Guest Post: Allana Mayer on presenting at the ARLIS/NA-MW Virtual Conference

Allana Mayer is an MLIS student at McGill University in Montreal. She recently gave a presentation at the ARLIS/NA-MW Virtual Conference titled From Commons to Open Content: New Perspectives on Visual Resources in the Public Trust. You can see our post about the conference here.

An art and media focus is hard to incorporate into your MLIS classwork, especially if you want to do more than re-hash ideas that are in the literature but outside of the lecture materials. I’ve found ways to incorporate my interests in photography, multimedia, and digital art as best I can — but I’m finding that the things I’m most passionate about are the hardest to reconcile with my curriculum.


I wrote a first-year paper about archival materials posted online via the Flickr Commons, which was a great initiative that fell short in a few specific ways. I was rewarded for this effort with a scholarship to the SLA conference in June, and I think that this positive feedback made me a bit more passionate for projects that make digitized visual resources freely available online. So, of course I paid attention when I started hearing about open content initiatives over the summer, via listservs like ARLIS. This was also how I heard about the ARLIS/NA Mountain West virtual conference, when they sent out a call for proposals.


I find the hardest thing to adapt to is the pace of academia: submitting a proposal two to six months in advance of an actual presentation means lots of time to get bored with an idea, fail, watch an emerging field die, go off on a tangent, get distracted by other things …. It’s nothing like the wham-bam of a three-month semester. This conference presentation happened almost by serendipity — I had just started reading about open-content releases online when the CFP went out, and I was sure there was some potential in the idea, so I kind of went out on a limb.


Instead of some polite rejections to learn from, I got a very welcome acceptance. I don’t regret taking the chance to move outside of scholarly publications and tackle an emerging field. The majority of my sources are new initiatives (e.g. the Open Knowledge Foundation), videos, blogs, and press releases by institutions themselves, far from academia.


There were few people interested in open content around me, and I didn’t have a visual-arts-librarian perspective to work from. If I could give my presentation again, I’d definitely think more about my ARLIS audience: I did well to present on a topic that wasn’t yet being covered in academic research, but I was speaking as though I was trying to convince institutions to participate, when I should have been talking about how to find, use, and provide these resources to students and patrons.


Luckily, a week after my presentation, I volunteered at a museum-technology conference here in Montreal, and attended multiple sessions dedicated to opening up cultural content. I used that opportunity to discuss making a multi-institutional repository where users can easily access open content. I also had a chance to advocate for the Getty and other open-content instigators to publish their processes and case studies, so that other institutions can follow suit and expedite their projects. This sort of confirmation and involvement can really beget itself early on in a career: after being validated like this, I feel a lot more confident about my future work interests.


Image used by Allana in her presentation, courtesy of the Rijksmuseum.

Image used by Allana in her presentation, courtesy of the Rijksmuseum.

Seeking a few good blog contributors

Happy Tuesday, arlisnappers!

Are you currently working on a great project? Experimenting with a new technology or teaching tool? Curated an interesting exhibit or new collection?

Tell us all about it! We’re looking for contributors to help us develop more original blog content; let’s start by talking about what our amazing and diverse members are doing.

This is open to all of our students and new professionals (and even the not-so-new!), and can be a great opportunity to share your work or research in an informal, low-key environment. We’ll continue to solicit for more thematic content, so if you’re more research-focused at this point or aren’t quite ready to write, there will be many more chances in the future!

We’ll keep this as informal as possible, while still maintaining some sense of order and decorum (that’s our forte, right?). You can either post a comment here with your contact info and a brief description of what you’d like to talk about, or send an email to myself (Stephanie) or Suzanne, sgrimm AT or suzannewalsh AT, respectively, and we’ll assign posting dates from there.

Can’t wait to hear from you all!

Call for Papers – New Voices Panel at ARLIS/NA Conference

Call for Papers – New Voices Panel at ARLIS/NA Conference

Paper proposals for the New Voices in the Profession session at the 2012 ARLIS-NA conference in Toronto are now being accepted!

New Voices showcases exceptional academic work by students and new professionals (under 5 years post MLS.) Paper topics should relate strongly to Art and/or Visual Resources Librarianship, but also digital library projects, archives, library instruction, reference and the changing nature of libraries, among other topics.

To see papers presented in past sessions, you can look at the Conference Proceedings from previous years on the ARLIS website ( Papers will be selected by representatives from ArLiSNAP and the ARLIS/NA Professional Development Committee.

If interested, please send a paper topic and detailed abstract to mportis (at) by January 12th. Please feel free to re-post.


Maggie Portis
Assistant Director of the Library
New York School of Interior Design

T: 212-452-4196

Nominations & applications are now being accepted for ARLIS/NA Research Awards

Nominations & applications are now being accepted for these ARLIS/NA Research Awards:

Worldwide Books Awards for Publications

Worldwide Books Awards for Electronic Resources

Given in recognition of outstanding publications/electronic resources by ARLIS/NA Individual members in the fields of librarianship, visual resources curatorship, and the arts.

