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Call for Papers

Management of Library Associations Section
& Management and Marketing Section

Towards national strategies for library advocacy: Opening up access to research


Colleagues from around the world are invited to submit an abstract for consideration for joint sessions organised by the following IFLA Sections: Management of Library Associations, Library Theory & Research and Management & Marketing, in co-operation with the IFLA Sections of Statistics & Evaluation and Education & Training, and the Special Interest Group LIS Education in Developing Countries.

These IFLA sections and groups seek papers for their joint sessions on the topic Towards national strategies for library advocacy: Opening up access to research. This topic has been chosen in accordance with the main theme of the conference, Open access to knowledge: promoting sustainable progress.

Introduction to the theme
For some years members of various sections have been discussing issues including the need to focus on the development of national strategies for library advocacy. They have expressed the need for robust research to be used in evidence-based arguments. If these tools were created, maintained and developed they should be applicable to and accessible by library practitioners as well as national library associations thus forming the foundation for an effective advocacy program.

These issues are clearly related to bringing and keeping libraries on the agenda. Advocacy for library and information services, library associations and for the profession inevitably draws on different aspects and approaches including LIS research and education, marketing, statistics and evaluation, and issues related to developing countries. The prospect of providing advocacy using a better research basis has sparked off related ideas from some other IFLA groups. We believe the theme is worthy of a longer than usual conference session to enable presenters and audience to develop ideas that will lead towards stronger LIS advocacy strategies, improved research data and access and use of available data by researchers, practitioners and national associations in their specific circumstances to support and advocate for library policy and services. Thus a number of IFLA sections and groups have joined forces in a programme for 2010 that will span two consecutive conference sessions over a period of 6 hours.

The joint sessions will focus on combining the development of an advocacy strategy and research into evidence based advocacy for associations and libraries. We are seeking papers which respond to the following questions and which reflect the theme of Gothenburg ‘Open access to knowledge - promoting sustainable progress'.

  • What is missing in library advocacy?
  • How can visibility be raised?
  • How can libraries prove their impact?
  • How to fulfil the needs for advocacy with relevant facts and arguments for library associations?
  • How can we work towards a goal of improving access to tools to create and develop research as well as promotion of completed research?
  • Which research methodologies are relevant in creating the evidence base needed for library advocacy?
  • Which research models take into account specific situations in developing countries?
  • What is required to overcome the gaps in persuasive, evidence based data and/ or impact studies?
  • How can we measure the quality of empirical data?
  • Which technical tools for analysis are available to researchers, to associations and libraries?
  • What training is necessary?

Multidisciplinary approach
For the joint sessions, we are particularly stressing the multidisciplinary approach and input, so we are keen to have papers and perspectives from library association managers and policy makers, LIS researchers and educators, practitioners from a wide range of library sectors and students. Papers must be original and could cover issues like:

  • Impact studies to demonstrate importance/visibility of libraries in information society; evidence based policies, Delphi studies;
  • Advocacy and the professional human factor;
  • Theory and research practice; gaps in needed data; quality of empirical data; technical tools for analysis;
  • Standardisation, related to international benchmarking, and validation of national data.
  • Developmentally relevant LIS research in developing countries;
  • Theory related to practitioners, library practice and marketing;
  • Education and mentoring of researchers and practitioners doing research.

Language of the session: The paper should be in one of the IFLA official languages. It is hoped that simultaneous interpretation will be available for this session, but we strongly recommend that the presentation slides are in English, even if the presentation is delivered in one of the other official languages.

Important dates and information: Proposals for papers must be submitted by: 1 February 2010. The proposal should include a title, an abstract of no more than 300 words, plus a brief speaker biography. All proposals will be evaluated by a refereeing committee with members proposed by the IFLA Sections of Management of Library Associations, Library Theory & Research and Management & Marketing, keeping in mind the multidisciplinary approach.

Please email your proposals to the Chair of this committee:

Biddy Fisher, biddy.fisher@cilip.org.uk

Successful candidates will be notified by 28 February 2010 and must supply the full paper by  16 April 2010 to allow time for the review of papers and preparation of translations. Details on the format and length of the final paper will be emailed to those candidates whose abstracts are accepted.


All proposals must be in before 1 February 2010.

Please note

At least one of the paper's authors must undertake to be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the Section's programme in Gothenburg. 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 can be issued to authors/presenters if that is required.

Last update: 20 January 2010