Discussion Forums/Webinars


2015 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition | San Francisco

ACRL Arts Discussion Forum, Saturday, June 27 from 10:30-11:30 am at Hilton San Francisco Union Square Continental 6

Links to each presentation are below: 

Engaging Design: Visually Aesthetic Learning Designhandout
Seth Porter
Instruction and Reference Librarian
The University of Alabama in Huntsville

Visually aesthetic design is an important part of the human experience. Colors, design and other aesthetics have a marked impact on behavior and emotion. Through the presentation I will make the argument that visually aesthetic design in information literacy and other learning opportunities is a key tool for instructional designers and instructional librarians.

Teaching Information Literacy Skills Using Creative Play: The Rutgers Art Library Lego Playing Station
Megan Lotts
Art Librarian
Rutgers, the State University of NJ

In September of 2014 the Rutgers University Art Library implemented a Lego® playing station to help stimulate creativity and innovation within the library, as well as a new way to connect with Design students. The author will discuss a collaborative project with 100 freshmen from the Department of Landscape Architecture who experienced the Lego Playing Station as a means to stretch their design skills and to learn more about the libraries and Information Literacy. This presentation will be based off my research and a paper given at ACRL: Lego® Play: Implementing a Culture of Creativity & Making in the Academic Library.

Fostering Visual Literacy through Project-Based Learning, Online Student Engagement, and Social Media Tools

Melissa Del Castillo
Virtual Learning & Outreach Librarian and Art, Art History, & Architecture Liaison
Florida International University

This presentation will chronicle early stage involvement of an embedded librarian in an introductory online art course as well as detail future goals for the collaboration. The existing librarian-faculty partnership seeks to realize the ACRL Frameworks and Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education through the creation and execution of engaging assignments via the use of social media.

Claudia Covert
Special Collections Librarian

2015 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition | Chicago

Virtual Discussion forum, Wednesday, January 28, 2015, at 11 am PST, 2 pm EST

View the recording


Using Artists Books to Turn Collection Development Appointments into Transforming Encounters for Wider Audiences
Sha Towers
Director of Liaison Services / Art Liaison Librarian
Baylor University

Optimizing Collections Care: Configuring Strategies and Options for Unusual Art Library Collections
Elizabeth Morris
Assistant Librarian
Yale Center for British Art Reference Library and Archives

Claudia Covert
Special Collections Librarian
Rhode Island School of Design 

2014 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition | Philadelphia

Virtual Discussion Forum

Joe Clark: Emerging Roles for Academic Arts Librarians

Alexandra Janvey, Catherine Larkin, and Victoria Pilato: Gilding the Gilded Age: Interior Decoration Tastes and Trends in New York City

Diana King: The UCLA Library Affordable Course Materials Initiative and Theater Curricula: A First-Year Review

Meghan Musolff and Kai Alexis Smith: Using Omeka to Promote Your Collections: A Case Study with the Leonard Willeke Postcard Collection

View the recording

2013 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition | Chicago

Saturday, June 29, 10:30-11:30 am. Discussion Forum. Hyatt Regency Chicago/Skyway 269

"Why Open Access Matters for the Arts"- Alexander Watkins. University of Colorado Boulder. Art & Architecture Librarian.

Open Access (OA) is about removing the walls around research, making scholarship universally available for free. The skyrocketing price of journals has been one of the rallying cries of the open access movement. But arts journals are among those with the lowest average price. If there is no journal crisis in the arts, why do we still need open access? The point I hope to make with this presentation is that Open Access has never just been about lowering subscription costs for libraries, and that OA publishing has a lot more to offer the Arts. What we should be asking is how has limited access hurt arts scholarship? The presentation will arm arts librarians with arguments and rationale that will help them promote Open Access in their own communities.

