Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Reference and Information Services Section


"Connecting Reference to the Wider Community"

[Deadline extended to: 13 February 2016]

The IFLA Reference and Information Services Section  invite proposals for papers to be presented at the session on Connecting Reference to the Wider Community during the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Columbus, Ohio, USA, 13-19 August 2016.

Reference and Information Services librarians are key players in communities’ access to information. Libraries have differing mandates, but all share an interest in expanding their reference, research, and information services. Regardless of type of library—public, academic, government, research institute, art, medical, law, school, and corporate—providing reference is a core activity. Reference, however, is changing.

In this session, we look for best practices in connecting with unserved or under-served communities, innovative programmes to contact new user groups, and new roles that connect reference with the wider community. Perhaps your library is developing links with strategic partners outside the library or collaborating with the private sector or reaching out to non-library users in a creative fashion or seeking to embed librarians other places in the organization. Share your experiences and insights during the World Library and Information Congress in Columbus Ohio, 13-19 August 2016.

Possible topics:

  1. Impact of changing information/technology environments
  2. Partnering internally
  3. Partnering externally
  4. Demonstrating value through reference services
  5. Connecting with unserved populations
  6. Connecting with under-served populations
  7. Contacting new user groups
  8. Where reference fits in the modern library
  9. Marketing reference services
  10. Embedding librarians
  11. Personal librarian and Consulting librarians
  12. Contemporary roles for reference librarians
  13. Repositioning reference services
  14. Reorganizing reference areas
  15. Linking research to collections
  16. Participation in research projects
  17. Changing perceptions about reference and information services

Please send your abstracts to:

Najwa Hendrickse


Marydee Ojala

Important deadlines:

  • 5 February 2016 13 February 2016: Deadline for submitting Proposals for Papers plus a very brief biography of the Speaker(s)
  • 11 March 2016: Successful Speakers will be notified, and IFLA forms completed by RISS and the Speakers
  • 15 April 2016: Deadline for Abstract of Paper – to be approximately 300 words
  • 20 May 2016: Deadline for submission of completed Paper to RISS. The paper should be no more than 3000 words in length. The paper should be in one of the IFLA official languages, but the conference language is English. If the paper is in any of the other official IFLA languages than English, an accompanying translation in English must be attached.
  • 17th  June 2016: Speakers must produce the Power Point presentation by this date.

Both abstracts and full papers should be submitted as an MS Word file by email.  Proposed papers must be original and not have been published elsewhere.


All proposals must be received by 5 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.