Wednesday, July 15, 2015

WILU 2015 report

For a librarian who is a looking for a conference that is more targeted than CLA and smaller than LOEX, WILU (Workshop on Instruction in Library Use) might fit the bill. This year’s WILU was held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, on June 15-17. The theme, which changes every year, was “sea change”.

The conference host, Memorial University, put on a great slate of programs, with a thematic focus on the sea change in instruction caused by the newly released ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education (available at Opening keynote Char Booth advocated for the role that librarians play in challenging information privilege and spoke about how the framework can act as a common language when communicating with faculty, students, and each other. Other presenters spoke about the framework’s effect on what they teach, how they teach, and how they assess what they have taught.

As a first-time WILU attendee, I was impressed with the quality of the presentations and the manageable size of the conference (with roughly 120 attendees). I enjoyed the mix of different session formats, such as fishbowls and lightning talks, in addition to panels and lectures. I attended sessions on learner autonomy, library instruction as language learning, and teaching the graduate research process. With the smaller size of the conference, I was able to spend time learning, sharing, and connecting with presenters and fellow librarians. The relevant and timely presentation topics gave me new ways to think about instruction and ideas to implement in my own library.

Next year, WILU moves from the east coast to the west! UBC will host the 45th annual WILU on May 30-June 1, 2016, with the theme “intersections.” For more information, see

Sabrina Wong is the Student Engagement Librarian at SAIT Polytechnic. She also serves as the FLA Treasurer.

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