Report of the ARLIS/NA Presidential Task Force on Art Libraries and COVID-19

Community, Research & Reports,


The Presidential Task Force on Art Libraries and COVID-19 was established in May 2020, with the charge “to assess and respond to ARLIS/NA members’ need for data about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on art information professionals by identifying and compiling existing sources of information and conducting survey(s) of the membership to fill identified information gaps.” A survey device, data analysis, and report were the identified deliverables of the project.

Identifying issues where advocacy might be needed was a goal of the project from the beginning; the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee considered the idea of leading a survey project in April 2020 and determined it would be too ambitious a project for a single standing committee.

The report identified a common thread among the comments of the survey, uncertainty about the post-pandemic future, whether in terms of broader economic conditions or the specific circumstances of respondents’ workplaces and work roles. This uncertainty has continued much longer than expected at the beginning of this study and as a result answers have been inconclusive, but members’ need for information about the situation is unlikely to diminish. One intriguing finding suggested by survey results is that strong leadership could make a difference to individuals’ experience of stress during the pandemic.


Report of the ARLIS/NA Presidential Task Force on Art Libraries and COVID-19

Task Force Members

The Task Force as assembled included representatives from the APPC, divisions and chapters, with volunteers from the membership at large.

  • Mark Pompelia, co-chair (Vice President 2020-21, then President ARLIS/NA 2021-22)
  • Amy Furness, co-chair (Canadian Liaison 2020-22)
  • Stefanie Hilles (Chapters Liaison, 2019-21)
  • Vaughan Hennen (APPC -2021)
  • Freyja Catton (APPC 2021-)
  • Abigail Sweeney
  • Caley Cannon
  • Hee Jung Lee
  • Paula Farrar
  • Tony White
  • Margot Nishimura
  • Stacy Williams
  • Tess Colwell
  • Veronica McGurrin