ALA/ACRL ARTS Section Membership Meeting

Sunday, June 28, 1998
Lorelei Tanji - ARTS Secretary

Meeting Host and Program Highlights
Announcements from the Chair
Announcements from the incoming Vice-Chair
Announcements on upcoming programs at this Washington, DC conference
Approval of Minutes
Committee and Discussion Group Reports
ALA Business
Old Business
New Business

   1.  The National Museum of American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library hosted the ARTS Section Membership Meeting, and graciously provided coffee, bagels, and other delicacies.  In addition, the membership was treated to a very informative overview of the NMAA/NPG services and projects.

Cecilia Chin (Librarian, National Museum of American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library) welcomed the ARTS Section members and presented opening remarks.

Pat Lynagh (Assistant Librarian, NMAA/NPG Library) described the Library collections, and the Archives of American Art.

Joan Stahl (Coordinator of Image Collections, NMAA). described their Electronic Reference service, and showed as an example of their image collections the Peter A. Juley & Son Collection (a photography business next door to the Art Students League of NYC and as a consequence documents artists from 1896 to 1975).

Linda Thrift (Keeper, Catalog of American Portraits & Administrator, Center for Electronic Research & Outreach Services; Electronic research, NPG) described CAP and the electronic research they provide at NPG.

And on behalf of Christine Hennessey (Research Databases Coordinator, NMAA--art Inventories/SOS), who couldn't attend, there was a description of the Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, and the SOS: Save Outdoor Sculpture Initiative.

The membership was thoroughly enthralled with the information that was shared--both about the unique resources at NMAA and NPG, and the types of reference referrals that they are able to address.  The membership also greatly appreciated the complimentary museum notecards and free exhibition catalogs that were distributed! More info on NMAA/NPG can be found at: and

   2.  Announcements from the Chair

-Steve Bloom announced that the Saturday ARTS-sponsored program "Local Traditions in the Global Village: Are Regional Artistic and Cultural Traditions Threatened by the Development of a Global Information Network?"
was very successful and drew over 100 people.

-Steve shared a message from incoming ARTS Chair, Judy Harvey Sahak.  She has been unable to attend this conference due to recovery from knee replacement surgery.  She is impatient to get better (which Steve said is a good sign).  And she will be taking care of committee appointments, and is staying connected via email.

   3.  Announcements from the incoming Vice-Chair

Floyd Zula, incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect, reported that he has been assisting Judy with the ARTS program for ALA Midwinter 1999 in New Orleans.  The program will have a New Orleans theme of Mardi Gras, and will incorporate old-time music, choreography, and moving stage sets associated with this celebration.  A couple of companies that build floats
and some local art collections have been contacted as potential program speakers.

Both this program proposal and the Technology in the Arts program proposal have been approved.  The Technology in the Arts program topic is on Digital Arts Salons.

   4.  Announcements on upcoming programs at this Wash DC conference

Steve asked for reminders of upcoming programs at this conference:

-Dance Librarians Discussion Group (DLDG) Field Trip "Dance on Film at the Library of Congress", Monday, June 29, 9am-noon, Mary Pickford Theatre/Madison Building.  The presentation will consist of a panel talk by Vicky Wulff, Music Division; David Parker, Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division; and Judy Hoffman, Motion Picture,
Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division; in which the issues of collection development, preservation and access with regard to the collections of film related to dance will be discussed.

-Theatre Library Association is sponsoring a program, "Let's Do It! (Is it Legal?)".  Monday, June 29, 9:30am-noon.  HOC-Lewis.  Madeleine Nichols (Attorney; Director of the NYPL Dance Collection) will address the legal issues of putting performing arts materials on the web.  Susan Brady, Vice-President of Theatre Library Association pointed out that TLA traditionally has sponsored a program on Monday mornings and this year there is a conflict with ARTS-related events.  Steve pointed out this situation was complicated this year by additional new "no conflict" times from ALA.  The membership discussed various ways to avoid conflicts in the future.

ACTION: Steve made a recommendation for the incoming chair and Executive Board.  He recommended that we convene an ad hoc committee on scheduling that would coordinate with Chairs of committees, Chairs of discussion groups, and TLA to avoid or minimize these conflicts.

