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Preserve and Protect [clear filter]
Friday, May 2


Meet the Policy Experts
Sponsored by Society Circle


Libby Dechman, Policy Specialist for Art and Kate James, Policy Specialist for RDA, Policy and Standards Division, Library of Congress

Alison Larson, Art Reference/Weekend Operations Librarian, Crouch Fine Arts Library, Baylor University

FRBR has changed how we think about bibliographic records, and RDA has changed how we approach descriptive cataloging. Library of Congress Policy and Standards Division staff have answered thousands of questions from LC staff and the wider cataloging world seeking direction and clarification. In this informal session, two policy experts from the Policy and Standards Division will provide updates on RDA developments at LC and recent changes in descriptive and subject cataloging policy that impact the art community. Time will be allotted for questions and answers.

Friday May 2, 2014 11:30am - 1:00pm
Room: Burnham Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001


Pro amore liborum: Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship
Sponsored by Michael R. Weintraub and Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC)


Neal Turtell, Executive Librarian, National Gallery of Art
Mark Dimunation, Chief, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
Vanessa Haight Smith, Head, Preservation Services, Smithsonian Libraries

Bill Baxter, President, Washington Rare Book Group / Head, History and Culture Department, Smithsonian Libraries

The greater Washington DC region is host to a wide range of world-class libraries, many of which hold specialized and rare book collections. Taking advantage of the area's wealth of collections, specialists, and enthusiasts, this panel will address fundamental issues in special collections and rare book librarianship, including conservation and preservation, acquisition, security, and handling and use.

Presenters will also address issues and arguments regarding whether rare book material should be part of the library's collection or the museum's. The panel will also investigate the book as object vs. the book as information. Presenters will also focus on collections and materials that can later be visited by attendees at the respective libraries that are easily accessible in downtown DC. The session is intended to both provide an introduction to rare book collection issues by experts in fields while showcasing local collections.

Friday May 2, 2014 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Room: Latrobe Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001


Preserving Canadian Cultural Heritage

Sponsored by Society Circle


Culture/History Wars in Canada: a Museum Library Perspective - Jonathan Franklin, Chief: Library, Archives and Research Fellowships Program, National Gallery of Canada
The Campaign to Save Canada's Documentary Heritage - Mary Kandiuk, Visual Arts Librarian,
Scott Library, York University

Jennifer Garland, Assistant Librarian, McGill University

What are the priorities for national collection building by government institutions in the face of dwindling resources? What strategies can be used by stakeholders to ensure that artistic, historical and cultural heritage is preserved? The national institution, Library and Archives Canada, has embarked on controversial directions and undergone abrupt changes of leadership. Stark reductions in funding have affected it and many smaller federal libraries as well. At the same time, Canadian history has loomed large in political discourse. A political campaign is being waged by librarians, archivists, academics, curators, artists, and a myriad of other citizens across the country in response to what is perceived as the dismantling of Canada’s documentary heritage.

Mary Kandiuk from York University will provide a chronology of the events leading up to the current crisis, a deconstruction of a political rhetoric that threatens the fabric of cultural institutions everywhere, and an overview of the collaborative efforts that are being used to influence government policy making. It will also highlight the successful multimedia strategies that are being used in a highly visible campaign resulting in hopeful signs that the tide may be turning.

Jonathan Franklin from the National Gallery of Canada will investigate whether there are particular lessons to be learned for art museum libraries as their role in general seems increasingly under threat. Is this an opportunity to be seized, or a trap to be avoided? Should the library ramp up its collecting and programming in related areas or maintain a steady course with no deviation?

Friday May 2, 2014 3:45pm - 4:45pm
Room: Lafayette Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001
Saturday, May 3


Visual Literacy: Putting Guidelines into Practice
Sponsored by Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC)


Jennifer Friedman, Instruction and Research Services Librarian, Ringling College of Art & Design
Sarah Carter, Assistant Professor and Director of Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville
Carrie McDade, Head Librarian, Lesley University College of Art & Design
Gary Ginther, Fine Arts Librarian, Ohio University
Robin Potter, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Santa Fe Community College

Greg Hatch, Head of Fine Arts and Architecture, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah

In October 2011, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) published its Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. The 10-page document identifies seven standards (modeled on ACRL’s own Information Literacy Competency Standards) and prescribes performance indicators and learning outcomes for students in higher education. However, the guidelines did not include librarian users in its scope nor did it offer practical examples of how to apply the standards in real-world situations.

