Call for Papers

Library Buildings and Equipment Section

Making ends meet: high quality design on a low budget



15-16 August 2013


Li Ka Shing University Library, Singapore Management University
Administration Building, Level 6, Function Room
81 Victoria Street, Singapore 188065

Main Theme

Making ends meet: high quality design on a low budget

Since 2008, the world's economy has seen dramatic changes that have rippled throughout the library world. While the demand for library services has increased, the money available to build, refurbish and operate them has decreased. However, while the number of people physically going to a public library has increased over the past 5 years, the number of public libraries reporting flat or decreased operating budgets increased dramatically. Many countries report a decrease in funding of libraries. On the other hand, public and student demand for study and collaborative work space, the changing nature of the content delivery and the increased need for access to computer technologies world-wide for educational and social reasons is creating an increasing need for more library space that is smart, flexible and economical to build and operate. Libraries are central to our knowledge economy. Without them, many communities would have no access to technology, study space or tutorial and literacy training.

Library Buildings and Equipment Section is looking for papers that highlight the ways public and academic communities in different regions and countries of the world are able to continue to provide high quality library space that is affordable in these difficult economic circumstances. Papers are welcome that present the way new models of design, adaptive reuse and technology are being employed to provide new and innovative architectural solutions that maintain the library as an important element in our society while addressing the challenges of decreased capital and operational funding. Presenters can include public and academic library examples. The theme of WLIC 2013, "Future Libraries: Infinite Possibilities" should provide the context of the presentation.


Sessions will be organized around the following topics:

  • Setting the scene: the impact of economy on libraries in different regions of the world, new service trends and demands for library buildings
  • Making things easier: how to create quality library space with a low financial budget
  • New design approaches to emerging needs: aligning physical spaces with social values
  • Case studies: New rural libraries in different regional contexts (e.g. Asia, Africa)
  • Case studies: Adaptive reuse of buildings for library purposes in different regional contexts
  • Case studies: New models of design in different regional contexts

Submission Guidelines

The IFLA Library Building and Equipment Section welcomes submission of abstracts from prospective presenters regarding each of these broad themes. From among the abstracts received 3 - 5 papers on each topic will be selected for presentation at the satellite meeting. Papers may describe recent projects that have successfully emulated the themes listed above. Papers may also offer a more speculative viewpoint, with forecasts of how libraries and buildings will need to change to meet the challenges of the word economy in volatile times.

The following should be provided:

  • name and institution of presenter(s)
  • an abstract of the paper describing the project, campaign or research carried out (1 page, up to 350 words) preferably in English
  • relevant biographical information of author(s)/presenter(s)

Send your proposals by 22nd, February 2013 via e-mail to:

Dorothea Sommer
Chair, Library Building and Equipment Section

The abstracts will be reviewed and selected by a Review Committee. The paper can be given at the congress in any of IFLA's official languages. Successful proposals will be identified and announced by March 8th, 2013.

If a paper is selected authors must commit to presenting it in Singapore.

All presenters and their papers will be listed in the programme of the conference. Therefore presenters must forward the full text of their papers by April 25th, 2013 to allow time for review. The time allowed for the presentation will be 45 minutes. Papers should be no longer than 20 pages.

Important dates

February 22nd, 2013:Submission of abstracts and proposals deadline
March 8th, 2013:Notification of acceptance
April 25th, 2013:Deadline for authors to submit papers
April 30th, 2013:Dissemination of final program
July 30, 2013:Deadline for authors to submit slides
August 15-16, 2013:Satellite Conference

Conference Registration

The registration fee for is $153 SGD (approx 100 Euro per person depending on prevailing exchange rates).

More information about the conference registration will be available after the paper selection process.

Jointly organized by:

  • Li Ka Shing University Library, Singapore Management University
  • IFLA Library buildings and Equipment Section


All proposals must be in before 22 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: 7 January 2013