Final Conference Impressions

By Monday, the crowds and familiar faces had thinned out significantly. On Monday morning, I was fortunate enough to attend the ‘Up Close and Hands On’: Minnesota Center for the Book Arts tour with a small group of Conference attendees. According to the Center’s website, it is “the largest and most comprehensive center of its kind in the nation”. In addition to studio spaces for artists, there is also a cafe, a gift shop, space for exhibitions, offices, and a library and archives. Early on, we were shown the Center’s collection of in-use Vandercook Presses (, which were beautiful machines indeed. A variety of letterpress techniques were also discussed and demonstrated. Later, Executive Director Jeff Rathermel provided details about their small but well organized library, which has reference materials available to members and instructors and uses the Library of Congress Classification system. There is also an archives that includes rare books, prints, broadsides, ‘zines, and artists’ books. With a collection of around 400 artists’ books, the Center has been cataloging them by looking at models such as the Flasch Collection at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago ( for guidance. At the same time, Rathermel noted that they are “breaking more rules than they are following, but want to know which rules they’re breaking”.

More info about the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts can be found here:

To those who attended this year’s Conference — have a great year!



Saturday & Sunday: Gathering Info and Links

Hope you all enjoyed Friday’s Welcome Party at the Walker. It looked like everyone was having fun socializing and checking out the art on display! Good to see. In this post I’ll summarize by offering some interesting anecdotes and links that speakers/presenters shared on both Saturday and Sunday.


Case Studies IV

a) The Orang Asli Archives — Visual Resources & Geo-Tagging (Rodney Obien and Kara Young, Wallace E. Mason Library of Keene State College)

KDig, an online institutional repository used for images of the Orang Asli people (an indigenous population in Peninsular Malaysia). This project was initiated with the encouragement of Rosemary Gianno, Professor of Anthropology at the College:

Image Maps, a tool they used to create maps which users can click on and retrieve photos from geographic areas of interest:

Phoenix Image Editor, a free online resource they used to touch up photos in the Orang Asli Archives:

b) Image Discovery Week — A Holistic Approach to Marketing Image Resources (Barbara Brenny, North Carolina State University)

Image Discovery Week, description of event, Fall 2010 (educating campus population about wealth of digital images online):

c) From Filing Cabinet to iPhone — How Collaboration and Technology Can Introduce Photo Collections to New Audiences (Deborah Boyer, Azavea)

Boyer related that the Philadelphia City Archives has approximately two million uncataloged photographs stored in archival boxes. There are ongoing efforts to digitize and preserve these photos. Additionally, institutions such as the Philadelphia Water Department and the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, a “member supported, not-for-profit, special collections library founded in 1814”, contributed images. The resulting website,, allows for photo searching via both thumbnail and map views. The website has 13,000 unique visitors a month, and these visitors often submit error reports about incorrect metadata associated with the photos. Boyer mentioned that the public is correct “about 93% of the time”.

Engaging New Technologies

The presenters put together a very comprehensive site describing numerous relevant technologies for libraries. Link:

Thinkpedia, a site that gets semantic info from Wikipedia articles and creates visual interpretations:

Freebase, a site that seeks to create meaningful content while containing disparate subjects:

The LOCAH Project, which seeks to “put archival and bibliographic data at the heart of the Linked Data Web, enabling new links to be made between diverse content sources and enabling the free and flexible exploration of data so that researchers can make new connections between subjects, people, organisations and places to reveal more about our history and society”.

