Call for Papers

Literacy and Reading Section

Literacy Matters! The Importance of Literacy & Reading in the Creation of Strong Societies

The IFLA Literacy and Reading Section is seeking proposals for a program to be held at the IFLA Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in August 2015.

 Literacy is more essential than ever before. In societies dominated by the written word, it is a fundamental requirement for citizens of all ages in modern Europe. Literacy empowers the individual to develop capacities of reflection, critique and empathy, leading to a sense of self-efficacy, identity and full participation in society. Literacy skills are crucial to parenting, finding and keeping a job, participating as a citizen, being an active consumer, managing one’s health and taking advantage of digital developments, both socially and at work (EU High Level Group of Experts on Literacy, 2012)

Session theme

The Literacy & Reading Section recognises that literacy and reading skills are essential for access to information for educational achievement, personal growth lifelong and the development of communities within society. Libraries have a unique role in the promotion of literacy and reading by providing community spaces and access to a wide range of resources and expertise. The program for the IFLA 2015 Conference will focus on the theme Literacy Matters! and include a mix of invited speakers and presenters.

Submission Guidelines

Building on the Section’s theme Literacy Matters! The importance of literacy & reading in the creation of strong societies, presentations will be considered which address the theme and examine:

  • best practice library programs;
  • library services which support literacy and reading skills; and
  • research projects that support literacy, reading and libraries.

Proposals are requested for 8 - 10 presentations to be part of a series of round table workshops.

Each presenter will be part of a round table discussion group which will participate in 3 workshops designed to help further develop the LiR ‘Literacy Matters’ concept & action plan:

  • Workshop 1: Guidelines for Library Based Literacy Programs
  • Workshop 2: Research to support literacy, reading and libraries
  • Workshop 3: Literacy Matters! DVD, online and the next steps

As an introduction to the final workshop presenters will have 15 minutes to present their best practice program to their table. Since these projects will be presented in an informal, small group setting, speakers should plan some visual accompaniment such as a poster that can be set up on the table. Presenters may also want to bring brochures or flyers to hand out.

The successful proposals (template provided) will consist of:

  • a 500 word description of a 2000 - 2500 word paper about the program/services/research in their presentation which will be published in the IFLA online library;
  • include a copyright and plagiarism statement; and
  • abstracts will distributed to all tables and used during Workshop discussions

Abstracts will be selected by a double, blind-review process.

Papers will be published in the IFLA online library.

Successful presenters will be listed in the official Conference program.

All papers will be edited for the English version and returned to presenters for publication in other (English) journals.

Proposals should provide the following information:

  • Presenter/s and affiliation
  • Brief biographical information of presenters
  • Proposal title
  • 500 word abstract describing their program, service or research project
  • Language of presentation

Proposals should be sent to:

Barbara Combes, Secretary of the Literacy and Reading Section
Email: by 14th March 2015.
Please include IFLA Proposal WLIC 2015 in the subject line.

Important Dates

14 March 2015 Submission of proposal
28 March 2015 Successful presenters will be notified
20 May 2015 Submission of final papers in one of the official IFLA languages

For more information, please contact:

Annie Everall, Chair of Literacy and Reading Section
Barbara Combes, Secretary of the Literacy and Reading Section


All proposals must be in before 14 March 2015.

Please note

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: 18 February 2015