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 The Wisconsin Association of Academic Libraries (WAAL) conference is an interactive virtual experience taking place Wednesday, August 7, 2024. This event offers opportunities for academic librarians and library staff to connect and share ideas. 

The conference theme Alphabet Soup: Finding Meaning in Academic Library Work will provide attendees with the opportunity to unpack their work and reclaim their purpose amidst the many challenges and opportunities in today’s libraries. Focus topic areas will include information literacy; intellectual freedom; equity, diversity, and inclusion; open education; and artificial intelligence.  In addition to a full day of live online learning sessions, there will be 30-day post-conference access to every single recorded session and a bonus offering of pre-recorded lightning talks and poster presentations. 



Registration Rates - Registration closes Monday, August 5 at 5:00 p.m.

WLA Members - $50.00
Non-Members - $95.00
Full-time Library Science Students - $25.00*

 *Students are required to show proof of enrollment status. 




Group Discounts
Group discounts are available for individual academic institutions and libraries (individual rates - member, non-member. student - apply)
  • 3 - 9 attendees = 10% off total registration 
  • 10 - 14 attendees = 15% off total registration
  • 15 or more attendees = 20% off total registration
The online registration form is for individual registrations only.  Group registrations must be made using the downloadable registration form (DOWNLOAD HERE) or by calling the WLA office at 608-245-3640. Group registrations sent via mail must be received by Friday, August 2. 
Cancellations received by July 24 will be refunded after the conference, minus a $25 cancellation fee. No refunds after July 24. 


Keynote Speaker

Mike Caulfield, Researcher, Author, and Creator of the SIFT Methodology

"Is this what I think it is? Navigating a world of decontextualized evidence and pervasive AI"

The question many stumble on when navigating the web isn't whether something is true or false, but whether the thing they are looking at is "what it looks like." An advocacy site can look like a newspaper, a ten-year-old video can be recycled as a recent event, and a PDF'd preprint can be misread as a peer-reviewed paper. People are fooled by surface features -- how an item looks, reads, or feels, ignoring more important deep features, such as where it came from and who vouches for it.
How will AI, with its mastery of surface style, impact the information environment of the web? What techniques should the public adopt to protect themselves from being bamboozled by its confident prose and compelling multimedia? What techniques are best avoided?
This talk will draw on real world examples showing how our online world is about to change -- albeit in familiar ways.


Headshot of Mike CaulfieldAbout the Speaker

Mike Caulfield has taught thousands of teachers and students how to verify claims and sources through his workshops. His new book with Sam Wineburg, Verified: How to Think Straight, Get Duped Less, and Make Better Decisions about What to Believe Online, was published by the University of Chicago Press in November 2023. His SIFT methodology is taught by hundreds of research libraries across North America, and a shorter version of SIFT instruction, developed with Google, has been taught in public libraries across the world. His more recent research looks at how a degraded understanding of why argumentation is important and how argument works has led to inappropriate approaches to the problem of misinformation.


Program Schedule

View the complete conference schedule. 

Bonus Pre-Recorded Lighting Talks & Poster Presentations

In addition to a full day of live online learning sessions, there will be 30-day post-conference access to every single recorded session and a bonus offering of pre-recorded lightning talks and poster presentations.  Learn more. 

Sponsorship Opportunities 

Becoming a WAAL conference sponsor gives your organization a great opportunity to promote your products and services while supporting the academic library community.  Your generous support of this event allows the Wisconsin Library Association to continue to deliver high-quality professional development to librarians throughout Wisconsin and, because of its virtual nature, around the country.  Contact Laura Sauser at [email protected] with questions. 



Thank you to our growing list of sponsors!

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