The IFLA Audiovisual and Multimedia Section (AVMS) and Information Technology (IT) Section are seeking proposals for papers to be presented at their Joint Open Session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress 2023 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Theme: AR/VR, metaverse, immersive technologies – building sustainable communities

AR/VR and other immersive technologies can provide immersive and interactive learning experiences, making education more engaging, effective, and accessible, and help achieve quality education. In higher education, the growing presence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and online techniques sees the emerging trend of the University becoming the “Metaversity,” spurred on by the Covid lockdowns. The buzzword Metaverse, a portmanteau of “meta” and “universe”, coined by a science fiction novel, is used by big tech companies to design a collective VR space in which users can interact with each other and with a computer-generated environment.

Immersive technologies can also be powerful tools for advancing several Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in the areas of education, economic growth, innovation, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and strong institutions. They also open greater possibilities for inclusiveness and diversity in connection with library communities, and are actively used in a wide range of training contexts in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector.

This session will provide an opportunity to explore AR/VR, the metaverse and other immersive technologies, including practical implementation and opportunities as well as library service considerations. We are keen to see proposals that explore the important connections between the technologies and the operations and/or service side of all types of Libraries.

We invite papers and presentations. Topics include but are not limited to:

  • Experiences in the Virtual, Augmented, Mixed Reality, and Metaverse in libraries
  • Demonstrations of new technologies and innovations in this area from institutions deploying these systems
  • The opportunities, challenges and risks
  • Ethical considerations in privacy, social impact and quality of services
  • Technical and collection management related issues, e.g. acquisition, cataloging, access, etc.

The format for the session will be 10 minute presentations followed by a panel discussion.

Proposals must include:

  • Name, title, institution, country, and email of speaker(s)
  • Brief biographical statement about each speaker (max 100 words)
  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Abstract of presentation (max 300 words)
  • Language of presentation
  • Format of the presentation (slides, multimedia)

Proposals should be submitted to both:

Monique Threatt
Chair, Audiovisual and Multimedia Section

Dr Edmund Balnaves
Chair, Information Technology Section

All proposals and presentation slides will be required to be in English. Please refer to Guidelines for Paper Authors and Presenters for details on full papers (max 2500 words).

Important dates:

  • 30 April, 2023: Deadline for submission of proposal abstract
  • 15 May, 2023: Notification of acceptance
  • 1 July, 2023: Deadline for submission of full paper (where provided) and author permission form
  • 21-25 August, 2023: WLIC

Please note:

  • At least one of the authors must be present to deliver the presentation during the Open Session in Rotterdam, Netherlands.
  • Authors of accepted full papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission Form.
  • All papers/presentations will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.
  • All expenses for attending the Open Session (e.g., 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

Conference Participation Grants and Awards

A list of opportunities for support is available on the Apply for Grants & Awards webpage.