Call for Papers




Ensuring the free flow of information is a major political and social issue in modern society. Democracy relies on an informed citizenry to make good decisions, and this relies on information access. In the digital era, new technologies give us greater access to knowledge and allow us to be more informed participants in society. Information professionals possess an unparalleled ability to understand, teach, and navigate through the constant flow of data and information.

Libraries have always been considered places of universal knowledge. Nowadays, they play a major role in information access by offering citizens tools and resources. BOBCATSSS 2016 questions the role of the library as a social and political place: How open is it? How welcoming? What is its part in spreading democracy and squaring inequalities? By what means? How do libraries conceive their political model?

BOBCATSSS 2016 explores the main theme through several key topics: The Role of Libraries in Democratic Cultures, Intellectual Freedom and Censorship, Libraries, Open Access and Open Data and Protecting Privacy.

The program includes paper presentations, workshops, poster exhibitions, and invited keynote speakers.


As institutions of public service, libraries provide citizens access to culture and information, but how can libraries play a role in providing tools and opportunities for citizens to realize their citizenship fully and to take active parts in society and in democracy?


Mediation: the importance of mediation, new type of mediation, new services, public relations, library staff, service design

Libraries & Citizenship: tools for citizens, civic engagement, social development, professional development, social justice, education, lifelong learning, connected learning, citizenship, information and digital literacy

Access: access to culture and information, digital divide, e-government, mobile library services, cultural democratization

Partnerships: participatory projects, innovative projects, fab lab, crowdsourcing, libraries networks, international cooperation, public/private partnerships


Democracy is closely tied to intellectual freedom. However, this concept is still the subject of debate. What responsibility do information professionals have in defending intellectual freedom? What can they do to support and promote individuals’ rights to access, explore, consider, share and express ideas?


Libraries & citizens: living archives, living libraries, innovation, pluralism of collections, freedom of expression, variety of viewpoints, public space, debating and dialoguing, discussion groups, welcoming places, social places, political places
Professional commitment: ethics, neutrality, professional networks, associations, censorship, information activism

Communication: advocacy, public relations, promoting freedom, awareness campaigns




In a knowledge-based society, open access conveys the idea of sharing and promoting knowledge without boundaries. This begs the questions: What are the ways to implement freedom of access? How to sustain new economic models? How can libraries make the most of open access resources and promote free access?


Access: open access, free access, copyrights, equal access to knowledge, net neutrality, government resources, open research data, scholarly information, green/gold road

Communication: advocacy, lobbying, associations, professional networks, public relations

Economics & Technology: public subsidies, funding, crowd-funding, public/private partnership, library management, institutional consortia

Publishers & Libraries: documentary policy, subscriptions, digital edition, hybrid collections, bundles, streaming




In an age of information sharing and access where open data provides new opportunities, privacy has become one of the main issues in the digital society as a human right. How to strike a balance between open access and privacy? How should privacy concerns be handled by information professionals? How can they educate citizens about issues related to privacy? What’s their role in protecting users’ information?


Policies: government policies, freedom of expression, right to privacy

Technology: data collection, data mining, big data, social media, electronic resources, information systems

Mediation: workshops, information literacy, digital literacy

Library collections and services: the role of privacy in library collection decisions (eBooks, usage statistics), privacy, users confidentiality


Important dates:

Deadline for abstract submission: September 30, 2015

Authors’ notification: October 20, 2015

Deadline for full text papers submission via conference toolDecember 25, 2015

BOBCATSSS: January 27-29, 2016

Download the Call For Papers