ACRL Arts Section Blog

July 28, 2016

We’ve Moved!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Shannon Marie Robinson @ 10:06 am

ACRL Arts is now blogging over at Our new WordPress site includes our blog, social media, and membership materials like meeting minutes, ArtsGuides, and committee information. Come visit us at!

June 23, 2016

Member’s Spotlight: Sara Harrington


Sara Harrington, head of arts and archives, poses for a portrait inside the Reading Room at the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections at the Vernon R. Alden Library on Friday, July 24, 2015. (Tyler Stabile/Ohio University Libraries)


This month’s member’s spotlight features Sara Harrington. She is the Head of Arts and Archives at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.  Not very long ago, Sara was our Chair (2013-2014) and Vice-Chair (2012-2013) of the Arts Section.

Tell us what type of library do you work in?

Academic research institution

How long have you been a member of ACRL/Arts Section?

A long time!

Describe your position and what you like best about it.

As the Head of Arts and Archives, I work with the Fine Arts Library, the Music and Dance Library, and Archives and Special Collections. I also collaborate with staff members across the Ohio University Libraries to integrate library collections into university curricula. What I like best about my position is that every day is different. I am involved in a range of administrative and other activities that bring me into contact with students, staff, and faculty, as well as researchers around the world, as they engage with Ohio University Libraries’ distinctive and general collections.

What are you reading or what is the latest exhibition you have seen?

The last exhibition I visted was “Melvin Edwards: Five Decades: at the Columbus Museum of Art” in Columbus, Ohio. It was a striking exhibit stunningly installed in the museum’s new exhibit space.

Tell us about the arts related activities you are involved in outside of librarianship.

I love to teach art history when I have the chance. My favorite subjects to teach are nineteenth-century French art and introduction to art history: prehistoric through early Renaissance art.

Do you have a website/blog link and/or social media handles (ex. Twitter, Instagram Facebook etc.) you’d like to share?

I adore Twitter and enjoy following people but don’t tweet!

Describe your vision for ACRL/Arts Section in three words.

Connection. Exploration. Strategy.

Interested in being featured in Member’s Spotlight? Fill out the form here and send a photo to


June 16, 2016

Join ACRL Arts Publications and Research Committee for our Annual Discussion Forum!

If you’re headed to ALA Annual, make sure to checkout our fabulous ACRL Arts Annual PalmTreesDiscussion Forum!

Date: Saturday, June 25 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Location: HYATT Regency Orlando, Room Columbia 34

This year’s forum will feature the following presentations:

“Artists as Scholars: The Research Behavior of Dance Faculty” by Shannon Marie Robinson (Drexel University)

No current research exists directly examining the information needs of dance scholars. Their research behaviors and library use are widely unknown, particularly in regard to issues of access to historical materials and new technology preferences. In the past thirty years, college and university dance departments in the United States have developed into independent, research-based programs. Academic librarians must understand the research behavior of dance faculty in order to support the performance, research, and pedagogy of these programs. Interviews with dance faculty from three diverse institutions of higher education provide exploratory data about these scholars’ research needs. This qualitative study provides context for dance faculty experiences as both artists and teachers. The findings from these interviews suggest that dance is a multidisciplinary and multicultural practice. Dance scholarship and practice embody history and religion, race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, biology and neuroscience, and visual and performing arts. Contemporary dance faculty are at home in the studio, classroom, and computer lab. Dance faculty have a broad array of subject interests and research needs. As dance embraces new disciplines and methods of performing, our notion of dance must broaden. In order to fully understand their information behaviors, librarians should use interdisciplinarity as a lens through which to view current dance research practices. The data gathered from these interviews will be of value to librarians as they determine collection development practices and reference services for their particular dance and performing arts programs.


“Building Bridges, Creating Partnerships and Elevating the Arts: the Rutgers University Art Library Exhibition Spaces” by Megan Lotts (Rutgers the State University of New Jersey)

The Rutgers University Art Library Exhibition Spaces (RALES) were created to further engage the local communities by elevating the importance of scholarly research happening in the Arts, as well as providing an opportunity for budding artists to learn more about what goes into an exhibition, from creation of the work, to the public viewing, marketing, and reception. RALES also provides an opportunity for individuals to view artworks in person, as opposed to studying an image in a book. In two and one half years this teaching gallery has hosted 27 exhibits by students, faculty, and staff, of Rutgers, as well as a few local and out of state artists. There has been little to no cost to run this gallery space, other than the time. The most impactful aspect of RALES is that is has created a deeper connection to the community by building new bridges across the campuses and introducing the libraries to many new potential partnerships. This presentation will present the physical make up of RALES and provide tips on how one can create their own low cost gallery space. This presentation will also provide examples for ways to find artist and curators as well as provide access to a digital guide that was created as an archive for RALES. This presentation will be a dynamic visual presentation including text, comments by viewers, publicity created about RALES, images, and a discussion about the impact of these exhibition spaces.


