New Webinets Series: Library Design Matters! Reboot: The New Narrative 25 March 2021

The first in a series of webinets to inspire and stimulate ideas about new approaches to library design in challenging times featuring the views of three library leaders on the future of space design and library services. For more see here.


Mid-year meeting Seminar in Montreal, Canada, 6 March 2020

Placemaking; Purposing; Partnerships – our Mid-Year Seminar

This one-day seminar will delve into myriad ways library buildings are contributing to an authentic sense of place, inspiring productive partnerships to be fostered, and creating a positive impact on the people working in and using them.  Register for the seminar.

CANCELLED – Open Session at WLIC 2020, Dublin, Ireland 15 – 21 August 2020

IFLA’s Library Buildings and Equipment Section and the Environment, Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group will host an Open Session at the 86th IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2020 in Dublin, Ireland, 15-21 August. Read the call for papers.  Unfortunately due to the global COVID 19 pandemic WLIC 2020 has been cancelled. See the official press release for more information.


Mid-year meeting Brisbane Australia 12 – 14 March 2019

The IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section is delighted to announce that our mid-year meeting will take place in Brisbane Australia in March 2019.  In addition to our business meetings section members will attend, and a number will present at the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Library Design Awards Conference A World of Ideas.

Joint Satellite Conference, Rome, Italy 21 – 22 August 2019

Four IFLA Sections (Public, Academic and Research, Metropolitan and Library Buildings and Equipment) are co-hosting a two-day Joint Satellite pre-conference in Rome in the magnificent Sala della Protomoteca on the Capitoline Hill immediately preceding the IFLA WLIC 2019 Congress in Athens. The Joint Satellite theme, “The evolving concept of ‘Library‘ and its impact on library design” has attracted a powerful line-up of speakers from around the globe including thought leaders, librarians, architects and designers of award winning libraries. Join your colleagues in the beautiful Capitoline Museum complex. Lunches, coffee breaks and a lovely reception event are included. Book prior to May 15 for an attractive early bird price of $115 US. See you in Rome!

Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.ca/o/ifla-sections-public-metropolitan-academic-and-library-buildings-18421822362

Open Session IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 85th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Athens, Greece, August 2019

Our open session will take place at WLIC 2019.  The theme is Keeping it Real while Augmenting Reality: the Impact of Technology and Equipment on Library Design”.  The call for papers is available here


Mid-year Seminar “Innovative Partnerships: a Strategic Imperative”  Birmingham (UK), 23 February 2018

The IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section is delighted to announce an exciting seminar in Birmingham on 23 February 2018. Award-winning architects and thought leaders from academic and public libraries will address the challenges and synergies associated with creating library buildings and services in collaboration with others and co-locating with a range of partners. Come and learn about exciting projects in the UK, Australia and the US.  Save the date! The full programme will be available shortly.

Open Session IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 84th IFLA General Conference and Assembly, Malaysia, August 2018

The IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section is seeking proposals for papers to be presented at our Open Session at the IFLA WLIC 2018 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Transform Libraries: Transform Society. Globalisation celebrates innovation, entrepreneurship and growth. In a culturally diverse society, economic division and social inequity are apparent. Value systems seem to support individuality rather than social inclusion. Library design has frequently focused on creating facilities and services that suit most people rather than all people. We think everyone is the same and that we know what they want. But do we? We are all “other” in some way—sometimes our “otherness” is visible and sometimes it is not.  Variations in ability, culture, perspective, age, capability or background have been accommodated in library service delivery and in the built environment largely as add-on features, rather than assuming that everyone is different. Library design based on universal application changes the dialogue, the process, and the outcome. How could library planning and design better accommodate user differences in all types of libraries (public, academic, national and special)? Proposal abstracts must be submitted by 15 February 2018. Selected presenters will be notified by March 31, 2018. See the full call for papers here.


Mid-year Seminar “Storage! The final frontier. Options, Best Practices and Collaborations”  Munich, 23 February 2017

The IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section is delighted to announce an exciting seminar in Munich on 23 February 2017. Join us and our prominent guest speakers to learn more about the changing storage landscape and the opportunities and options available to research libraries. Librarians and any interested parties from across Germany and the region are welcome to join us! The full programme is available here and RSVP to veranstaltungen@bsb-muenchen.de to secure your place!

Open Session IFLA World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) 83nd IFLA General Conference and Assembly

IFLA’s Library Buildings and Equipment & Management and Marketing Sections are seeking proposals for papers to be presented at their Joint Open Session at the IFLA WLIC  in Wroclaw, Poland (Conference Theme is Libraries: Solidarity: Society).  Securing support for new library buildings and renovations of libraries is challenging and engages many people – library clients, organisational decision makers, community members, faculty, funding agencies, donors, governing authorities, librarians, architects, library managers, interior designers and planners. A new story must be told and getting to the end game demands carefully crafted approaches and wide-ranging skills. Telling the right story involves getting all participants together, defining a unified vision, communicating effectively, managing processes successfully and productive teamwork.  Please submit proposals by 15 February 2017. See the full call for papers here.


Mid-year Seminar “Key issues for Library Space: international perspectives” Maynooth University 3 March 2016

Presentations available here

Satellite Meeting Pre-conference

Registration has now closed!  To find out more about the programme click here. For biographies of the speakers click here.

“Collaborative Strategies for Successful Library Design and Innovative Use”

August 10-11, 2016 Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Ill., USA

Open Session IFLA World Library and Information Congress 82nd IFLA General Conference and Assembly

“What comes after the “Third Place”? Visionary libraries – spaces and users”

13–19 August 2016 Columbus, Ohio, USA


World Library and Information Congress: 81st IFLA General Conference and Assembly
August 17-23, Cape Town, South Africa
Theme: Mid (21st) century modern: Visionary library design


Satellite Meeting

  • Space and Collections Earning Their Keep
    August 13-14, 2014
    Bibliothèque Universitaire des Langues et Civilisations (BULAC)
    Day 1
    Transformative Spaces and Collections; Retooling Spaces for Changing Needs; Innovation and Flexibility
    Day 2
    Journey to Success; Adaptation of Space; Spaces and Collections: Earning their Keep

    The following link will take you to the LBE Blog site where you will find a download link to all 27 papers (a single “zip” file that will decompress when you download it)

Open Session

  • Special Places for Special Collections (Organized by Library Buildings and Equipment Section and IFLA Rare Books Section)
    Date: August 17, 2014 13:45-15:45
    Location: Lyon, France at the 2014 WLIC


Satellite meeting:

Open Session:

Dates: 17-23 August 2013
Location: Singapore


Open Session:

Dates: 11-17 August 2012
Location: Helsinki, Finland


Satellite Meeting:

Dates:  10-11 August 2011
Location:  Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Open Session:

Dates:  13-19 August 2011
Location:  San Juan, Puerto Rico


Satellite Meeting:

Theme: “The Futures of the Public Library”, Barcelona, Spain, 13-15 October 2010

Open Session:

Theme: Inspiring interiors – creating and designing practical and exciting library spaces to promote use


Library Buildings and Equipment and Libraries for Children and Young Adults,
Open Session in Milan, Monday August 24, 2009, 13.45-18.00,


World Library and Information Congress: August 2008, Quebec, Canada

Session: Renovating and renewing libraries: the wow factor, by this section, together with the Metropolitan Libraries Section


Satellite meeting:

Building for the Future: National and Academic Libraries from around the Globe
Koninklijke Bibliotheek (Royal Library), The Hague, Netherlands,  3-5 October 2007

Open Session:

World Library and Information Congress: August 2007, Durban, South Africa