“From Gutenberg to ChatGPT: Will AI Change the Mission of Academic and Research Libraries? “

2023 Hot Topics Call for Proposals

IFLA’s Academic and Research Libraries Section (ARL) is seeking proposals for its in-person open session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2023 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

From Gutenberg to Google, libraries have constantly evolved to advance and respond to society’s needs. Yet, their fundamental purpose has remained the same: to provide equitable access to trustworthy, authoritative knowledge.  However, libraries have not remained untouched by the technological changes and advancements in their environment. Instead, they have often leveraged technological changes of their time to advance their mission. The evolution of libraries has always been linked with the technological developments in their environment. Currently, the introduction of artificially intelligent software, for example, ChatGPT is transforming many knowledge-based interactions and has been a major force driving change with implications in many different sectors.

With these new forms of human machine knowledge, how do libraries lead and how do we steward that technology to advance research integrity and learning? With increased automation and reliance on different technologies affecting all levels of staff throughout the library, how will AI shape the world of libraries to align staff and their skills to this new and evolving landscape? Will AI totally change our way of life? Is the introduction of AI posing challenges or providing opportunities for libraries?

The Hot Topic session will have up to three speakers to respond to these many questions, introduce the AI development and various perspectives of the use of AI software including the impacts to the higher education sector and the library profession. Librarians from different global regions will be invited to share their thoughts and experiences using AI application in their libraries.

Proposals for any relevant topics will be considered e.g.

  • Ethics of AI
  • Opportunities/Challenges/Limitations of AI
  • Case studies of AI in Libraries

Each presentation will be an ignite talk of 8-10 minutes each followed by small round table discussions on the topics led by the presenters.  Audience participation will be essential to learn and understand the importance of academic and research libraries’ roles in this work.

Please submit a proposal before or by Friday, April 28, 2023 to Lorraine j Haricombe at Use subject line: 2023 Hot Topics Proposal. 

Proposals must be for original presentations not published or presented elsewhere. Please submit your proposal in electronic format with the following information:

  • Title of the proposed presentation;
  • Abstract of the proposed presentation (150-200 words);
  • Names of presenter(s), position(s) and/or title(s);
  • Employer or affiliated institution;
  • Contact information including email address and telephone number;
  • Brief biographical statement (no more than 100 words);
  • Note if you can attend WLIC in Rotterdam.

Please note:

Presenters need to register for IFLA and be onsite in Rotterdam, however; this year IFLA decided to allow at least 1/3 of a session to use pre-recorded video presentations.  Please submit a proposal whether or not you are able to attend IFLA in-person in Rotterdam. All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation letter can be issued to authors.

Hot Topics Team members

Siviwe Bangani (

Mimi Calter (

Karen Downing (

Lorraine Haricombe (

Lily Ko (

Shaharima Parvin (

Gulcin Cribb (, Chair of ARL Section