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Message from WAAL Chair, Josh Hickman:

Welcome to Manitowoc!

Recently, academic librarians have been faced with numerous challenges,both familiar and novel. We must continue to articulate the relevance of our skills to those we serve. We must adapt to the shifting landscape of technology, resources and standards relevant to our work. We must advocate for a place at the table alongside those who make crucial decisions about the teaching and learning goals of our institutions. Accomplishing these tasks requires no small measure of bravery. Acknowledging this quality that we all possess, the conference planning committee is delighted to welcome you to "Be Fearless: WAAL 2015."

We've got a tremendous line up for you this year that is sure to captivate and inspire! Our keynote speakers are Nicole Pagowsky, whose work on critical librarianship is changing the way we think about our profession, and Trevor A. Dawes, whose tenure as ACRL President brings knowledge of issues facing our peers nationwide to our conference. At our luncheons, we'll hear from Rick Dodgson, author of It's All a Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey, and Barb and Ken Wardius, who will discuss Wisconsin's historic lighthouses. In addition, your colleagues throughout the state will deliver presentations on topics including assessment, digital collections, instructional technology and mentoring student workers. As always, be sure to stop by the poster session on Thursday afternoon and enjoy the social events occurring each evening! Following the poster session, you're invited to attend the WAAL business meeting at 4:00 p.m., where you'll have a chance to learn about exciting changes at WAAL this year and to share your thoughts, ideas and questions.

On top of all this, the conference planning committee is tacking into the wind with some brand new programs for you this year! On Wednesday, don't miss the rapid-fire exchange of great ideas at our round of lightning talks. On Friday afternoon, stick around after the keynote for WAAL's first unconference, which will offer a chance to reflect on what you've learned and discuss the topics that are important to you.

This conference wouldn't be possible without the fearlessness and effort of so many of our friends and colleagues. Great thanks go to the conference planning committee, volunteers, presenters and WLA staff for their enthusiastic dedication in preparing this experience for us all! Thanks, also, to all of you for being here at WAAL 2015.

Be well. Be wise. Be fearless!

Josh Hickman