Theme: “Collecting News in Times of Conflict”

IFLA’s News Media Section is a dynamic forum for sharing information on all issues relating to news media, in any form and on any platform.

Theme of the News Media WLIC Open Session – “Collecting News in Times of Conflict”

Context for the Session – Libraries serve as important hubs for knowledge and understanding of events.  In times of conflict or crisis, collecting news is particularly essential for libraries to fulfill their role as trusted providers of unbiased and accurate information to the public.  During such times, access to reliable news sources may be limited and censorship or bias may be prevalent, making it difficult for individuals to access or interpret accurate information.  By collecting news from a range of sources, including international and local media outlets, social media, and eyewitness accounts, libraries can ensure access to information that is as comprehensive and unbiased as possible.

It takes a village:  to collect, document, and preserve the record of human conflict, librarians must work collaboratively and also with wider communities of interest. Also, we emphasize that library documentation is crucial, so that the world not only has an enduring record for history, but also that we are able learn lessons that will benefit humankind in future.

Description of Presentations – We seek a number of short presentations from diverse players active in working with information during times of conflict, by which we mean large-scale disputes between nations or factions, often involving significant geopolitical or economic implications and the potential to impact lives of numerous people.  We invite papers particularly, though not exclusively, in the following areas:

  • What do librarians/libraries collect, preserve, and disseminate?
  • Libraries’ use of social media in gathering and representing daily experiences
  • Difficulty of getting accurate information from conflict zones
  • Credibility — how to determine if a source is reliable?
  • Countering bias and censorship to help patrons interpret news in time of war or crisis
  • Libraries’ roles in volatile situations

Details of the Session – This 75-minute session will feature up to 6 presentations of 8-9 minutes, each describing a diligent and thought-out effort or initiative related to gathering, servicing, and/or assuring long-term access to information in times of conflict.  While presentation time is necessarily limited, the submitted paper can be of greater length and detail.  The moderated session will end with a panel discussion and audience participation.  While we hope that all presenters will be able to attend in person, we are able to accept two (2) submissions to be delivered as pre-recorded videos.  Note that because of the topic’s importance, IFLA has chosen it as one of the sessions to be streamed.

Submission Process Details:  Proposals will be submitted in electronic format, no later than May 15, 2023, and should contain the following information:

  • Title presenter(s) plus position(s) and title(s)
  • Employer and/or institution
  • Complete contact information (email address, phone number)
  • Short biographical statement of 100 words
  • Statement of willingness to comply with IFLA Author’s Permission requirements (paper versions will be published in IFLA’s online repository after the conference)
  • Statement that the presentation will be original work
  • Abstract (up to 500 words)
  • Will you be able to attend the WLIC in person?

Important Dates:

May 15, 2023:  Submission of abstract

May 26, 2023:  Notification of acceptance

July 28, 2023:  Deadline for submission of final paper

August 11, 2023:  Deadline for submission of slides, if applicable

CONTACTS:  Kindly direct your submissions to:

Karolina Holub,

Kopana Terry,

Ann Okerson,