The Workshop for Instruction in Library Use is an annual Canadian conference where delegates meet to discuss timely topics on information literacy. In May 1972, five Canadian participants at a conference on library instruction in Ypsilanti, Michigan discussed ways to share their experiences with other Canadian librarians. Within a few months, a steering committee was formed consisting of Boris Chumakov (York University), Richard Dewey (Sir George Williams University, now Concordia University), Lucie Greene (University of Western Ontario), Patricia Grieg (University of Western Ontario), and Sheila Laidlaw (University of Toronto).

Based on enthusiastic comments received from participants at a workshop that occurred in August 1972, a basic set of guidelines was established for the formation of WILU. The conference initially targeted staff and librarians from universities and colleges in Ontario and Quebec, and a committee was formed consisting of representation from several different institutions. Today, oversight passes from one hosting institution to the next, and WILU attracts librarians from across Canada, the US, and beyond.

The workshop continues to exist independently from library organizations in order to facilitate grass roots participation at the lowest possible cost, and registration fees are set as low as possible. Outside speakers are kept to a minimum, and input is sought from librarians, faculty members, and students for whom library instruction is designed. The workshop emphasizes experience and learning, and has evolved to blend practice with meaningful theory and research. As the information landscape evolves, WILU continues to redefine itself as Canada’s premier information literacy conference.

