So it’s one month since ARLIS/NA #42 and my life is back to normal. For me that means work and summer classes, and pondering the issues of arts librarianship. Washington DC invigorated and affirmed me, and yet, also challenged me with the realization that I have ALOT to learn. And since I have a small role on the planning committee for the 2015 conference, I now know we have a big act to follow. As a regional chapter travel award recipient, I was required to write a post-conference report for the chapter’s newsletter. I decided to post it here as well. Although it’s geared for the TX-MX audience, Arlisnappers may enjoy references both general and specific to themselves throughout. I encourage all students and new professionals to apply for their respective chapter travel awards for next year. You won’t regret it!
ARLIS/NA 2014 Conference Report, Washington, DC
If you had run into me on the first day of ARLIS/NA 2014, I think there would be no doubt as to the amount of excitement and nervous anticipation that I exuded. I was practically giddy just to be in Washington DC for my first ARLIS/NA conference. From the moment I knew that I would definitely be attending, I was scouring the conference schedule, planning how to get the most out of every session, workshop, and tour. It was frustrating to be sure! I must have changed my mind at least a half dozen times. There were just too many concurrent and/or overlapping events that piqued my curiosity to make it all doable without cloning myself. I will attempt to recap the highlights, although it will not fairly encompass the fun I also had in chance conversations and in friendships established from collegial rapport.
My conference began with the Society of the Cincinnati Tour on Thursday morning, followed by the Mentoring workshop in the afternoon. I was pleased to see this late add-on tour as my conference duties precluded attendance at any others. As a small tour group of five, we were treated to an intimate visit to the collection vault. One of the tour participants agreed to serve as my recorder for my session the next day. That was such a relief since I had attempted and failed to secure one prior to the conference! Afterwards, the workshop focused my goals in arts librarianship and paired me with Canadian librarian Jennifer Garland as my mentor. I am looking forward to a productive year to come with her guidance. Dinner with fellow first-time attendees Courtney Baron and Anna-Sophia Zingarelli-Sweet familiarized me with Penn Quarter as we enjoyed Mexican inspired fare and lively comparisons of our respective library schools and work experiences.
On Friday morning, I moderated the session Meet the Policy Experts, and then attended Pro amore liborum: Rare Book and Special Collections Librarianship in the afternoon. I mingled with several of the Texas contingency at our chapter meeting. Unfortunately, I missed the First Time Attendees’ Reception, but Friday night, after a visit and dinner with relatives in the area, I hung out with the ArLiSNAP (Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals) crowd at Capitol City Brewery across from the Grand Hyatt. Surrounded by some dangerously smart students as well as a few more mature, but no less enthusiastic professionals, I was delighted to finally meet in person some online friends that I have been communicating and collaborating with as a Discussion Liaison over the past year in ArLiSNAP. See http://arlisnap.org
I volunteered for Exhibits set-up on Saturday morning early and although most of the work had already been completed by that time, I had a fortuitous encounter with a past ARLIS/NA President, Ted Goodman, who gave me a crash course in exhibits management. I couldn’t have received it from anyone more experienced or more versatile in this area! It was the perfect initiation for duties I will have in Fort Worth next year. I later wandered through the Eastern Market and found myself at Capitol Hill Books – the layout of which was both a treasure hunter’s dream and a librarian’s nightmare!
And yes, of course I bought a book there! After a Metro adventure back to the hotel, I enjoyed Retooling Art Reference and Information Services: Collaborative Tools, Strategies, and Models, and later, the Emerging Technology Forum. Following a spin through the Exhibit Hall and Posters, it was off to the Convocation and Reception at the Library of Congress, or as Susan Stamberg referred to it during her keynote address, “the Mothership” – a truly inspiring evening that I will always associate with an incredible experience.
I jumped up Sunday morning for an 8am ArLiSNAP business meeting and then sandwiched the Membership Brunch and Meeting between morning and afternoon sessions Collaborating to Achieve and Activist Outreach in the Book Arts. A pleasant surprise on Sunday evening occurred when I happened upon fellow chapter members on their way to dinner for an informal planning meeting for 2015. Together we digested the enormity of the task before us along with some excellent seafood. Thanks for inviting me along, ladies!
Is it any wonder that I was completely exhausted by the time I got home Monday afternoon? I had a fabulous time start to finish. My brain is still processing all the new information and ideas, yet I feel more clearly focused in the direction I want to go in future coursework and in dedication to finishing my degree in 2015. It was such a pleasure to meet, talk to, and learn from so many interesting people and to get to know some of our chapter members a little bit better. I cannot neglect to thank Cheryl Payne from MFAH for agreeing to be my roommate, although we had never met previously. My experience would not have been possible without the ARLIS/NA-TXMX chapter’s generous support, for which I am truly grateful. I look forward to seeing everyone again at the fall meeting in Orange, TX, and of course, for more artful adventures!
Alison A. Larson
MLS student, UNT
Art Reference, Weekend Operations, Baylor University, Crouch Fine Arts Library
Lois Swan Jones Travel Award Winner, 2014
And so, with that, we move forward to #43 in Fort Worth! Don’t forget that proposal deadline is in 12 short days! http://arlisna.org/news/news-events/302-43rd-annual-conference-call-for-proposals
An exciting NEW idea has emerged in the past month among the ArLiSNAP Liaison crew regarding an “unconference” session proposal. This session would focus on current trends/hot topics in arts librarianship and be lead by ArLiSNAP Canadian Liaison Allana Mayer. She needs your brainstorming minds FAST! In these last few days before the proposal is due, you have the chance to submit your thoughts and ideas for this session by replying to this post. ArLiSNAP has also put out a call for a Conference Planning Liaison to assist Allana in this project. Be a part of what we hope will be groundbreaking new frontiers!