During the first half of this panel session, the speakers will present a wide variety of visual literary projects and initiatives, which will inspire attendees—from academic, art school, and museum libraries alike—with real-world examples of how ACRL's visual literacy guidelines have been implemented. The speakers will note which ACRL Visual Literacy Standards correlate to their examples, as well as comment on the financial costs, time investment, and the technology and skills required to implement them. The second half of this session will engage attendees with interactive discussions on developing and embedding visual literacy into their own library work.

Saturday May 3, 2014 10:30am - 12:00pm
Room: McPherson Square Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001


Picturing Dissent: Documentation of Labor Movements' Actions from the Late 19th Century to the Present
Sponsored by Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC)

Art and Recreation: The International Garment Workers' Union, Unity House, and Diego Rivera
- Kathryn Dowgiewicz, ILGWU Project Archivist, Kheel Center, Cornell University

Shooting Back: Labor Portrays Itself and the World (in the collections of the Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives) - Erika Gottfried, Curator of Nonprint Collections, Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives/Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives, New York University

Black and White and Red All Over: Bernard Kassoy’s McCarthy Era Political Cartoons in the New York Teacher News - Barb Morley, Digital Archivist, Kheel Center, Cornell University

Opportunities and Challenges: Collecting and Managing Activists' Photos Available on the Web - Anna Perricci, Web Archiving Project Librarian, Columbia University

Elizabeth Berenz, Senior Implementation Manager, Artstor

Art and politics collide in the documentation of the history of the labor movement. Several speakers from Cornell University and New York University will present their special collections of documentary photographs, political cartoons, and labor movement ephemera across a century. An additional speaker from Columbia University who is also a member of the Occupy Wall Street Archives Working Group will present about the work of that group, including how Bulkr and the use of Creative Commons licensing helped the working group with the challenges they faced collecting material outside of an institutional setting.

Recorded Session Available Summer 2014

Saturday May 3, 2014 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Room: Lafayette Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001


Retooling Art Reference and Information Services: Collaborative Tools, Strategies, and Models
Sponsored by Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC)


Sara Snyder, Information Technology Specialist, Archives of American Art
Elizabeth Botten, Archives Specialist, Archives of American Art
Kraig Binkowski Chief Librarian, Yale Center for British Art
Elizabeth Morris Assistant Librarian, Yale Center for British Art
Fran Scott, Director of Library Services, Georgian Court University

Emilee Mathews, Research Librarian for Visual Arts, University of California Irvine

In the perennial struggle to improve library collections, policies, and services with rapidly changing user needs, the reference transaction is a powerful encounter that can be mined for data to improve, streamline, and innovate existing practices. The papers below demonstrate ways that each speaker has capitalized on this interaction to make a positive impact on their institution’s relationship with its constituency.

Elizabeth Botten and Sara Snyder of the Archives of American Art have created an innovative program to improve their institution's digital collections interface. By retooling real-life reference questions into tasks for web-usability testing, they have devised a practical, low-budget methodology that informs the Archives’ design and information architecture. This strategy has forged a close collaboration between reference, processing archivists and information technology, and has bolstered the belief that supporting researchers is everyone’s job.

The Yale Center for British Art’s Kraig Binkowski and Elizabeth Morris have created an innovative and powerful reference tool with the creation of comprehensive, object-focused bibliographies for their museum’s permanent collections. Culled from contemporary literature and historical documents and created with the collaboration of several museum departments, these tools enhances the on-site and online research experience for both the general public and scholars.

Fran Scott, formerly Manager of the Architecture Library and Reference and Instruction Services at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute discusses the successes and challenges of the implementation of a new reference model. Created to be on-call as well as offer tiered service, the objective of this new model was to free up desk time for new projects and the required collaboration of staff and librarians outside of the reference and instruction services department.

Together, these papers provide guidance and inspiration to think critically about leveraging and promoting user empowerment in the art library across a broad spectrum of museum, academic, and art and design school libraries serving a wide variety of users and needs.

Saturday May 3, 2014 1:00pm - 2:30pm
Room: McPherson Square Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001


Professional Trajectories: Career Paths and Leadership Training

Sponsored by Society Circle


Ask Not What Your Profession Can Do For You: Surveying Art Librarian Career Paths and Attitude- Eamon Tewell, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Long Island University, Brooklyn
The Problem with Leadership Training for Librarians- Rachel Resnick, Librarian, Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Alison Huftalen, Head Librarian, Toledo Museum of Art

As many can attest, the path one takes to art librarianship is not always a direct route with clear goals and strategies. Additionally, once in the profession, support for development in leadership skills is often lacking. Eamon Tewell from Long Island University, Brooklyn, will present the results of an international survey of art librarians' motivations for selecting the field, as well as their educational backgrounds, previous and current employment, and advice for graduate students and prospective librarians seeking to enter the profession. The survey results, accompanied by illustrative quotes from respondents and charts to visualize the data, will be reviewed and critically evaluated.