Diaspora – maybe the next Facebook? It allows your content to be located on a free personal web server or “pod”:

LibAnywhere, a mobile phone app that allows you to have access to the online catalogs of participating libraries:

WorldCat mobile:

EBSCOhost mobile:

Onehub, for online collaboration & project managing:


More Than Meets the Eye? Retrieving Art Images by Subject

a) Patricia Harpring (Getty Vocabulary Program)

Cultural Objects Name Authority (CONA), a new vocabulary in development. Compliant with Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) & Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO). Scheduled to be introduced in early 2012, CONA will grow through user community contributions:

b) Hans Brandhorst (Iconclass)

Arkyves, an inexpensive, subscription-based resource “dedicated to images and to the study of their meaning. It is a storehouse of pictures and texts, but also provides you with research tools you may need when studying them, or when discussing your finds with students or colleagues”. Users can add annotations and comments and publish their own image catalogues:

Again, I’d like to thank Bryan Loar and the rest of the ArLiSNAP team for handing the blogging reins to me for this Conference! Safe travels to everyone who has already departed. And for those of you still in Minneapolis, enjoy the rest of your stay.

Friday Footnotes

While Day 1 of the Conference was a bit hectic, Day 2 has left me feeling more acclimated to the Conference experience. More familiar faces continue to emerge (both people I know in the San Francisco Bay Area and people I met at the 2009 Conference), and of course I’m looking forward to the Welcome Party at the Walker Art Center this evening.

Case Studies I

I could only attend part of this session, but was fortunate to catch fellow Stanford librarian Anna Fishaut’s presentation “Rethinking the Reference Collection”. She spoke about Stanford’s Art and Architecture Library’s print reference collection in terms of evaluating each item held. Of course, a main issue involved thinking about what print reference sources patrons would still use when there are many online resources that can fulfill their needs. Fishaut noted that historically, the library had mainly been open to professors and curators, with little access for students, and that this affected what was in the print reference collection. Interestingly, the library recently made the choice of allowing reference books to circulate for up to a week, potentially encouraging the use of these materials. In making changes to the Art & Architecture Library reference collection, the goal was (and is) to increase relevance, visibility, and cohesiveness.

Opening Plenary

Moderator Elisa Lanzi from Smith College introduced speaker Jule Sigall, an Associate General Counsel with Microsoft. Sigall asserted that copyright management is currently a major issue across campuses in the U.S. One of Sigall’s main concerns is “orphan works”, mostly Web-based copyrighted materials whose creator or owner cannot be contacted for a variety of reasons. In 2005, Sigall got in touch with four U.S. senators about orphan works copyright issues and was told to study the topic for a year. His work led to the creation of H.R. 5439: The Orphan Works Act of 2006, which ultimately did not pass either the House or the Senate. In 2008, S. 2913: Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act passed the Senate, but not the House.

Sigall noted at one point that there was very strong and heartfelt opposition to the S. 2913 bill from illustrators and photographers, and that this was a major reason it died. He understands their point of view — for example, so-called “amateur” photographers who put images up online can fulfill the needs of people who need to use photographs for educational or research purposes just as well as the photographer, which makes the latter group feel as if they can’t make a good living selling their products. He closed by saying that he remains a “cynical optimist” regarding resolving the disconnect between the interests of copyright owners and users.

The Semantic Web, Libraries, and Visual Resources

While I am generally familiar with the concept of the Semantic Web (a good education can be found here:, I won’t go into detail here. This was a very good session because the three speakers (Christine Cavalier, Tufts University; Amy Lucker, NYU; and Greg Reser, UC San Diego) shared distinct attitudes about, and experiences with, using tools such as schemas, ontologies, and vocabularies for visual resources purposes. Christine Cavalier has worked with Tufts University’s Visual Understanding Environment (VUE): (, a site on which “faculty and students can map relationships between concepts, ideas and digital content”. Greg Resor, who wore a “Metadata” t-shirt in the style of the classic Metallica logo, pointed out during his talk that the speakers were not advocating the Semantic Web, but merely trying to explain it. Indeed, Reser, a co-chair of the VRA Embedded Data Working Group (, described a project he was involved in where combining metadata schemas for describing art images proved more limiting than originally thought. And ARLIS/NA Past President Amy Lucker gave a very detailed overview of controlled vocabularies while wondering out loud how to get these vocabularies to “play nice” together. Perhaps if they could consistently do so, libraries and librarians would be able to immediately make serious contributions to the Semantic Web ideal.

