Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Rare Books and Special Collections Section joint with Preservation and Conservation Core Activity


"Theft in libraries – facing the hidden truth"

The IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section and the Preservation and Conservation Core Activity invites interested professionals to submit proposals for this open session to be held in Columbus, Ohio, USA from 13-19 August 2016.

Theft in libraries and archives, by staff as well as outsiders, is an ever present problem many institutions face. The session aims are to highlight the importance of recording thefts internationally with the aim to de-stigmatise the reporting of thefts (something which still many libraries will not make publicly aware). It will also look at methods of raising public awareness towards provenance of cultural heritage items, and to continue to build bridges between the curatorial and commercial arms of the cultural heritage profession.

We therefore invite proposals for papers which outline theft incidents within libraries and archives in recent years, particularly from collections which have experienced theft incidents, in order to set the scene for the overall session and help to de-stigmatise the reporting of theft in libraries. The session will be comprised of three presentations from recent incidents of library or archive theft and then a panel discussion on the topic which will include the presenters of the three papers as well as invited respondents from the curatorial, commercial and legal spheres of cultural heritage.

Proposals for papers should be no more than one page in length. If selected, speakers will have 15 minutes to present their situation.


Proposals should be sent by 29 February 2016 to (to both addresses):

Daryl Green

Julia Brungs

Proposals should include the following information:

  • Name, title, and institution of speaker(s)
  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Address and email address of speaker(s)
  • Brief biographical statement about each speaker including information about the qualifications of the speaker to address the proposed topic
  • One or two paragraph discussion of the main points of the paper including an outline of the takeaways a conference attendee will obtain by having the topic presented at the conference
  • Language of presentation (please note the session will have no simultaneous interpretation)
  • Contact information for response to the proposal

Important dates

All proposals must be received by 29 February 2016.

The contact person for each proposal will be informed by 4 April 2016 whether their proposal has been accepted or not.

The authors will be required to submit the full, at least 5 pages paper for inclusion in the program. It must be written in one the official languages of IFLA by 16 May 2016.

Please note

Authors are required to permit non-exclusive publication of papers chosen for this session on the IFLA website and digital library. Papers that are accepted but not presented in person at the conference will not be made available on the official conference website nor will they be considered for nomination as a best paper of the conference.

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.