-Technology in the Arts/LITA program - "Museum Digital Images in the Classroom: The MESL Experience", Sunday, June 28, Crowne-Plaza, Farragut Square.  There is some confusion about the location since it is listed in the conference program as Days Inn - Franklin Square.

-ARTS is also co-sponsoring the ACRL/WESS (Western European Specialists Section) program: "Digitizing a Continent:  National-Level Planning for Western European Libraries,"  Mon., June 29, 9:30-11:30am, Loew's L'Enfant
Plaza-Grand Ballroom A,B

   5.  Approval of minutes

Copies of the minutes from the last Membership Meeting were distributed. Nancy Stokes moved to approve Roland Hanson seconded.  The minutes were approved by the membership.

   6.  Committee and Discussion Group Reports

a.  DC Conference Program
Covered by Chair's announcement above.

b.  New Orleans Conference (1999) Program
Covered by incoming Vice-Chair's announcement above.

c.  Dance Librarians Committee
Mary Edsall reported on the draft publication "Dance Core Collection", which is now set for a Fall 1999 ACRL publication date. Mary Strow (the editor) is on sabbatical until next March, and Mary Edsall is assisting with corrections and final revisions from contributors.  There will be an added appendix of collection development policies related to dance.  Steve commended the committee for undertaking this scholarly work.  The majority of the Publications Committee members' terms are ending, but
they are willing to remain as an ad hoc committee to help edit this Dance Core Collection publication.  When the document is ready for editing, they will need to be appointed by the Publications Committee.  Mary Edsall's term as Dance Librarians Committee Chair is ending, and she would like to volunteer to be Chair of Publications to assist in the editing of this dance publication.  She was advised to contact Judy Harvey Sahak for this  appointment.

Mary Edsall made additional announcements:

-Mary Strow will be the next Chair of the Dance Librarians Committee (DLC).

-Beth Kerr will be Chair of the Dance Librarians Discussion Group (DLDG)

-NEH funded finding aids are on the Dance Heritage Coalition website.

-There will be a Dance 2000 Conference in Washington DC.  All the major dance associations will be involved in this event. Mary Edsall and Nancy Stokes will be curating an exhibit on the history of dance drawing upon archival materials from major dance organizations.

-New business:  DLC & DLDG will be discussing long-range plans. Subcommittee members are: Mary Edsall, Mary Strow, Beth Kerr, Nancy Friedland, and Nancy Stokes.

d.  Dance Librarians Discussion Group, Beth Kerr is the incoming Chair
Members asked for a bit of background on the difference between the DLC and DLDG.  DLDG started in the ARTS Section, and its meetings and field trips are open to anybody.  One of the recommendations in its 5-year plan was to create a separate Dance Librarians Committee, which would be able to make program proposals (discussion groups cannot sponsor programs).  A decision was made not to dissolve DLDG, because it serves a slightly different function.  It serves as a forum that brings together librarians and non-ALA/non-librarian people involved with dance issues.

e.  Film and Broadcast Studies Discussion Group
Becky Albitz gave the report for the FBDG, in the absence of Chair Gary Handman.  The FBDG meeting is scheduled for Monday, June 29, 2-4pm at the  Hyatt Regency. Becky reported on the meeting at the last conference in New Orleans (compilation of films on films), and distributed a handout of websites on film and broadcast studies compiled by Gary Handman. She reemphasized the need to avoid time conflicts between discussion groups and program times.

f.  Technology and the Arts
Covered in the announcement of the incoming Vice-Chair above.

g.  Nominating Committee (Nancy Stokes past chair)
Two people have accepted the nomination for Secretary.  One-and-half people have been nominated for Vice-Chair.  The Nominating Committee hopes to have a slate with more than one candidate for each position.

h.  Government and Private Sector Activities
Stephen Patrick reported that all committee members are rotating off.  Members need to be reappointed or find new volunteers to help submit articles for newsletter.  Stephen Patrick will not be continuing.  There is a wealth of material that comes out of the federal government related to the arts.  Stephen was at the ALA office and picked up a chronology from January-June on the issue of access to government information. Madeline Nichols is on the Copyright Committee.

i.  Membership
Marsha Taylor mailed 120 letters, and gave a detailed report on membership rates.

