Call for Papers — Open Sessions

Metropolitan Libraries Section

  • 29 December 2017, 12:53
Theme: "Sanctuaries in the city: the public library as a safe space"

IFLA’s Metropolitan Libraries Section invites you to submit a proposal for its programme at the 84th IFLA World Library and Information Congress to be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 24-30 August 2018.

Session theme

The Section intends to explore how public libraries of large urban areas all over the world are becoming a neutral and comfortable haven where all kinds of people can feel safe in difficult personal and social situations.

We are seeking 5-6 thoughtful, high quality papers (presentations of 10-15 minutes each), addressing how public libraries provide a safe space to:

  • Communities during social unrest and protests;
  • Communities involved in natural disasters (flooding, earthquakes, etc.);
  • Difficult users;
  • Ethnic, cultural and religious minorities;
  • Homeless and poor people;
  • Immigrants and refugees;
  • Isolated users (i.e. people with dementia);
  • People with disabilities;
  • Teen users targeted by bullying, for gender, sexuality, the way they dress;

and how public libraries:

  • Partner with police and social workers
  • Select policies (i. e. for collections and meeting rooms)
  • Train staff

Submission Guidelines

Full abstracts (in any of IFLA’s official languages) of up to 500 words should be submitted for review by members of the Section. The abstracts (and finished presentation) will be original, previously unpublished work.

Please submit abstracts as an attachment in MS Word to:

Corrado Di Tillio


Siobhan Reardon

The deadline for submitting a detailed abstract, including title and full author details (name, professional affiliation, postal address, email address) is 18 March 2018.

Selection of papers by is based on the abstract, and presenters will be notified whether they have been successful by 31 March 2018.

Completed papers must be submitted no later than 31 May 2018.

Important Dates

18 March 2018.

Submission of abstract

31 March 2018

Notification to authors

31 May 2018

Submission of full text



All proposals must be received by 18 March 2018.

Please note

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