Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Genealogy and Local History Section joint with the Asia & Oceania Section


"The Social Web: its relevance for family, oral and local history"

The IFLA ​ Genealogy and Local History Section​ with the ​ Asia & Oceania Section​ ​
invite proposals for papers to be presented at their joint session on “The Social Web: its relevance for family, oral and local history” during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, USA, August 13­19, 2016.

Memories and identities reflect each other. The way societies and individuals describe and present their past define who they are. Today, digital communication has become the most effective way of creating, presenting and safeguarding the historical record. This does not mean that storytelling, handwriting and print on paper have lost their value. The traditional forms of communication remain vital and valuable in many countries and cultures. But digital tools allow memory institutions to record, to store and to transmit stories of the past whether they are told through traditional or modern (electronic or digital) channels.

The session welcomes papers that discuss:

  • oral and local history projects (past or ongoing) that were community directed,
  • oral and/or local history projects that involved ongoing participation and cooperation  from individuals, groups, communities or institutions (schools, local history societies),
  • oral and/or local history projects that involved social media ,
  • projects (past or ongoing) that involved innovative tools in the recording and presenting  of oral histories/community stories,
  • projects that involved the application and/or adaption of best practices, particular  consideration given to small projects (limited funding) or conducted by small/local  institutions.

Participants are encouraged to discuss both successes and failures within their papers. These  should be noted in the abstract.

Submission Guidelines

The deadline for submitting a detailed abstract (up to 250 words) and full author details is 18 March 2016. ​ Proposals should be submitted using the following web  address: ​

If this web site is unavailable, please contact  the convener Sonia Pacheco directly, by email:

The abstracts will be reviewed by a committee from the Genealogy and Local History  Section and the Asia & Oceania Section.

Presenters will be notified whether they have been successful by 15 April 2016.

The full paper is due on 15 June 2016.

It should be an original submission not published  elsewhere.

To encourage interaction and debate at the conference session, we will be using a  lightning talk model.

There will be a maximum of ten presentations, each allowed no more than 7 minutes.

Individual presentations should focus on a few central ideas or theses. Presentations  that use pictures to communicate are recommended. See​  for inspiration.

The presentations will be followed by discussions at small tables. Presenters will move  from table to table, spending about fifteen minutes at each.

The session will be conducted in English. The actual papers may be written in English,  Spanish, French or Russian. The proposals (abstracts), the oral presentations and the  following discussions should be in English, however.

The author(s) should indicate his/her personal full contact details and include a brief  biographical note with the paper.

Both abstracts and full papers should be submitted as digital files by e­mail. Fax or post  should be used only as a last resort.

Papers should be 5000 words maximum (about 20 pages double-spaced)


Please direct questions to the session convener:

Sonia Pacheco, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth


All proposals must be received by 18 March 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.