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Library Theory and Research

Strategic Plan


The IFLA Section on Library Theory & Research exists to:
  • provide a research-based framework to IFLA's professional priorities through a program promoting theoretical and empirical library and information science research and analysis;
  • provide and encourage international networking opportunities for library professionals engaged in library and information science research.

(Professional priorities: Supporting the role of libraries in society; Developing library professionals; Promoting standards, guidelines and best practices)


1. Encourage exchange between practice-based and theoretical research in LIS.


1.1 Encourage theoretically as well as empirically based papers at IFLA and IFLA sponsored conferences. In the coming period the section will focus upon libraries as place and space (Quebec and Milan), open access to research (Milan) and research agendas for LIS-research (Brisbane).

1.1.1. Quebec 2008
Theme: "Libraries without borders: Navigating towards global understanding"

  • A session on Theoretical approaches to research on Libraries as space and place
    Libraries as space and place have become an important research topic within library and information science. How can libraries develop into places promoting community, knowledge sharing, citizenship, confidence and trust? Such research questions are relevant for public libraries as well as for academic, government and special libraries, and they are relevant for digital libraries as well as physical libraries. At its session in Quebec, the IFLA section on Library Theory and Research will focus upon research on libraries as space and place. In particular, we want to examine theoretical approaches when doing research on this issue, e.g. theories on the public sphere, concepts and approaches related to social capital, approaches from knowledge management such as communities of practice, the concept of ? The Third Place,? etc.

    Papers discussing the fruitfulness of different theoretical approaches when researching this topic in general or when doing research on libraries as space and place in particular contexts, e.g an academic context or a local community context, are welcomed.

  • Contribute to the session Managing libraries in a changing environment together with the section on Marketing and Management and Statistics and Evaluation.
  • Completing the research projects on IFLA’s role in promoting change and diffusing professional norms.

1.1.2. Milan 2009
Theme: "Libraries create futures: building on cultural heritage"

  • Libraries as space and place: The topic libraries as space and place will be continued with a satellite conference focusing upon empirical research and practical examples.
  • Open access to research is a highly salient and much debated topic. LTR invites graduate students to submit research papers on this topic. The best papers will be presented at a session at the Milan conference in 2009.

1.1.3. Brisbane 2010:

  • A session on Research agendas for Library and information Science.
  • LTR to communicate with the IFLA Management of Library Associations Section and library schools.

1.2.1 To commence knowledge exchange amongst LTR members;

1.2.2 Evaluating research projects for their relevance to IFLA's professional priorities and LTR's goals.

2. Assisting in the development of expertise and knowledge in useful research methods


  • Evaluate conference papers for possible inclusion in IFLA and other journals.

3. Facilitating transnational networks of common research interests


3.1 Sharing LTR communications:

3.1.1 LTR Newsletter;

3.1.2 LTR Discussion List;

3.1.3 LTR Website on IFLANET;

3.1.4 Encourage attendance at LTR Standing Committee meetings;

3.2 Promoting membership to LTR:

3.2.1 Target professional groups (e.g. library schools)

  • Encourage broad international representation on LTR Standing Committee
  • Update the Section leaflet