The Prince George Public Library will host 160 delegates from libraries throughout central and northern B.C. at its biennial library conference on June 3-4.
Beyond Hope 2019’s theme is Stronger Things and will explore topics such as accessibility, homelessness, inclusivity, mental health and equity. The conference will take place primarily at the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre and Bob Harkins Branch.
The library was able to secure distribution rights and sponsorship to offer delegates a private screening of The Public film as a pre-conference session. The film is set in a Cincinnati library, and tackles issues surrounding homelessness, mental health, and community.
The keynote will be given by actress Grace Dove. Dove is a First Nations actress from Canim Lake. who has embraced a responsibility to lift up her audience and her community. In 2015 she co-starred with Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy in the Oscar-winning film The Revenant. Most recently she wrapped up her first leading role in the feature film adaptation of Eden Robinson’s novel “Monkey Beach.”
Library Journal’s 2019 Librarian of the Year, Skye Patrick, will also speak at the conference. Patrick has been the LA County Library Director since 2016 and is responsible for the operation of the library’s 87 libraries and a 15-vehicle mobile fleet, serving 3.4 million residents. She is celebrated for her commitment to barrier free access to libraries.
Attendees include library workers from public, health, school, post-secondary, and law libraries from throughout the region.
There are a total of 44 sessions, including a Downtown Prince George Walking Tour, tour of Two Rivers Gallery’s MakerLab, ‘Dr. Tech: Evolving Technical Support in Libraries’, ‘Looking Back, Moving Forward: BC Public Libraries Supporting Reconciliation in their Communities’ and ‘CELA and Bookshare: Partnering to Serve British Columbians with Print Disabilities’.
The biennial conference is organized by Prince George Public Library staff, and is made possible through sponsorships and registration fees. Sponsors this year include the North Central Library Federation, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC, College of New Caledonia, University of Northern British Columbia, Friends of the Prince George Public Library, OverDrive for Libraries and Hoopla Digital.
Beyond Hope adopted its name in the early 1990s in response to the fact that opportunities for professional development tended to focus on the lower mainland, and as a tongue in cheek way to highlight the achievements of libraries in the north beyond the community of Hope.