Membership fluctuates every month based on new memberships and dropped memberships.  For example, April 1998 had the highest membership rate.

She reported that as of May 1998, there were 905 members (compared to 902 members in 1997). If you combine personal & institutional memberships, there is a total of 992 members for 1998.

Discuss ensued on membership issues:

-Membership has important financial implications.  ACRL will double the budget allocation if there are at least 1000 members in a section. We are so close to this figure, that we should really try to recruit more members.

-If we have approximately 905 members, why are there only 30 members or so that show up for the conference?  Is it due to lack of funding for conferences and travel?  Is it because art and music members are actively involved in other organizations and they have to make hard choices about which conference to attend?

-We need to do a better PR job about the value of the ACRL ARTS Section, and how it is an intersection of arts disciplines and provides a broader picture.

-Paula Mathews is the new Music Library Association President.  They are looking for a MLA Liaison to the ARTS Section.

-Heidi Abbey suggested that we try to promote the ARTS Section to the New Members Round Table (ALA members of 10 years or less).  Perhaps we can distribute our brochures to the members or send an email to their listserv.

-Ann Lindell suggested that we have an ARTS Liaison to NMRT.

-The ARTS-LIB listserv ( and ARTS website ( will be useful for recruitment and public relations purposes.

j.  Newsletter

Peter McCracken is the current Editor of the ARTS Newsletter.  The next submissions deadline is October 12.  Paula Epstein (Liaisons Chair) has made sure that our newsletters get sent to affiliated organizations; Peter gave her 50 copies of the newsletter for this mailing.

An audience member mentioned that ARLIS/NA has site that lists accredited library schools. It was suggested that we send newsletters to those library information science students.

Peter would like to encourage the membership to either send in information about what they doing, or submit relevant articles for the newsletter. Someone in the audience described a way to encourage the submission of local news--an ARLIS chapter newsletter contains a form that members can fill out, fold, and mail pre-addressed to the editor.

The Planning Committee would like to recommend a scholarly emphasis to the newsletter.

A question was raised on whether the newsletter will be mounted on the ARTS Website.  Discussion ensued and there were concerns aired about the costs for printing the newsletter, as well as concerns that some members are not connected to the Internet.  A proposal to have the newsletter in a purely electronic format was opposed by the section.

Steve commended Peter for doing such an excellent job.  Peter became editor at his very first meeting, and he has volunteered for another term.

k.  Publications

Lynn Williams' term is ending and she will continue on a subcommittee to help finish editing the Dance Core Collection publication. Lynn has been working on a membership brochure, and has received some comments. She is ready to pass it on to the Executive Board--it needs a logo.  She differentiated between what's on the web (information on committees and
who is the current chair) with the information on the brochure (what activities the committees do).

She mentioned that money for printing these brochures should be considered in the budget.  ACTION:  Judy Harvey Sahak will need to apply for funds to cover printing the brochure--the deadline is in December.

Lynn also proposed that the ARTS webmaster become an ex officio member of Publications Committee.  The Newsletter Editor is already an ex officio member.

Lynn Williams moved that the webmaster become an ex officio member of the Publications Committee.  Stephen Patrick seconded the motion.  The motion passed.  ACTION: Bylaws will need to be changed.

l.  Planning Committee, Kim Fisher

Kim reported that the Planning Committee should get together with the Executive Board to discuss planning issues.  Some ideas that need to be discussed are: membership issues, web page for affiliated organizations so they can link back to us, membership application in an electronic form;  and a list of members (Marsha Taylor).

Steve mentioned that membership lists are parsed out by sections.  ALA wants to avoid having the lists sold to advertisers/vendors. Only a chair can order a membership list.

