Call for Papers — Open Sessions

Art Libraries Section

  • 13 December 2017, 10:49
Theme: "Art libraries versus their users: who is transforming who?"

Translations: [Español] [Français] [Português] [Русский]

Art libraries today, like any other institution that collects and disseminates knowledge in the information era, are dealing with new challenges brought by changing societies, new technologies and… art library users. How are they coping with all these challenges? Do they simply try to catch up, or are they sometimes a step forward being ready to propose to their users something revolutionary new? Are they able to make a real impact on modern societies with what they have at their disposal — images and texts, art documents and archives, special thematic services and virtual art collections?

Users of art libraries are mostly art researchers, artists, students and future professionals, or simply art lovers, but they come today to the libraries with new needs and very different abilities. Their special requests transform art libraries, driving us (art librarians) to develop new services and update our professional skills. Indeed, we have to adapt ourselves to their familiar use of the web and new technologies, but also to their frequent feeble knowledge of our catalogues and printed collections.

Do we influence their ways of research in art information by offering new services and technologies, such as special research tools, based on the semantic web, or easy-to-search collective portals and other useful websites and databases? Do we know for example how to explain to researchers that electronic tools like citations´ databases and impact factor help promoting research results published in periodicals, and thus getting a higher qualification in the productivity indexes?

Are we also proposing new horizons, guided by users’ need of pictures, with digitizing masses of unknown documents, that we make available on digital repositories on the web? Do we act sufficiently in the cultural field, inviting artists to conferences, offering participative workshops or even simply exhibiting and explaining our treasures, and thus answering to the curiosity of the public?

Discussing such things will enable us to ask ourselves how, in many ways, we are absorbing these new challenges. It is capital for art libraries to assure their researchers in particular that they dispose of the appropriate sources to keep producing contents, and providing society with thoughts and reflections about the artistic production of the world. The art library is a place where ideas can be discussed freely, and the mind can be opened by new kinds of knowledge, but it is at its best when users and art librarians exchange their points of views and interact, really responding one to the other.

At the 2018 IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malasya, IFLA Art Libraries Section is sponsoring a session that will give an international perspective on the theme.

Approximately twenty-five minutes will be allowed for a summary delivery of the paper at the conference; the full written paper is not to be read. The full text of the final paper should be no more than twenty pages, double-spaced. Final papers and presentations must be in one of the official IFLA languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, or Spanish.

Important dates

1 February 2018                    Proposals due

7 March 2018                         Acceptance notices sent to authors

1 June 2018                           Full text of papers due

24-31 August 2018                WLIC 2017 Kuala Lumpur


Proposals must be submitted by email and must contain:

  • Email subject line “IFLA Kuala Lumpur Paper Proposal”
  • Title of the paper
  • Author(s) of the paper
  • Paper abstract (500 words maximum)
  • Speaker’s name, professional affiliation, postal address, and email address
  • Biographical note on the speaker (150 words maximum)
  • Language of the paper
  • Language of the presentation
  • Papers must be original and not have been published or presented elsewhere

Please submit your proposal no later than 1 February 2018 to:

Lucile Trunel, Chair of the IFLA Art Libraries Section

Please note

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Malaysia. 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 2018 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.