Call for Papers

Reference and Information Services Section

Google is not enough: Reference and Information Services for the transfer of knowledge - reframing the discussion

The Reference and Information Services Section (RISS) invites proposals for papers to be presented at a two-hour session at the next IFLA General Conference in August 2014 in Lyon.

Highly engaging papers will approach the topic by illustrating main themes with reference to case studies that illustrate best practices.  During the session we hope to have between 4 and 6 speakers, presenting a paper in advance of the Congress – see important dates below - but also giving a 15 to 20 minute summary during the RISS Session. You can select any theme from our Call for Papers, although we retain the option to ask for changes if there is serious overlap with the other speakers.

The annual IFLA Conference attracts nearly 4,000 delegates from over 100 countries.  Speakers, therefore, have the opportunity to address a large and diverse audience, plus any papers given are published on the IFLA website and may appear later in the IFLA Journal

Topics of interest could include:

  • The 21st century reference librarian: is she/he a human search engine or a partner in
    knowledge creation? What training and development is required to fulfill this role?  What is not being addressed in library education?
  • Is reference a form of activism? How does this relate to the social role of reference librarianship in the transfer of knowledge?  How do reference services help people to do something, make something, or change something?
  • How do public library reference services build individual and community
    assets?  Examples for this topic could address how do these services strengthen civic engagement, or support multicultural societies or provide a community hub.
  • Are reference services in your library about access (the delivery of answers) or about knowledge creation? How is this enacted in day to day services?  Examples for topics could include: digital and mobile libraries and their use in service delivery/knowledge creation, remote reference services and support for the new kinds of learning environments, or delivery of essential services to support a knowledge driven economy.
  • Reference without technology – the possibilities and perils.  What will these services look like in 5 years?  What sort of innovative reference work in non-technological environments is being done?

Proposals should include:

  • Title of presentation
  • Abstract of no more than 500 words in English
  • Name, e-mail address, position (title) of presenter(s), plus a brief presenter(s) biography
  • Presenter(s) employer or affiliate institution

Proposal submission

Please send your proposal for papers by email with the subject heading "IFLA RISS Papers" to both:

Jane Weller, Secretary RISS,


Marydee Ojala,

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

Important Deadlines

1 extended to 17 February Deadline for submitting Proposals for Papers plus a very brief biography of the Speaker(s)
15 March Successful Speakers will be notified and IFLA forms completed by RISS and the Speakers
15 April Deadline for Abstract of Paper; approximately 300 words
15 May Deadline for submission of completed Paper to RISS. The paper should be no more than 3000 words in length and should be in one of the IFLA official languages, but the conference language is English. If the paper is in any of the other official IFLA languages than English, an accompanying translation in English must be attached
15 June Speakers must produce the Power Point presentation by this date

The RISS Committee looks forward to hearing from you with your Proposals for Papers.


All proposals must be in before 17 февраля 2014.

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 French 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: 27 January 2014