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 at shannonmarierobinson.com, 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?
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