Call for Papers

Social Science Libraries Section
& Law Libraries Section
& Government Libraries Section

Empowering Library Users to Solve Problems: Our Stories


The IFLA Social Sciences Libraries Section, in cooperation with the Law Libraries Section and the Government Libraries Section, is seeking proposals for papers to be presented at a two-hour program to be held at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Helsinki, Finland in August 2012. 

As social scientists we are interested in data gathering and its impact.  Therefore, we are seeking submissions related to results of qualitative and quantitative assessments and examples of how libraries have used these assessments to answer the needs of users.  Specifically we would like case studies/papers that show the impact of gathering data and how the data gathering process led to changed or improved services. Our focus is not on how data was gathered – but how that data was used to empower users.  We prefer submissions that demonstrate real experiences/case studies – papers that tell a story.  Examples of paper topics could include descriptions of interventions/changes made after data was collected, attempts to understand how users use information, stories of how data gathering led to new services, etc.

The program will feature up to five presentations of 15-20 minutes each with additional time for questions. 

Papers should reflect the conference theme, “Libraries Now! – Inspiring, Surprising, Empowering,” as well as the conference track, “users driving access and services.”

For information on IFLA’s general guidelines for papers see General Guidelines for Papers

Language of the session

Papers should be in one of the IFLA official languages.  Because we are unsure whether the session will include simultaneous interpretation, we strongly recommend that any presentation slides be created in English, even if the presentation is delivered in one of the other official IFLA languages.

Important Dates

February 27, 2012:  Deadline to submit proposals/abstracts.  Proposals should include:

  • title
  • abstract of no more than 300 words
  • brief biography for the speaker or speakers
  • email contact address. 

Send proposals via email to:

Liz Cooper,
Chair, Social Sciences Libraries Section

  • March 15, 2012: Proposals will be reviewed and successful candidates will be notified.
  • May 15, 2012:  Deadline for selected presenters to submit formal paper (for inclusion on the IFLA conference website and the Section’s website).  Details regarding the format and length of the final paper will be sent to candidates whose abstracts are accepted.


All proposals must be in before 27 February 2012.

Please note

At least one of the paper's authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Helsinki.  Abstracts should only be submitted with the understanding that the expenses of attending the Helsinki conference will be the responsibility of the author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

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 Finnish National Committee and IFLA have worked hard to secure funds for Conference Participation Grants. Up-to-date information is available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

Last update: 22 February 2012