Submission Deadline: 31 October 2020

IFLA JournalIFLA Journal is pleased to announce a call for papers for a special issue exploring the adaptation and transformation of the library sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. The widespread outbreak imposed sudden closures and brought about the need for the library sectors to find suitable modi operandi during times of confinement and social distancing. Library sector responses ranged from adopting coping strategies to embracing innovation: existing digital services were expanded, and traditional in-person services had to be migrated online, galvanizing the institutional planning for digital transformation. Planning for reopening was particularly challenging amid the unknowns of the continuing pandemic. This special issue aims to explore the nature of the ongoing change and transformation and to support library professionals in charting their institutions’ post-COVID19 strategic planning. 

Guest Editors:

Hermina Anghelescu
School of Information Sciences
Wayne State University, USA

Milena Dobreva (lead)
Associate Professor, LIS
UCL Qatar
[email protected]

Stéphane Ipert
Preservation and Conservation Manager
Acting Director of Distinctive Collections
Distinctive Collections
Qatar National Library

Ayub Khan, MBE
Head of Libraries and Universal Services
Warwickshire County Council
Past President, CILIP: UK Library and Information Association
United Kingdom

Lucy Montgomery
Associate Professor
Centre for Culture and Technology
Curtin University, Australia

Egbert John Sánchez Vanderkast
Instituto de Investigaciones Bibliotecológicas y de la Información
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Role of library associations in supporting the library sectors during the pandemic
  • The pandemic as a driving force for digital transformation
  • Changes in the Open Access landscape during the pandemic and the role of libraries
  • Impact of social distancing on library services
  • Libraries as third places during the pandemic
  • Health concerns for staff and patrons
  • Sanitization of collections and spaces
  • New demands for supporting learning and scholarship
  • Serving the underserved
  • Information literacy during the pandemic, fake news, disinformation and misinformation about the COVID-19
  • Value and impact of libraries under social distancing
  • Upskilling librarians for the challenges of the pandemic
  • Library collaborations to avoid duplication of efforts in creating resources for the pandemic
  • External collaborations and partnerships during the pandemic
  • Support for the library staff during the pandemic
  • Strategies and planning for reopening

IFLA Journal welcomes submissions from different types of libraries (national, public, academic, special, school, rural). The journal particularly welcomes submissions from the Global South for this special issue; at the time of issuing this call for papers, there is less visibility on the responses of libraries from the Global South to the challenges of the pandemics.

Submission Deadline

Articles for the special issue should be submitted to the IFLA Journal for peer review before 31 October 2020. The journal already received several submissions addressing COVID-19 related topics. They will be solicited for this special issue.

How to Submit a Manuscript

IFLA Journal is hosted on ScholarOne™ Manuscripts, a web-based online submission and peer review system SAGE Track. Please read the Manuscript Submission guidelines, and then simply visit the IFLA Journal Manuscript submission webpage to login and submit your article online.


Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year, it is possible that you will have had an account created.

All papers must be submitted via the online system. If you would like to discuss your paper prior to submission, contact Steven Witt, Editor of the IFLA Journal; or guest editor Milena Dobreva.

For instructions on formatting your manuscript, please consult the submission guidelines.

About IFLA Journal

IFLA Journal is an international journal publishing peer-reviewed articles on library and information services and the social, political and economic issues that impact access to information through libraries. The journal publishes research, case studies and essays that reflect the broad spectrum of the profession internationally. All articles are subject to peer review. Articles are published in English. Abstracts will be translated by IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) into the other working languages of IFLA—Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish—for publication.

IFLA Journal is published by Sage Publications and is the official journal of IFLA, and has an international readership consisting of academic institutions, professional organizations, and IFLA members who all receive a free subscription to the journal.

Each issue of IFLA Journal is made available Open Access upon publication on IFLA’s website. Authors are also encouraged to make the accepted version of their manuscripts available via their personal or institutional repositories.

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