British Columbia Library Association

NOW OPEN: Early Bird Registration for the BC Library Conference

Dear Colleagues,


We are pleased to announce that Early Bird registration for the 2018 BC Library Conference is now open! Early Bird Registration is open until April 4th.


Wednesday May 9th to Friday May 11th, 2018

Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel

7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC
Easily accessible using the Canada Line, Richmond-Brighouse stop


The 2018 BC Library Conference theme is Work + Culture. This theme urges an examination of the connections between work environments, institutional cultures, and communities; an inquiry of how cultures can impact, clash, and complement each other and inform society as a whole.


To view the full BC Library Conference program including sessions and Keynotes:


To register for the BC Library Conference:


This year, as in other years, we have negotiated a discounted hotel rate for members and delegates attending the conference. The number of hotel rooms is limited so please book as soon as you can to ensure both the reduced rate and availability. Discounted room rates are available until April 12, or until sold out.  For hotel information and to book a room please check:


The cost for a BCLA Member to attend the full conference is $380. Costs for non-members and for single day attendance can be found here:

Please join us in welcoming our 2018 Keynote Speakers:

Amal Rana
Collaboratively Creating Transformative Change

Weaving together insights from her experiences as a queer, mixed race, Muslim feminist, Amal’s talk will explore how we can collectively create deeply transformative change and build solidarity with each other to not just survive but also find new ways to thrive in increasingly challenging times.
Amal Rana is a queer, mixed race, Pakistani Performance Poet, Educator and Muslim futurist who weaves together community narratives across cultures, languages and generations.
Amal has given talks and performed poetry in various cities, from New York and Toronto to Porto Alegre and Cape Town. In a time when even exhaling while being Muslim seems to have become a crime, she sees poetry as a catalyst for collective liberation.


Sandra Mathison
Superheroes are what we need: The complexity of evaluating libraries and library services

On the surface, most human endeavors seem simple. We mean to do something often because we value certain things and not others, we have certain resources, and we wonder how well we did in the end. In reality, most human endeavors are complex and often open to multiple interpretations. Libraries and library services are a human endeavor of just this sort. On the surface, the endeavor seems relatively simple. Identify needs of users, develop strategies for meeting those needs and determine how well we did so and/or describe our resources available for users. This framework is common in evaluation and especially in human endeavors where there are “consumers” or “clients” or “users.” But the library world is considerably more complex, with multiple stakeholders vying for their potentially competing needs to be met and new ways in which library resources and services are connected to broad social issues. And so, evaluation of libraries and library services needs also to be much more complex. Evaluators need to step up and be as heroic in their efforts as libraries and librarians are in theirs. This complexity will be better served if evaluation considers 1) whose interests ought to be considered and in what measure and 2) realistic, accurate, contemporary understandings of library resources and services.

Sandra Mathison is Professor of Education at the University of British Columbia. Her research focuses on educational evaluation and especially on the potential and limits of evaluation to support democratic ideals and promote justice in education. She is the Executive Director of the Institute for Public Education – BC, a research think tank focusing on public education in British Columbia.


Chris Bourg
Libraries are not neutral; neither are we

Libraries are not neutral institutions. They provide services and resources to their communities, based on a set of professional values that promote democracy, access, and social justice. Those of us who work in libraries, as social beings, are likewise not neutral. While some library leaders try to keep their political and social agendas separate from their work, others see them as inextricably intertwined. In this talk, Chris Bourg will describe her attempt to bring an explicitly feminist agenda to library leadership, and her belief that libraries can and should promote social justice.

Chris Bourg is the Director of Libraries at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where she also has oversight of the MIT Press. Prior to assuming her role at MIT, Chris worked for 12 years in the Stanford University Libraries, most recently as the Associate University Librarian for Public Services. Before Stanford, she spent 10 years as an active duty U.S. Army officer, including three years on the faculty at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Chris is a member of the Steering Committee of SocArXiv, a new open access platform for social science research, and is currently co-chairing an MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on Open Access to MIT’s Research. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), and a member of the Harvard Board of Overseers Committee to Visit the University Library. Chris recently co-chaired an MIT Ad Hoc Task Force on the Future of Libraries, and just completed a term as Chair of the Committee on Diversity and Inclusion of the Association of Research Libraries. Chris has written and spoken extensively on the future of research libraries, diversity and inclusion in higher education, and the role libraries play in advancing social justice and democracy. She received her BA from Duke University, her MA from the University of Maryland, and her MA and PhD in sociology from Stanford.


We look forward to seeing you all at the 2018 BC Library Conference!

Heidi Schiller
Conference Co-Chair
Leanna Jantzi
Conference Co-Chair
Anne O’Shea
Conference Co-Chair
Shannon Stumph
Conference Coordinator
Annette Defaveri
BCLA Executive Director