Call for Papers

Health and Biosciences Libraries Section

Libraries as Partners for Better Health Outcomes

Colleagues from around the world are invited to submit an abstract for consideration for the Open Session sponsored by the Health and Biosciences Libraries (HBL) section.

Aim and Scope of the Session

Partnership is an ambiguous term.  Its popularity as a label for new working arrangements emerging from periods of great social and economic upheaval have often far exceeded the true levels of cooperation, trust and equality the term implies.  For health libraries, often exposed as health budgets shrink and the public sector recedes, partnership has been an important tool in asserting its role in bringing about better health outcomes.  But it is difficult to say whether librarians’ experience of partnership over the past twenty years or so has helped to shift perceptions of the library as a support service rather than a core element of health service delivery.  Of course this often depends on context with, at least some, academic libraries better positioned to assert their importance in research and education.  For others the goals of partnership are less clearly defined and it is a more risky endeavour.

Effective partnerships are built on unity of purpose and a common vision.  It is the responsibility of librarians to ensure that to ensure that access to knowledge and information standards are among the shared values in any partnership in which they’re involved.

This session will examine the experience of partnership in health libraries and will, hopefully, equip us to better define our roles in current or proposed partnerships. 

Papers may cover some of the following topics:

  • What has been the experience of librarians in health service partnerships in a period of reform?
  • What have we learned from participation in collaborative research initiatives and what skills will we need to ensure its success in the future?
  • Has cooperation with educators been truly a transdisiplinary effort in which librarians’ diverse skills are full levaraged?
  • Many libraries are part of consortiums which have used their collective strength to negotiate with suppliers and achieve greater efficiency and control over resources.  What is the future of this type of inter-library partnership and can it be used to strengthen the profession as a whole?
  • There are many good examples of health libraries working with public libraries and other sectors in health promotion.  What is the next stage in this type of work?

It is anticipated that presentations be 20 minutes with time for questions at the end of the session.

Important dates

Friday, 15 February 2013Deadline for submission of abstract
Friday, 15 March 2013Notification of acceptance/rejection
Friday, 31 May 2013Deadline for submission of text

Submission Guidelines

The proposals must be submitted in an electronic format and must contain:

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

The final paper should preferably be presented as a paper (that may be published on the IFLA website and as an option in the IFLA Journal). If the final presentation will be in the format of a power point, a substantial abstract will be required, including references such as URLs and bibliographies

Submissions should be sent by email to: before Friday February 15th 2012

Brian Galvin. Chair, IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section.

Proposals will be reviewed by a sub-committee of members of HBS Standing Committees.


All proposals must be in before 15 February 2013.

Please note

Pre-conference registration fees will be waived for the speakers. However, it is the speakers' responsibility to find funding for travel, accommodation and associated costs, which IFLA and its Sections are not in a position to fund.

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: 7 February 2013