Walter Schlect posted an article
My attendance this year at ARLIS/NA Fort Worth was made possible by the generous Celine Palatsky Travel Grant from ARLIS/NA New York, without which I would have been unable to go. I am a current student at Pratt Institute, and work part-time as a project manager of an Art and Photography...see more
My attendance this year at ARLIS/NA Fort Worth was made possible by the generous Celine Palatsky Travel Grant from ARLIS/NA New York, without which I would have been unable to go. I am a current student at Pratt Institute, and work part-time as a project manager of an Art and Photography digitization project at the Leo Baeck Institute (LBI). LBI is a research library and archive devoted to German Jewish history, so it is not a traditional art library. However, I felt that its extensive art collection by German Jews and related art and architecture resources could benefit from the seasoned expertise of art librarians at the ARLIS/NA conference. I was also curious to learn about new trends in art libraries and hear about the amazing projects that my fellow ARLIS/NA members have worked on recently.
This year was a particularly good time to go for my current job at LBI because there were so many sessions related to digital images. I was able to learn about how other libraries, archives and museums deftly handle thorny issues of copyright, digitization, managing digital assets, and enhancing access. I also had the opportunity to see incredibly innovative and forward-thinking projects that may change the way that users and researchers interact with digital images in the future.
It is impossible to mention all of the sessions that I enjoyed in a short summary, but I will mention a few standouts. In What Can I Do With This Image? Anne Young, Manager of Rights and Reproductions at the Indianapolis Museum of art discusses how the IMA moved to a no-fee model, added copyright information to all items, and have expanded partnerships (ArtStor, DPLA, etc.) Young stressed the importance of having coordinated workflows in place before starting an open access program, and providing your own copyright information (rather than relying on partners to do that for you).
Place-Based Discovery: Broadening Access with Geolocation was a phenomenal session with presentations by two librarians from the Avery Art and Architecture Library at Columbia University. Margaret Smithglass and Chris Sala discussed the Built Works Registry, an authority for names for architecture which includes coordinates for those buildings in the registry. Registered users can add to the registry and I hope to add information from Leo Baeck’s extensive collection of prints and photographs of Synagogues in Germany.
Visualizing the New Frontier: Recent Advances in Image Recognition Technology featured a lot of impressive tools that developers are using to write software that matches duplicate/similar images, recognizes faces in portraits, and identifies shapes of objects in art. While these are currently still in development by institutions with much bigger endowments, they sound like really fascinating tools that smaller libraries may be able to take advantage of in the future.In a session on Linked Open Data, the two librarians from the University of Oregon talked about their migration to linked open data . The project was an exemplary project management model and I took several notes on their project management tools. I also attending a special workshop on Large-Scale digitization, which gave me a lot of tools and information about standards that I was able to bring back with me to LBI.
But the ARLIS/NA conference is not just a staid professional conference where people just listen to papers and don’t interact. It’s quite the opposite in fact! I’ve never been to a friendlier conference. I immediately met many librarians of all ages from all over the country who were doing amazing things and interested in talking to me about my own experiences and where I imagined my career going. After the sessions we got to know each other over queso and Shiner and I feel so grateful to have be in an organization that is so warm and welcoming to students and new professionals.
This was also my very first time in Texas. As a westerner at heart living in New York City (I was born and raised in Eastern Washington state), I had a fantastic time. Fort Worth is a fun and lively city with incredible architecture. The three major art museums (Amon Carter, Kimball, Modern) had incredible collections and stunning buildings to match. I was also pleased to have multiple opportunities to wear my late Grandfather’s cowboy boots, which tend to collect dust in my closet in Brooklyn.
I’m already looking forward to next year’s joint conference with the Visual Resources Association (VRA) in Seattle, which will even be closer to home for me. I recommend the conference to anyone interested in innovative art library initiatives and connecting with people from other art libraries big and small.
Walter Schlect, 2015 Recipient of the Celine Palatsky Travel Award
Image: (left to right) Millicent Fullmer and Walter Schlect.
Suz Massen posted an article
Attending this year’s ARLIS/NA annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, surpassed my already high expectations and it was an absolute privilege to be a part of the event. As one of the...see more
Attending this year’s ARLIS/NA annual conference in Fort Worth, Texas, surpassed my already high expectations and it was an absolute privilege to be a part of the event. As one of the lucky recipients of the generous Celine Palatsky Travel Awards, I benefited both financially as well as socially since suddenly I was on the radar of many friendly and accomplished art librarians. This was most appreciated since ARLIS/NA 2015 happened to be my first conference, which as an expat New Zealander and recent MLIS graduate meant a sea of new faces.
The well attended conference created a fun, nurturing, and informative environment, hence from the moment I received my official tote bag filled with goodies, on to the reunions with classmates and colleagues, welcoming and closing receptions with delicious Tex-mex food and refreshments, exhibits, and last but not least the fascinating sessions and open meetings, I knew I could never miss another ARLIS/NA conference again.
Immediately impressive was the sheer variety of topics covered at the conference, with my session highlights including: “What can I do with this image?” an encouraging discussion of developments in image rights and the ways in which institutions can leverage fees with user needs; “Future of art bibliography: sustaining collaboration in an evolving landscape,” which raised interesting questions about the changing culture of research and the necessary levels of aggregation and uniqueness; “How the web was won: collaborative approaches to web archiving,” an instructive look into born-digital ephemera; “Telling stories: regional artists and their art,” an intimate look into the practicalities of documenting living artists; and finally the “Known unknowns and unknown knowns: privacy, secrets, and the limitations of archives,” which included a subject interest of mine by Heather Ahtone “Cultural protocol vs. academic privilege: researching indigenous cultures.” These fascinating talks were presented by passionate individuals on topics related to specific case studies, yet their findings can be applied to the diverse contexts found amongst art libraries.
In addition to the inspiring presentations at the conference, ARLIS provided well-researched extracurricular activities in the charming historic city of Fort Worth, Texas. Looking around Philip Johnson’s Water Park, the Cowgirl Hall of Fame and Museum, the fabulous art at the Modern, particularly the breathtaking works by Anslem Kiefer, and of course the Kimbell Art Museum, was a dream come true.
Thank you so much to the wonderful ARLIS/NY chapter team for selecting me to be one of the Celine Palatsky Travel Award recipients, it was gratefully received and such an honor. I am already counting down the days to ARLIS/NA 2016 in Seattle, Washington!
Millicent Fullmer, 2015 Recipient of the Celine Palatsky Travel Award
Image: (left to right) Big Texas Hat, Walter Schlect, and Millicent Fullmer.