Art Libraries Society of
Academic Library Division Meeting
Before the meeting got underway Jeanne O’Keefe and Margaret Webster stopped by to introduce themselves and to encourage our participation in the conference planning for next year by submitting session and workshop proposals.
Deborah Ultan, moderator, then opened the meeting with the nomination and appointment of officers for the coming year.
Rebecca Price, (U. Michigan), moderator
KC Elhard, (UIUC), Update Editor
Deborah reported that she had been working with the Professional Development
Committee on setting up a mentoring program for entry-level and mid-level librarians. The idea is that it would be good to have a more robust, year-round mentoring program, distinct from the conference mentor program. She proposed the idea of establishing a sub-committee to look into the idea of mentoring, particularly exploring the idea of what can be done beyond the current conference mentoring.
Janine Henri noted that the Membership Committee is looking at student membership in ARLIS -- perhaps setting up a student round-table for student members. This might be a place where mentors (particularly those interested in helping entry-level librarians) could contact new librarians.
Another member noted that the CAA Committee for Students and Emerging Professionals has an expertise list online and that might be something we could copy, as a means of directing new librarians to people who can mentor. (author note: I was unable to find this on the CAA site -- perhaps it is still in planning)
The idea was proposed that the Round Table should be for students and anyone interested in mentoring student and emerging librarians.
It was emphasized that those of us in academic institutions with library schools need to take an active role in promoting art librarianship and in mentoring the local library student community.
Deborah raised the question of mid-career librarians and their mentoring needs.
Miguel Juarez raised the point that the Management Roundtable had asked about the mentoring of librarians who want to move to a different level and that this idea might be addressed at the same time.
Jennifer Hehman, who has recently been given responsibility for music at her library, wondered if others had observed the trend (current at her institution) of merging librarians with specialties (art, drama, music, etc) into one librarian. She noted a move to pull all the arts together in one person.
In response, someone noted that at her institution the opposite was happening. Instead of merged specialties, more emphasis was being placed on subject specialization.
Someone suggested that a good panel session for next year might be a session on how to be a performing arts librarian and art librarian at once. Perhaps it would fit in the "never covered in library school" session format.
Schwartz then confirmed that the idea sounded like a good topic given the
“beyond borders” theme of next year’s conference in
Deborah responds that it might work as both a workshop and a session. With more detail and focus on the tools in the workshop and a more discussion-oriented session.
Then the discussion moved to the depleting budgets affecting us all. Quickly the conversation moved to ARTstor and what we are to do about the just-released pricing model. Is there a unified response? Should it come from the division, from each school, from ARLIS as a whole?
we got too far into the pricing issue, Don Juedes
(Johns Hopkins) and Elisa Lanzi (
Nonetheless, the pricing was the main issue of discussion. It is just too high and the Carnegie Inst. Classification (upon which it is based) isn't necessarily representative of the kinds of units/departments and expected extent of use at any one institution. The example of Johns Hopkins was given -- because of the extensive medical school it's a level one Carnegie classification, but the undergraduate enrollment is actually relatively low.
· browser issues -- not working well for Mac users
· download of images -- our students and faculty need to download decent-sized images for class papers and off-line presentations. The current ability to only download the lowest resolution image is not sufficient.
· other end-user issues -- monitors, projection
Ann Shincovich made the point that an institution must also consider the costs of providing an infrastructure (proper classroom equipment, for instance) to make the resource useable. Don Juedes reiterated that you do need cross-departmental investment (including systems folks) to make sure you can take full advantage of the product. There needs to be an institutional commitment. It is definitely not a product simply for a department, or even just the library.
· name -- ARTstor should be IMAGEstor, if they really want us to 'sell' the product as a campus-wide resource. Many are meeting resistance to subscribe to a resource that is perceived as primarily (if not solely) a resource for art historians and artists. Which raises the issue of content -- right now it is almost primarily directed to art historians and artists. If they want us to promote it as a campus-wide resource, it will need a lot more 'other stuff' in it.
· fund administration -- ARTstor needs to realize that funds are administered differently at every institution. Something this pricey will generally not fit in the art/art history library budget, but will require some centralized funding. Many institutions are not set up to provide this sort of support.
Elisa Lanzi pointed out that the growing pains of ARTstor are not unlike early experiences with JSTOR, where cross-disciplinary and cross-departmental alliances had to be made to implement the product successfully. In the end, this push to consolidate and work together across campus may be a very good thing and bring other good outcomes.
· content – the question was raised about if ARTstor will affect what is taught across the country. Will it be restrictive? Will it result in cookie-cutter classes?
Kim Collins suggested that at least 1/3 of what professors want to teach will not be in ARTstor and this is why the download question is so important. Professors will want to combine these images with their own in the classroom.
· copyright – Margaret English (U. Toronto) noted that copyright is particularly an issue for Canadian schools that might want to subscribe to ARTstor.
This enlivened discussion about ARTstor carried us to the end of the hour.
As a wrap-up all were encouraged to think of conference proposals for next year.
Rebecca Price (with help from K.C. Elhard)