Thursday Roundup

Greetings ArLiSNAP blog readers!

Thank you, Bryan, for introducing me on the blog several posts ago. As he mentioned, my background includes an MFA in fine art from the San Francisco Art Institute and an MLIS from San Jose State University, which I received in 2010. So I am indeed a newly-minted librarian! The San Francisco Bay Area has been my home for the past 20 years, and I currently work for the Stanford University Libraries and Academic Information Resources (SULAIR) in the Metadata Department.

Mentoring Program Workshop

Today began with a trip to the Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD), where myself and roughly 20 others participated in the ARLIS/NA & VRA Mentoring Program Workshop as part of the Career Mentoring Program. This year I’ll be serving as a year-long mentor to someone currently enrolled in an MLIS program who has a strong interest in art librarianship and visual resources. I participated in the Career Mentoring Program as a mentee in 2009, and it helped me a great deal as a student and someone just beginning to gain library work experience. I’d like to thank Rachel Resnik for inviting me to participate this year. I’ll be learning at the same time that I mentor, I’m sure!

The workshop lasted about four hours, during which we watched video of a past Career Mentoring Program speaker discuss numerous aspects of being both a mentor and mentee. There were also some activities that paired or grouped attendees together to act out several mentor/mentee scenarios, with time for discussion afterward. All in all, some very good preparation as we all embark on the mentor/mentee relationship.

Cataloging Issues Discussion Group

After spending some time roaming the halls of MCAD and looking at some art on display, I made it back to the Hilton for the 3pm Cataloging Issues Discussion Group. Co-organized by Sherman Clarke and Meghan Musolff, audience members were encouraged to bring up relevant issues that they had recently faced. Much talk focused on Resource Description and Access (RDA), as many who spoke worked for institutions that have tested RDA. Some expressed experiencing difficulty with RDA testing, recalling fondly how AACR2 and MARC “worked as a happy team” (in the words of one audience member). In the controlled vocabulary realm, Mr. Clarke related that 10,000 records had recently been added to the Getty Union List of Artist Names (ULAN), and that ULAN is now the preferred name authority for some institutions. Additionally, a cataloger from the Library of Congress expressed concern that many art libraries are outsourcing their cataloging and brought up advantages of in-house cataloging, including better quality control and catalogers proposing subject headings.

ARTstor Users Group

I then attended a portion of the 4pm ARTstor Users Group meeting, where a presenter discussed updates to ARTstor’s Shared Shelf service (, a cataloging and image management system. The presenter pointed out four major components to Shared Shelf: a) cataloging tools; b) vocabulary warehouse; c) digital asset management; and d) publishing to the web and exporting tools. He also noted that the ARTstor Digital Library and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation were key precursors to Shared Shelf, and that new metadata models such as DarwinCore (DwC) ( and Astronomy Visualization Metadata Standard (AVM) ( can be utilized in Shared Shelf.

ARLIS/NA Cataloging Advisory Committee meeting

At 5pm, I attended the ARLIS/NA Cataloging Advisory Committee meeting, capping off a very cataloging/metadata-oriented day! In many ways it was a continuation of the discussions I heard at the 3pm meeting. RDA issues were again discussed heavily. A growing number of non-U.S. institutions are using RDA — will it truly go international? What about the hazards of “mixed” records (those with both AACR2 and RDA standards)? Also, Sherman Clarke pointed out that there is an ARLIS/NA Cataloging Advisory Committee Wiki (, and that people are more than welcome to add comments to it. Mr. Clarke also passed around an interesting booklet titled “A Workshop on AACR2 Cataloging for Art Materials”, dating from 1981. It served as a reminder that catalogers have indeed faced significant changes before.

