This year I made my first trip to the Society of American Archivists annual meeting, which was held in Washington DC. It was my first time attending a large conference, so it was a lot to take in, but I think I made the most of my time there without getting too overwhelmed! It was a quick trip, I only was there for one-and-a-half days, so unfortunately I don’t have a comprehensive report to give, but below are some of my impressions and opinions on the happenings at the conference and my experience as a first-timer.
My main reason for attending the conference was to network and augment my job search. I met with someone to look over my resume and discuss strategies for applying, and she was very helpful in giving me suggestions of places to apply to and offering to pass my resume along to colleagues. Other offerings for attendees in the midst of applying to jobs were not as helpful, however. There was a job board with postings, most of which were already on SAA’s website, and a place to post your resume, but I didn’t get the sense that either area was attracting that much attention or that career and job search services were a strong point of the conference as a whole.
As for professional development, the session I found most interesting, beneficial and probably the most useful to ArLiSNAP members, was a roundtable on visual materials cataloguing and access. In it, a panel discussed the new Descriptive Cataloging of Rare Materials (Graphics) guidelines, how they differ from and and relate to existing guidelines and how they can be implemented using MARC (DCRM(G) can also be used in EAD as well). First a “live cataloguing demo” was presented and then we split up into smaller groups to try our hand at using the guidelines to catalogue a photo album. When we reconvened as a larger group, each one had thought of different ways of titling and describing the materials (and some heated arguments ensued). It was a good reminder that there can be multiple “right” ways to catalogue, and that cataloguing is an art with guidelines to follow, but no real hard fast rules. In a room full of seasoned cataloguers all using the same set of guidelines to describe the same materials, differences abounded. Knowing that veteran cataloguers faced some of the same cataloguing quandaries I have as a new professional was reassuring, if not a bit unbalancing as well. I also attended sessions on preventative conservation, deaccessioning and teaching with primary resources. If anyone is particularly interested in preventative conservation, I have a handout from the session listing some great resources for disaster planning and risk management which I would be happy to share.
I also attended the Museum Archives Section meeting. Primarily this was a business meeting for officers, but it was interesting to see which museums were represented and what issues were discussed. Funding and administrative support seemed to be the main hot-button issues, which is not surprising coming from the non-profit sector. For those of us working in museums and other non-profit arts institutions, funding issues and defending the importance of library and archives’ place in the arts are probably things we will all have to deal with at some point in our careers.
I went solo, which might seem scary to some, but between my jam-packed schedule and the general bustle of the conference it didn’t leave much time to be intimidated. Plus, it being a fairly small professional circle, it wasn’t hard to spot former classmates and colleagues. So, even though I went alone, for much of the time I was with people I knew or networking and making new acquaintances. The biggest hindrance to attending was the cost. Being a recent graduate, I got student pricing which helped out immensely, but still there was the cost of the plane ticket, hotel room, food and transportation. I would highly recommend that any current students thinking of attending next year try to involve themselves in some way, whether it be submitting a poster or serving as a member of their SAA student chapter, to get some financial help from their program to attend.
Overall, I felt it was a great experience. There was a lot to offer for those interested in art and visual materials, and good representation from museums and other arts and cultural institutions. My goal was to network and I definitely made some great, and I hope lasting, connections. Besides trying to get help with funding, my biggest piece of advice would be to go in with a specific goal. Having networking and job hunting in my mind helped to keep me focused and not feel like I had to do everything.
Did anyone else go this year? What did you think? If anyone has specific questions about the conference itself, the sessions I attended or attending in general, feel free to email me!
So it’s one month since ARLIS/NA #42 and my life is back to normal. For me that means work and summer classes, and pondering the issues of arts librarianship. Washington DC invigorated and affirmed me, and yet, also challenged me with the realization that I have ALOT to learn. And since I have a small role on the planning committee for the 2015 conference, I now know we have a big act to follow. As a regional chapter travel award recipient, I was required to write a post-conference report for the chapter’s newsletter. I decided to post it here as well. Although it’s geared for the TX-MX audience, Arlisnappers may enjoy references both general and specific to themselves throughout. I encourage all students and new professionals to apply for their respective chapter travel awards for next year. You won’t regret it!
ARLIS/NA 2014 Conference Report, Washington, DC
If you had run into me on the first day of ARLIS/NA 2014, I think there would be no doubt as to the amount of excitement and nervous anticipation that I exuded. I was practically giddy just to be in Washington DC for my first ARLIS/NA conference. From the moment I knew that I would definitely be attending, I was scouring the conference schedule, planning how to get the most out of every session, workshop, and tour. It was frustrating to be sure! I must have changed my mind at least a half dozen times. There were just too many concurrent and/or overlapping events that piqued my curiosity to make it all doable without cloning myself. I will attempt to recap the highlights, although it will not fairly encompass the fun I also had in chance conversations and in friendships established from collegial rapport.
