Call for Papers

Statistics and Evaluation Section

The use of statistics and assessment for libraries at a turning point

Many libraries find themselves at a turning point in recent times. They are in a situation that imposes on them the need for change, and often quite urgently. This change can be for better - as when new opportunities must be seized, for worse - as is the case in a financial crisis, when the value of the library is put in question, or for a different reason - as when new user needs arise and old ways of doing things are not feasible any more. As change occurs libraries must make decisions and take action to meet new demands.

The session will focus on how the use of statistics, qualitative and quantitative measures, management information or empirical studies, quality assessment, outcome studies etc. can help libraries deal with such a turning point and enable them to go ahead in a critical situation.

Some ideas to consider:

  • how empirical evidence is used to reach out to new audiences and rethink library services (this could range from user- and non-user-studies to quality management and evaluation)
  • how data and statistics are successfully used for advocacy when the library is in need of support (be it outcome measurement, national or international benchmarks or a single-library timeline)
  • how data is used to reshape efficient library services (e.g. detailed management information, usage analyses, or cost analyses)
  • also what problems are encountered, and what missing pieces of data would be vital in a situation of change, but are not available.

This theme suggests that case studies are appropriate, but it also includes theoretical papers on a new method and tool, under the condition that they focus clearly on how the tool can be used to support a library in a critical situation.

Submission guidelines

Papers may be presented at the conference in any IFLA working language (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish). Presentations should be no more than 20 minutes in duration with 10 minutes for questions from the audience. Proposals for papers should be in English and include an abstract of no longer than 250 words. Proposed papers must be original and not have been published elsewhere. A short biography of the presenter and contact information (name, full address, phone, fax, email, etc) should be included with each submission. Full papers must be between 3000 and 6000 words in length. The abstract should be submitted as an MS Word file by e-mail.

Important dates

February 15, 2012: Abstract proposals should be submitted to:
Michele Farrell

March 15, 2012: All proposals will be reviewed by the Statistics and Evaluation Section Review Committee and successful applicants will be notified.

May 10, 2012: The selected presenters for the program will be asked to submit the full paper via e-mail.


All proposals must be in before 15 February 2012.

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 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: 13 January 2012