Major conference on digital libraries hosted in Floriana

‘Sharing meaningful information’ – conference on digital libraries’ theory and practice

Minister Evarist Bartolo and Dr Joe Vella Gauci, ambassador of Malta to UNESCO, will be opening a major conference on digital libraries for Europe - the International Conference Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries (TPDL), the 17th edition of which is being hosted on 23 September at 9 am at the Hotel Excelsior in Floriana.

The event is being held under the patronage of the National Commission for UNESCO - Malta, and is co-organised by The Department of Library Information and Archive Sciences of the University of Malta and the COST office of the EC (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).The opening ceremony will also include welcome addresses by Professor Henry Frendo, Chairman of the National Commission for UNESCO in Malta, Prof. Joe Friggieri on behalf of the University of Malta, Prof. Janet Mifsud on behalf of COST, and one of the program chairs, Prof. Trond Aalberg from Norway.

The conference will host some 300 delegates from 40 countries from all continents, including academics and representatives of memory institutions. The conference has many distinguished delegates, deans of information schools across the globe, and representatives of the EC, UNESCO, the Council of Europe and other international bodies.

The series of TPDL conferences is a prime forum for academics and practitioners from the cultural heritage sector interested in digitisation, accessibility online and long term preservation. The general theme of the conference is "Sharing meaningful information". Hosting the forum in Malta is beneficial to the national memory institutions and the academic community.

TPDL 2013 brings together plenary and parallel tracks, posters and demonstrations, workshops and tutorials, panels and a doctoral consortium which serve the proliferation of academic and practitioners' synergies. The keynote speakers at this conference edition present two different points of view on the digital libraries in the context of the main conference theme. Professor Christine L. Borgman explores the research aspect of use of digital resources looking into "Digital Scholarship and Digital Libraries: Past, Present, and Future" while Professor Sören Auer addresses "What can Linked Data do for Digital Libraries?" Furthermore, the conference hosts two panels looking at cooperation within our community: "COST Actions and Digital Libraries: between Sustaining Best Practices and Unleashing Further Potential" and "eInfrastructures for Digital Libraries... the Future".

The conference invited submissions in a wide range of research topics, clustered in four broader areas: Foundation; Infrastructures; Content; and Services. The selection process once again was extremely competitive resulting in the acceptance rate of 24%. This year was marked by a substantial increase of the diversity in the countries of origin of submissions which included forty countries compared to twenty-six for the conferences in 2011 and 2012.

A novelty this year is the cooperation with the iSchools community within the specialised Global Workshop of iSchools.

The proceedings of the conference are published by the highly prestigious Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science series. The forum is held with the support of the Ministry of Finance and the MTA. Detailed programme is available on