"Uncovering Hidden Arts Collections"- Michelle Strizever and Amanda Meeks, ARLIS/NA Book Art SIG Co-Coordinators

Every collection has hidden gems within it, but if researchers, artists, and students are unaware of unique, rare, and important arts collections then they are of little help to those we serve.  Outreach related to hidden arts collections within libraries, archives, and museums can provide valuable opportunities for institutional collaboration and collection visibility.  As Smithsonian Institution Library Professional Development Interns, we successfully worked together to highlight the underutilized collection of artists’ books within three museum libraries.  Through working towards separating the artists’ books – physically and intellectually – from the broader collections, writing posts for the SIL blog, and curating a small exhibition, we brought the SIL artists’ book collection a great deal of publicity and recognition.  We will share our experiences, the responses we received, and strategies for others to complete similar projects with hidden arts collections.

Sunday, June 30, 3:00-4:00 pm. Program: Transformations in Performing Arts Librarianship. McCormick Place. N427a

2013 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition | Seattle

Midwinter Virtual Discussion Forum
Date: Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm (Central Time)

Picture This! Visual Literacy Instruction for First Year College Students
Chloe Barnett, Arts and Humanities Librarian, Bucknell University
“Picture This! Using Images in Your Academic Work” was a workshop intended to help first year students develop college-level visual literacy skills. This presentation will discuss how the workshop was planned using ACRL’s Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education and relevant models from other institutions. It will also describe how short writing exercises, group work, class discussion, and impromptu peer-to-peer demonstrations encouraged students to think critically about the production, reception, and academic use of visual images.
Distance Education for Art and Design Schools
Sarah Falls, Director of the Library, New York School of Interior Design
The New York School of Interior Design is entering into a distance education program, beginning this spring, and the library has had to step up in terms of managing content (archived and live), providing distance instruction, distance reference and helping students put it all together. The speaker will talk about the planning process for the program and what assessment metrics they will put in place.
Contemporary Music Multiples
Susan Thomas, Coordinator of Reference Services, Long Island University
The speaker will present her current work documenting contemporary "music multiples": book arts that combine recorded music or sound (vinyl, cassette, CD, mp3) with graphic design and visual art.

Organized by Yvette Cortes, Chair of the ACRL Arts Research and Publications Committee (2011-2013)

Webinar: Librarianship and Creativity

Date: Friday, December 7, 2012
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm (Central Time)

Special joint webinar by ARLIS/NA and ACRL Arts Section that explores the role of librarians' individual creativity and its effects in the library workplace and greater community.

Tina Chan, Reference/Instruction Librarian at SUNY-Oswego, will discuss On My Own Time, a community event that celebrates the creative talent of faculty and staff who are visual artists "on their own time."  SUNY Oswego participated in On My Own Time to recognize employees’ individual artistic talents and to foster imagination and creativity among employees. (Chan's presentation is encored from the ACRL-Arts discussion forum at the 2012 ALA annual conference.)

Annette Haines, Art & Design Field Librarian at the University of Michigan, will explore the existing theories and ideas on workplace creativity and how they apply to librarianship. Haines stresses the imperative of putting creative work first and offers strategies librarians can apply to manage workplace stress and foster creativity in themselves and others. (Haines' presentation is an encore from the 2012 ARLIS/NA annual conference.)

View the recording.

Click here for more information.

2012 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition | Dallas

Midwinter Virtual Discussion Forum
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 1:00pm - 1:30pm (Central Time)

The Status of the Art Librarian Workforce: A Survey of Professional Backgrounds and Career Choices (PDF)
Eamon Tewell, Reference Librarian, Sarah Lawrence College
Is there such thing as a ‘typical’ career path for art librarians? What common threads beyond workplace setting unite art librarians as a distinct profession? This presentation discusses the results of an international survey of art library workers, including: motivation for selecting the profession, educational background, current employment, and professional experiences. Reviewing the preparation and job experiences of other practitioners in art librarianship allows us all to benefit from a deeper knowledge of the current state of the profession.

