Plan for WLIC
Next Congress: WLIC 2021
In a first for IFLA, the 2021 World Library and Information Congress (WLIC) will be held online, as part of an accelerated drive to develop a new, more inclusive format for the most international event in the library calendar. As a result, we are happy to announce that our 2021 Congress will take place virtually, with the support of the Dutch National Committee.
Information on forms and deadlines will be posted here when they become available. Please follow us on social media for the latest updates.
The Call for Proposals has now been launched and IFLA's Professional Units have been asked to submit proposals by Friday 9 April 2021. Please see the FAQ in response to some of your questions.
WLIC 2021 Proposals FAQ
Q: Can Section have joint sessions? How do these count in terms of sessions?
A: Yes, Units can work together on a session where they have a joint interest and involvement in the organisation of the session. One Unit/Section should be named as the lead with other Units as presentation partners. The session would be counted as the main proposal from the lead Unit. The session should take the most appropriate format for the content.
A partner Unit could then submit another proposal where they are named as the lead Unit and select whatever format best fits the content.
If there are partners for a session, each partner should be willing to provide volunteers from their Units to assist with rehearsals with speakers, possible recording of sessions, facilitating sessions, moderating the question and answer session, or facilitating chat during the session.
Q: Does the allocation of hours as in previous WLICs still apply?
A: No. The virtual WLIC in 2021 is very different. Timeframes for sessions are shorter (45 mins or less) and therefore the model of presenting papers over a two hour period is no longer relevant. There are adequate sessions in the Program for EVERY Professional Unit to present a session.
Q: Should we do a call for speakers or presenters?
We don’t think it is possible to have details on speakers until the deadline on April 9. While we can agree on topics and formats, we would need to send out a call for proposals afterwards and then agree on speakers and topics to have a good programme for WLIC 2021.
A: The programme for WLIC 2021 as a virtual conference will be very different to the previous physical conference model. The Professional Committee would like to see a programme of high quality and diverse speakers presenting in innovative ways on interesting topics for the profession. We ask Professional Units to consider whether they need to do a call for proposals or whether they can use their networks to identify people and invite them to submit an abstract. The number of speakers required will depend on the session format your Professional Unit selects.
If you wish to make a call for presenters, we request you to submit your session proposal with information on your topic and format first. This will be considered by the curation committee, who might agree on the concept and then communicate with you further to finalise your session. There would still be time to call for presenters.
Q: What makes a good presenter?
A: The Professional Committee would like the programme to provide diverse perspectives on the sub themes and topics for the conference. This includes geographic and sectoral diversity. Presenters should be engaging and enthusiastic about their content. They may need help to provide good slides and visuals and to provide key points in the time allowed. Consider the take-aways for the delegates. Keeping to time will be essential so planning and rehearsals may be necessary.
Q: Why is there more emphasis on the curation of the programme?
A: The survey results from last year noted a desire for a high quality programme. As the World Library and Information Congress, we would like it to set a benchmark for international virtual conferences. We want delegates to go away from IFLA WLIC 2021 feeling that they have had an excellent experience, have increased their professional development and have networked with international colleagues.
In our annual evaluations of the physical WLICs, we get a lot of positive feedback and high satisfaction levels. However, we regularly receive comments on the poor quality of some session content, frustration with speakers simply reading their written papers, and with moderators not keeping presenters to time.
We want delegates to be highly satisfied with the time they spend online during the virtual WLIC and believe we can use the virtual environment to improve a number of aspects. To get the most impact out of shorter session time frames, presenters and moderators should be better prepared and rehearsed. The curation of the programme and sessions is the first step in the journey of developing the virtual WLIC.
Q: We don’t know when the conference will take place so this may affect availability of presenters?
A: The conference will take place in the second half of August 2021. The exact dates will be confirmed following the March 2021 Governing Board meeting. As many presentations within sessions will be pre-recorded, you may be able to involve presenters without their strict availability for the conference session. Of course it is always preferable to involve presenters in a live question and answer session associated with your session.
Q: Will speakers have to pay to be part of the conference?
A: In 2021, we will follow our usual practice at WLIC. Normal practice is that guest speakers from outside the profession will receive a free day pass for the day of their session. More details will be provided, once we have our conference platform confirmed.
Q: What about proposals we had that were not used when WLIC 2020 was cancelled?
A: The Professional Committee acknowledges that some Professional Units had worked on proposals which were quite well advanced for WLIC 2020. Many have since used this content in a webinar or series of webinars over the last year. If Professional Units still have ideas from 2020, they will need to consider if they fit the sub themes and topics for 2021 and can fit a different format.
Q: What will happen with Awards sessions for the awards from the Professional Units?
A: The Professional Committee is considering how to deal with the awards made by the Professional Units. It is unlikely that we can provide a similar time allocation as in the past. It would be helpful if you could provide a proposal as soon as possible for consideration.
Q: What will be the registration fee for WLIC 2021?
A: We anticipate that registration fees for WLIC 2021 will be lower than the physical conference. Once the Governing Board has approved the platform vendor in March 2021, IFLA will be able to confirm the registration fees.
Q. What time will the sessions be delivered?
A: The program will be programmed for three global time zones. This will ensure that no matter where you live on the globe - there will be at least one time zone that is convenient to your country or region. You will also have the flexibility to join another zone - if that is more convenient to you. The three time zones are: Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa; North America with Latin America and the Caribbean; and Asia and Oceania.
Q. How many days will the conference run for?
A: WLIC 2021 will be a three day conference. Business meetings will be scheduled separately - more details will be provided soon.
Q. What will the Professional Committee be looking for when they review proposals from Professional Units?
A: The Professional Committee will seek to ensure that the overall program has the following attributes:
- is in line with the theme and subtheme of the conference
- provides a global perspective – through both topics and speakers
- there is a breadth in the topics addressed – avoiding duplication of topics or speakers
- there is variety in session formats, with opportunities for delegate interaction.
Last update: 12 March 2021