British Columbia Library Association

Call for Proposals for the 2023 BC Library Conference open September 21 – November 21, 2022

BCLA is happy to announce that the call for proposals for the 2023 BC Library Conference is now open.

You can read the submission FAQs and submit a proposal via the online portal.

Conference Theme

Our 2023 conference theme is Windows, Mirrors, & Sliding Glass Doors. This theme of insight, reflection, and transition speaks to the role of libraries and library workers: the work we are striving to do with our communities, in our organizations, and within ourselves.

We were inspired by the article written by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop in 1990 about the need for diverse children’s literature. Dr. Sims Bishop said:

Books are sometimes windows, offering views of worlds that may be real or imagined, familiar or strange. These windows are also sliding glass doors, and readers have only to walk through in imagination to become part of whatever world has been created or recreated by the author. When lighting conditions are just right, however, a window can also be a mirror. Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.

Dr. Sims Bishop was expanding upon ideas in a piece written by Emily Style in 1988 about the need for curriculum to be both a window and mirror for students, “in order to reflect and reveal most accurately both a multicultural world and the student [themselves].”

People will always need to validate their own experiences and perspectives. Still, in an increasingly polarized society, it’s also critical that we empathize and attempt to see why others might have drastically different takes on reality and aspire to different futures. An essential part of our library work is constructing and maintaining mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors to support the people we serve and self-reflect on the assumptions and motivations underlying everything we do.

We encourage potential presenters to submit session proposals that range from practical to theoretical, with a focus on content applicable to current and future work. We welcome creative interpretations of what our theme may mean for different people in their varied areas of library work.

Submitting Your Proposal

Crafting a successful conference session proposal takes skill. We are offering a free information session: “Writing a Successful Conference Proposal” on Tuesday, October 4 from 10-11am.  We invite you to sign up to attend. This session will be recorded and made available to anyone who has registered for the session.

You can also check out our Conference Presentation: Better Practices for more guidelines on how to create a successful session proposal.

Pheedloop’s Call for Proposal form is not currently accessible for screen readers. We apologize for this lack of accessibility and continue to advocate with the vendor. We will be happy to provide support to make the process accessible until this is resolved. Please email our Conference Coordinator, Shannon Stumph, for support for this or any other access issues.

How the 2023 Conference will be different from past Conferences?

This will be BCLA’s first in-person conference since 2019. The 2023 BC Library Conference will take place April 12-14 at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel.  In-person sessions, events, and trade show will take place from Wednesday evening through to Friday afternoon.

The conference will offer both in-person and virtual experiences. We are currently reviewing hybrid and virtual options to ensure we are offering the best quality experiences possible with our resources.

We know it is essential to maintain a virtual option and not just go back to what we have done in the past. We heard from you that the virtual option allowed more people to attend and worked better for some learning styles. We also heard from many of you that you are eager to gather in-person again. We look forward to learning from this new experience and refining the conference for future years based on your feedback.

We hope to see you at BC Library Conference on April 12-14, 2023!