Call for Papers

Acquisition and Collection Development Section
& Serials and Other Continuing Resources Section

Treating Print in an Increasing Digital Collection: Issues, Dilemmas & Directions


Traditional print resources are becoming a challenging format and commodity in many libraries.  With library users preferring online access, space issues becoming more prevalent, and collection development turning more digital, the perception of print potentially becoming  endangered appears significant.  Print, however will not disappear and as we consider the 2012 IFLA Presidential theme, “Libraries: A Force for Change,” we suggest that print will contribute to that part of the theme as “inclusionary, transformational and innovative” in how it integrates with a growing digital collection.

This Open Session sponsored by the IFLA Acquisition and Collection Development Section will examine directions for the future role of print in all library environments worldwide and consider associated issues, dilemmas and trends libraries are experiencing as they consider selection, collection management decisions and readers’ preferences in meeting information needs with print resources. 

This is a call to solicit submissions for 4-6 presentations (15 minutes each) to be delivered at the IFLA 2012 Congress in Helsinki, Finland (13-17 August) that explores any of the following themes for how libraries are treating materials issued in print, including books/monographs, serials/journals for all readers:

  • Examining old vs new – blending the traditional collections with the increasingly digital
  • Understanding the lifecycle of print – including born print, digitized from print, enhanced, duplicated content
  • Reviewing economic and business models of print – costs, pricing, benefits, sourcing, publishing patterns, library/publisher/vendor relationships
  • Managing print resources  - space planning, binding & repair, shelving, processing, circulation data, metrics
  • Selecting and Acquiring – utilizing Approval Plans, aggregators, patron driven models for print, exchange programs and coordinating with other formats
  • Changing workflows – for acquisitions, cataloging, preservation, and other units
  • Accessing and using  - resource sharing, last copy scenarios, ergonomics, copyright and intellectual property
  • Communicating about and promoting status of print – readers’ preferences, different user communities, supporting readers with special needs (ex, visual impairments)
  • Investigating content specific needs of print – oversized books, images, high resolution, subject demands (arts as an example), literature, translations, rare books, documenting world heritage
  • Remembering - is print all about cultural heritage, memory and the past or does it embrace the future?
  • De-selecting print – how, when, why, what drives such decisions
  • Not forgetting print

Form of papers

(Extract from the Guidelines for Planning Congress Programmes issued by the IFLA Professional Committee): “It may be impractical to require that every speaker prepares a formal paper, rather than PowerPoint slides.  IFLA’s first preference remains papers, translated into IFLA’s official languages.  If speakers cannot produce papers, however, they must prepare a substantial abstract, including references such as URLs and bibliographies, to accompany their presentation.”

Languages of papers can be one among the seven IFLA working languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, and Spanish.

The programme is 2 hours.  We are planning for 6 presentations that are 15 minutes each with time for questions and discussion at the conclusion.

Important dates

If interested in submitting an abstract, please provide, name of author(s), title, institutional affiliation(s), contact information and title of submission with a 300 word abstract detailing content and presentation to  Julia Gelfand ( by 15 January 2012.

Proposals will be reviewed by a sub-committee of members of the Standing Committee of the Acquisition and Collection Development Section.  Successful proposals will be identified by 1 March 2012.  Final papers will be due on 15 May 2012.  At least one author will be expected to attend conference to deliver paper.  There will not be any financial subsidy nor contribution towards expenses to attend the IFLA World Congress.


All proposals must be in before 15 January 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