Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Rare Books and Special Collections Section


"Out of the Stacks: Special Collections In Society"

The IFLA Rare Books and Special Collections Section invites proposals for papers for a conference session on the theme “Out of the Stacks: Special Collections in Society”. The session will take place as part of the 83rd IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Wrocław, Poland, 19-25 August 2017.

What happens when special collections are taken out of their library home, either virtually or physically, and used by the library or by others beyond the traditional ways in which libraries have interpreted these collections for audiences who come into their buildings. Today’s exhibitions may be accompanied by a programme of marketing and promotion. Some people’s encounters with books and manuscripts may be entirely through seeing their images used in a tourism campaign and buying related merchandise. Libraries also enter into a wide range of partnerships with commercial companies who digitise their materials.

Proposal guidelines

The program committee welcomes proposals for papers that move beyond case studies into an examination of the issues raised by the use of collections in this way, including:

  • The use of library materials in cultural or heritage tourism
  • The use of special collections for the creation of merchandise, by commercial companies or institutions
  • Commercial digitisation programmes
  • Charging for the use and re-use of library materials, particularly by organisations and institutions
  • Innovative funding streams such as crowdsourcing or websites such as kickstarter
  • The economics of traditional library methods of promoting public engagement with collections – what should be free, what profit-making, what cost-recovery
  • Cultural entitlement versus income generation
  • Copyright and licensing issues

Speakers from a marketing, commercial digitisation, or other non-library background are particularly welcome.

Language of the session

The language of the session is English. However, presenters may also give their talk in any of the IFLA working languages. Simultaneous translation is not guaranteed; therefore presenters are encouraged to provide the PowerPoint presentation in English to facilitate the understanding of ideas presented.

Submission Guidelines

The submission deadline is 28 February 2017.

Please submit proposals via email as an attachment in MS Word to the Co-chairs of the Program Committee:

Beth Kilmarx,:

Krister Östlund

For all proposals, please provide:

  • name and institution of presenter(s)
  • an abstract of the paper or presentation up to 500 words, preferably in English
  • relevant biographical information about the presenter(s)
  • a list of any previous articles or presentations on this topic

Selection of papers by is based on the abstract, and presenters will be notified whether they have been successful by 30 March 2017.

Completed papers must be submitted no later than 1 June 2017.

Important Dates

28 February 2017 Submission of proposal
30 March 2017 Notification to authors
1 June 2017 Submission of full text

Other Important Information

Presentations should not take longer than 20 minutes to deliver.

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Wrocław, Poland. 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 2017 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.


Please write to:

Beth Kilmarx, ( or
Krister Östlund (