2017 Seek. Spark. Ignite.

2017 Seek. Spark. Ignite.

BC Library Conference 2017

Keynote Speakers

We are thrilled to announce the following Keynote Speakers for the 2017 BC Library Conference!

Opening Keynote – 5:30 pm: Wednesday, April 19th, 2017
Location: Cordova Ballroom
Generously Sponsored By: UBC Library



Some are calling it a comeback; some are calling it a resurgence. Indigenous peoples are here and becoming known.

Khelsilem will share an insightful talk on Indigeneity in 21st century Canada, how it’s being explored and developed, and what needs to fuel Indigenous peoples and our allies for the next 150 years. He will use his experience and training from studying his own two Indigenous cultural identities of the Coast Salish and Kwakw̱a̱ka’wa̱kw to form examples of resistance and adaptation. For the last 6 years, he’s been undertaking the task of reclaiming cultural sovereignty through language reclamation – an experience that has deepened his understanding of what can be possible for Canada in the generations to come.

Khelsilem – pronounced somewhat like chul ∙ sea ∙ lem – is a Sḵwx̱wú7mesh- Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw educator, non-profit founder, university lecturer, and language rights activist. He currently teaches as a lecturer at Simon Fraser University in Indigenous Languages.

Khelsilem tells us that his name was not the one given to him at birth. He became known as Khelsilem starting in October 2011 after he was chosen by his paternal grandmother to receive his name in a traditional Coast Salish name giving ceremony. The handing down of names from one generation to the next is common to many Coast Salish communities. Since then he has chosen to go by his Indigenous name instead of his English name as a commitment to the revitalization of Indigenous ways of being.

In 2015, he founded an arts & education non-profit organization called Kwi Awt Stelmexw – a phrase that means “the coming generations.” Its programming is dedicated to creating a society of language speakers, artists, and cultural producers within the Squamish Peoples for the world.

Closing Keynote – 3:00 pm: Friday, April 21th, 2017
Location: Harbourfront Ballroom

Anita Sarkeesian

Equality or GTFO: Navigating the Gendered Minefield of Online Harassment

It seems that whenever women on the internet dare to speak about social issues they are met with violent, aggressive and often invasive attacks. These large-scale sexist harassment campaigns targeting women have seen a sharp increase in recent years. Because of her work on women in games, Anita Sarkeesian has become the ongoing target of a massive, vicious harassment campaign. In this talk, she will share her experiences to help define and deconstruct how these hostile cyber mobs operate and offer some insights into why gendered harassment is so prevalent. She will also discuss the severe consequences to the women targeted and the larger community. Anita will conclude with some steps to help us move towards more inclusive digital spaces for all people.

Anita Sarkeesian is an award-winning media critic and the creator and executive director of Feminist Frequency, an educational nonprofit that explores the representations of women in pop culture narratives. Her work focuses on deconstructing the stereotypes and tropes associated with women in popular culture as well as highlighting issues surrounding the targeted harassment of women in online and gaming spaces.

She has been a panelist at the United Nations and a guest speaker at various fan, media, and technology conferences, including XOXO, The Media Evolution Conference, Women in the World, and GeekGirlCon. Anita has been interviewed and featured in publications such as Wired, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Colbert Report.

Anita was named one of TIME’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2015 and was the recipient of the 2014 Game Developers Choice Ambassador Award. In 2016 Anita was awarded an honorary PhD from The New School in New York City.

Hot Topic – 5:00 pm, April 20th, 2017 
Location: Cordova Ballroom
Generously Sponsored By: CUPE BC

Never Neutral: Ethics and Digital Collections

Jarrett will discuss the risks and vulnerabilities posed by the normalization of data in an increasingly authoritarian regime. The interest by police and intelligence agencies in the words, movements, and actions of so-called dissenters, subversives, or protesters accentuates these risks and commands that librarians and archivists question the extent to which widespread data normalization might serve authoritarian ends.

Michael will discuss how libraries can work with Indigenous communities to enrich, protect, and appropriately manage sensitive cultural materials, traditional knowledge, and linguistic information. The oftentimes presumed objectivity of metadata, and the fact that many library holdings are the result of problematic collection practices, underscores the need to asses the work we undertake with diverse communities. Michael will ground his discussion in his work with Mukurtu CMS, the Plateau Peoples’ Web Portal, and other projects at the Center for Digital Scholarship and Curation at Washington State University.

Tara will discuss her ethical concerns about digitizing culturally sensitive content and putting it online. Specifically she’ll examine how On Our Backs, an independent lesbian porn magazine published from 1984-2004, was digitized by Reveal Digital, put on the web, then temporarily removed. Tara will also share some best practices learned from other digitization projects.


Tara Robertson, CAPER-BC
Biography: Tara is a librarian who doesn’t work in a library. She likes figuring out how things work, why they break, and how to make them work better. She’s really interested in ethics and exploring collections and places where open access to information is not appropriate.

She’s passionate about universal design, access to information, open source software, intellectual freedom, feminism, and Fluevog shoes.

Jarrett M. Drake, Princeton University Archives
Biography: Jarrett M. Drake is the Digital Archivist at the Princeton University Archives, where his primary responsibilities include managing the Digital Curation Program and describing archival collections for the Princeton University Archives. He also is one of the organizers and an advisory archivist of A People’s Archive of Police Violence in Cleveland, an independent community-based archive in Cleveland, Ohio, that collects, preserves, and provides access to the stories, memories, and accounts of police violence as experienced or observed by Cleveland citizens. In addition to those responsibilities, Jarrett serves on the advisory boards of Documenting the Now: Supporting Scholarly Use and Preservation of Social Media Content and The Eugenic Rubicon: California’s Sterilization Stories.

Outside of archives, Jarrett is a humanities instructor in the New Jersey Scholarship and Transformative Education in Prisons (NJ-STEP) Consortium through the Princeton Prison Teaching Initiative, teaching preparatory and introductory college composition. He also is a member of the 2016 cohort of the Mandela Dialogues on Memory Work, a program organized by the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Global Leadership Academy that convenes an international dialogue series for thought leaders and change agents in the field of memory work. Jarrett earned a B.A. in history from Yale College and an M.S.I. from the University of Michigan School of Information. His prior work experience includes the University of Michigan Special Collections Library, the Bentley Historical Library, and the Maryland State Archives.

Michael Wynne, Washington State University
Biography: Michael Wynne is the Digital Applications Librarian at Washington State University, where he provides support and training for Mukurtu CMS, and helps run community-oriented digitization and digital preservation workshops. Michael is a recent graduate from the iSchool@UBC, where he completed the First Nations Curriculum Concentration, and worked as a student librarian at Xwi7xwa Library.