Conference theme

We are delighted to invite you to the 44th annual WILU conference, taking place in St. John’s, Newfoundland from June 15-17, 2015!

The theme of our conference is Sea Change: Transforming Learning.  When we first considered this year’s conference theme, we were inspired by the ideas of change, growth, and transformation.  These things define WILU, both in the way that we come together to learn and grow as educators, and in the way that our teaching can help to transform others. We were also inspired by the changes currently taking place in information literacy, with the development of the new ACRL Framework – a framework built on the idea of transformative learning.

The phrase “sea change” is rich with meaning.  Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as a change “wrought by the sea”, the meaning connects our theme with the island of Newfoundland, a rough and beautiful place that has been wrought by the sea geologically, economically and culturally.  But the OED also defines “sea change” as an “alteration or metamorphosis [or] a radical change”, pointing to the current and on-going changes in our profession.  As librarians who are committed to teaching and learning, we come to WILU to bear witness to those changes. This idea, too, is expressed in the words “sea change”, or rather “see change”, as we witness the transformations taking place around us.

Finally, the phrase “sea change” has deep origins, originating with Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, in which the spirit Ariel sings:

Nothing of him that doth fade,
but doth suffer a sea-change
into something rich, & strange.

These lines say a great deal about transformation: that it is challenging, that it feels “strange”, that the transformed may even “suffer” a bit in the process – but the end result is “rich”, valuable, and even life changing.  Shakespeare’s words also resonate with the draft framework, particularly the idea of “threshold concepts”. These are ideas which, although troublesome, offer learners a “portal” through which they can grow, transform, and, as it says in the Framework, “develop new perspectives and wider understanding”.

We hope that you will join us in St. John’s in 2015, to share ideas and explore new ones, to learn and to be inspired as educators.  While you are here, be sure to take some time to discover our wonderful province!

Janet Goosney & Jeannie Bail
Co-Chairs, WILU 2015