The form of recognition may range from a certificate of merit to a cash award of up to $1,500.

Nominated works must have been published during the 2010 or 2011 calendar year.

Separate applications for each format.

Publications: Guidelines   /   Application Form (pdf)

Electronic Resources: Guidelines   /   Application Form (pdf)

H.W. Wilson Foundation Research Award

This award of up to $3,000 supports research activities by ARLIS/NA members in the fields of librarianship, visual resources curatorship, and the arts.

The award seeks to promote research which benefits the professions of art librarianship and visual resources as well as the broader library profession.

Proposals may address the compilation and dissemination of information, translation of original scholarship, analysis of the professions, or the enhancement of access to information.

Eligible projects include those which result in original scholarship in the arts (performing, architectural, visual, etc.) or aspects of visual and material culture.

Guidelines   /   Application Form (pdf)

Applications and accompanying material for all awards must be postmarked by February 3rd, 2012.

Winners will be notified by February 24, 2012. Awards will be presented at the annual conference convocation in Toronto, in March.

Questions? Please contact the Research Award Committee Co-Chairs
Kathy Edwards, Clemson University,
Cara List, University of Oregon,

Call for Proposals: 11th Annual Milka Bliznakov Prize

Call for Proposals: 11th Annual Milka Bliznakov Prize
IAWA (International Archive of Women in Architecture Center)

Deadline for receipt of proposals: May 31st, 2011

The IAWA invites architects, scholars, professionals, students, and researchers to honor IAWA founder Milka Bliznakov through research on women in architecture and related design fields. This research, in concert with the preservation efforts of the IAWA, will help fill the current void in historical knowledge about women’s professional achievements. The archive encourages such research in addition to the goal of preserving archival materials related to the work of women who shaped the designed environment, thus preserving for posterity a record of their achievements.

The Board of Advisors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture Center (IAWA) presents this Annual Prize of $1000 (with an additional $500 available for travel) following a two-stage process:

In Stage One, applicants submit their proposal, which outlines the work they plan to complete at the Archive, and should include the following elements:

1. Outline of research to be completed
2. Proposed schedule for residency to include a talk open to the university community and the general public
3. Intended product of research, a copy of which is to be donated to the archive upon completion.

Examples of the product of research may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Research paper
• Self-published book documenting the activities and work of the residency
• Notebook or sketchbook produced during the residency
• Visual or physical original work that references or utilizes research from the Archive

A 500-word proposal with curriculum vitae must be received or postmarked by May 31st, 2011. The proposal should be submitted both electronically as a PDF, and as a hardcopy by mail.

Proposals may include an original project, research, or scholarly work that contributes to and advances the recognition of women’s contributions in design.

The proposal shall draw upon and expand the IAWA collections to reflect upon the broader context of women’s contributions in the field of design. The product of the work should be specified in the proposal.

The IAWA Jury awards the Bliznakov Prize for the research proposal that best demonstrates an important advancement to the recognition of women’s contributions to architecture and the related design fields while encouraging the use and growth of the International Archive of Women in Architecture. The winner will be announced by June 15th. The final project must be completed by Dec. 15th, 2011. The final project will become a part of the Archive to contribute to the historical record.

The prize money will be awarded in two installments: the first $500 will be made available to the recipient upon arrival at the IAWA for the residency period, and the second $500 will be paid upon receipt of the final product. Up to $500 will be
available to support travel and residency expenses.

If further information is required, please contact Helene Renard,

Proposals should be sent to:

IAWA Center Executive Committee
ATTN: Helene Renard, RA
Chair, Milka Bliznakov Prize
School of Architecture + Design
201 Cowgill Hall (0205)
College of Architecture + Urban Studies
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061


Are you doing research in the arts that you would like to share with fellow librarians? Is there something you’re doing at your library dealing with the arts that you think others should know about? Do you have a presentation you’d like to float by a group of friendly colleagues for some benevolent critique?

If so, the ACRL Arts section invites you to submit a presentation proposal for our Discussion Forum held on Saturday, June 25th from 10:30-12noon during the ACRL Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.


–Proposals can be about any topic dealing with the visual or performing arts and design (see list of possible topics below).
–Everyone is welcome to submit a proposal. Students are also encouraged to make a submission.
–Each presentation will have 15-20 minutes with a 5 minute Q&A. We anticipate being able to accept 4-5 proposals for presentation.
–Proposals will be reviewed by a committee drawn from the Arts Section Executive Board and Publications & Research Committee.

Deadline: Please submit your proposals to Yen Tran (, chair of the Arts Section’s Publications & Research Committee no later than May 27th. Those submitting proposals will be notified by June 3rd, as to whether or not your proposal was accepted for presentation.