My conference began with the Society of the Cincinnati Tour on Thursday morning, followed by the Mentoring workshop in the afternoon. I was pleased to see this late add-on tour as my conference duties precluded attendance at any others. As a small tour group of five, we were treated to an intimate visit to the collection vault. One of the tour participants agreed to serve as my recorder for my session the next day. That was such a relief since I had attempted and failed to secure one prior to the conference! Afterwards, the workshop focused my goals in arts librarianship and paired me with Canadian librarian Jennifer Garland as my mentor. I am looking forward to a productive year to come with her guidance. Dinner with fellow first-time attendees Courtney Baron and Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet familiarized me with Penn Quarter as we enjoyed Mexican inspired fare and lively comparisons of our respective library schools and work experiences.
On Friday morning, I moderated the session Meet the Policy Experts, and then attended Pro amore liborum: Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship in the afternoon. I mingled with several of the Texas contingency at our chapter meeting. Unfortunately, I missed the First Time Attendees’ Reception, but Friday night, after a visit and dinner with relatives in the area, I hung out with the ArLiSNAP (Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals) crowd at Capitol City Brewery across from the Grand Hyatt. Surrounded by some dangerously smart students as well as a few more mature, but no less enthusiastic professionals, I was delighted to finally meet in person some online friends that I have been communicating and collaborating with as a Discussion Liaison over the past year in ArLiSNAP. See http://arlisnap.org
I volunteered for Exhibits set-up on Saturday morning early and although most of the work had already been completed by that time, I had a fortuitous encounter with a past ARLIS/NA President, Ted Goodman, who gave me a crash course in exhibits management. I couldn’t have received it from anyone more experienced or more versatile in this area! It was the perfect initiation for duties I will have in Fort Worth next year. I later wandered through the Eastern Market and found myself at Capitol Hill Books – the layout of which was both a treasure hunter’s dream and a librarian’s nightmare!
And yes, of course I bought a book there! After a Metro adventure back to the hotel, I enjoyed Retooling Art Reference and Information Services: Collaborative Tools, Strategies, and Models, and later, the Emerging Technology Forum. Following a spin through the Exhibit Hall and Posters, it was off to the Convocation and Reception at the Library of Congress, or as Susan Stamberg referred to it during her keynote address, “the Mothership” – a truly inspiring evening that I will always associate with an incredible experience.
I jumped up Sunday morning for an 8am ArLiSNAP business meeting and then sandwiched the Membership Brunch and Meeting between morning and afternoon sessions Collaborating to Achieve and Activist Outreach in the Book Arts. A pleasant surprise on Sunday evening occurred when I happened upon fellow chapter members on their way to dinner for an informal planning meeting for 2015. Together we digested the enormity of the task before us along with some excellent seafood. Thanks for inviting me along, ladies!
Is it any wonder that I was completely exhausted by the time I got home Monday afternoon? I had a fabulous time start to finish. My brain is still processing all the new information and ideas, yet I feel more clearly focused in the direction I want to go in future coursework and in dedication to finishing my degree in 2015. It was such a pleasure to meet, talk to, and learn from so many interesting people and to get to know some of our chapter members a little bit better. I cannot neglect to thank Cheryl Payne from MFAH for agreeing to be my roommate, although we had never met previously. My experience would not have been possible without the ARLIS/NA-TXMX chapter’s generous support, for which I am truly grateful. I look forward to seeing everyone again at the fall meeting in Orange, TX, and of course, for more artful adventures!
Alison A. Larson
MLS student, UNT
Art Reference, Weekend Operations, Baylor University, Crouch Fine Arts Library
Lois Swan Jones Travel Award Winner, 2014
And so, with that, we move forward to #43 in Fort Worth! Don’t forget that proposal deadline is in 12 short days! http://arlisna.org/news/news-events/302-43rd-annual-conference-call-for-proposals
An exciting NEW idea has emerged in the past month among the ArLiSNAP Liaison crew regarding an “unconference” session proposal. This session would focus on current trends/hot topics in arts librarianship and be lead by ArLiSNAP Canadian Liaison Allana Mayer. She needs your brainstorming minds FAST! In these last few days before the proposal is due, you have the chance to submit your thoughts and ideas for this session by replying to this post. ArLiSNAP has also put out a call for a Conference Planning Liaison to assist Allana in this project. Be a part of what we hope will be groundbreaking new frontiers!
Got something to say? Here’s your chance! Below is the draft agenda for our meeting on Sunday morning. If you’d like to add anything, feel free to post a comment here or on our Facebook page, or send a message to one of the ArLiSNAP moderators.
- New member welcome
- Introduction of new co-moderator, Rachel Schend
- Potential group discussion points:
- Where do you like to talk? Is Facebook preferable to blog comments?
- What needs are being unfulfilled by the blog, content-wise, and the solicitation of volunteers to submit more content to the site such as guest post about their current projects
- Liaison roles, or suggestions about specific projects that liaisons might wish to implement and reaffirmation that the current liaison positions fulfill the needs of ArLiSNAP members
- Internships – let’s talk about it!
- Success stories & ArLiSNAP member news
Suggestions and talking points welcome!