“You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato: Collection Format Preference of Music Faculty” by A. Carey Huddlestun (Kennesaw State University)

This presentation reports on music faculty’s format preference of music material. Historically, collection development has focused on what material to purchase. However, with the maturation of web-based music audio databases, web-based video databases, online music scores, and electronic books and reference material, the format of material is also now an important collection consideration. This presentation reports on the results of a music material format preference survey completed by music faculty at a large, comprehensive state university in the spring of 2016. This session will present the purpose and setting of the collection, the survey results, and the implications for music library collection development.

Please join us if you can!

Best wishes,
Ariel Turner, Chair of ACRL Arts Publications and Research Committee

Ariel Turner
Discovery Librarian
Art & Design and Foreign Languages Liaison
Kennesaw State University Library System
Kennesaw State University

June 7, 2016

ArtsGuide: 2016 ALA Annual Conference – Orlando: Google Map

Going to ALA Annual? Orlando_Artsguide_01

Check out our Orlando ArtsGuide!

It’s a mobile-friendly Google map of cultural attractions and events in or near Orlando, and has been created for attendees of the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida by the ACRL Arts Section.

Plan on taking pictures of the arts/performances you attend during the conference? Share your photos via our Facebook page or tweet about it using the hashtag #ArtsSection.

Special thanks to all of our contributors and the ACRL Arts Publications and Research Committee!”


Ariel Turner
Discovery Librarian
Art & Design and Foreign Languages Liaison
Kennesaw State University Library System
Kennesaw State University

May 18, 2016

Member’s Spotlight: Jennifer Cox

ala headshot June 2015(web enabled)This month’s member’s spotlight features Jennifer Cox. She is the Supervising Librarian at The Art Institute of Portland.  Jennifer is our next vice chair (2016-2017)/chair elect (2017-2018) of the Arts Section.

Tell us what type of library do you work in?
Art and Design College

How long have you been a member of ACRL/Arts Section?
3 years

Describe your position and what you like best about it.

My position is a little of everything and I enjoy that. The best part of my job is connecting with students whether that is in the classroom for information literacy instruction or meeting with students one-on-one to assist them with projects or papers.

What are you reading or what is the latest exhibition you have seen?

We have regular gallery openings on the ‘First Thursday’ of every month in Portland. After going to our in-house student or faculty exhibit, I regularly explore other local installations. This helps me keep apprised of local trends as well as visiting artists. It’s a great way to connect with our students and to find niche titles to further the depth in our collection.

Tell us about the arts related activities you are involved in outside of librarianship.

I’m a big supporter of the robust Portland art community. Keeping up with up students and faculty projects keeps me current in the trends and activities of our community. Personally I am a classically trained singer so I’m always looking for new projects or groups to be apart of; singing is a wonderful stress reliever.

Describe your vision for ACRL/Arts Section in three words.

Responsive, Collaborative, Forward-thinking

Stay up to date with Jennifer on Twitter-Bibliothecaire@lafrancememanqu, Instagram-@lafrancememanque, and Linked In-

Interested in being featured in Member’s Spotlight? Fill out the form here and send a photo to

May 4, 2016

ACRL/ Arts Section Orlando ArtsGuide – Seeking Contributors

Filed under: ALA ANNUAL 2016,Announcements,ArtsGuide — Sandy @ 10:28 am
Tags: , ,

2016 Arts Guide imageWhat are your favorite art places in Orlando?  The ACRL/ Arts Section is seeking contributors to the Orlando ArtsGuide for the upcoming 2016 ALA Annual Conference!

The ArtsGuide is a semi-annual guide and customized Google Map developed by the ACRL Arts Section’s Publications & Research Committee to help ALA conference attendees find arts-related venues and events in and around host cities. It’s a great opportunity to get involved with the ACRL Arts Section! It’s also a fun way to contribute your knowledge of the area to enhance everyone’s conference experience. Both ACRL members and non-members are welcome to contribute. You can see previous ArtsGuides here.



