‘Inclusion is the process where varying needs of a community, and groups that constitute it, are recognised and priorities met. It is the positive management of diversity, to which all organisations should aspire’ (McDonald & Olley, 2002). Libraries around the world have long adhered to the principle of inclusion and outreach as a priority in meeting the needs of their particular communities. It is advocated by governments and professional organisations, appears in library mission statements and is discussed in forums of all kinds. Information professionals believe that when a nation, organisation or institution embraces inclusion, the library should be at the centre.
The challenge for libraries is that their communities are living entities, constantly changing and growing, so there is a need for constant scanning of community needs and interests as they evolve in order to shape outreach information programmes that help ensure the inclusion of all in library-based services. Such programmes, if responsive to community needs, provide a unique opportunity to improve the public image of the library as a community service organisation, and also offer the opportunity for collaboration with community leaders, groups and organisations to help enhance overall library services.
But how much to we really know about the effectiveness of inclusion policies and programmes in our libraries? How successful are our attempts at community outreach? Are we missing opportunities in terms of inclusion, and is exclusion still a significant issue? These are the principal questions to be addressed in ICoLIS 2012.
The Conference Committee is therefore calling for papers from researchers and practitioners related to the broad area of inclusion and outreach in libraries. Issues of interest include:-
The following topics will run through the conference, but are not limited to:-
Papers should focus on research and/or applications within these topics as well as highlighting novel practices and be of sufficient depth for a 15-20 minute presentation, with time for discussion. Papers will be reviewed by a panel comprising international Library & Information Science (LIS) professionals, academicians and practitioners. Post-Graduate students are encouraged to present their work within these themes. All presenters are expected to attend the conference as paying participants; the organizing committee is not able to sponsor any participants.