Call for Papers: Bodies’ in the Library: sleuthing, plotting and making the case



Event Date: 

06/10/21 to 06/12/21

Location name: 



British and Irish Association of Law Librarians

We trust you are all keeping safe and well during these difficult times. 


Back in October 2019, when we presented the Call for Papers for #BIALL2020, we never imagined the epidemic that descended on us, or, the New Normal that has changed our routines and refocused our lives.

As lockdown came, and conference was unavoidably postponed, we were very pleased to bring our community together to celebrate BIALL’s (virtual) conference with online sessions that provided a taster of what was to come.

Therefore, it is with great delight, but with some trepidation, that the BIALL Conference Committee opens the Call for Papers for #BIALL2021, which will take place in Harrogate from 10 – 12 June 2021.     

We are retaining the theme ‘Bodies’ in the Library: sleuthing, plotting and making the case’, inspired by Agatha Christie, who famously re-surfaced in Harrogate after a mysterious disappearance, and thrilled to announce that most of our speakers from 2020 will be presenting their full paper either in Harrogate, or virtually.

We do, however, have several slots for our 10-minute lightning talks, and welcome submissions based on the theme: –

A ‘body’ can be any puzzle or issue you need to solve, whether it relates to managing resources, engaging users or finding an elegant solution to a baffling puzzle.    We’re interested in presentations covering topics such as: 

•     Sleuthing:  Tell us about your research triumphs, top tips, go-to technologies and your favourite tools and strategies to untangle a puzzle.  We’d love you to share any research you’ve undertaken, or effective ways to navigate a tricky situation (such as Covid-19). 

•     Plotting:   A successful sleuth rarely works alone; Poirot had Hastings (and Japp).  We’d love to hear about your best practices in working with teams, engaging with users, collaborating with diverse groups and effective management techniques (whether of knowledge or people).   Any successes with online meetings or collaborations in light of widespread remote working would be of interest.

•     Making the case:  Have you ever wondered, why didn’t they ask librarians?  You’ve found a solution, but how do you dazzle your audience? How do you promote your role and services? We’d love to hear how you present complex information effectively, and how you marshal data to show your impact, especially in an online only environment.

The full Call for Papers and the session proposal forms are available above.

These 10-minute lightning talks are a great way for inexperienced speakers to get involved. We welcome proposals from persons of diverse identities and professional backgrounds and on any topics broadly related to our theme.  If you aren’t sure about your proposal or haven’t presented before and would like advice, or would like to consult with us before submitting, please do contact a member of the programme committee:

Julie Doran:

Michael Maher:

Susan McGlamery:

Proposals should be submitted no later than 5pm Friday 30th October 2020.  The Committee looks forward to receiving your submissions. [NB: I suspect this deadline is in GMT, which is five hours ahead of the American east coast]

Contact email: