Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Library History Special Interest Group, Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section, in co-operation with the American Library Association Library History Round Table


"Libraries and Immigrants: Historical Perspectives"

The IFLA Library History Special Interest Group and the Library Services to Multicultural Populations Section , invite proposals for papers to be presented at their joint session on “Libraries and Immigrants: Historical Perspectives” during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, USA, 13-19 August 2016.

Much has been and is being written about current experiences of libraries and immigrants to our lands. But what of past experiences, and of lessons learnt from the history of our libraries as they welcomed early immigrants to our countries and assisted them to settle and enjoy their new lives?   In some countries this history would be very long, and we are hoping with the international composition of IFLA, we will hear of historical experiences from around the globe as such activity fits well with the overall theme for the 2016 IFLA Conference: Connections. Collaboration. Community.

Submission guidelines

  1. Your paper might be the result of an historical research project, or describe the historical experiences of your own library. Selection of papers is based on the abstract (up to 500 words) which should consider:
    1. how it relates to the theme of the session;
    2. a description of the historical approach to the topic;
    3. lessons learnt from the historical experience/s;
    4. interesting discoveries from the historical experience/s;
    5. if a research project, implications and outcomes for library practice and any research limitations;
    6. other matters of relevance and importance to the topic.
  2. Both abstracts and full papers should be submitted as a MS Word file by e-mail. Fax or post (please contact Kerry Smith for postal details) should be used only as a last resort.
  3. Please email your abstract to:
    Dr Kerry Smith
    Convenor, IFLA Library History SIG
    Phone/fax +61 8 9385 9119
  4. If your abstract is selected, your paper should be of 20 pages maximum, double spaced.
  5. As it is expected that our session will be conducted in English, all proposals, papers and presentations will be required to be in English.
  6. Depending on the number of submissions accepted, we are expecting that up to 20 minutes will be allowed for a summary delivery of the paper at the Conference; the full written paper is *not* to be read. It is strongly recommended that the presentation is supported by a visual element using presentation software such as PowerPoint.
  7. The author(s) should indicate his/her personal full contact details and include a brief biographical note with the abstract and the paper.

 Important Dates

  1. The deadline for submitting a detailed abstract and full author details including email contact is 31st January 2016. Each abstract will be reviewed by members of the Library History Special Interest Group and co-sponsoring groups.
  2. Authors will be notified whether they have been successful or not, by 31 March 2016.
  3. The full paper is due on 31st May 2016 and must be an original submission not presented or published elsewhere.


All abstracts must be received by 31 January 2016.

Please note

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Columbus, Ohio. 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 2016 will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission 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.