The issue of "virtual membership" is something that is being discussed throughout ALA, and it is something that our membership should discuss.  Steve mentioned that there is quite a big discussion on ALA listservs.  There is some debate about whether members can do effective committee work without attending a conference. There is surprising resistance to that idea.  Now with electronic communication, it seems possible to invite discussion.  The arguments against virtual membership are: loss/lack of face-to-face networking, conference attendance would drop, efficacy of committee work might suffer, etc.  Currently there is an ACRL rule that you can only miss one meeting if you are appointed to a committee (e.g. if you are appointed to a committee for 2 years, you can only miss one out of a total of 4 meetings).  Our section has not been monitoring this rule.

There were several comments made about the ACRL rule:

One member opposed the rule and pointed out that there is a lot of work that is done after conference.  One example is the Subcommittee for the Publications Committee. If you can do the work, why force people to come to conference?

Another member mentioned that members around the world cannot always travel to meetings.  Certain types of committees, such as one that nominates awards or sets up a panel, might work effectively in a virtual mode, and suggested that some flexibility is necessary Another member commented that while we don't enforce rule, she likes the rule.  There is much to be gained from face-to-face contact.  She has found the networking invaluable.

Another member asked: Are we discriminating to people who don't have electronic access--does everyone have email or Internet access? Things are changing.  If things like video conferencing via desktop become common, then virtual membership might be more possible.

Another member mentioned that she is glad that she attended rather than choosing to go to another conference.

The question was raised, can you have an effective committee membership without a meeting? Most members agreed, yes you can. Memberships on committees are low, because most members cannot attend the conferences.

Since this issue could not be resolved during this conference and assuming that there is enough variance of opinions, Steve recommended that the ARTS Section membership continue to monitor or participate in the ongoing discussion on the ALA listservs.

Kim mentioned one other Planning issue that needed discussion.  The Planning Committee was set up by Joan Kunzleman (several years ago) with the idea that members would address overall planning for the Section, and would appointed by the Arts Section Chair.  Historically, these appointees have been members of long-standing in the Section.

The issue has been raised on whether to change this so that people can volunteer to be on the committee and/or nominate themselves.  Steve proposes that we discuss at the next conference a proposal to make membership open to anybody in the Section.  We can discuss whether there is some usefulness for having experienced Section members serve on this Planning Committee.

Nancy Stokes suggested that we maintain a balance of old and new members.  There is room for new ideas.

ACTION:  Steve referred this to the Executive Board and recommended that it be a discussion item at the next Midwinter Conference.

   7.  ALA Business

Steve mentioned that there are several critical issues on copyright & intellectual property rights pending in the Legislature during the next 2 weeks. For example, a Senate bill that essentially eliminates copyright as we know it is under consideration.  The Commerce Committee has an alternative bill,  that is going to the House floor in 2 weeks that has support from the library profession.  There are opportunities to pass on a message to Congress, and Steve distributed ALA handouts that outlined how to provide input on current legislation.

   8.  Old Business

a.  ARTS Logo

Lynn Williams summarized the logo problem.  The logo is old.  The ARTS Section has offered a monetary prize for someone to develop a logo.  There has been no response, so let's give it another shot.  If no one responds again, the money for the prize could be used to pay a professional artist.

Lynn has been experimenting with various new logos that could be used for the membership brochure.  Since the ARTS Section is an all-encompassing "umbrella" arts organization, she tried using using an umbrella graphic with other arts symbols and words.  She also tried using the words of various arts in the form of an umbrella, and thought of giving this basic
concept to a professional artist to fully render. Ted Wygant has also tried using elaborate designs/symbols for each individual art covered by the ARTS Section.

Steve suggests a process:  Take all these drafts and lay it out on a table and ask for feedback from the membership.  The Executive Committee could take all these draft ideas and comments and consult with a designer.

One member said she does calligraphy and volunteered to help with the logo Lynn shared with what other ACRL Sections have used as logos on their newsletter, web, stationery, brochures, etc.

Someone asked whether there a widely interdisciplinary symbol for the arts? Another person pointed out that we should be careful about using the umbrella symbol, since Judy Hoffberg has a company in Santa Monica (Umbrella Associates) and the Travelers Company uses an umbrella.

Another person mentioned that $100 is not very much for hiring a professional designer.  Another person suggested asking design school students to come up with a logo as part of a class project or as an informal project.

