Call for Papers: Open Sessions

School Libraries Section joint with the Education and Training Section and Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning Section


"Bridging the Gap from School to Library: Best practices for planning, participation, and assessment of internships, practicums, field experiences, and mentorships in LIS education"

The IFLA School Libraries Section jointly with the Education and Training Section (SET) and the Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning (CPDWL) Section invite interested professionals to submit proposals for the open session to be held in Wroclaw, Poland, from 19-25 August 2017.

Internships, practicums, field experiences, and mentorships during LIS education play important roles in preparing students to be competitive in the search for the first professional position and to be prepared to succeed in the position. Internships, practicums, and/or field experiences may be required for completion of LIS education and/or certification of LIS professionals (especially school librarians), and mentorship programs may be formal or informal. Clearly diverse perspectives and experiences exist within internships, practicums, field experiences, and mentorships within LIS educational programs and much may be learned from the various approaches to these learning opportunities.

This session’s goal is to garner ideas as to best practices for planning, participation, and assessment of internships, practicums, field experiences, and mentorships in LIS education. Descriptions of successful and innovative internship, practicum, field, and mentorship programs are welcome. The conference theme is “Libraries. Solidarity. Society;” since practicums, internships, field experiences, and mentorships prepare LIS students to meet society’s needs, our program fits into the conference’s theme well. This theme also aligns well with the IFLA School Libraries Section’s new school library guidelines, which were developed to assist school library professionals and educational decision-makers in their efforts to ensure that all students and teachers have access to effective school library resources and services, delivered by qualified school library personnel.

We are particularly interested in proposals which explore these issues: 

  1. Working with preceptors, mentors, and institutions to successfully plan and implement mentorships, practicums, field experiences, and internships
  2. Research and experiences of supervisors, mentors, and students
  3. Internships, practicums, and field experiences for individuals versus groups
  4. Assessments of mentorships and internships, practicums, and field experiences by students, employers, mentors, and LIS programs
  5. What interns teach their supervisors and what students teach their mentors
  6. Creating and refining goals and competencies for mentorships, practicums, field experiences, and internships
  7. Transforming experiences gained during internships and practicums into jobs

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 in English to facilitate understanding of the ideas presented.


All proposals must be in before 17 March 2017.

Proposals should include:

  1. Title of proposed presentation
  2. An extended structured abstract of the proposed paper of 1,000 words maximum; for information about structured abstracts, see
  3. Name(s) of presenter(s)
  4. Position or title of presenter(s)
  5. Employer or affiliated institution of presenter(s)
  6. Email address
  7. Telephone/fax numbers
  8. Short biographical statement(s) regarding the presenter(s)

Please email your proposals to:

Lisa Travis


Joan Weeks

Successful candidates will be notified by 7 April 2017 and must submit the full paper by 16 June 2017 along with the accurate title of the paper on an author permission form so that the paper may be posted online. Details on the format and length of the final paper as well as how to request an invitation letter will be emailed to those candidates whose abstracts are accepted.

Important dates

17 March 2017 – All proposals must be received;

7 April 2017 – Successful candidates will be notified;

16 June 2017 – Submit the full paper.

Please note

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