Organized by Yvette Cortes, Chair of the ACRL Arts Research and Publications Committee (2011-2013)

2011 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition | New Orleans, LA

Annual Discussion Forum
Date: Saturday, June 25, 2011
Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm

Indexing the Artist Journal (PDF)
Amy Ballmer, Reference Librarian Mina Rees Library Graduate Center, CUNY
Amy Ballmer received her MLS in Library Science and MS in Art History from the Pratt Institute in 2003. Prior to her current position as Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY), Amy worked as a cataloging or reference librarian at the Brooklyn Museum, New York Public Library, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Amy is active in several professional organizations including the Art Libraries Society of America (ARLIS), the College Art Association (CAA), the College Book Art Association (CBAA), and ACRL/NY.  She is particularly active in ARLIS, serving as Chair or Moderator for several committees including the Research and Publication Awards Committee, Intern Award Committee, Teaching Librarians Special Interest Group, and Reference and Instruction Services Section. Amy is also active within the CUNY library community and currently serves on the Library Information Literacy Advisory Committee (LILAC), Electronic Resources Advisory Committee (ERAC), and is co-moderator of the Junior Faculty Research Roundtable (JFRR).  Since graduating from Pratt, Amy has stayed current with scholarly and pedagogical trends in both art history and library science by reading relevant literatures and attending lectures, workshops, courses, and symposia in these and related disciplines.  Amy ‘s specific research interests include artist publications from the 1960s-1980s, increasing discoverability and accessibility of special collections, library instruction for graduate level students, and nontraditional instruction techniques.   She has written articles, presented papers, and curated exhibitions on artist books and periodicals, comic books, fashion illustration, and special collections access. She is currently working on an online index to the artist journals Avalanche (New York: 1970-1976) and Décollage (Cologne, Germany: 1962-1969).

The Psychoscope: A Staged Reading, a Departmental Collaboration, and a Mysterious Scientific Device (PDF)
Ann Medaille, Reference & Instruction Librarian, University of Nevada, Reno
Ann Medaille is a reference and instruction librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she serves as the subject liaison for art, theatre, dance, philosophy, and communication. She received her M.L.S. from the University of North Texas and her M.A. in theatre from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to becoming a librarian, she worked as a theatre and English teacher.

Surveying the Arts Perspective on Electronic Resources (PDF)
Jessica Evans Brady, Visual & Performing Arts Librarian, Florida State University
Jessica Evans Brady is the Visual & Performing Arts Librarian at Florida State University (FSU) in Tallahassee, FL.  Jessica has earned a B.A. in Art History from Buffalo State College (SUNY), followed by an M.A. in Art History and a Certificate in Curatorial Studies from Rutgers University, and an M.L.I.S. in Library and Information Science from Drexel University.  She has held positions as a researcher and an educator at several art museums and historic sites.   Prior to joining FSU, she worked in educational technology at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries in Philadelphia.  As the Visual & Performing Arts Librarian at FSU, Jessica is the liaison to the College of Visual Art, Theatre and Dance, which includes programs in Art History, Studio Art, Art Education, Arts Administration, Art Therapy, Interior Design, Theatre and Dance.  Jessica joined FSU in the fall of 2010, and is currently wrapping up her first year as an art librarian.

Outreach to Artists: Developing a Culture of Research within the Sam Fox School's MFA Program (PDF)
Kasia Leousis, Art & Architecture Librarian, Washington University in St Louis
Kasia Leousis has been the Librarian for the Art History & Archaeology Department and the Sam Fox School of Art at Washington University in Saint Louis since 2007. In addition to her main liaison departments, she has been the subject librarian for Romance Languages & Literatures for the past two years and just took on new responsibilities for the Classics Department beginning this fall. She has a BA in French Literature, a Master’s in Art History and a Master’s in Library Science, all from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kasia especially enjoys working with her students and helping them with their research, whether it’s for a paper or studio art project.

Programming a Performing Arts Library (PDF)
Joe Clark, Head, Performing Arts Library at Kent State University
Joe Clark is the Head of the Performing Arts Library at Kent State University.  Before coming to Kent State, Joe was the Digital & Audiovisual Media Librarian at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where he oversaw the Library Media Department and Slide Library.  He is active in ACRL Arts, ALA’s Video Round Table, and the Music Library Association.

