Call for Papers

Library Theory and Research Section

Diversity in libraries: research reflecting theoretical approaches and practical experimentation

The IFLA Library Theory and Research (LTR) Section is pleased to invite submissions for its forthcoming open session in Singapore at the 79th IFLA WLIC, 17 - 23 August, 2013 in Singapore.

Aim and Scope of the Session

The theme of the IFLA 2013 "Future libraries: infinite possibilities" is intended to inspire research on diversity in libraries. The LTR program will examine the theoretical framework necessary for effective research to support diversity in future library services to diverse groups of users. In a time when there is the potential to explore infinite possibilities of ways of opening minds to new alternatives, opening doors to new opportunities, opening borders to collaboration, and the gathering of data to provide new knowledge, it is especially important to promote research that can differentiate between what may be just old research questions and what are the most pressing research questions for the future of libraries as related to issues of diversity in both theoretical and practical experiences. Singapore provides a very multicultural context and thus the perfect place for exchanging and sharing ideas on diversity in library services. Papers exploring research on diversity of ethnicity, language, culture, ways of living and thinking (including gender and sexual orientation issues) are invited. Indeed, the topic of diversity is intended to cover sociological, professional, educational, philosophical, historical and political issues, all of which have the potential to contribute to the infinite possibilities of future library services.

Papers may cover one of the following topics:

  • Sociological issues:
    What do we know about the diversity of our users? What studies have been conducted about them? Are librarians representative of the communities they serve? How is the diversity in our communities reflected in our staff, collections, and services? What is the role of librarians and libraries in encouraging inclusion, combating exclusion and overcoming stereotypes?
  • Educational issues:
    Training for librarianship in a diverse society: which courses could help to prepare for providing services to diverse groups ? Can Internship programs effectively provide training for services to diverse groups? How to attract people from diverse communities to become librarians?
  • Professional issues:
    Multilingualism: how to work with communities speaking non-official or minority languages? How to propose new tools for multilingualism (catalogs, guides...)? How to participate in the fight against stereotypes ? How to respond to the needs of people (and specifically when people are migrants without legal status and speaking foreign languages)?
  • Philosophical and historical issues:
    Models and patterns: is the concept of "community" effective in every country? How should diversity issues be answered in different contexts? Are there different answers for different models and how do different situations compare to the model of libraries provided by UNESCO?
  • Political issues:
    What role can libraries play in providing services to diverse populations in society ? How can libraries be the institution that experiments with political and social solutions to diversity issues?

Important dates

Friday, 15 February 2013:Deadline for submission of abstract
Friday, 10 March 2013:Notification of acceptance/rejection
Friday, 15 May 2013:Deadline for submission of paper

The proposals will be evaluated by the LTR Program Committee members of IFLA Library Theory and Research Section and the notification of acceptance will be sent by March 10, 2013.

The presenters selected for the program at the WLIC Singapore conference will be asked to submit a formal paper (for inclusion on the IFLA conference website) no later than May 15, 2013. Papers will be accepted in any of the IFLA non-English languages (Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Russian and Arabic), however, they should include an abstract in English as well.

Simultaneous translation will allow for papers to be presented in any of the seven IFLA languages.

Both abstracts and full papers should be submitted as a MS Word file by e-mail. Proposed papers must be original and not have been published elsewhere.

Submission Guidelines

The proposals must be submitted in an electronic format no later than 15 February, 2013 and must contain:

  • Title of paper
  • Summary of paper (abstract) in English (250 - 350 words maximum)
  • Speaker's name, address, telephone and fax numbers, professional affiliation, email address and biographical note (40 words)

The final paper will be published in the IFLA Proceedings on the Web and may be submitted for consideration for publication in the IFLA Journal. IFLA reserves the right of first refusal of publication for all papers accepted. Papers must be original and not accepted for publication elsewhere prior to presentation. It is anticipated that presentations of accepted papers be 20 minutes with time for questions at the end of the session. Paper presentations should not be read since the full text of the papers will be available in the program proceedings. Power Point presentations may be presented in one of the official IFLA languages, but multi-lingual Power Point presentations are encouraged.

Submissions should be sent in before Friday, 15 February 2013 in any official IFLA language, but an English language abstract is required for the proposal.

Please send your proposals by e-mail as an MS Word Document to:

Raphaëlle Bats
Information Coordinator LTR Section


Yasuyo Inoue
Co-Chairs of the LTR 2013 Program Planning Committee


All proposals must be in before 15 February 2013.

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

Last update: 8 January 2013