Call for Papers

Audiovisual and Multimedia Section
& Preservation and Conservation Section

The Medium is the Message! The convergence of media in rapidly changing societies from the perspectives of users and preservation needs


Deadline Extended to 20 March 2011

Theme and scope of the session

Technological change and innovation have always played a key role in the field of library and information service. The even broader use of digital material and technology in everyday life as well as at work has significant impact on our profession as librarians or archivists. Non-printed material such as DVDs, Blu-ray discs, CDs, digital audio, image and video files, computer games, and eBooks, are all examples of these changes. EBooks, all of which usually are distributed on the Internet, may become multi-medial, including images, moving as well as still, and sounds, rather than just being an electronic version of a printed book. The convergence of media is not limited to the World Wide Web. There is no doubt that most libraries and archives will become “digital” in the future (partly due to the fact that more and more documents will be born digital). Digital libraries are basically types of information retrieval systems, accessed locally or remotely via networks. Some libraries, such as national libraries, also have a specific responsibility for long term preservation. The rapid increase of digital material itself is a major challenge, but convergence issues also lead to changes in institutional policy and sometimes even in national legislation.

McLuhan’s famous phrase “The Medium is the Message” was introduced in 1964, focusing on the medium itself and the symbiotic relationship with the perception of the message. His theories are still of current interest. We still don’t know whether electronic distribution and the use of electronic devices such as the iPad will replace traditional books in the future. We are particularly interested in proposals that cover any of the following topics:

  • Convergence of media related to popular culture and mass culture.
  • New professional roles and functions in audiovisual archives, libraries and information services.
  • Integration, innovation and information in the perspective of hybrid and digital libraries.
  • Preservation challenges for audiovisual and multimedia material (disaster planning, climate control, storage, migration, digitization, etc.).
  • Uses of new media and services. Who are the users?

Submissions and important deadlines

Please send a detailed abstract, in English, by 20 March 2011 to Trond Valberg:

Proposals should include:

  • Title of proposed paper.
  • Outline of proposed presentation (1 page or approx. 300 words).
  • Name of author(s) with employer or affiliated institution, plus full contact details (telephone, e-mail, postal address).
  • Relevant brief biographical information (CV).
  • Please indicate if you are a first-time speaker or student.
  • Please indicate if you prefer a time slot of 20 or 30 minutes for your presentation (may be adjusted).

The selection of papers will be based on the abstracts. The abstracts will be reviewed by the Programme Committee, and successful proposals will be identified by 10 April 2011. Full papers are expected by 1 May 2011 to allow time for review and preparation of translations.

This will be a joint session with the Preservation and Conservation Section which allows for a longer session. At least one of the paper’s authors must undertake to be present to deliver a summary of the paper. Time slot is 20 minutes, including immediate questions, but a few speakers may be allocated 30 minutes.

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

The nature of this session’s subject matter lends itself to the use of sound and projected imagery. The Committee would particularly welcome proposals which offer to use such materials, and will endeavour to ensure that the appropriate technology is available on the day of the presentation. We especially welcome submissions from the Caribbean Area and Latin America.


All proposals must be in before 20 March 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: 2 March 2011