Independent Libraries Association Conference 2021 – Call for Papers. Hosted by the Leeds Library, 24th-25th September 2021.
We are delighted to re-issue the call for papers for the ILA’s annual conference postponed from 2020. The conference theme was ‘independent libraries as the Great Good Place’, inspired by Ray Oldenburg’s concept of a space that is welcoming and free to access, and promotes pleasure, wellbeing, and engagement.
The library has always been a place where communities can connect, grow and (re)build, and this is the case more than ever in 2021. Independent libraries responded to the Covid-19 pandemic with energy, innovation and speed, supporting their members with new initiatives. Social media, email, digital events and even the good old-fashioned pen-and-ink letter were pressed into service. Book deliveries, postal loans, online catalogues and reading groups took on new significance as the country went into lockdown.
For the 2021 conference, we’re keeping the concept of the ‘Great Good Place’ and we want to hear how you and your libraries create a space that is welcoming, culturally-nourishing, and supportive – particularly during the past year. You might want to share: your library’s mission statement, guiding principle, manifesto, or aim; how has that sustained your work this year?; the history of your library and its place in your community, or how your library’s past shapes its future; a particular project, event, or renovation which helped your library engage with more people; how your collections shape what you do.
We welcome submissions from anyone working in or around the independent library, museum or archive sector. We emphasise that submissions need not be scholarly and we would particularly like to hear your success stories from 2020 and your plans for the future. Talks should be limited to around twenty minutes. We also welcome proposals for panels of up to an hour. Please send your 250-word proposals accompanied by biographies of up to 150 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday 31st May 2021. Please also indicate whether you are able to physically deliver your talk in Leeds, or need to do so remotely.