Distinguished Service Award

This award honors an individual whose exemplary service has made an outstanding contribution to art information. See all of our Distinguished Service Award honorees.


The Distinguished Service Award honors an individual of any country whose exemplary service in art librarianship, visual resources curatorship, or a related field, has made an outstanding national or international contribution to art information.


Individuals nominated should have distinguished themselves in at least two of the following ways:

  1. Outstanding and sustained service to the profession through active participation, advocacy, or leadership in ARLIS/NA or related organizations.
  2. Outstanding and sustained service to a library or visual resource collection in a manner consistent with the highest standards of the field. These standards may be met in a variety of ways, including activity which involves exceptional creativity, innovation, intellectual or moral courage, leadership, scholarship.
  3. Outstanding research and/or publication in any media or format that contributes to the further understanding and development of art information, art librarianship, or visual collections management.
  4. Outstanding and sustained performance as a teacher in the field of art librarianship, visual resources curatorship, or a closely related field.
  5. Outstanding work in diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or social justice that contributes to the development of art information, art librarianship or visual collections management.


  • Recipients need not be members of ARLIS/NA.
  • The award may be given posthumously.
  • Current members of the Executive Board and previous recipients of the award are not eligible for nomination.


  1. Nominations for the Distinguished Service Award may come from any of the following sources: ARLIS/NA or affiliated organization personal members, one or more ARLIS/NA Chapters or other formal groups associated with any of the above, or group of ARLIS/NA or affiliated organization members at-large. Nominations may not come from current members of the ARLIS/NA Executive Board nor from members of the Distinguished Service Award Committee.
  2. Nominations are made in writing electronically to the Chair of the Distinguished Service Award Committee of ARLIS/NA. Nominations for the Distinguished Service Award are solicited at least annually.
  3. Nominations are made in the form of a letter, written over a single signature or multiple signatures, which should express the accumulated weight and significance of the nominee's career. This official letter of nomination should be accompanied by supporting evidence including:
    • letters of support from colleagues and associates representing the breadth of the nominee's contribution;
    • a career resume or published biography where available;
    • a bibliography of publications;
    • copies of selected publications, commendations;
    • and other appropriate documentation.
    • Nominators are encouraged to prepare and present strongly focused documentation to support their nomination of the candidate. It is the responsibility of the nominator(s) to provide all supporting documentation. The deliberations and decisions of the Committee will be based on an objective review of the documentation presented to it. However, additional supporting materials may be requested by the Distinguished Service Award Committee from nominators for purposes of clarification and/or explanation.
  4. The Distinguished Service Award Committee acknowledges the receipt of nominations to the principal nominators, reviews nominations, and forwards its final recommendation to the President. The names of other nominees shall remain confidential.
  5. The ARLIS/NA President notifies the Chair of the Distinguished Service Award Committee, and the recipient of the Award. The Chair of the Distinguished Service Award Committee notifies the principal nominators of both the Award recipient and unsuccessful nominations.
  6. The ARLIS/NA President selects the person who will write the tribute which appears in the Convocation program, and the abbreviated citation which will appear on the Award certificate. The certificate is signed by both the ARLIS/NA President and the Chair of the Distinguished Service Award Committee. In consultation with the principal nominator, the President also selects the person who will make the presentation remarks at the Convocation. The name of an Award recipient will not be publicly announced before the Convocation at the Annual Conference.
  7. The nominating packet of the Award recipient will be forwarded to the ARLIS/NA Archives along with other papers of the Distinguished Service Award Committee.
  8. Where a nomination is unsuccessful, the initiators are encouraged to consider resubmitting the following year. The nomination package should be reviewed to ensure that the documentation and supporting letters fully address the breadth of the nominee's various achievements in relation to the stated criteria.


January 8, 2024

Delivery of nominations packets must be via email. The deadline shall be definite.

Copies of all materials submitted in nomination packets shall be distributed from the Chair to all Committee members within one week of receipt; for any publication included in the packet, only copies of title pages and tables of contents need to be distributed.


  1. The recipient is invited to attend the Annual Conference at which the Award is presented, and will receive complimentary registration and reimbursement for airfare (coach class).
  2. During the Convocation at the Annual Conference, there will be a presentation ceremony when the ARLIS/NA President will present the Award recipient with a certificate, and the person selected by the President will deliver presentation remarks.
  3. Accompanying the award will be a lifetime membership in ARLIS/NA.


  1. Nominations will be solicited through ARLIS-L, the ARLIS/NA website, and other appropriate means prior to the annual meeting. The announcement will include the names of all recipients of the Award.
  2. The announcement of the name of the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award will be publicized by the ARLIS/NA Headquarters following the Annual Conference. The list of addresses for press releases which is maintained at Headquarters may be supplemented by addresses supplied by the nominator and/or recipient.
  3. A list of all Distinguished Service Award recipients is published on the ARLIS/NA Website.

Distinguished Service Award Subcommittee

Subcommittee of the Awards Committee.
Cara A. List

Cara A. List

Head, Art Library Northwetern University


Courtney A Hunt

Courtney A Hunt

M.A., M.S.I.S.

Art & Design Librarian and Assistant Professor


Gwen Mayhew

Gwen Mayhew

Head of Collection Access


Laura Graveline

Visual Arts Librarian