The 2023 BC Library Conference is taking place April 12-14, 2023 in Richmond at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel
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.
As you plan your conference experience, we encourage you to embody our theme. Of course you will seek out sessions that reflect the kind of work you already do – mirrors are important. We hope you'll also take advantage of the windows and sliding glass doors the conference offers you. Choose at least one session on a topic that is outside of your area of practice; you may enjoy the view through the window, or even choose to step through the sliding glass door.