Call for Papers

Law Libraries Section

The future of law libraries: tales of existence and transformation

The IFLA Law Libraries Section is seeking proposals for papers to be presented at a session to be held at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Cape Town, South Africa, August 15-21, 2015.

Session Theme

Everything can be found for free on the Internet. Yes, we have all heard that too many times. As experts of legal information resources, we know it’s not true. In the context of shrinking budget and space, centralization of services with non-law libraries, increased fee-based digital collections and open access to legal content, Law Libraries are finding themselves constantly justifying their mere existence, and in some cases, fighting for their survival. The session will first focus on the funders / administrators’ perspectives on the future of Law Libraries, and then present Law Librarians’ successes and challenges in supporting legal scholarship, and remaining a key player central to the administration of justice, ensuring the competency of the legal profession and access to justice.

We invite papers that:

  • Describe successes and challenges in demonstrating value to funders and administrators in order to retain Law Libraries’ budget and/or space.
  • Demonstrate how fundamental Law Libraries are in a just and democratic society
  • Demonstrate how Law Libraries adapt or transform themselves to meet the needs of users at the crossroads of legal print and digital world.
  • Show innovative ways to deliver legal information resources and services.
  • Describe successes and challenges in providing access to legal resources and information to members of the public.
  • Deal with the print and electronic collection user demands, and the high cost of fee-based databases and licensing agreements issues.

Papers should reflect the conference theme, "Dynamic Libraries: Access, Development and Transformation" and represent the various types of law libraries such as academic, law firm, court, government etc.

The program will feature keynote speakers and presentations of 15-20 minutes each with additional time for questions.

For information on IFLA’s general guidelines for papers see: .

Language of the session:

Papers should be in one of the seven IFLA official languages: ArabicChineseEnglishFrench, GermanRussian and Spanish, however, abstracts should be in English.

Important dates and submission guidelines

  • Deadline to submit proposals/abstracts: 15 February 2015

Proposals should include:

  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Abstract of proposed paper (no more than 300 words)
  • Name(s) of presenter(s) plus position and/or title
  • Employer / affiliated institution
  • Contact information including e-mail address, telephone number
  • Short biographical statement of presenter(s)
  • Language of final presentation

Send proposals via email to:

Sonia Poulin

  • 31 March 2015: Proposals will be reviewed and successful candidates will be notified.
  • 30 May 2015:  Deadline for selected presenters to submit formal paper (for inclusion on the IFLA conference website and the Section’s website).  Details regarding the format and length of the final paper will be sent to candidates whose abstracts are accepted.


All proposals must be in before 15 February 2015.

Please note

At least one of the paper's authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Cape Town. Abstracts should only be submitted with the understanding that the expenses of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

All papers that are presented at the WLIC 2015 will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Author Form.

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 letter can be issued to authors.

Congress Participation Grants

List of opportunities for support is available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

Last update: 5 January 2015