Please use our online submission form ( to add content to our sections:

1. Visual Arts & Museums
2. Architecture
3. Dance
4. Theatre
5. Music
6. Film

Submissions are due by May 23, 2016.

For questions, please contact:

Bridget O’Donnell, ArtsGuide Editor –
Ariel Turner, ACRL Arts Publications and Research Committee Chair –

See you in Orlando!


May 2, 2016

The results are in…

Filed under: Announcements — Kai Alexis Smith @ 11:43 am
Tags: , ,

ala headshot June 2015(web enabled)

The results are in and our next vice chair (2016-2017)/chair elect (2017-2018) of the Arts Section is Jennifer Cox. Jennifer is the Supervising Librarian at The Art Institute of Portland.

See the results here.

Learn about Jennifer’s professional concerns:

Art education is a critical part of our nation’s enduring cultural fiber. As Vice-Chair, I hope to support our section by strengthening our collective voice in this challenging and changing educational climate. It is my hope is that we provide relevant skills and knowledge through training opportunities to our sections membership. Personally, I plan to act as an advocate to assist and support our section and those we serve through our work. As a member of several other small round tables and sections, I am sensitive to the issues that impact our field and the importance of outreach to work with other sections. An area of challenge and opportunity is recruiting and retaining members to strengthen our voice for the support of art education in the evolving educational landscape today. I will work with other Section leaders and Art Section members to develop innovative and creative programs that will assist us career innovation and outreach to our colleagues at our institutions.

The Arts Section is changing and doing new things to better serve it’s members. Be apart of building the Section back up. Run for office. We are looking to fill the position of Secretary and Vice chair for a term of 2017 – 2019.

Contact chair of the Nominating Committee, Sara Harrington for more information:


April 25, 2016

Message from the Strategic Planning Committee: Looking Forward

Sajewski headshotHello ACRL/ Arts Section members!

I am the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and I am very excited to introduce you to the section’s new core values and strategic directions.

The planning process began in November, when the previous chair of the Strategic Planning Committee stepped down. Shortly after I became the new chair of the committee, the Vice Chair/ Chair Elect of our section’s Executive Committee Kai Alexis Smith and I began looking for the last strategic plan that the committee had drafted. There was not a strategic plan on our website, and even the longest-serving members of the committee and the section could not recall ever seeing one. After it was determined that there wasn’t an existing document to work with, Kai charged the Strategic Planning Committee with drafting a strategic plan for the next five years.

Throughout the winter, the committee held online meetings in Google Hangouts and via email to discuss the section’s goals. We thought about what the section could do to move forward and to stay relevant, and what the section could do to be a resource to and support arts librarians. Four common themes emerged: member retention and engagement, professional development, organization within the section, and communication within the section.

After the Executive Committee reviewed and agreed with our goals for the section, we decided that we would pursue a statement of strategic directions. While a strategic plan would be looking at the next five years, the strategic directions will allow us to be more nimble and to change with the times.In addition, with the help of the Executive Committee core values were drafted. The Strategic Planning Committee will review the new directions and core values annually, and we’ll also seek input from Arts Section members every year!


The core values of the Arts Section has us committed to:

  • Developing an open, inclusive, and collaborative environment for students interested in becoming an academic liaison to the arts and art library professionals (includes, but is not limited to: arts, art history, dance, and theater in all types of libraries).
  • Cultivating excellence and innovation of art library services to all types of users.
  • Employ ethical practices, professionalism, and integrity related to library services and resources.


The new strategic directions are as follows:

  • Membership. Seek ways to engage and actively involve both new and existing members for increased retention.
  • Professional Development. Foster and develop programming and continuing education opportunities for members to discuss current trends in academic arts librarianship.
  • Organization within the Section. Facilitate the transfer of leadership and continuity within committees through record keeping and communication.
  • Communication. Strengthen communication within the section in order to improve the presence and value of resources to Arts Section members.


As the Arts Section implements these new directions, you’ll notice a few changes! Expect more frequent updates from the Executive Committee, new website, new networking and mentoring opportunities, a new template for submitting committee minutes and reports, an improved orientation manual, increased social media usage, and even more.

To better learn about our members and what they hope to get out of their membership in the Arts Section, the Strategic Planning and Membership committees are working together to develop a survey. When you receive the survey this summer, please take a few minutes to fill it out. Your input will help guide the section forward!


