British Columbia Library Association

BC Virtual Library Conference, May 3 – 7, 2021

Over the past two months BCLA staff have been looking at the “way and how” of mounting a 2021 BC Library Conference. We feel certain that an in-person conference is not an option, but neither is a virtual conference that simply mirrors the in-person conference. Our goal is to build a conference grounded in the benefits of the existing technology, while also recognizing the limits of the technology. Our focus remains, as always, on the content of the conference sessions and presentations.

Our plan is to hold a virtual conference over 5 days, for limited hours, and mostly composed of single streamed sessions. Each day will have a theme and will begin with a keynote speaker. Following the keynote will be two consecutive TED-Style talks of 20 minutes each. A break with networking opportunities and activities and an invitation to visit the virtual Tradeshow will follow. The afternoon will have two choices of four sessions, between 30 and 45 minutes long. In all, we expect the full day to be a maximum of 5 hours. In the evening we will invite guests back for entertainment such as author readings, music, or comedy acts.

There will be a reasonable charge to attend the conference for the full 5 days and an option to attend a single day, or a combination of single days.

We expect to send an email within the week asking for your suggestions for the themes for each of the 5 conference days. After we have established the themes, we will send out a call for proposals as well as a call for recommended local speakers for our TED-style sessions.

We plan to record our sessions and make them available at a later date, for a limited amount of time, at a cost, for those who are not able to attend when the session is aired, but are interested in a specific conference day of programing. We are working out those details now and will let you know more details when we open conference registration.

 Thank you all for the many things you have done in previous years to make the annual BC Library Conference a success. We hope you come along with us as we try something new for the 2021 conference.