Someone suggested the use of low-tech ideas.  Ann Lindell is willing to see if it could be a project for one of the art design classes. Someone suggested that the logo be composed of the ARTS acronym.  Ann has tried this already.

Another person suggested that on the newsletter, we take the old logo and offset it within an empty picture frame to publicize the need for a new logo.  If we do this, Peter would like to see it ready for the October newsletter.

ACTION:  Steve suggested we leave this to the Executive Board. Any suggestions that we receive now will be put in the hands of a professional designer.

b. ARTS Web Site
The Membership thanked Chris Whittington and Ann Lindell for bringing up the ARTS Web site.  It is a pleasure to see!

Ann Lindell reported she has some additional material from Chris Whittington that she will post on the ARTS Section website. Some of the committees have very brief descriptions.  ACTION: She will solicit input from the Executive Board and committees for fuller descriptions and for the list of affiliated liaison organizations.

   9.  New Business

a.  Steve has been the Art Libraries Section IFLA delegate for 8 years. We need to nominate an IFLA delegate, and must make a decision today.  Due to the tight deadline, the ARTS Section Executive Board has approved the nomination of Nancy Stokes, and asks the Membership for concurrence. Madeleine Nichols moved to endorse the nomination of Nancy Stokes as the IFLA delegate.  Roland Hansen seconded the motion. Steve asked for a vote and the motion passed.

Usually the process starts at Midwinter, and there is a call for nominations.  ALA nominates people to the IFLA election, but does not give any financial support.  There is a stipulation that delegates try to attend all the meetings, so nominees need to consider this time/financial commitment.

b. New members were asked to introduce themselves
-Cathy Calley, Grad student
-Beth Kerr, University of Texas, Austin
-Ann Haas Shankland, Bowdoin College
-Aileen Daley, Grad student, Frick intern
-Heidi Abbey, University of Connecticut Art & Design Library
-Beverly Carver, Head of Art & Architecture Libraries, University ofTexas, Arlington

c. The membership showed their appreciation and gratefully acknowledged the hard work and leadership that Steve Bloom has provided as Chair of the ARTS Section.

d.  It was moved and seconded to adjourn the meeting. Several of the membership went out for a Dutch Treat lunch in nearby Chinatown.


Henry Du Bois, California State University, Long Beach
Floyd Zula, California State, University, Fullerton
Peter McCracken, East Carolina University
Jeanette M. Clough, Getty Research Institute
Stephanie Moye, National Museum of American Art/National Portrait Gallery Library
Nancy L. Stokes, University of Akron
Roland C. Hansen, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Stephen Patrick, East Tennessee State University
Beverly Carver, University of Texas at Arlington
Lynn Williams, Auburn University
Ann Lindell, University of Florida
Mary Ann Chach, Shubert Archive, NYC
Teresa Montgomery, Southern Oregon University
Nancy Friedland, Columbia University
Anne Haas Shankland, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME
Lynn Woodruff, University of Maryland Art Library
Heidi N. Abbey, University of Connecticut Art & Design Library
Becky Albitz, Pennsylvania State University - Shenango
Beth Kerr, University of Texas at Austin
Cecilia Chin, Smithsonian NMAA/NPG Library
Susan Brady, Yale University & Theatre Library Association
Mary E. Edsall, Jacob's Pillow Festival
Marsha V. Taylor, Lurleen B. Wallace Jr. College
Kim Fisher, Pennsylvania State University
Christine Whittington, University of Main, Orono
Doug Litts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Katherine Cowan, University of Maryland, College Park -  Art Library & Architecture Library
Claudia Hill, Columbia University, Avery Art & Architecture Library
Helice Koffler, New York University, Fales Library
Mark Brenan, Frick Art Reference Library, NY
Madeleine Nichols, Dance Collection, New York Public Library
Pat Lynagh, NMAA/NPG
Joan Stahl, NMAA
Linda Thrift, Keeper, Catalog of American Portraits
Stephen Bloom, University of Southern Maine
Cathy Calley, Grad Student
Aileen Daley, Grad Student
Lorelei Tanji, University of California, Irvine