March 1, 2004
Submitted by Allen Townsend
tel: 817 989 5073
fax: 817 989 5075
In the aftermath of significant changes to the Society’s Committee and
overall structure, this year’s Board focused on stabilizing the administrative
core of the organization and addressing some of the concerns raised by the
membership during the Baltimore Annual Conference, namely the original dates for
the 2004 New York meeting coinciding with the Passover holiday; ongoing declining annual membership renewals; the complicated
issue of diversity without a Diversity Committee; and the opportunity to more
actively participate in the training of the next generation of art information
professionals through the establishment of core competency standards.
New York Conference holiday
conflict: Shortly after the
Baltimore Annual Conference in Spring 2003, Clarke and Associates contacted the
Roosevelt Hotel about the possibility of moving the 2004 New York Conference
dates to avoid conflicting with the Passover Holidays.
Thanks to the adept negotiating skills of the Society’s Headquarters
Staff, along with the very good luck that slightly later dates were still
available at the Hotel, this change was achieved with a minimum of delay or
undue trouble. However, in the
process, the Board re-iterated its commitment to avoid both spring religious
holiday seasons (Passover & Easter) when planning future ARLIS/NA
During 2003, the Board decided to finally drop non-renewing members from
the rolls, causing a higher than usual decline in the membership numbers.
Fortunately, the Membership Committee volunteered to orchestrate a
telephone-based membership campaign, raising the number of renewals by more than
10% of the original figure reported by Headquarters.
However, 2004 membership renewals are again down at the time of this
writing, and the related issue of who tomorrow’s Society leaders will be
continues to nag at our successes to date.
After a very successful Diversity Forum in Baltimore, during its Mid Year
meetings in August 2003 the Executive Board voted to re-instate the Diversity
Committee as a Standing Committee of the Society.
In spite of the difficulties and complications of recruitment of a more
diverse population to ARLIS/NA-supported professions, it was decided that NOT
having any such group working toward a more diverse ARLIS/NA membership base
portrayed some level of organizational apathy, most certainly not the message
from the membership during the Baltimore Conference’s Diversity Forum.
Core Competencies in the Visual
Arts Information Professions: A
lively discussion initiated during the Baltimore Leadership Breakfast brought to
the fore the need for ARLIS/NA to play an active role in the development of core
competencies required for visual arts information professions.
With declining institutional support for professional development
becoming more the norm than the exception, the Professional Development
Committee has taken on the daunting task of studying what competencies should be
included in such a list, and will be reporting on their research during a
session at the Annual Conference in New York in April 2004.
Curriculum developed for the first ARLIS/NA and VRA Summer Institute for
Continuing Education planned for 2004 provided similar opportunities for VR
professionals to document current professional core competencies.
In spite of difficult economic
times, the Society enjoyed a good financial year overall.
Details are aptly described in the Treasurer’s Annual Report, but one
program that continued to signal the commitment of Members to the success of
ARLIS/NA was the generous support of the relatively, new Society Circle program,
founded under the Presidency of Daniel Starr and administered by Development
Chair, Gregory P. J. Most. In its
first two years, this program has yielded nearly $12,000 of income for the
Society’s restricted and unrestricted use.
Attended Annual Conference in Baltimore, March 20-26th, 2003.
Conference Board meeting and coordinated Post-Conference Board meeting.
Attended the VRA Conference in Houston April 2003.
Coordinated the Conference Planning Advisory Committee Meeting (CPAC) in New York City in June 2003.
Attended ARLIS WEST Regional Meeting in Portland, OR, July 31-August 3, 2003.
Coordinated the Mid-year Executive Board meeting held in Philadelphia at the University of the Arts, August 26-27, 2003, hosted by NE Regional Rep, Carol Graney.
Attended ARLIS South Regional Meeting in New Orleans, November 13-15, 2003.
Presided at New York CPAC Meeting on February 17, 2004.
Coordinating the upcoming
Pre-Conference meeting, New York City, April 15, 2004.
Report on 2000-2005 Strategic Plan Action Items for Executive Board
1. Establish clear budgeting links between the Strategic Plan and the annual budget to facilitate the attainment of plan goals. Review and revise the budget annually as goals are achieved. (IV B)
Treasurer, Phil Heagy has managed the Society’s budget masterfully over the past year, reviewing and revising as necessary, especially with respect to two joint projects with the Visual Resources Association (North American Lantern Slide Survey and the Summer Institute for Continuing Education), related to Action item 3 below.
2. Review the Society's organizational structure for the purpose of streamlining; for example, consolidation of committees and documents, re-defining Board responsibilities, and creating a plan for web development. (IV A)
The Membership Committee has approved a simplified membership structure which will be initiated during the renewal cycle in Fall 2004.
The Board continued to seek ways to streamline the organization, studying other peer organization’s Division/Section/Roundtable-type groups. The Board will review proposed guidelines for dissolution of inactive Roundtables during its upcoming meetings in New York.
President-Elect Jeanne Brown has initiated a new plan for website development. With the assistance of a task force and a student designer, new front-end pages have been submitted for review by the Board and the Publications Committee.
3. Continue to work with the Visual Resources
Association on joint ventures with the end-goal of strengthening both
organizations. (III B)
Two joint projects were executed with the Visual Resources Association during this past year: the North American Lantern Slide Survey and the Summer Institute for Continuing Education. The Institute achieved full enrollment within one week of its registration announcements in February 2004. The Lantern Slide Survey is ARLIS/NA and VRA’s first attempt at a fully-paperless survey instrument and will help the profession to identify unique photographic reproduction collections and individual images in North American lantern slide collections, facilitating decisions regarding digitization priorities, etc., as well as increasing the Society’s website capacity to host future online surveys.
4. Revitalize outreach and public relations efforts to graduate programs in art and related disciplines, as well as graduate library schools to promote art librarianship as a career option. (I A)
The Society continues to rely heavily on local
Chapter contacts for its primary library school outreach, with other contact
occurring during annual solicitation for the Gerd Muehsam Award applications.
Further work remains to be done, especially in our efforts to attract a more
diverse and talented group of professionals for our future, but one promising
initiative was begun in Baltimore under the leadership of the DC/MD/VA Chapter.
The host Chapter offered a Diversity Conference Attendance Award and will
sponsor the same award for the New York Conference in April 2004.
5. Create guidelines/timelines for future strategic planning reviews. (IV A)
All new Committee Chairs and Board members reviewed the current strategic plan and reported on the status of related action items at the beginning of their terms in 2003. A new strategic planning cycle will begin at the New York Conference, lead by incoming President, Jeanne Brown.
(I D, III C)
7. Develop press kits that
provide information on programs, services and publications for dissemination to
the media and affiliated organizations as well as to possible donors and
sponsors. (III C)
While the Society continued to
distribute Annual Conference press releases using the model and timeline
established for the Los Angeles Conference, we have not addressed this objective
in other substantive ways during 2003. As Past President, I plan to work
with the Executive Director in developing and executing sponsorship packages and
public relations materials in conjunction with the Houston Conference which will
include a press kit.
"Marketing" and advertising for ARLIS/NA has declined over the past year, especially in the wake of the external economic factors affecting membership and Annual Conference attendance. This is an area in which this President plans to become more actively involved during Past Presidency.
Allen Townsend, President