Mallory Sajewski
Music Librarian, Western Illinois University
Chair, ACRL/Arts Section Strategic Planning Committee


April 19, 2016

Member’s Spotlight: Shannon Marie Robinson

This month’s member’s spotlight features Shannon Marie Robinson. She is the Liaison Librarian in Media Arts & Design at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is also the ACRL/Arts Section’s new Webmaster. Stay up to date with Shannon’s blog Robinsonat, her Tumblr MA&D Librarian, and her Twitter @ArtistLibrarian.

Tell us what type of library do you work in?
Academic research institution

How long have you been a member of ACRL/Arts Section?
Four years

Describe your position and what you like best about it.
I have been in my current position only about three months! It’s your typical liaison librarian job. Instruction, reference, faculty support, and collection development are my biggest responsibilities. The College of Media Arts & Design is far-ranging in the programs offered. The departments include Architecture & Interior Design, Art & Art History, Arts & Entertainment Enterprise, Cinema & TV, Design, Digital Media, and Performing Arts. I’m working with animators, game designers, photographers, fashion designers, arts administrators, television producers … someone new every day. The programs in these departments are industry-focused so I am learning a lot about the business aspects of arts and design. One student will need assistance researching a Renaissance painter and the next will ask for help with demographics and company financials. The diversity of the programs is challenging, but very interesting.

What are you reading or what is the latest exhibition you have seen?
The last exhibition I saw was Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet at the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. I’m a huge fan of Outsider Art or Art Brut.

Tell us about the arts related activities you are involved in outside of librarianship.
Though I’m trained in textiles, I haven’t found a way to balance my art practice with a full-time librarian job and professional activities. Once I am settled back in Philadelphia, I hope to re-start some embroidery/weaving/quilting projects. After I stopped exhibiting my work, I started creating pieces for family, friends, and colleagues; I really enjoyed that. In the meantime, I discovered a gem of a gallery in West Philadelphia, just up the street from Drexel University. It’s the Esther Klein Gallery and they host exhibits that explore the relationships between art, science, and technology. I love poking my head in each month to see what’s new.

Do you have any upcoming publications that you would like to tell us about?
Sure, I have an article coming up in College & Research Libraries to be published (probably) in November called Artists as Scholars: The Research Behavior of Dance Faculty (there is a link to the pre-printed article). I’ll be presenting on the research at ALA in Orlando.

Describe your vision for ACRL/Arts Section in three words.
Colleagues becoming friends

Interested in being featured in Member’s Spotlight. Fill out the form here and send a photo to

March 7, 2016

Interested in becoming a representative for IFLA?

Filed under: Announcements,Uncategorized — Sandy @ 3:41 pm

Dear ACRL Arts section Members,

ACRL invites applicants to serve as ALA representatives to IFLA standing committees for the 2017– 2021 term. There is currently one vacancy for Art Libraries. To apply for the Art Libraries ALA representative to IFLA, submit the materials detailed below, to Megan Lotts at no later than May 6, 2016.

  1. Completed “Request to be Nominated to IFLA” application form:
  2. A resume reflecting expertise in field of the section applied for
  3. Affirmation that the person can fulfill the working language and travel requirements

ACRL sections review the IFLA representative applications and make recommendations to the ACRL Leadership Recruitment and Nominations Committee (LRNC). The LRNC will review applications at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando. The LRNC then submits its recommendations to the ACRL Board for consideration at the 2016 Fall Executive Committee Meeting. In turn, the ACRL Board submits the approved candidates for nomination to the ALA International Relations Committee in November, 2016.

Please review the detailed guidelines located at:

Additional Information is also available on the ALA IRO page at: and

Summary of the highlights:
Members are nominated and officially endorsed for a four-year term to every IFLA section standing committee at each IFLA election. The new appointments will be for the 2017 – 2021 term. Individuals can only serve on one IFLA committee at a time, and a maximum of two consecutive terms. Any ALA/ACRL member may be suggested for nomination to one of the six IFLA standing committees above. Individual applications for nomination are also acceptable. Current incumbents who are eligible for a second term may apply for continuation.

Nominees should be experts in the field covered by the section and have a working knowledge of at least one working language of IFLA (English is an IFLA working language), and should have reasonable expectation of attending meetings of the standing committee without cost to IFLA or to ACRL

ALA representatives on IFLA section standing committees are required to:

  • Report to their constituencies on appropriate developments and information originating from their respective committees; these communications may be published in ALA journals or newsletters, or as special reports to ALA members;
  • Transmit a copy of the report(s) to the ALA International Relations Committee.

Questions? Please contact the ACRL Program Officer Megan Griffin, or Megan Lotts at or call (848)932-7189.

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