2021 ARLIS/NA Applauds Award Recipient

Statements/Press Releases,

The Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is pleased to announce that the 2021 ARLIS/NA Applauds Award will be given to Natisha Harper for her leadership in developing the POC Connections and Solution Series. The Applauds Award was presented at the ARLIS/NA 50th Anniversary Conference Awards Ceremony, in Chicago, on April 9, 2022.

Harper’s initiative in planning and delivering this program met Applauds Award criteria by advancing DEI initiatives, dedicating extraordinary time and energy to committee & advocacy efforts, as well as contributing a creative way of addressing inequities in the profession. Her leadership and advocacy align with ARLIS/NA’s strategic directions of promoting diversity and inclusion in the art information profession, as well as professional development specifically for BIPOC librarians.
Created in response to ARLIS/NA Diversity Forum feedback, the POC Connections and Solutions sessions provided a safe and solutions-based space for meaningful dialogue among librarians of color, as well as an opportunity to share experiences, resources, and strategies for career success.   As one participant said “...this series gave me a chance to have honest conversations with BIPOC colleagues… It made me feel more empowered. It was great to get tips from colleagues at other libraries on how to navigate and, hopefully, change our institutions.”

Natisha Harper is a graduate of North Carolina Central University, the only Historically Black University to offer an MLIS program. As a graduate student, she worked with the  E.J. Josey archives, followed by an internship at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke and the

Environmental Protection Agency. She has served as the past chair of the ARLIS/NA Diversity and Inclusion committee, initiating the Diversity Toolkit Project, and as co-creator of the American Library Association Committee on Diversity DEI Scorecard.  Harper is currently the Student Success Librarian at Howard University Libraries.

Established in 2020, the ARLIS/NA Applauds Award honors an individual or a group of up to five persons to recognize an outstanding contribution to the Society’s work during the preceding calendar year.  The 2021 Applauds Award Committee members include D.Vanessa Kam, Carole Ng-He, Claire Payne, Mar González Palacios, and Sylvia Roberts (chair).