Access to the Law of the Countries of the World for Vulnerable Communities

The IFLA Law Libraries Section is seeking proposals for papers to be presented at a session to be held at the IFLA World Library and Information Congress in Athens, Greece, 24-30 August, 2019.

Session Theme
Linked to the theme for the 2019 World Library and Information Congress, “Libraries in dialogue for change”, the Law Libraries Section is sponsoring a program on access to the law of the countries for the world for vulnerable communities to be held at the 2019 World Libraries Information Congress in Athens, Greece and issuing a call for papers on this topic. The program intends to discuss not only the barriers that vulnerable communities may face to having access to the law and legal information, but also efforts to ensure that marginalized communities have access to legal information, through a variety of means. An important component of the program will be to consider how libraries and other memory institutions can assist in efforts to ensure that vulnerable or at-risk communities have access to the law. Vulnerable communities can include a number of different groups, including refugees, women, indigenous communities, the poor, citizens in developing countries, and pro se litigants, among many others.

We invite papers that:
  • Discuss barriers to access to the laws in a particular country, or group of countries, discussing how these barriers particularly affect some vulnerable or marginalized group
  • Describe efforts to remove barriers to access to the law for a particular vulnerable or marginalized group
  • Document larger efforts to remove barriers to access to the law and its particular effect on a marginalized or vulnerable group
  • Demonstrate how libraries or other memory institutions assist in the effort to ensure access to the law of the countries of the world, with particular regard to communities in special need of support or protection.

Papers should reflect the conference theme, ”Libraries in Dialogue for Change” and represent the various types of law libraries such as academic, law firm, court, government etc.

Language of the session:
Papers should be in one of the seven IFLA official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Russian and Spanish, however, abstracts should be in English. The Presentation for this session must be done in English, as no interpretation services will be available for this session.

Important dates and submission guidelines

Deadline to submit proposals/abstracts: 22 February 2019

Proposals should include:

  • Title of proposed presentation
  • Abstract of proposed paper (no more than 300 words)
  • Name(s) of presenter(s) plus position and/or title
  • Employer / affiliated institution
  • Contact information including e-mail address, telephone number
  • Short biographical statement of presenter(s)

Send proposals via email to:

Leslie Street

  • 15 March 2019: Proposals will be reviewed and successful candidates will be notified.
  • 31 May 2019:  Deadline for selected presenters to submit formal paper to coordinator (for inclusion on the IFLA conference website and the Section’s website).  Details regarding the format and length of the final paper will be sent to candidates whose abstracts are accepted.


All proposals must be received by 22 February 2019.

Please note
At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Athens. 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 2019 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 author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.