Rachel Resnik at the Mentorship Program Workshop

Minneapolis College of Art & Design campus

ArLiSNAP Pub Stop 2011: Brit’s Pub

This year we welcome all to the lovely Brit’s Pub.  Revelry begins at 7 p.m. and lasts until the last pint is poured.  The pub stop is open to everyone (not just students & new professionals) as well as those attending other events.

Here’s our custom map showing Brit’s Pub is just a quick 4 minute walk from the conference hotel.  Additional suggested locations are also on the map for the more intrepid.

We’ll meet in Hilton’s lobby just before 7 p.m. and head on over.  If you need to contact me, I can be reached at 614-592-[seven-two-three-three].



Meet Greg Borman, ArLiSNAP Guest Conference Blogger

The Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals (ArLiSNAP) welcomes Greg Borman as ArLiSNAP conference blogger for this year’s Visual Resource Association + Art Libraries Society of North America Joint Conference.

As a newly-minted librarian, Greg will capture and share his experiences during a conference that promises to celebrate excellence and further attendees’ professional development.  The joint conference runs March 24 through 28, 2011.

Greg earned his Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute (2000) and received his Master of Library and Information Science degree (2010) from San Jose State University.

Greg has served as a reviewer for Art Libraries Society of North America Reviews and as a peer reviewer for the Society’s Art Documentation.  Greg’s writings on U.S. rural libraries, controlled vocabularies with relationship to the Semantic Web, and art exhibitions have appeared in the peer-reviewed Library Student Journal, Special Library Association’s Bayline, and numerous Web-based art journals.

Greg’s pre-professional and professional experiences include work at the Stanford University Libraries, University of San Francisco’s Gleeson Library/Geschke Center, California State Library, and the Asian Art Museum’s C. Laan Chun Library Center.

For more information about the conference, please visit

About the Art Libraries Society of North America and Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals

Founded in 1972, Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is devoted to fostering excellence in art librarianship and visual resources curatorship.  The Society is a dynamic and diverse organization, representing over 1,000 individuals and organizations spanning the United States, Canada, Mexico, and overseas.  For more information, please visit

Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals (ArLiSNAP) is a special interest group within ARLIS/NA.  The group’s mission is to provide an open forum for sharing ideas pertinent to art librarianship amongst its constituency and the world beyond.  For over seven years, ArLiSNAP has continuously provided ARLIS/NA with thought leadership and innovative programming.  For more information, please visit,

About the Visual Resource Association

The Visual Resources Association is a multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environments.  The Association is committed to providing leadership in the visual resources field, developing and advocating standards, and offering educational tools and opportunities for the benefit of the community at large.  For more information, please visit

Online Chat Today!

Meet Me In Minneapolis: The 2011 VRA + ARLIS-NA Joint Conference

When: Friday, March 18, 2011, 11am Pacific – 12pm Mountain – 1pm Central – 2pm Eastern

Where: Meebo


Jessica McIntyre, Assistant Librarian, Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Local Committee Co-Chair, Program

Rebecca Moss, Coordinator of Visual Resources, University of Minnesota; Local Committee Co-Chair, Local Arrangements

Heidi Raatz, Visual Resources Librarian, Minneapolis Institute of Arts;
VRA Vice President for Conference Program; Local Committee Co-Chair,

Are you headed to Minneapolis? Then join us for a chat about the
ARLIS-NA and VRA communities and our shared conference. Planning
committee representatives from both organizations will provide
information about what to expect at this exciting event. Whether you are
involved with VRA or ARLIS-NA (or both!), please join us to ask
questions and share advice in this informal and informative discussion.

Learn more about….

  • What’s special about the VRA + ARLIS-NA joint conference
  • Resources that are available for first-time conference attendees [like ArLiSNAP’s Conference Survival Guide]
  • Tips for networking at the conference
  • Fun things to do in Minneapolis
  • How to get involved in the ARLIS-NA and VRA organizations

Looking for a Roomate?

Looking for a roomate for the upcoming VRA + ARlS/NA annual conference & don’t want to blast your request via ARLIS-L?