Possible topics:

–Research of any topic related to the arts
–Developments in the display and/or preservation of arts materials
 –Innovative information literacy or visual literacy techniques with arts students
–Emerging technologies in arts libraries
–Inventive collection management and development in the arts
–Strategies for reaching out to arts users (students and faculty)
–Copyright and fair use in the arts environment
–Evaluating the needs of arts users
–Use of images in information literacy instruction
–Creative physical or online/virtual exhibits

The possibilities are endless; please consider submitting a proposal.

Quick Hit: ARTstor Travel Awards competition

There is still time to submit an entry for this year’s ARTstor Travel Awards competition!

ARTstor is providing five travel awards in the amount of $1,500 each to help support the educational and scholarly activities—such as flying to a conference—of graduate students, scholars, curators, educators, and librarians in any field.

The deadline is Monday, April 4, 2011.

Learn more here:

New Voices in the Profession 2011 Call for Papers

Paper proposals for the New Voices in the Profession session at the joint ARLIS-NA, VRA joint conference (2011, Minneapolis) are now being accepted.

New Voices showcases exceptional academic work by students and new professionals (under 5 years post MLS.) Paper topics should relate strongly to Art and/or Visual Resources Librarianship, but also digital library projects, archives, library instruction, reference and the changing nature of libraries, among other topics.

To see papers presented in past sessions, you can look at the Conference Proceedings from previous years on the ARLIS website (

If interested, please send a paper topic and explanation/abstract to me (mportis (at) by December 20th. Please feel free to re-post.


Maggie Portis

Assistant Librarian, New York School of Interior Design

HELP! Quick Sample of Questions for Student CCO Project…

Hi all,

De-lurking here. Finishing up my semester at Pratt, student project due on Cataloging Cultural Objects. If you can take a few minutes to answer as many of the questions as you can, maybe even add some comments, I’ll be very grateful. (Any responses you wish kept off the record will be honored.)

Thanks, Louis in Brooklyn.

1-Do you/your institution use CCO? If so, for how long? If not, any particular reasons?

2-If you don’t use CCO, how familiar are you with it? Self-study, or from other work/interests?

3-How effective are the CCO content standards? Also, do you find it easy to use/implement?

4-What are your favorite/least favorite features? (What do you like best/least about it?)

5-BIG one for my project: Have you seen users’ image searches improve with CCO? Why or why not?
(Any anecdotes, examples, will be extremely appreciated.)

6-CCO: Wave of the future? Or not enough to achieve goals?

7-How easy is CCO to use with other descriptive standards tools & metadata element sets?

8-Whether you use CCO or not, does your work entail more of documenting cultural objects or describing images of objects?

If there is anything you’d like to add that I haven’t addressed, please feel free to include.

Thanks in advance for everyone’s help! Hope I can either return the favor and/or pay it forward, and have a great holiday season, all!

Louis Munoz

ARTstor Research Project

Dear Art Librarians:

For a research study involving digital rights management and academic library electronic resources, I am interested in talking with art librarians who are actively involved with ARTstor.

The purpose of the research is to understand the process by which librarians, publishers and other interested parties develop access and use terms, how specific access and use terms come to be perceived as acceptable or unacceptable by librarians, and how those perceptions may vary across types of libraries.  We are looking at  ARTstor as an
exemplar of this process.

If you are interested in participating in this research, you will be asked to participate in a  phone (preferred)  or email interview regarding the process by which you  decide that certain access and use terms are  acceptable. Your participation will last approximately 45 minutes.  This study will result in academic publications; however personal (individual names) will not be used and library and institution names will not be used.

If you would consider participation but have questions, or if you would like to participate, please contact:

Barbara Walden
608 265-5885

Thank you very much for your interest;  I look forward to hearing from you!

Barbara Walden
PhD student, School of Library and Information Studies,
Western European Studies librarian,
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Second Life, Museums, and Archaeological Modeling

Richard Urban blogs at Inherent Vice on his collaborative poster session, “Second Life, Museums, and Archaeological Modeling” for the Digital Humanities Conference.

The researchers have identified the trend of user-created cultural institutions, rather than institution-created cultural sites.  Plus, “serious leisure” and Oldenburg’s “third spaces” – what an amazing opportunity to create new spaces for cultural creativity!

publishing opportunities

Library and Information Science students and educators,

Library Student Journal is once again accepting student papers for review
and publication in our next issue. Please visit for more information
about having your work published.

LSJ was founded at the University of Buffalo in New York state but seeks
international readers and authors. We’ve also expanded our services to the
LIS community with recent additions of a discussion board and blog. We’re
pleased to offer students such an accessible forum for discussion as well
as the opportunity to be published alongside peers. Educators are
encouraged to share this opportunity with students.
Thank you

– Shannon Smith –
Library Student Journal staff

Featured Blog: Heather’s Art Blog

Heather Saunders is an up-and-coming art library student based out of Toronto. Some of you may remember her talk, “Internet Art and the Archivist’s Conflicting Roles” from the New Voices in the Profession panel at Banff earlier this year. Heather is now blogging at Heather’s Art Blog. Check out her artist’s statement as well as images of her work. She’s also tackled some heavy Library 2.0 issues if you’re interested . . .