Call for Papers

Environmental Sustainability and Libraries Special Interest Group

Future libraries going green

The IFLA Environmental Sustainability and Libraries SIG - ENSULIB is currently planning the program of its Open Session at the next IFLA congress and invites papers for this session on the topic of "Future Libraries Going Green." in line with he National Committee theme "Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities" and the presidential theme: "Libraries – A force for change".

The planet is in the middle of a severe environmental crisis, in terms of resources exhaustion, extreme pollution, climate change, extinction of species, etc. The role of libraries and information professionals is crucial to help compensate for the lack of massive, decisive and effective efforts coming from politicians and institutions. Libraries can act at the grassroots level and inspire their communities by example, operating in a green manner in green buildings, by acting as gatekeepers of appropriate information and becoming opinion leaders and change agents in environmental matters. They also are obliged by circumstance to address environmental impacts, especially on preservation and conservation. As year after year the situation has become more serious, the need for change has also become more urgent, and the future of libraries lies necessarily in becoming greener in every aspect.

The number of new green libraries is growing, many older ones are adapting to green standards; sharing their experiences may benefit those that wish to stop wasting resources, as well as those where available resources are scarce. Advocacy for sustainability through activities for patrons or fellow professionals as well as appropriate collection development, are a few of the other aspects of greening libraries.

Scope of the Session:

Papers are expected to cover diverse topics related to sustainability and libraries – these may encompass but are not limited to:

  • Trends in green library buildings, operations, conservation practices, services, etc., to make them sustainable.
  • Collection development, innovations in access to "green" information resources.
  • Services, advocacy/outreach, programs, etc. focusing on sustainability and/or the environment, climate change / adaptation, clean energy or other green technologies, green living, etc.
  • Education / training or awareness building of information professionals on topics related to sustainability, “green” best practices, climate change, etc.
  • Networking and/or library associations' activities related to sustainability.
  • Application of ITC as support to “green” library best practices.
  • Diffusion-of-innovations activities related to the above

If you or your library are engaged in one of the above topics or related issues, if you have done research in these areas, or if you are otherwise involved in environment - and - libraries activities, the Environmental Sustainability and Libraries SIG would be pleased to welcome you to its public session as a speaker. Papers based on practical experiences and facts, rather than theoretical aspects, and on specifics rather than generalities of any of the points will be preferred.

Language of the session:

As simultaneous interpretation is not likely to be available for the session, presenters should be prepared to deliver their presentation in English. It is strongly recommended that presentation slides in English be available.


A.) If sending an abstract, this should be in English, with optionally an attached version in French or Spanish, and include:

  • Title of the paper
  • The detailed abstract of the paper (no more than 300 words), if possible accompanied by some references such as URLs and bibliography.
  • Author's name, address, telephone and fax numbers, professional affiliation, email address and brief biographical statement of no more than 50 words.
  • Author’s experience as a speaker.

E-mails should state "IFLA ENSULIB proposal" in the subject line and be directed to:

Veerle Minner van Neygen,
Convenor of the Environmental Sustainability and Libraries SIG,
E-mail:, with copy to

Philippe Colomb,

Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of members of the IFLA Environmental Sustainability and Libraries SIG and eventually the P&C section. Those who are selected to present will be given more information concerning the format of the programme further on.

B.) If sending a full paper, this should be in English, and include a separate sheet with the same contact and bio information as for A). Preliminary submission can be done in draft format before the deadline, for review and evaluation purposes only, and the final format submitted if accepted.

Full papers:

These should be submitted by email. Paper length should be 10 pages maximum, single spaced, and accompanied by a longer, one page abstract for eventual publication in the proceedings.

Text and bibliographic citations format should follow the rules for IFLA publications that appear in the IFLA website. Text should be in English. Written translations in as many of the official IFLA languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish will be very much appreciated (deadlines for translations will be announced), as SIGs are not allocated official written translation by IFLA. The author(s) should indicate personal full contact details and include summary curriculum vitae with the paper.

Important dates and information:

Intention to send a proposal and tentative topic can be communicated immediately in a brief message.

  • 21 extended to 30 April 2013: Formal proposals (abstracts or papers) must be submitted
  • 15 May 2013: Notification of successful applicants
  • 7 June 2013: submission of full papers for inclusion on the IFLA conference and the SIG’s websites

Each presenter will be allowed approximately 15 minutes for a summary delivery of the paper followed by clarifications and discussion towards the end of the session.. During the actual presentation, the presenter should not read the paper, but rather explain the main ideas in a natural way.


The deadline for submitting proposals is 30 April 2013.

Main criteria for the selection of papers

  • Relevance to the SIG's mission, objectives and it's theme for this year.
  • Compatibility with the Conference and Presidential themes.
  • Interest /usefulness of topic.
  • Specificity and concreteness, as opposed to generalities.
  • Clearness of text.
  • Other outstanding characteristics of the paper.
  • Fairness/balance in countries represented at the session, other considerations being equal.
  • Experience of the author as a speaker, all other considerations being equal.
  • Cases of practical experiences, research results with practical applications will be preferred, other considerations being equal.
  • For research papers, obvious soundness of methodology will be taken into account.


All proposals must be in before 30 April 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: 17 April 2013