ArLiSNAP has set up a password-protected page where you can leave your name, roomate preference, and preferred contact info.

To access, please use the following password.

ArLiSNAP Section Petition

Dear ArLiSNAPers,

For over seven years, Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals (ArLiSNAP) has provided students, new professionals, and even seasoned ARLIS/NA members a forum and a platform to discuss challenges and to promote opportunities for our next generation.

As you know, ArLiSNAP enriches the Society by providing valuable programming and support to annual conference sessions and services.  ArLiSNAP is or has been involved in New Voices in the Profession, Backpack to Briefcase,  Hot Topics for Librarians in the Arts, Trends in Technologies and Services in Libraries, Engaging New Technologies, Web 2.0 Kiosk, What-to-Expect webinars, and resume workshops.  ArLiSNAP provides levity and comradeship with our annual Pub Stop, now in its seventh year.  And a number of current and former members have taken on important leadership roles within the Society.

Now we need your help.  ArLiSNAP is formally petitioning to change its classification from an ARLIS/NA Special Interest Group (SIG) to a Section. By doing so, ArLiSNAP will become more integral within the Society and be able to provide an even greater level of service.

ArLiSNAP members will formally collect at least 30, hand-written petition signatures at this year’s annual conference.  However, informally, we’d like to invite you to easily show your support right now at

Thank you for your continued support of ArLiSNAP.  Without it, we would not be able to provide ARLIS/NA’s next generation with the community, innovation, and empowerment necessary to be successful professionals and Society advocates.


Bryan Loar and Rosemary Davis

ArLiSNAP Coordinators

VRA + ARLIS/NA Conference Survival Guide

Get tips on networking, stretching your dollars, & orienting yourself for this year’s conference.  Although historically geared towards ARLIS/NA members, many will find the information useful for our joint conference.

ArLiSNAP Pub Stop 2011

Calling on all volunteers & those who know Minneapolis!

We need your help for ArLiSNAP’s next pub stop. We’re looking for a destination that can handle up to 30 librarians who enjoy libations. Last year’s participants estimated around 25. Might we have more when mixing with VRA?

We’ve chosen Saturday, March 26th as the best night for the stop. We call it a “stop” because, over the years, the crawl of multiple different locals has given way to relaxing with good company at just one spot. Of course, the more adventurous are free to move on. We’ll provide a customized Google map for those going to the chosen bar and add other suggestions for the pioneering.

Please make your suggestions below in the comments.


VRA + ArLiSNAP Students and New Professionals Meeting 2011

ArLiSNAP and VRA Studendts New Librarians Annual Meeting

We cordially invite you to join us at the next joint meeting between the Visual Resource Association (VRA) and the Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals (ArLiSNAP).

This will be a historic occasion as it will be the first, national meeting between the students and new professionals of the VRA & the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).

Our agenda will include informal introductions; discussions regarding potential collaboration,  group dynamics and best practices; and separate breakouts for the respective groups to discuss specific needs.

Bryan Loar, ArLiSNAP Coordinator
Elaine Paul, VRA Membership Committee Chair
Melanie Clark, VRA Membership Committee’s liaison to students and new professionals
Rosemary Davis, ArLiSNAP Coordinator

Annual Meeting

Saturday, March 27, 2011 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. CST

Exact location TBD
Hilton Minneapolis Downtown, 1001 Marquette Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403

Visit our meeting event on Sched for updates regarding location & to see other participants.

Until then, we’ll see you at &

Otis College of Art & Design Video Library Tour

Knowledge Transfer Partnership

KTP at LCC (UAL) and Bridgeman Education.flv

Really interesting partnership between Bridgeman Art Library & the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Made me wonder if the upcoming VRA + ARLIS/NA conference session, “Paving the Way for an Uncertain Future,” will discuss partnerships.

