VRA Midwest Fall Meeting

Chapter meetings are a great way to get involved and meet local professionals. Go here to find out which chapter of VRA (Visual Resources Association) operates in your area.

I attended my first VRA Midwest meeting on Friday, November 10th at the Cochrane-Woods Art Center at the University of Chicago. Gretchen Tuchel (University of Chicago) kindly welcomed the group and provided refreshments before the meeting began.

Dennis McGuire (Columbia College), current Midwest chapter president, began the meeting with introductions before moving on to the approval of Spring business meeting minutes and the treasurer’s report. A reminder announcement regarding the timing of the chapter’s Membership Drive was given – members will be prompted for dues in Dec/Jan to coincide with national dues.

Amy Fordham (University of Louisville) reported on the Educating the Educators workshop from the VRA Baltimore conference. She emphasized how useful the session was for her current work, and that she greatly appreciated the chapter’s support to attend. The session will be offered again at Kansas City in ’07.

At this point we discussed alternative uses for the Midwest travel award. SEI (Summer Educational Institute) was mentioned as being possibly appropriate since it is sponsored by VRA.

The Midwest Chapter will continue its support of the annual conference in ’07. Options for creative donation strategies to maximize contact with vendors were discussed by chapter members. The chapter members then discussed donation ideas for the annual VRA Raffle. The Midwest Chapter’s ’07 donation promises to be just as creative as past items . . .

Rebecca Moss (University of Minnesota) and Betha Whitlow (Washington University) apprised the chapter of the need for future volunteers for the Kansas City conference.

Matt Cook graciously offered to tour VRA Midwest members around the Illinois Institute of Technology facilities on Saturday, November 11th. Also, VRA members were also encouraged to drop in on the ARLIS Midstates copyright session on Saturday.

We discussed the recent election results and acknowledged the presence of Allan Kohl (Minneapolis College of Art and Design), VRA president elect. Sarah Carter (Indiana University) then took the opportunity to announce the creation of this blog; chapter members were enthusiastic about the project!

After the meeting was adjourned we crossed the courtyard to the Smart Museum for a lovely tour of the collection. Lunch was held at the University of Chicago School of Business – where, in my opinion, they have possibly the world’s best salad bar!

Free Library Journal Subscriptions for Library School Students

Free LJ Subscriptions for Library School Students That’s right, free! We are pleased to offer a free one-year subscription to Library Journal to all library students in the United States (sorry, Canada). No strings attached, no hidden fees, nothing but a full year of Library Journal delivered straight to your door. All you need is a valid student ID. Sign up at: http://www.libraryjournal.com/contents/pdf/studentform.pdf.

Many young adults burning out on social websites

If you believe the buzz, the latest incarnation of the Web is all about sharing, connecting, and community. But even as the phenomenon continues to swell, the effort to maintain an active social life on the Web is taking its toll. Some have grown tired of what once was novel. Some feel bombarded by unsolicited messages, friend requests, and advertisements. And some are cutting back….
San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2

Disputed Picasso auction halted

One of the biggest art auctions in history, taking place in New York, has been marred by controversy. A 1903 Picasso painting, which was to have been auctioned by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, has been withdrawn at the last minute due to its Nazi-era history.

A descendant of a previous owner claims his ancestors were forced by the Nazis to sell the painting in the 1930s.

Read more

News from ALA's AL Direct Newsletter

A site worth 70 million words
A major portion of the photographic collections of the Los Angeles Public Library are now accessible online and sometimes downloadable for free. The website’s popularity has transformed Curator of Photographs Carolyn Kozo Cole and her staff into tastemakers, responsible for anticipating what kinds of images the public wants and for offering their own selections for what makes Los Angeles L.A. They carefully choose images to add to the database, which today includes about 70,000 photographs and is growing by 250–300 images a week….
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 22

Pimp My Bookcart contest
Send in photos (front, back, and sides) of your customized, augmented, or otherwise “pimped out” book cart to win gift certificates from the Overdue Media Store. The contest was inspired by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum’s Unshelved comic strip sequence that began September 29. The deadline is January 15….
Overdue Media, Oct. 24

Read the rest of the newsletter.

Librarian Champion of Black History Dies

Librarian champion of black history dies
For four decades librarian Mayme Clayton prowled garage sales, flea markets, attics, used bookstores, even dumps, rescuing thousands of rare and unusual books, movies, sound recordings, and more, much of it dating to the slavery era. With limited funds but boundless determination, she amassed what experts today regard as a valuable and eclectic collection of black Americana. A bit of an eccentric, Clayton piled her treasures in the garage behind her humble California home….
Los Angeles Times, Oct. 21