Attendees will learn more about the demographics and career paths in the profession as voiced by respondents in two dozen countries, and be able to identify core values of art librarianship expressed of, by, and for the profession. Rachel Resnik from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design will examine the scarce opportunities for art librarians to hone their leadership skills. Librarians need to be savvy negotiators, excellent bridge builders, and creative agents of change.   

For the sake of their careers and the Society, ARLIS/NA members need to become power brokers within their institutions. The presentation will investigate why a profession that is traditionally so effective and proactive in training, is failing to satisfactorily provide training opportunities in regards to leadership.

Saturday May 3, 2014 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Room: Conference Theater Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001
Sunday, May 4


Collaborating to Achieve
Sponsored by Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC)


Reaching Across the Aisle: The Library as Bridge Between Science and Art- Shannon Marie Robinson, Fine Arts Liaison Librarian, Denison University
Dr. Strangetune, or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Merge- Ann Lindell, Head, Architecture & Fine Arts Library, University of Florida
Ask the People, Serve the People: A Collaborative Assessment Project at UCLA- Allison Benedetti, Librarian for Advanced Research and Engagement, UCLA Library

Lyndsay Bratton, Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship, Yale University

Collaboration in higher education is becoming increasingly crucial with ever-increasing demands on resources and widening ranges of expertise. As a result, academic libraries are becoming more enterprising by finding new ways to collaborate more effectively and creatively. The three presenters in this session all faced different challenges where collaboration provided an effective means for successful innovation.

Ann Lindell, at the University of Florida will discuss the decision that was made to close the Music Library facility and merge its collections and professional staff with the Architecture & Fine Arts Library. This change involved many departments and multiple facilities and her paper will address the topics of advocacy and communication during times of change, patron activism, and strategies for managing expectations both internal and external.

Allison Benedetti will discuss how renovated space at the UCLA Library resulted in bringing in users from diverse subject areas. A team of librarians launched a multi-modal assessment project in order to better understand the complex needs of varying disciplines and students and to be proactive in addressing and scaling responses to newly arising challenges. The initiative provides an opportunity to collaborate with colleagues on campus to promote this project and guide it through to implementation.

Shannon Robinson, a fine art liaison librarian at Denison University, will discuss how she and a science liaison librarian are implementing intra-institutional collaborative activities between science and art faculty members to support the STEAM movement, which champions adding Art to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education. Successes, failures, and future efforts will be addressed, reflecting on how librarians can foster the STEM to STEAM movement at their institutions.

Sunday May 4, 2014 9:15am - 10:45am
Room: Conference Theater Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001


The Politics of Digitization: Populist Projects and the Loss of Information
Sponsored by Washington Art Library Resources Committee (WALRC)


Deborah Kempe, Chief of Collections Management & Access, Frick Art Reference Library
Billy Parrott, Managing Librarian, The Picture Collection, New York Public Library
Patricia Fidler, Editor, Art and Architecture, Yale University Press

Clayton Kirking, Chief, Art Information Resources, New York Public Library

As an engorged wave of digitization washes over the library and information landscape, some in the profession find that they have weathered this tempest before. The rush to produce microfilm and discard paper originals that senior librarians experienced the 1970s and 1980s produced an enormous amount of film and sometimes created significant voids in physical print collections. The last ten years have seen an enormous rise in the popular mandate to digitize. This, coupled with the limitations posed within the disciplines of Art History, Architectural History and Design History, i.e., images, has resulted in a generalized stall of the process, especially when compared to other fields, e.g., fiction and the sciences. This "anomaly" in the field raises questions about priorities: What gets digitized and what does not? What is digitally sexy? What gets left behind? 

This session, prompted in part by the colloquium "From Wunderkammer to eResources: Promoting Art Information Across Borders in the 21st Century", held in Berlin June 13, 14, 2013, will continue discussions begun there and open the conversation to larger representation of the art library community. The session will address three primary topics: initiatives engaged in the creation of high-quality digital publications in the arts, such as catalogues raisonnés and exhibition catalogs; priorities for electronic publishing among academic presses; and, the little discussed subject of collections that are at the virtual bottom of the digitization hit list. The underlying intents here are to take the metaphorical temperature of the level of digitization in the Arts, to begin to more generally assert pressure upon the publishing industry to address the needs of the above fields, and to more aggressively identify collections that are recognized by the Society as important art historical resources collections that are at the virtual bottom of the digitization hit list.

Sunday May 4, 2014 9:15am - 10:45am
Room: McPherson Square Grand Hyatt 1000 H Street NW, Washington DC 20001