Access Services and Outreach Librarian, University of Oregon Portland Library & Learning Commons
How did you first become aware of ARLIS/NA?
During my final year of college I was offered a full-time position as a library assistant at the Portland Art Museum (Oregon). I had been studying art history in school and was excited to have landed a position which aligned closely with my intellectual interests. In our library stacks I discovered a copy of Art Museum Libraries and Librarianship (edited by longtime ARLIS/NA member, Joan Benedetti) which was my first introduction to ARLIS/NA.
How did you first become involved with ARLIS/NA? When did you become a member?
I became a member in 2008 when I began a position in an academic library and was seriously considering applying to library school. Although my position at this time was not directly connected to art librarianship, I still found my membership with ARLIS/NA to be an excellent resource as I weighed my options for graduate programs and professional development opportunities. In the early days of my career planning, I found that both the ARLIS/NA listserv and Art Documentation publication helped me to gain a realistic sense of what the profession entailed and helped guide my interests while I finished up my MLS.
What do you find most valuable about being a member of ARLIS/NA?
I find the networking component to be a continually invaluable benefit of membership and it is one of the major bonuses of my membership. I have been fortunate to meet some wonderful colleagues through the conference experience as well as my virtual involvement with ARLIS/NA online.
Describe your involvement with ARLIS/NA? (service/leadership on committees//divisions/sections/chapters, involvement in conference planning, etc.).
I have been involved with the Northwest chapter of ARLIS/NA since graduate school and was elected as secretary for our chapter in 2013. Since our chapter comprises many regions (Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, and Yukon Territory), I felt that this would be a great way to become involved with others working in the Northwest. The past few years have been very exciting for the Northwest chapter as we have been heavily engaged in planning for the ARLIS/NA + VRA 3rd Joint Conference in Seattle in March, 2016!
Any other ARLIS/NA related experience you would like to share?
My advice to anyone interested in joining ARLIS/NA is to get involved! Join a Special Interest Group (SIG), regional chapter, or participate in conversations on the listserv. If you are a first-time conference attendee, I would very much recommend signing up for the First Time Attendees and New Members Reception and speaking with a few conference veterans about how to get the most out of the experience.