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Keynote Speakers

We are thrilled to announce the following Keynote Speakers for the 2019 BC Library Conference!

Opening Keynote – 5:30 pm: Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Location: Tynehead Ballroom
Generously Sponsored By: UBC Library

Vanessa Richards

Champions of Imagination – Why Libraries Can Save Life on Earth

VanessaA massive unleashing of imagination can shift our current crisis. We usher this possibility in with the guidance of libraries and the people who work in them. As institutions transforming their design, libraries possess the momentum with which to inspire and equip citizens in creating a just city, a protected Earth and a beloved community. We must transform the story, raise the ancient song, point to that remedy and do it now.

Vanessa Richards examines creativity in common life. Her participatory arts practice invites communities to explore life when we turn more toward each other than away.

She has devised and delivered social arts projects with The Portland Hotel Society (PHS), Simon Fraser University, Vancouver Coastal Health, Public Dreams Society, The Arts Club Theatre Company, Vancouver International Children’s Festival, Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Capilano University, and Vancouver Park Board, among others.

Verse and music are central to her interests. At Cardiff University she earned an MPhil in Creative Writing with poetry and critical anthologized in the UK, Holland, United States and Canada. She is the founder and choir leader of Van Van Song Society (formerly Woodward’s Community Singers) and director of Creative Together, song based facilitation.

Committed to the unique history and futurity of people of African decent in British Columbia, Richards has been an active member of the City of Vancouver’s Black History Month Citizen’s Advisory Group. As a volunteer board member of the Hogan’s Alley Society, they have been participating in the development of the Northeast Falsecreek Plan which formally acknowledges and redresses the erasure and resurgence of Vancouver’s African diasporic culture in its original Strathcona neighbourhood displaced by the Georgia Viaduct.

At 312 Main in the DTES, she is the Director of Community Engagement helping to
transform the former headquarters of the Vancouver Police into a new coworking centre for social and economic innovation. In 2018, she received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Achievement Award for her work in the realm of civic imagination.

Photo credit: Amanda Palmer

Hot Topic – 5:00 pm, May 9, 2019
Location: Tynehead Ballroom

Messy Moments: Libraries and Intellectual Freedom

This session is an opportunity to hear how panelists grapple personally and professionally with library values, specifically our understanding of intellectual freedom.  The intent of the session is to acknowledge changing perspectives that can challenge and shape our values and to discuss the struggles we may have defining our values.  We recognize that this is a difficult conversation for many of us and hope that this session can set a tone for many more collective, revealing and illuminating conversations.

Nicki Kahnamoui: With over two decades of experience in strategic and operational planning and implementation, Nicki Kahnamoui partners with mission-driven organizations in envisioning, realizing and improving new and existing organizations, projects, programs, and processes. Nicki has worked in the public, private, and not-for-profit sectors, in various industries and different countries. She has an MA in interdisciplinary studies, a Project Management Professional certificate as well as a certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement. Nicki is also a mixed media visual artist. linkedin.com/in/NikNazK

Beth Davies: Beth Davies is Chief Librarian of Burnaby Public Library. She has worked in public libraries since 1999, including leadership roles at Vancouver Public Library as Neighbourhood Services Manager and Head of the Carnegie Branch. Beth is vice-chair of the BC Libraries Cooperative. She is passionate about the critical role that public libraries play in connecting with communities, in making our library spaces accessible to all community members, and in meaningfully engaging with communities outside our walls to provide relevant and responsive service.

Archana Rampure: Archana Rampure is the Director of Research, Job Evaluation and Health & Safety for CUPE National. Archana has worked with CUPE for a decade; before that she worked for the federal NDP. In a previous life, Archana taught literature and cultural studies and holds a PhD from the University of Toronto. She also did research into the history and culture of reading popular fiction as a SSHRC post-doctoral fellow at Dalhousie.

Leanna Jantzi: Leanna Jantzi is Head of Fraser Library at Simon Fraser University’s Surrey Campus and a settler who lives on the ancestral and unceded territories of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam peoples. Prior to SFU, she held positions at Capilano University and Okanagan College libraries and came to librarianship after a career in community news reporting. As she navigates through and grapples with the messiness and challenges of intellectual freedom, she is grateful for any and all collective and inclusive discussions on the topic.

Kyla Epstein: Living on the unceded Indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) Nations and working with the membership of the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Faculty and Staff Association provides Kyla with the opportunity to decrease isolation within an organization and foster community through relationships built on trust, connection, accountability and shared values. Kyla believes organizations are at their best when they seek opportunities for dialogue over debate, are inclusive, and use process to advance, not hinder, work. Cross-sectoral learning supports her to be effective, curious and innovative in her efforts to influence change while establishing best practices. Kyla is a past Director with the BC Library Trustees Association (BCLTA), and a past Chair of Vancouver Public Library. She currently serves on the boards of FACE BC and the Vancouver Writers Festival.

Closing Keynote – 3:30 pm: Friday,May 10, 2019
Location: Guildford Ballroom
Generously Sponsored By: CUPE BC

BCLA is pleased to announce that the Minister of Education, Rob Fleming will attend the BC Library Conference Closing Keynote session to address conference delegates! We are pleased and honoured to host the Minister and thank the BC Library Partners  – BCLA, ABCPLD, BCLTA and the BC Libraries Cooperative –  for the work we have done together to increase Government’s awareness and recognition of the great work being done in BC libraries. Having the Minister address the library community at the BC Library Conference is a tribute to the Minister’s commitment to libraries and to the work the BC Library Partners have done to support that commitment and to increase his awareness of public libraries. We are looking forward to providing a warm welcome for the Minister and to hearing his thoughts on libraries.

Emily Pilloton

Emily_Pilloton_SquareCropSmFear Less. Build More.

Emily Pilloton, founder of the youth design initiatives Project H and Girls Garage, wants you to “go big or go home.” With decades of experience building real world projects with youth (a farmers market, tiny homes, and a workshop just for girls!), Emily will challenge you to channel your creativity and curiosity into new ideas for what libraries might be in the future. As a bibliophile (both her grandmothers were librarians!) and diehard maker and builder, she will present hands-on projects she has done with youth along with new mindsets to encourage prototyping, radical partnerships, and brave making in our library spaces. Her background in architecture and design will inspire you to experiment in new ways and envision new futures for the libraries we all know and love.

Emily Pilloton is a designer, builder, educator, and founder of the nonprofit Project H Design and its sister program, Girls Garage. Using architecture and design as a vehicle to transform communities and classroom pedagogy, she works alongside youth ages 9-18 to co-design and build public architecture projects. She has built a farmers market with high school students, a playhouse with girls whose mothers have experienced domestic violence, a school library designed by its own middle school students, and microhomes for a homeless housing agency. Her work seeks to change the authorship of our built environment and cultivate power in underestimated communities, specifically young girls, undocumented youth, and communities of color. With an educational philosophy rooted in creativity, design thinking, and project-based learning, Emily also works with educators and schools to reinvent teaching and learning in more hands-on and community-focused ways. Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from the University of California Berkeley, and a Master of Fine Arts in Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is currently a Lecturer in the College of Environmental Design at the University of California Berkeley, and is the author of three books, Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People, Tell Them I Built This: Transforming Schools, Communities, and Lives With Design-Based Education, and a forthcoming book about tools and building for young women. Her work is documented in the full-length film If You Build It, and has been featured on the TED Stage, The New York Times, The Colbert Report and presented to the Obama Administration’s Office of Science and Technology Policy at The White House.