History

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The Workshop for Instruction in Library Use, commonly known as WILU, is an annual Canadian conference where delegates meet to discuss timely topics related to information literacy.

In May 1972, five Canadian participants at a conference on library instruction in Ypsilanti, Michigan met and discussed ways to share their experiences with other Canadian librarians.

Within a few months, the following members formed a steering committee:

  • 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)
  • Sheila Laidlaw (University of Toronto)

Based on enthusiastic comments received from participants at an August workshop, a basic set of guidelines was established:

  • The target audience should be staff and librarians from both universities and colleges in Ontario and Quebec
  • The committee should be representative of several different institutions
  • The workshop should be independent of library organizations to facilitate “grass roots” participation at the cheapest possible cost
  • The workshop should emphasize experiences and learning
  • “Outside” speakers should be kept at a minimum and input sought from faculty members and students for whom library instruction is designed
  • The registration fees are to be set as low as possible with campus accommodation when possible

To this day, institutions hosting WILU aspire to meet most of these criteria.

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