2019 WLA Conference

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October 8-11, 2019
Kalahari Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965


We have recently learned about a glitch that meant that some program proposals that people tried to submit for the WLA Annual Conference did not go through. We want to make sure that we didn’t miss anyone, so if you submitted a program but have not heard back from the program committee about the status of it yet, please re-submit by April 26 to: pamela.odonnell@wisc.edu.

Thank you!

Leah Langby
2019 WLA Conference Chair


The program proposal deadline for first consideration for the Wisconsin Library Association annual conference was March 1, 2019. The committee, however, will review proposals until the schedule is complete. If you have a program idea that you would like us to consider, please contact a member of the program committee:

Mark Jochem

Pamela O'Donnell

Roxane Bartelt

FAQ about Cultural Appropriation

WLA Board of Directors statement on Kalahari Resort site
Adopted January 10, 2019

The values of inclusion, diversity, and equity are fundamental to the library profession, and to the library associations that support it. In 2019, the Wisconsin Library Association will hold our conference at the Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in the Wisconsin Dells. Many members of the association have raised serious concerns about this venue, with its themes of cultural appropriation and colonialism, as being inappropriate and inhospitable as a conference site for WLA. The WLA Board has heard these concerns and is actively trying to ensure future conferences will be held at locations that better match our values. The Wisconsin Library Association has had a signed contract for the 2019 conference with the Kalahari since 2012. Unfortunately, canceling the contract would result in a minimum fine to WLA of $27,324, which the Association cannot absorb and remain viable.

For this reason, in 2019 the Annual Conference will be held at the Kalahari. The board acknowledges that the venue of the Kalahari is untenable for many members, and greatly regrets that attending the conference in 2019 will be painful, or maybe even impossible for some. The Wisconsin Library Association Board has appointed a committee to explore other venue options to expand the list of locations for future conferences. The 2019 Conference Committee is working hard to use the conference as an opportunity to educate, build awareness, and advocate for equity, inclusion, and respect for diversity. One aspect of this will be a keynote speech and pre-conference session featuring Ijeoma Oluo, author of So You Want to Talk About Race. The committee is considering several other ways to do this and is interested in suggestions from the membership.

The board welcomes your input and ideas to help our association live up to the values of inclusivity, diversity, and equity. We understand that these values are not reflected in the Kalahari as a venue and are taking steps to address this issue for the future.

For additional Information, contact:

Scott Vrieze
Board President
Wisconsin Library Association
University Librarian
University of Wisconsin - Stout

Plumer Lovelace
Executive Director
Wisconsin Library Association
4610 South Biltmore Lane, Suite 100
Madison, WI 53718-2153