We regret to inform you that ARLIS/NA will not be holding its 48th Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO because of the serious health risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Tuesday, April 21 • 1:30pm - 2:50pm
Art, Libraries, & Librarianship in a Time of Endless Possibilities

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The roles and boundaries of art librarians and art libraries are blurring. Spaces are becoming less definable as well as the roles and skill sets as librarians. The authors in this session suggest that the figurative and physical space of librarianship is moving towards generalized roles which are less definable - providing the freedom to pursue more possibilities.
This session combines three research projects that attempt to understand aspects of change in Art Librarianship and Academic Libraries. By embracing change authors recognize the creative possibilities that come with being flexible and adaptable with one’s use of time and architectural spaces.

Those attending will hear about important recent publications in art librarianship and library design, unusual examples of current library architecture, and will learn about the results of a survey on current skills for art librarianship.

Papers included (alphabetical by last name):

Megan Lotts, The Art Librarian Wears Many Hats: a survey of skills needed for art librarians in the 21st century- In the 21st century Art Librarians wear many hats such as, collectors, curators, hardware specialists, programmers, researchers, social media managers, social workers, teachers, technology support, writers, as well as sometimes providing candy and tissues to students, faculty, and staff in times of need. As collection and staff budgets are dwindling, the skill sets of Art Librarians are widely expanding as the field continues to move away from the traditional ideas of subject background, foreign language proficiencies, and professional studies such as cataloging, indexing, and abstracting. This presentation will look at the history of Art Librarianship, discuss the current skill sets needed by Art Librarians in higher education, and provide insight for individuals pursuing a career in Art Librarianship. The methodology includes a literature review and a national survey of art librarian skills sets in the 21st century.

Henry Pisciotta, Curiosity and Design for Academic Libraries- The literature on library architecture is bifurcated: designers have often emphasized form and librarians’ function.  As the design specialists in our academic libraries, art librarians can mediate, advocating for the value of good design in library facilities planning.  Three recent areas of scholarship might help consolidate these discussions: the literature on libraries as “social infrastructure,” another on the architectural aspects of embodied cognition, and the little-explored psychological research on curiosity.  Writings on social infrastructure can help us understand the current reallocation of space from collections to people.  Embodied cognition provides scientific support for the important subliminal impacts of design.  The psychology of curiosity explains some library buildings that seem capable of stimulating inquiry and exploration.  These thoughts will be illustrated with recent projects by major firms, emphasizing the 2019 Charles Library at Temple University by Snøhetta, and contrasted to the ideals of 1970s library design.
Paulina Rousseau, Creating Opportunities: Planning, Implementing, and Assessing a Mentorship Program- Planning, Implementing, and Assessing a Mentorship Program- While LIS programs offer theoretical training that assist new graduates and young professionals in building confidence in a skill set that can move their careers forward, a mentorship at the beginning of one’s career can have an incredible impact by helping to build professional connections, modelling proper communication so that the new professional feels heard, and can help the mentoree to understand professional cultures and norms. Mentors benefit by being given the opportunity to give back to their profession, strengthens their interpersonal relationship skills, and can re-energize the mentor’s enthusiasm for the work that they do.
This year the ARLIS/NA Ontario Chapter is the planning phase of a mentorship program that will pair established professionals with new graduates planning careers in art libraries or memory institutions. The goal of the mentorship program is twofold - to give ARLIS-ON members an opportunity to connect with professionals that have experience in an area that they would like to pursue, and to support ARLIS-ON student and professional members make new connections within the profession/institution and arts focused communities, and the presenters will discuss their planned phases for the project.

avatar for Ginny Moran

Ginny Moran

Research & Instruction Librarian, DeWitt Wallace Library, Macalester College
Ginny Moran is a Fine Arts & Humanities Librarian at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is a past-chair of the ARLIS/NA-Twin Cities Chapter, past moderator of the ARLIS/NA Academic Library Division, and currently serves as co-chair of the Association for College & Research... Read More →


Paulina Rousseau

University of Toronto Scarborough Library
avatar for Henry Pisciotta

Henry Pisciotta

Arts and Architecture Librarian, Pennsylvania State University
Talking in session 7 - Listening to Architecture. Looking for written criteria / guidelines/ rules for displaying student works in libraries. Interested in most things. Unfortunately.

Megan Lotts

Art Librarian, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Tuesday April 21, 2020 1:30pm - 2:50pm CDT
Chase Park Plaza: Lindell D 212 South Kingshighway Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63108