Call for Papers

Library Buildings and Equipment Section
& Rare Books and Manuscripts Section
& Preservation and Conservation Section

Special Places for Special Collections

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Memorable library architecture and the application of integrated, attractive designs that reflect excellence and combine solutions for buildings, sites and interiors enables users to capture the spirit and function of a place and to attach a meaning or quality to a space and the importance of its collections. Libraries, in particular academic and research libraries, often hold collections of rare and special materials that encompass a wide range of documentary formats and other media. These include historic and modern books, manuscripts and archives, music and maps, photographs and sound recordings as well as digital archives. New technologies and different formats require new designs of buildings and a careful curatorship of spaces in order to provide the widest possible access as well as an appropriate and secure presentation of both physical and virtual special collections.

The Library Buildings & Equipment and the Rare Books and Manuscripts Standing Committees together with the Preservation and Conservation Committee are calling for papers which showcase recent building solutions and room concepts for Special Collections. These should reflect an understanding of and response to users’ needs in the consultation of rare or special collections in a collaborative scholarly environment. They should explore innovative design solutions for the use, presentation, teaching and exhibition of special collections as well as address appropriate security issues and storage facilities.

The Sections are particularly interested in innovative projects responding to new functional demands for the architecture and the design of hybrid libraries with collections of diverse and special formats. We would like the programme to have a balance between theoretical approaches devoted to aspects of library architecture and design solutions with regard to special collections and best practice case studies, which have proven to have met the different needs of the user. Presentations can draw on examples both from renovated as well as newly built spaces.   

The theme of WLIC 2014, “Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for knowledge” should provide the context of the presentation. 

Please provide

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

Please send your proposals by 31 January 2014 via email to both the Chair of the LBE section Dorothea Sommer ([email protected], and to the Information Coordinator of the RBMS section Edwin C. Schroeder ([email protected]).

The abstracts will be reviewed by a Review Committee and the papers selected will be announced by 7 March 2014.  The paper can be given at the congress in any of IFLA’s official languages.

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

All presenters and their papers will be listed in the final IFLA Programme. Therefore presenters must forward the full text of their papers by 30 April 2014 to allow time for review and for preparation of translations. Presentations should not take longer than 25 minutes to deliver and papers should be no longer than 20 pages.

In accordance with IFLA's Open Access Statement all papers presented at the WLIC 2013 will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0) licence. Authors of submitted papers will need to sign IFLA’s Author form. The papers and presentations will be made available through the IFLA Library.


All proposals must be in before 31 января 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: 5 January 2014