Knowledge Transfer Partnership


KTP at LCC (UAL) and Bridgeman Education.flv

Really interesting partnership between Bridgeman Art Library & the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Made me wonder if the upcoming VRA + ARLIS/NA conference session, “Paving the Way for an Uncertain Future,” will discuss partnerships.

VRA & ARLIS/NA Joint Conference Networking

The registration form for Conference Networking is now online here:

The deadline for registration is March 1st

If you are attending your first or second ARLIS/NA or VRA conference you might have many questions and need help developing your professional network. The Conference Networking Program provides you with an experienced VRA or ARLIS/NA member to show you the ropes and introduce you to new colleagues. For ARLIS/NA and VRA veterans, this is a fine opportunity to make a significant impact in your profession at a personal level.

Those requesting mentors will be matched with those volunteering to serve as mentors by the Program Coordinators based on the information drawn from the registration form. Both mentors and newcomers will be notified before the conference.

Mentors are expected to contact their mentee prior to the conference, meet with their mentee the first or second day at the conference, discuss the structure and workings of the organization, give conference-attending tips, and introduce new members to others at any and all events to help that person build his or her own network within the organization. The estimated time commitment is a couple hours, spread over the course of the conference.

Prerequisites to be a mentor are to have attended one or more recent ARLIS or VRA conference and be reasonably well acquainted within the organization. The only prerequisite for newcomers is to be a first (or second) time conference attendee.

This is a fun and collegial program that has had much success and positive feedback. Both mentors and newcomers have found the program greatly enhances their conference experience.

Please submit the registration form here: by March 1, 2011.

Questions may be directed to Maggie Portis (MPortis [at] NYSID [dot] EDU) or Marcia Focht (mfocht [at] binghamton [dot] edu).

Call for ARLIS/NA & VRA Career Mentoring Applicants

The 2011 Career Mentoring Workshop will be offered on Thursday, March 24th from 8 a.m. to Noon at the Minneapolis conference.  It is open to ARLIS/NA and VRA members, and is free of charge.

We are calling for mentor applicants as well as mentees.

The workshop is the catalyst for a year-long Career Mentoring Program, the purpose of which is to provide training tools necessary to create and maintain a successful mentoring relationship.  Selected applicants will be paired with a partner from their respective professional association(s) with similar interests, time commitment requirements, and geographic location (when possible).  Both partners participate in a self-directed, year-long program based on shared goals.

This program is for you if you:

  • are interested in gaining additional perspectives on professional issues
  • want to set goals and define your professional working relationship with another colleague
  • are capable of communicating on a regular basis with your partner
  • can commit to a year-long project

Members of the subcommittee will maintain contact with the mentoring pairs throughout the year to advise and trouble-shoot if needed.

Space in this competitive program is limited.  Participation in the 4-hour workshop at the annual conference is mandatory. Due to the nature of this program, we cannot accommodate walk-in participants at the conference workshop.
Please submit your application form
Deadline for applications

February 4, 2011

Notification of acceptance

February 11, 2011

Assignment of mentoring pairs

March 11, 2011

Jessica Evans Brady on ACRL

ArLiSNAPer Jessica with others on the ACRL conference.

I think I have about the same enthusiasm for the VRA + ARLIS/NA joint conference.

VRA & ARLIS/NA Career Mentoring Program Webinar

Are you interested in the VRA & ARLIS/NA Career Mentoring program which will be offered at the Minneapolis conference?  VRA & ARLIS members are invited to join a webinar on January 14th explaining more about this program and workshop.

The purpose of the Career Mentoring program is to provide training tools necessary to create and maintain a successful mentoring relationship.  Selected applicants will be paired with a partner from their respective professional association(s) with similar interests, time commitment requirements, and geographic location (when possible).  Both partners participate in a self-directed, year-long program based on shared goals.

ARLIS NA Presents: The Benefits of CareerMentoring

Date: Friday, January 14, 2011

Time: 11am Pacific – 12pm Mountain – 1pmCentral – 2pm Eastern

Reserve your Webinar seat now at: