Call for Papers

Reference and Information Services Section

Innovative Information Services in the Digital Environment

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The Reference and Information Services Section invites proposals for papers to be presented at their two-hour session in Puerto Rico.

Information Services must increase the pace at which they innovate to meet the ever-changing needs and expectations of their users. However the traditional function of a library of being the place where people come to get information and to learn will continue but it will not be constrained by physical boundaries.

In our session we want to look at:

  • Best practice for reference in the future - moving beyond existing reference services
  • ‘Why’ and ‘Where’ do we offer a service, rather than ‘How’ 
  • The physical and the digital infrastructures
  • The potential and the challenges of mobile services
  • Ensuring the library is seen as a knowledge hub and part of the knowledge economy
  • The generation gaps – Google generation / Y Generation / older people

And consider these questions:

  • What do we mean by ‘innovative services’? 
  • Do ‘Innovation Labs’ relate to generating new information services?
  • How do users expect their information services to be delivered?
  • Who is asking and what are they asking?
  • Who answers?
  • How do we keep up-to-date? Are blogs for or by reference librarians useful?

But it is important not to forget:

the aspect of ‘human-like action in the digital environment’ for new services to be accepted and used. What are the tolerance levels towards new techniques or towards adapted ‘new’ services? 
It is not all digital


Proposals should include the following: abstract of paper (max. 500 words); author details (name, institution, position) and brief biographical statement of no more than 50 words.

The deadline for submitting proposals is January 22, 2011. Late submissions will not be considered. Please submit proposals electronically to Amanda Duffy at  and indicate “IFLA proposal” in the subject line. Selected presenters will be notified by the end of February 2011.


Presenters will be expected to submit final versions of their papers by May 1 2011. Papers should be submitted and presented in English. Presenters will have 15 minutes at the programme to deliver summaries of their papers, and time will be allowed for an open forum to allow audience interaction. 

Please note that the expense of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the presenter(s) of accepted papers and at least one of the presenters/authors must be present for the programme. 

For more information, please contact Amanda Duffy (


All proposals must be in before 22 January 2011.

Please note

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.

Congress Attendance Grants

The Puerto Rico National Committee and IFLA have worked hard to secure funds for Conference Participation Grants. Please check our Conference Participation Grants webpage for the most up-to-date information.

Last update: 15 January 2011