Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Library Buildings and Equipment Section


"What comes after the “Third Place”? Visionary libraries – spaces and users"

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The IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section is seeking proposals to be presented at their Open Session at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio (USA), August 13-19, 2016.

Libraries today are inspiring learning venues for students, collaboration incubators, meeting places in communities, social spaces for cities. The major trends in designing and building libraries during the last decade can be succinctly described using Andrew McDonald’s, Top Ten Qualities for Good Library Space of 2007. But what features will figure prominently in the future that define a highly functional, awe inspiring and vibrant library?

Libraries are becoming places to spend more and more time in; they are more than mere multifunctional locations for learning and for communication. The following keywords may describe formats of dynamic library spaces and functions in the future: a place to work, maker spaces, fab labs, peer-to-peer learning, rentable areas, integration of non-library services; a forum for citizens to interact and to express themselves – the citizens’ house; an ideal place for getting together or for enjoying an atmosphere conducive to pursuing one’s interests; libraries as spaces within aging societies, the library as an important factor for urban development. Many more facets could be considered.

What will be the implications for design and buildings and service?

We invite papers that:

  • Explore and discuss visionary library design trends.
  • Highlight models of innovative developments currently underway.
  • Describe farsighted concepts of library design and service that are being piloted or implemented around the world.

Papers should reflect the Columbus 2016 conference theme, “Connections. Collaboration. Community.”  Proposals can be individual or team presentations, research studies, case studies or panel discussions. If selected, speakers will have 20 minutes to present and 5 minutes for a question and answer period following their presentation.

Important Dates

Proposal abstracts must be submitted by: 28 February 2016.

Selected presenters will be notified by: 25 March  2016.

Submission Guidelines

Proposals should be in English and include the following information:

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

Please submit proposal abstracts via email to:

Diane Koen, Chair, IFLA Library Buildings and Equipment Section

The contact person for each proposal will be informed by 25 March 2016 whether their proposal has been accepted or not.

The authors of the accepted proposals will be required to submit the complete text of the paper for inclusion in the program, by 16 May 2016.

Papers should be no longer than 20 pages. It must be written in one the official languages of IFLA.


All proposals must be received by 28 February 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.