The Zimbabwe Library Association

54TH Conference

ZimLA 54th Annual Conference, 2021

Event:        54th Virtual Conference and Exhibition,

Venue:       Harare

Dates:      25 & 26 August 2021

Theme:     Innovative Library and Information Services in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic


Submission Deadline for Abstracts: 14 July 2021


 About the Conference:

The Zimbabwe Library Association Annual Conference (ZimLA) has become one of the celebrated international events covering discourse in all aspects of librarianship including digital library research. ZimLA offers a valuable opportunity for researchers, educators, and LIS practitioners to share their experiences and innovative developments in the field of Library and Information Science. The conference also offers participants an opportunity for practical hands-on training sessions where participants would be exposed to, applying knowledge and skills in line with the national, regional and international standards.

The 2021 Conference will be held online under the theme “Innovative Library and Information Services in the wake of COVID 19 pandemic.” The COVID-19 pandemic has caused drastic changes in the design and delivery of library and information services. The global pandemic has also been a catalyst for transformation in libraries. For instance, there is now the pressing need and possibility for providing uninterrupted service delivery to all library clients regardless of their physical location through remote virtual library service provision. The Conference will provide opportunities for learning and sharing strategies on building resilience in libraries during and after the COVID-19 global pandemic. The 2021 Conference, will bring together leading academics, librarians, information scientists, partners, booksellers and publishers, researchers, records professionals, archives professionals, and other stakeholders and to engage and share experiences and research results on the development of sustainable library services during and after the COVID-19. It also provides a premier interdisciplinary platform for all participants to present and discuss the most recent innovations and trends in the LIS environment. The Conference will also discuss concerns as well as practical challenges that are being encountered and proffer possible solutions of high-quality and original research papers as well as practical posters that identify research problems and provide practical solutions. Submissions must resonate with the conference’s theme and/or any of the chosen sub-themes listed below. The Conference proceedings will be published and distributed electronically and also made available on the Association’s website.



Research Papers and practical posters are particularly encouraged in the following areas and they should be in line with innovative approaches in providing library services in the new normal characterised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Innovative library services during a crisis
  2. Role of libraries in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  3. Libraries and COVID-19: opportunities and challenges
  4. Libraries collaboration in the wake of COVID-19
  5. Libraries and the fight against COVID-19 misinformation and fake news
  6. Reskilling and upskilling librarians to deliver services during pandemics
  7. Library policies and guidelines for uninterrupted library service provision during a pandemic
  8. Library support during pandemics (Looking at funding, support for staff to offer remote services,)
  9. Library services for patrons with special needs



We invite submissions on diverse topics related to digital libraries and related fields including (but not limited to):

  • Libraries and National Development
  • Libraries and the National Development Strategy 1
  • Libraries and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Sustainable development process and implementation of the SDGs in the context of Africa.
  • The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development framework
  • 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • IFLA and the SDGs in the context of information provisions
  • Information Technologies for Digital Libraries
  • Libraries and Education 5.0
  • Libraries and Industry 4.0
  • Applications and quality assurance of digital libraries
  • Open access publishing and predatory publishing
  • Social media and collaborative interfaces in digital libraries



Proposals are invited on the following topics:

  1. Reference management software
  2. Leadership in Libraries
  3. Exploring Open Science (Open Access Resources, Open Knowledge Maps, etc.)
  4. Journal article writing etc.



Guidelines for Submission of Abstracts and Research Papers/Posters

Research Papers and Posters shall consist of:

  1. Clear presentation of problem areas with clear illustration of how solutions can be applied in libraries
  2. Position papers presenting opinions on some aspect of professional practice, or describing work that is still in progress, but sufficiently mature to warrant attention.
  3. Experiences and case studies specifying requirements, challenges, or opportunities
  4. How Libraries respond to the SDGs and enunciation of best practices
  5. Abstract: The total length (including title page, references, figures, and tables) should be 250 words, single-spaced, with standard fonts and margins, and formatted according to the guidelines.
  6. Full paper template: Authors of all accepted papers are required to submit a full manuscript of a maximum of 10,000 words.
  7. The title page and references should be formatted according to Conference Paper Template that will be shared with the discussant and the conference participants.
  8. Presenters need to prepare their PowerPoint presentations in very brief point or numbered format that should be forwarded with the papers to the Secretary on or before the stated dated.
  9. Accepted papers will go through a peer review process and will be published in the ZimLA journal

Submission Dates

  1. Call for Papers – 01 July 2021
  2. Submission of Abstracts – 14 July 2021
  3. Review and Acceptance – 21 July 2021
  4. Submission of full papers – 30 July 2021


Conference fees: Conference attendance is free!


Contact details

  1. Download and fill in the 2021 Data Submission Form (DSF) from the ZimLA Conference page
  2. Please send the completed Data Submission Form and attach the relevant document you wish to submit  through email , and copy,
  3. For further information on the conference organization please consult our website:  and for updates.
  4. If you have questions, use the following contact details: ; (+263) 773048590; (+263) 712251952;
  5. Ms Tapiwa Tanhuke (ZimLA Secretary General) Mobile No. (+263) 712251952
  6. Mr Jerry Mathema (ZimLA President),; Mobile No. (+263) 77275577

The mission of ZimLA News is to keep Zimbabwe Librarians informed and also make international librarians aware that we continue our work despite the turbulent state of the economy. The current editor is Hosea Tokwe at Midlands State University:

Please send contributions to him at: or

Back issues available in pdf format: