>Hello, World! 2014 BC Library Conference
By Shirley Lew & Baharak Yousefi.

On behalf of the 2014 BC Library Conference Planning Committee, it is our pleasure and privilege to share with you our unbridled enthusiasm for this year’s conference program. As announced in the call for proposals last fall, this year’s conference theme is >Hello, World! which we hope captures a sense of optimism, creativity, exploration, and engagement with the world.

From the beginning, we hoped for speakers, presentations, and conversations which capture and honour our library communities in their richest diversity. We believe that we will be able to mobilize our best energies when we take inspiration and guidance from the many, not the few, and we are thrilled with the results. With the call for proposals, we asked for submissions that responded to one of the five conference themes: access, evidence, community, place, and work. We also approached people outside of the library world who have valuable things to share in these areas. The response from both these groups was tremendous. From the library community, we received thirty percent more submissions this year. From those outside of the library world, we were met with immediate enthusiasm and willingness to share their work with us and to forge new relationships and alliances with the library community. The response buoyed our spirits and indicated to us the reserve of potential we have yet to explore.  

We are blown away, humbled, and delighted that Ivan Coyote, Marian Bantjes, and Arundhati Roy will be featured as the 2014 BCLC keynote speakers. For us, their work, while greatly varied, represents an opportunity to seek new orientations and to gain new eyes. Among the invited speakers, we are privileged to have a variety of perspectives such as Dethe Elza, an Aesthetic Programmer who has worked with Mozilla, Michael Heeney, Architect and Principal at Bing Thom Architects and Susan Downs, the dynamic Chief Librarian of truly innovative Innisfil Public Library in Ontario.

In the past year, at BCLC and other library conferences, symposiums, and colloquia, our community has gathered to ask questions and summon inspiration: Are we there yet? Do we have five years to live? What is your big idea for libraries in communities? These are good questions and have resulted in many great conversations. We hope that you will keep asking questions and summoning inspiration at this year’s conference and, most of all, we hope that we can broaden the conversation and allow for a diversity of voices and perspectives from both inside and outside of libraries.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Vancouver and hope that you will find BCLC 2014 to be a professionally and personally energizing and rewarding experience. It is our greatest hope that this year’s conference will reconvene us as a collective who share a passion for the future of libraries and the sessions and conversations will be equal parts reflective, frank, creative, and forward looking.

Shirley Lew is Coordinator, Library Systems & Technical Services at VCC in Vancouver and the Co-Chair of Program Planning Committee for BCLC 2014.

Baharak Yousefi is Head of SFU's Fraser Library in Surrey and BCLC 2014 Conference Chair.