Organized Ngoc-Yen Tran, Chair of the ACRL Arts Research and Publications Committee (2008-2011)

2011 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition | San Diego

Midwinter Virtual Discussion Forum
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Time: 11:00am - 12:00pm

Using QR codes to engage students with the arts: A practical approach

QR codes (or Quick Response codes) are interesting things.  With them, you can go anywhere.  Scan a QR code with your smartphone’s camera and soon you’re looking at a website, a map, or a telephone number – just to name a few. Libraries are using these cryptic squares to help students locate library materials, men and women have them on business cards to share contact information easily, and artists use them as inspiration for their artworks.  How can the arts expand on the usage of QR codes to involve students with the arts on campus?  Join the Arts Section for their *Virtual* Discussion Forum to find out how two academic libraries are using these 2D barcodes to engage their students with the 3D art on campus.

Jolanda-Piete van Arnhem (College of Charleston Libraries) will talk about a recycling and waste processing exhibition in the library’s rotunda.  Over 100,000 bottle caps and lids were transformed into contemporary mandalas.  QR codes were used in the exhibit for educational outreach. View her prezi.

Liv Valmestad (University of Manitoba) through the convergence of media, including Google maps, Flickr, blogging, and QR codes, created a virtual gallery accessible to students.  She combined the gallery with augmented reality using Wikitude and FourSquare to create a robust gallery of art on campus. View her prezi.

Organized Ngoc-Yen Tran, Chair of the ACRL Arts Research and Publications Committee (2008-2011)

2010 ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition | Washington, D.C.

Annual Discussion Forum
Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm

Stacy B. Brinkman, the Art and Architecture Librarian and Asian Studies Librarian from Miami University will talk about how to reach out to studio art and architecture students in terms of information literacy. She will present two studio projects that integrate concepts of information literacy into the design process: a site-specific installation project in an upper-division undergraduate sculpture class, and a public concept-mapping exercise called “graffiti boarding” used in a graduate architecture studio.

Amelia Nelson, the Library Director at Delaware College of Art & Design will take us on the evolutionary journey of the Delaware College of Art & Design’s library blog.  Her presentation focuses on a unique aspect of blog content and could further discussion about the role a blog can play in the connection between resources, students, and faculty.

Eamon Tewell, the Senior Library Assistant at Moore College of Art & Design will discuss a study he conducted on video tutorials in academic art libraries.  His research indicated that academic art libraries recognized the need to provide online instruction with nearly half of 290 institutions providing video tutorials.  Even so, he recommends that tutorials be more diverse in topics and use a wider variety of recording methods, in order to focus on providing more engaging content.

Organized Ngoc-Yen Tran, Chair of the ACRL Arts Research and Publications Committee (2008-2011)


ACRL Arts Section Program: How We Memorialize: The Art and Politics of Public Memorialization
Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010
Time: 1:30pm - 3:30 pm

The program will examine emotional, spiritual and intellectual responses to public memorials and consider political issues involved in their creation.  In addition, the program will examine, within the context of the nature of the public memorial, how the act of memorializing is evolving.  What is the definition of a memorial?  Is this definition being recast in light of virtual or transitory memorials?  How does one document and “preserve” memorials that are not physical or permanent?

Moderator:  Eric A. Kidwell, Huntingdon College, Director of the Library and Professor; Shannon Van Kirk, Blue Mountain Community College, Director of the Library.

Speakers:  Davis Buckley, FAIA, Davis Buckley Architects and Planners, President; Kirk Savage, University of Pittsburgh, Professor, History of Art and Architecture.

[ full description | introductions | bibliography ]

Photo by: Tara S. SpiesPhoto by: Tara S. SpiesPhoto by: Tara S. SpiesPhoto by: Tara S. SpiesPhoto by: Tara S. SpiesPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. KidwellPhoto by Eric A. Kidwell
Photos by: Tara S. Spies (1-5) and Eric A. Kidwell (6-15)

2010 ALA Midwinter Conference and Exhibition | Boston

Midwinter Discussion Forum
Date: Saturday, January, 16, 2010
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm (EST)

Rachel Clarke will talk about cataloging for arts and design school libraries. Download her handout (PDF).

Marie Botkin will talk about Medieval manuscript illuminations and their significance to fashion changes. Download her presentation (PDF).

Organized Ngoc-Yen Tran, Chair of the ACRL Arts Research and Publications Committee (2008-2011)

Discussion forums/webinars (1999-2004)

Brochure with information about Arts and previous Arts programs at ALA Annual conferences (PDF).

Updated: December 2015