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2023 WLA Events

Stay tuned for announcements on special events and conference keynotes for #WLA2023.


" "Thursday, March 30

Meet & Greet Reception
7:00–9:00 pm

Join us for our conference kick-off celebration! While enjoying light snacks and a no-host bar, you'll have the opportunity to explore the library and grow your WLA community.

Friday, March 31

Welcome Breakfast and Keynote  
8:30–9:45 am | Banquet Hall

Enjoy breakfast while listening to our keynote speaker set the tone for the conference. While we're finalizing details with our keynote speaker, we promise this event is not to be missed! Stay tuned for our keynote announcement soon. Before our speaker takes the stage, you'll be welcomed by WLA leaders and conference planners and hear tips for making the most of your conference experience.

Exhibit Hall Grand Opening
9:45–10:30 am | Exhibit Hall

Join us for the opening celebration of the 2023 WLA Exhibit Hall! Grab your morning coffee or tea in our Exhibit Hall, where vendors will be hosting live demos, raffles, Q&As, giveaways, and more. New this year, exciting Pop-Up programs will be scheduled in the exhibit hall; check back soon for details.

" "

All-In Lunch: Connections & Conversations
12:15–1:30 pm | Banquet Hall

Our Table Topics Lunch is designed to facilitate deeper conversations and allow you to forge more meaningful, lasting connections. You’ll be encouraged to branch out from your circles to sit with strangers who have shared interests, job roles, or challenges—but they won’t be strangers for long! You'll pick a table topic and refer to the guiding questions to get the conversation flowing. Whether you came to conference with colleagues or solo, you’ll leave this lunch with stronger ties to your WLA community.

WLA After Dark
7:30–9:15 pm
 | Breakout Rooms & Offsite

WLA After Dark is back again this year with evening sessions that are more irreverent, fun, or provocative than our standard conference fare.

Saturday, April 1

Book Awards Breakfast  
8:00–9:45 am | Banquet Hall

Join WLA’s School Library Division and the Children and Young Adult Services (CAYAS) Section in celebration of the many fantastic nominees and winners of the WLA Book Awards, which are all voted on by the students of Washington State! Hear from the William C. Towner Award (informational texts for grades 2–6), Sasquatch Award (novels for grades 4–6), the Washington Children's Choice Picture Book Award (picture books for grades K–3), the OTTER Award (for transitional readers in grades K–5), and the Evergreen Teen Book Award (grades 6–12). Stay tuned for the announcement of our special author guest!

Awards Lunch  
1:00–2:15 pm | Banquet Hall

Help us celebrate the people who make the Washington library community so special! All attendees are invited to celebrate the innovations and accomplishments of our 2023 WLA Merit Award winners.

Exhibits Grand Finale
3:15–4:00 pm | Exhibit Hall

Join us for the concluding celebration of this year's Exhibit Hall! Enjoy afternoon snacks and refreshments during the festive finale. Finish collecting stamps in your exhibitor passport, make final bids on silent auction items, and buy your last raffle tickets before the big winners are announced!

" "Closing Session:
The Right to Read A Conversation on Censorship 
4:15–5:30 pm | Banquet Hall

As libraries across the state and country continue to face book banning efforts, especially those targeting materials and programming with LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC representation, we all need to ask ourselves whether we're prepared for challenges within our own libraries. Hear a conversation between three panelists who have faced these challenges directly: an author who writes books about and for queer youth, a retired librarian and professor with a long career of national leadership and intellectual freedom advocacy, and a teacher librarian who recently made headlines by fighting censorship attempts at his middle school.

Shaun David Hutchinson, Author of We Are the Ants, Brave Face, and other banned books about and for queer youth
Barbara Stripling, Past President, Freedom to Read Foundation (FTRF)
Gavin Downing, Teacher Librarian, Cedar Heights Middle School, Kent School District