We want to help make this conference as easy and accessible for arlisnappers as possible. For that reason, we are exploring the different lodging options available. If you would like to share a room with other members, we would love to hear from you! Which of the following options would you prefer?
For an idea of pricing at the Grand Hyatt, have a look at the conference website.
For an idea of hostel pricing, have a look at the options listed here.
If you have other ideas or tips for conference lodging, leave us a comment here! If you would like to get in contact with other members looking for roomies, send your preferences (male or female, the dates you will be arriving and leaving Washington) to co-moderator Ellen (ellen.j.tisdale(at)gmail(dot)com).
Looking forward to seeing you in Washington DC!
Do you have an idea to present at a VREPS session during VRA 2014 Conference in Milwaukee?
We’re looking for participants in two separate sessions, one about new directions for visual resource professionals and the other about transforming VRC into teaching and learning centers. Each of the sessions will have 3-4 speakers who will be expected to speak for about 15-20 minutes with time for questions and answers.
After we hear from you we’ll propose the sessions for Milwaukee 2014.
The deadline is July 15th!! We want to hear from interested participants by the 12th so we can put it all together!!
What we need from you: Simply your name and the title/subject of your presentation
Below are the descriptions of the two sessions:
Working Title: New Frontiers in Visual Resources Management
As the use of images to document and share becomes an increasingly vital component of many academic fields and professional arenas, new opportunities for professionals with visual resources skills are emerging in non-traditional environments. This session will explore the challenges, successes, and pitfalls of curating and managing images outside the traditional art history context. Case studies will discuss various image environments including commercial, academic, and non-profit environments.
Working Title: The Teaching Turn: From Static Collections to Dynamic Learning Centers
Much of the business of creating and disseminating images has moved away from individual academic departments and isolated image collections toward centralized cross-discipline departments. This has left many visual resource centers looking for new ways to engage users and support the educational goals of their institutions. One way centers are meeting these new challenges is by transforming from being a storage silo for physical slide collections to being a collaborative learning space where students and faculty alike can come to work on projects and refine imaging and videography skills. As many resource centers make this move toward more teaching and learning, the physical spaces and skill sets of employees have also shifted. This session will examine case studies of visual resource centers programming that is directed to teaching imaging skills and how this new role is shifting their profile within their institutions.
Going to ArLiS/NA Pasadena? Meet us there! April 26th at 12:30 PM
What will we be discussing?
The connection between student groups, local groups and ArLiSNAP and ascertaining how ArLiSNAP and ArLiS at large may be of use to these groups
Are there other ways to connect to ArLiSNAP members for discussion such as twitter, skype, etc?
What needs are being unfulfilled by the blog, content-wise, and the solicitation of volunteers to submit more content to the site such as guest post about their current projects
Talk about how we are looking for new liaisons: chapter & student especially
Suggestions about specific projects that liaisons might wish to implement and reaffirmation that the current liaison positions fulfill the needs of ArLiSNAP members
Planned changes to the ArLiSNAP blog and soliciting assistance with content migration and implementing a consistent tagging system
How to create diversity within the field and attract new voices to the profession
- Suggestions for bars to go to after El Chollo
Have any more suggestions? Please let us know!
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
WIDE ANGLE: Perspectives on Visual + Media Arts Information
ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter 2012 Conference
September 13-15, 2012
Park City, Utah
The Mountain West Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America invites proposals for their upcoming conference, which will examine current and future issues in libraries, archives, museums, and cultural heritage institutions for art, film, and media. We welcome proposals for sessions and/or papers on any of the following themes as they relate to art, architecture, film, or media studies:
- the role of information professionals in the teaching of these disciplines
- future directions in the acquisition, preservation, or cataloging of visual materials
- the future of the art library, the film library, or the media collection
- new developments in copyright and fair use for visual material
- assessment, planning, outreach, or marketing of services or collections
- other relevant areas of interest to information professionals working with art, film, media, and related disciplines
Featuring a keynote lecture on filmmaking in Utah, an opening reception at Park City’s Kimball Art Center, and an in-depth discussion of Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, the conference will take advantage of both the scenic beauty and cultural significance of Utah and the American West in art, film, and visual and material culture.
Please submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to firstname.lastname@example.org by July 2, 2012. Please specify if you are submitting a paper (20 minutes) or a session (panel of 3 papers, 20 mins each). Please include the names, titles, and affiliations of all presenters. The ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter welcomes submissions from students, new professionals, librarians, non-librarians, and interested individuals from outside the Mountain West region. You do not need to be a member of Mountain West or ARLIS/NA to submit a proposal.
About Park City, Utah:
Situated in the unparalleled beauty of the Wasatch Mountains, Park City is home to the Sundance Film Festival, numerous opportunities for year-round outdoor recreation, and innovative dining and spirits.
About ARLIS/NA Mountain West:
The Mountain West Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America serves Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. ARLIS/NA is the leading professional organization for art information professionals in libraries, museums, archives, and cultural heritage institutions.
Past Chair, ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter
Publishing Services & Outreach Librarian
University of Michigan Library
@M_Publishing & @m_kahn