Moderators: Leigh Gates, Art Institute of Chicago and Elisa Lanzi, Lanzi/Warren Associates.
Sponsors: Professional Development Committee and the Visual Resources Division
Leigh Gates began the session with introductory remarks concerning the fact that art librarians and visual resources curators are being challenged to acquire new skills, technologies and expertise. They are being asked to allocate their resources in new and creative ways and to work in new collaborative ways. The panel featured three panelists who are working on projects or programs which attempt to meet the needs of the new information professional.
The first speaker was Ann Lally, Architecture Librarian at the University of Arizona, College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (also Chair of the ARLIS/NA Professional Development Committee). Ann has been involved in library instruction at several institutions. She is actively working on improving her teaching skills and has been involved in this process of creatively assessing and improving her teaching. She has partnered with faculty to teach students information literacy skills and teaches everything from how to make a web page to how to do graduate level research. The focus of her discussion was the use of a teaching portfolio and how to develop competency in teaching using lesson plans, classroom assessment and a skills workbook. Her process includes the development of a teaching philosophy and strategy as well as the accumulation of artifacts, each chosen for its illustration of a teaching experience or assessment. Sharing teaching and learning experiences with mentors and colleagues can also be a major tool in the processes of learning, evaluating and assessing one’s instructional skills.
Joy Davis, the second panelist, is the Director of the Cultural Resource Management Program in the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Victoria (see also web site www.uvcs.uvic.ca/crmp/). This program includes studies in the areas of collection management, museum information management and human resource management. Courses are taught on campus and through distance education. Ms. Davis felt that the library field seems better organized for education and the development of professional competencies than the museum field. As the manager of the transition from real to virtual classrooms, she discussed four separate areas of the process. The first was the selection of appropriate course content which is highly relevant to professionals. One must then select and train faculty who are comfortable with the online teaching environment. She also discussed managing the planning and development of courses and course materials. Last, there must be adequate provision for appropriate support for both students and faculty.
Mikel Breitenstein is the director of the undergraduate program in Information
Transfer at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science at Long
University. Her primary focus was the emergence of the field of Visual Literacy studies and its relationship to art information professionals. Visual Literacy as a new discipline is both interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, an active area of research and teaching dealing with format and content. The use of images to convey information is not a new concept in our profession. The incorporation of the study of graphical information management and display into professional education is an opportunity for art librarians and visual resources curators to contribute to professional educational programs and cooperate with other information professionals.
This was a lively and interesting session that provided a new and different
vision of some of the possibilities for educating ourselves for the future.