CLIR’s Digital Library Federation Issues Call for Forum Proposals

The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and its Digital Library Federation (DLF) invite proposals for the 2020 DLF Forum and related events, Learn@DLF and NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2020, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, November 8–12. Submissions for this year’s Forum and Learn@DLF are geared toward a practitioner audience. Kathlin Smith, Director of Communications at CLIR, writes about DLF’s 25th anniversary, forthcoming events, CLIR’s programmes and publications. CLIR has been IIPC’s fiscal host since 2017.

By Kathlin Smith, Director of Communications at CLIR

Based in the Washington, DC, area, CLIR forges strategies to enhance research, teaching, and learning environments in collaboration with libraries, cultural institutions, and communities of higher learning. CLIR has a number of international affiliates, including IIPC and NDSA. These affiliations give organizations opportunities to engage meaningfully with new constituencies, and to work together toward integrating services, tools, platforms, research, and expertise across organizations in ways that will reduce costs, create greater efficiencies, and better serve our collective constituencies.

25 years of DLF

The DLF was formed in 1995 by 12 academic libraries, the Library of Congress, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, and the New York Public Library. The idea was to leverage new individual digital library efforts to create the basis for a distributed open digital library, and CLIR provided a home for the new enterprise.

This year’s DLF Forum, held November 9–11 (#DLFforum), celebrates a milestone 25th anniversary. We welcome digital library, archives, and museum practitioners from around the world to share experiences and practices with one another and to exchange information among professional staff. Our program from 2019 can be found here. There will be a preconference workshop, Learn@DLF (#LearnAtDLF), on November 8, where attendees gain experience with new tools and resources and share expertise. We are eager to increase international participation; DLF membership is not required to submit a proposal.

In reflecting on DLF’s anniversary, it is instructive to read how its first director, Donald Waters, summed up the challenges of digital archiving in a groundbreaking report he co-authored with John Garrett: “If we are effectively to preserve for future generations the portion of this rapidly expanding corpus of information in digital form that represents our cultural record, we need to understand the costs of doing so, and we need to commit ourselves technically, legally, economically, and organizationally to the full dimensions of the task.”

Twenty-five years later, these challenges continue to animate the work of CLIR and DLF, and the need for international collaboration is greater than ever.

Get active with Digital Preservation

Immediately following the Forum on Nov. 11–12  is NDSA’s Digital Preservation 2020: Get Active with DP (#digipres20), for which the Call for Proposals has also just been issued. Open to members and non-members alike, this meeting highlights the theory and practice of digital stewardship and preservation, data curation, the digital object lifecycle, development of best practices, and more. CLIR currently serves as administrative host to the NDSA.

Concurrent with Digital Preservation 2020, CLIR will also hold a symposium on Digitizing Hidden Collections Symposium (#digHC).

Publications, projects, and podcasts

We hope you will join us in Baltimore as a presenter or attendee. Meanwhile, we invite you to look at some recent activity from DLF, NDSA, and CLIR:

  • DLF’s Born Digital Access Working Group (one of 13 working groups active at DLF) just issued a report, Levels of Born-Digital Access
  • NDSA issued its Levels of Digital Preservation v2.0, and the original 2013 version has just been released in French (work is under way on a French version of v2.0).
  • NDSA has also released a series of web archiving surveys of US organizations engaged in web archiving or in the process of planning a web archive. The most recent survey was published in 2018.
  • This spring, CLIR will join project partners in announcing the launch of a new Digital Library of the Middle East platform for federating digitized Middle Eastern materials from institutions around the world. The platform will be scalable and extensible, for use by others.
  • CLIR Presidential Fellow and board member Carol Mandel is conducting a study of the societal and institutional framework that collects and preserves born-digital documentary evidence. Read the framing chapter of her research.
  • CLIR is preparing Season two of its podcast, Material Memory, which will focus on the “wicked problem” of ensuring that born-digital material remains accessible for future generations. The season will be released in late spring.

DLF Forum 2020

2016 IIPC General Assembly & Web Archiving Conference

In 2016 the IIPC is organising two back-to-back events in the spring hosted by the Landsbókasafn Íslands – Háskólabókasafn (National and University Library of Iceland) in Reykjavík, Iceland:

  • IIPC General Assembly 2016, 11-12 April – Free (open for members only)
  • IIPC Web Archiving Conference 2016, 13-15 April – Free (open to anyone)

The IIPC is seeking proposals for presentations and workshops for the 2016 IIPC Web Archiving Conference (13 – 15 April 2016). Members of the IIPC are also encouraged to submit proposals for the IIPC General Assembly (11 & 12 April 2016).

Theme guidance

Proposals may cover any aspect of web archiving. The following is a non-exhaustive list of possible topics:

Policy and Practice

  • Harvesting, preservation, and/or access
  • Collection development
  • Copyright and privacy
  • Legal and ethical concerns
  • Programmatic organization and management


  • Research using web archives
  • Tools and approaches
  • Initiatives, platforms, and collaborations


  • New/updated tools for any part of the lifecycle
  • Application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • Current and future landscape

Proposal guidance

Individual presentations can be a maximum of 20 mins. A panel session can be a maximum of 60 minutes with 2 or more presentations on a topic. A discussion session should include one or more introductory statements followed by a moderated discussion. Workshops can be up to a half-day in length; please include details on the proposed structure, content, and target audience.

Abstracts should include the name of the speaker(s), a title, theme and be no more than 300 words. All abstracts should be in English.

Please submit your proposals using this form. For questions, please e-mail .

The deadline for submissions is 17 December 2015. All submissions will be reviewed by the Programme Committee and submitters will be notified by mid-January 2016.