ACRL Arts Section Blog

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

February 23, 2016

News from ACRL/ Arts Section chair, Kai Alexis Smith

Filed under: Announcements,Membership and Outreach,Uncategorized — Sandy @ 9:21 am


ACRL/Arts Section members,


I am your new ACRL/Arts Chair. Unfortunately, chair elect Greg Hatch of the University of Utah decided to step down in early Fall 2015. With the support of the Executive Committee and ALA Liaison Megan Griffin, I am getting caught up on my new responsibilities. I am very excited to lead the section and am very happy to bring you a number of updates and developments.


First, we are very happy to have Sandra Gekosky from West Virginia University at Parkersburg as our new Social Media Manager. Shortly, we will have our Twitter, Facebook and blog up and running again after a long hiatus. We are also excited to have Shannon Robinson of Drexel University on the team to maintain our website presence.


It looks like we don’t have all our users switched over to using the ALA hosted listserv. If you are on the old one please understand we have shut that down. Privacy issues and concerns prevent us from automatically moving all subscribers from the old list to the new list, so please, subscribe to the new list as soon as possible. If you want to stay abreast of what the ACRL/Arts Section is doing please join the new listsserv here:


We are looking for volunteers for the 2016- 2017 service. If you are interested or have expertise in any of the committees below, please fill out the volunteer form here:


Open positions (select the name of the committee to learn more about it):

2017 Conference planning Committee 3 members needed

Membership and Outreach Committee 5 members needed

Strategic Planning Committee 4 members needed

Publications and Research Committee 2 members needed


Because many of our members often cannot attend Midwinter, there is a virtual forum webinar conducted in it’s place and provides members the opportunity to share projects around a theme. The recording of our Midwinter Virtual Webinar on Introducing the Artists’ Books Thesaurus is available here:


Even if you didn’t attend Midwinter, check out our Arts Guide here. The Membership and Outreach Committee works hard to assemble these guides for the membership for both the Midwinter and Annual Conferences.


We are always looking for ways for the membership to engage with each other and discuss topics of interest. However, there were a number of discussion groups and a committee that was recently dissolved because of inactivity. These include the Digital Technologies in the Arts Committee, Digital Arts Discussion Group, and the Film and Broadcast Studies Librarians Discussion Group. We strongly encourage discussion groups. Please feel free to contact me if you have ideas or bring them to the Executive Committee meeting at the Annual Conference in Orlando. Both the Executive Committee and I would be delighted to hear from you!

Before we know it, the Annual Conference will be here in no time. Again this year, the Section will be holding meetings at the conference. I look forward to engaging with you all then and working with you all in the coming years!


Kai Alexis Smith

Chair, ACRL/Arts Section

February 26, 2010

Follow ACRL Arts on Twitter

Filed under: Announcements,Membership and Outreach — carriebert @ 3:27 pm
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