Host History

  • 2019 University of Winnipeg, University of Manitoba, Red River College - Engaging Place and Practice
    Jesse Stommel: Against Scaffolding: Radical Openness and Critical Digital Pedagogy
    Sarah Dupont: Indigenization of Information Practices: Ideas to inspire, Innovate & Implement
  • 2018 University of Ottawa – Information into Action
    Guylaine Beaudry: Information and digital literacies as foundation of digital strategies
    Karen Nicholson: Information into action? Reflecting on (critical) practice
  • 2017 University of Alberta – Engage, Expand, Explore
    Niigaanwewidam James Sinclair: Appropriation or Appreciation: How to Engage Indigenous Literatures
    Jessie Loyer: Librarians, wâhkôhtowin, and information literacy instruction: building kinship in research relationships
  • 2016 University of British Columbia – Intersections
    Emily Drabinski: Intersections with Power: Critical Teaching the Library Catalogue E.
    Paul Zehr: Closing Keynote
  • 2015 Memorial University – sea change
    Char Booth: Information Privilege: Narratives of Challenge and Change
    TA Loeffler: Cultivating a View Towards Change
  • 2014 Western University – e-magine the possibilities
    Craig Gibson, Judy Jacobson, Megan Oakleaf
  • 2013 University of New Brunswick – Synchronicity - The Time is Now
    Bonnie Stewart, Dave Cormier: MOOCs, Rhizomes, and Networks: Information Literacies in a Time of Complexity and Abundance
    Terry Reilly: Changing the Conversation
  • 2012 Grant MacEwan University – Vigour, Thrift and Resourcefulness
    Michael Eisenberg: What College Students Say About Conducting Research in the Digital Age: Implications for Libraries, Librarians, and Higher Education from Project Information Literacy
    Adria Vasil: Decoding Greenwash
  • 2011 University of Regina – Learning Under Living Skies
    Brian Thwaits: The Big Learn: Smart Ways to Use Your Brain
    David Bouchard: Aboriginal Success: A Crack in the Door
  • 2010 McMaster University – Design, Play, Learn
    Dr. James Paul Gee: A New Paradigm for Learning in the 21st Century (And Where Libraries Fit In)
    Dr. Steven J. Bell: Exploring the Instruction Mystery: Designing our way past a wicked problem
  • 2009 Concordia University – Reflections
    Dr. John M. Budd: Where do we go now? Some research directions in information literacy
    Heidi LM Jacobs & Selinda Berg: Looking outward, looking within: Reflections on information literacy praxis
  • 2008 UBC Okanagan – Information Literacy Uncorked
    John Willinsky: La Culture de l’information
    Alane Wilson: Their perceptions, our reality: The information-seeking habits and preferences of college and university students
    Judith Peacock &; Nancy Goebel: Alice and the Carpenter present: The Time Has Come to Talk of Many Things: Act 1 – Your Future Through the Looking Glass
  • 2007 York University – Teach Every Angle
    Rick Salutin: Thinking versus knowing: Where does information come in? Patricia Iannuzzi: Changing learning, changing roles: Collaboration at every angle
    Fay Durrant: Culture, context and content: Vital issues in ensuring information literacy and effective e-citizenship
  • 2006 Acadia University – Charting a Course for Instruction
    Dr. Patricia Senn-Breivik: Information literacy and lifelong learning: The time is now!
    Dr. Jeremy Shapiro & Ms. Shelley Hughes: If everything is information, is information literacy possible?
    Dr. Toni Samek: Information ethics on our global library streets
  • 2005 University of Guelph – A Kaleidoscope of Possibilities
    Bill Johnston, Sheila Webber
  • 2004 University of Victoria – Theory Meets Reality
    Dane Ward: The collaborative quest for compelling information literacy instruction
    Trudi Bellardo Hahn: Connecting information literacy to the research process
  • 2003 University of Windsor – Bridging the Gap: Teaching Across Boundaries
    Dr. Clara Chu: Information literacy within a multicultural critical framework
  • 2002 University of New Brunswick – River Runs: Trends in Library Instruction
    Dr. Heidi Julien: Miles to go before we sleep
  • 2001 Carleton Unversity – Teaching Using Learning in a Pluralist Setting
    Dr. Tim Pychyl: What’s our vision for teaching & learning?: Addressing systemic barriers to information literacy instruction
  • 2000 University of Western Ontario – Literacy for the Infollennium
    Hannelore Rader: If we teach them will they learn? Dr. Michael Atkinson: Teaching and learning in the 21st century
  • 1999 McGill University – Process of Integrating Library Instruction into the Curriculum in Partnership with Our Teaching Colleagues
    Carol Kuhlthau: Collaboration in the learning process Gloria Leckie: Fostering a pedagogy for information literacy
  • 1998 Queen’s University – Libraries at the Heart of Learning
    Cerise Oberman: Library liaison program
  • 1997 University of Montreal – Gateways to the Information World
    Thérèse Laferrière: Learning to search and create co-operatively
  • 1996 Wilfrid Laurier University – Anticipation: Library Instruction for Changing Times
    Roma Harris: Development of library instruction and its place in a changing learning environment
  • 1995 Université Laval
  • 1994 University of Ottawa – Making Connections
    Richard Rancourt: Librarians can do it with style
  • 1993 University of Toronto – Library Instruction: Strategies for Success
    Lorna Marsden
  • 1992 University of Windsor – Skills for Change
    Patricia Breivik
  • 1991 Concordia University – From Yesterday to Tomorrow
    Maureen Pastine: Library user education: Where have we been? Where are we going?
  • 1990 Brock University – The Challenge of the 90’s
    Constance Mellon: Library anxiety: Instruction librarian as therapist
  • 1989 Bishop’s University & Champlain Regional College – The Art of Library Instruction
    Evan I. Farber: How I became ‘Bibliographic Instructor of the Year’
  • 1988 University of Waterloo & Wilfrid Laurier University – Teaching and Learning in the Present Tense
    Stanley Benson & Sheila Laidlaw: The library’s status in undergraduate instruction: Far from the heart of things
  • 1987 McMaster University & Mohawk College – Re-Creating the Image
    Panel with Tom Eadie, Tanis Fink; Jacelyn Foster – Immodest proposals: Alternative futures for instruction
  • 1986 John Abbott College – Connections Linking the Library Instruction Network
    R. Smith & L. Melamed: Learning style theory: Implications for helping others learn
  • 1985 University of Western Ontario & Fanshawe College – Reaching Out: New Directions in Library Instruction
    Moderator, George Robinson: Panel on faculty communication and the role of library instruction
  • 1984 Queen’s University & St. Lawrence College – Coping with Crisis: Strategies for Survival
    Margot McBurney
  • 1983 Carleton University & Algonquin College – Exploring the New Technology for Library Instruction
    Fraser Taylor: Videotex and related technologies
  • 1982 University of Toronto – A Learner-Centred Approach to Teaching Liz Burge: How adults learn
  • 1981 University of Guelph – Approaching Instruction Effectively
    Librarians in the 1980’s: Skills and Technologies
  • 1980 McGill University – Staff Development, Computerized Services, Part-time and Non-traditional User, Marketing
    M. Scott
  • 1979 University of Waterloo – Teaching the Use of the Library: Instructional Strategies That You Always Wanted to Know But Were Never Taught
    Panel: Instructional strategy for teaching the use of the library
  • 1978 University of Ottawa – Approaches to Library Instruction: Do You Know What Your Colleagues Are Doing?
    Anne McQuade: Teaching Skills
  • 1977 York University – Marketing the Library, Selling the Library as Part of the Teaching Learning Process
  • 1976 Queen’s University – The Librarian as Teacher: Planning, Teaching, and Evaluating Library Programs
    Hugh Munby
  • 1975 McMaster University – Printed Materials
    Monika Jensen
  • 1974 University of Toronto – Audio-Visual Techniques
    Panel with B. Squires, L. Wise, D. Todgham, I. Melanchuk: Matching Media & Message
  • 1973 McGill University & Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) – Communication and Learning Theory
  • 1972 University of Western Ontario – General Overview of Orientation
    F. Eugene Gattinger: Confessions of a Library Orientator