ACRL Arts Section Blog

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

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

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