on case studies that address a range of themes related to Citizen Science.

We seek creative ideas about the role of citizen science in libraries that builds on the conference theme, of “Let’s Work Together, Let’s Library” emphasizing the multiple roles of library services, workers and resources from a global perspective, introducing experiences that call for engagement, research, learning, advocacy, data intensity to better understand the scientific practices that define humanity.

How libraries of all kinds can promote, support, facilitate and educate about the roles of citizen science is the focus of this Open Session. The call for this session invites all libraries, public, school, academic, government and special to consider how they best encourage community engagement in the sciences that may contribute to a more active exchange about critical scientific, nature or environmentally related issues facing us in local communities. We expect some buildout of the common expression, “Think Globally, Act Locally.” The range of topics may include any of the following:

  • climate change, extreme weather preparedness
  • water resources/sciences
  • any form of pollution, air monitoring, environmental projects and impacts on health, space travel, renewable energy, ecology or forestry, bird conservancy, agricultural/food challenges and other timely and creative pursuits

Promising inclusion, we seek ideas that includes participation by all ages. Crowdsourcing is often central to the success of citizen science and we hope that you will explore whether that was instrumental in the planning and release of your activities. We ask that you create a case study to share your experiences in how libraries host citizen science activities and what the community benefits have been. By sharing how your library led a citizen science program, other libraries are likely to be inspired to follow your lead and contribute to this movement.

The following questions may be answered in your case study (but not limited to):

  • How do libraries support structures around citizen science?
  • What is your citizen science value proposition?
  • How do you scale projects for impact or results?
  • What kind of community of citizen science projects enables discovery, organization and greater participation in science?
  • What kind of tools do you use?
  • How do you mix indoor and outdoor activities?
  • Are there research data management challenges in citizen science?
  • How does citizen science address challenges of sustainability?
  • What technologies and resources did you employ to capture the public’s attention and to visualize or record the experience – video, books, exhibits, toolkits, games, digital cameras, new mobile apps?
  • What lessons were learned and what mistakes can be reduced the next time around?

This is an invitation to participate in a 75-minute session at the WLIC 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands, with 4 speakers who will address Decoding Citizen Science: Putting Libraries in the Public Sphere. Consideration for diversity will be honored that covers citizen science in different scientific subject areas and themes, regions of the world, library environments, and how to promote citizen science to a variety of stakeholders.

Important Dates:

May 8, 2023 – Deadline for submissions of Proposal Abstracts

May 18, 2023 – Presenters will be notified – all submissions will be confirmed at time of receipt & about the decision

July 15, 2023 – Presentation slides (12-15) in English due preferably with paper (in any of the IFLA languages) to be published in IFLA Repository

Proposal submission guidelines must be followed:

  • All proposals must be in English and submitted in Microsoft Office Word file, .doc or .docx or rtf formats AND include:
  • Title of proposal or case study
  • Abstract of the proposal (no more than 500 words maximum)
  • Name(s) of presenters and positions and/or titles
  • Affiliated institution or library
  • Full contact information including eMail address and telephone number
  • Statement of willingness to comply with IFLA’s Authors’ Permission Guidelines and the understanding of the guidelines below:
    • All presentations must be in English
    • An allowance of 15 minutes for each presentation allowing for questions and discussion following all speakers
    • All submitted papers & powerpoint slides will be published in IFLA’s Online Repository post-conference
    • Speakers should expect to be recorded on video and should be prepared to submit their presentation for publication in the IFLA repository
    • An understanding that proposals submitted indicate that full expenses of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the authors/presenters.
    • There is NO financial support provided to attend IFLA, but a special invitation letter can be extended to those of accepted papers. It is the responsibility of presenters to obtain all needed travel documents if needed
    • At least one of the presenters must be present to deliver the presentation during the conference in Rotterdam – one speaker may be able to present virtually or send a recording – please indicate if it is clear that you will not be able to come to Rotterdam
    • A list of opportunities for support is available on the Apply for IFLA Grants website

Please send proposals by Monday, May 8, 2023 and any questions related to this program to:

Julia Gelfand at – with “IFLA 2023 submission” in the subject line.