Special Events at the 2019 47th Annual ARLIS/NA Conference

Come celebrate with us as we welcome you to the Mountain West region and beautiful Salt Lake City! The Conference Planning and Local Arrangements committees invite you to join us for several special events this year.

The theme at this year’s Diversity Forum (Wednesday, March 27, 10:30am-12:00pm) is “The Art of Belonging: Intersectional and Anti-Oppressive Practices in Art Librarianship.” A facilitated conversation with four presenters, the forum challenges us to foster a sense of belonging from the perspective of librarians from historically underrepresented groups within our profession. The speakers will discuss their own experiences and challenges, and the actions they have taken at their institutions and/or within the profession to address issues regarding race, nationality, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, class, religion, immigration status, mental health, and well-being. Come join the dialogue!

The Welcome Reception (Wednesday, March 27, 7:00pm) will be an evening soirée not to be missed! Featuring local hors d’oeuvres and music, come mix and mingle with colleagues and friends at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts. You might choose to visit featured exhibits or innovative ongoing exhibits

Are you a first-time attendee? Perhaps you are traveling from outside of the United States to attend ARLIS/NA? There is an event for you! The First-Time and International Attendees Reception (Wednesday, March, 27, 5:30pm-6:30pm) will be hosted by Kim Collins, ARLIS/NA President, and the Membership Committee. Curious about committees, groups, and other things specific to ARLIS/NA? Bring your questions and come mix and mingle with members of the Executive Board and fellow attendees. Learn about the various Sections, Divisions, Special Interest Groups (SIGs), Committees, and  ways to get involved in ARLIS/NA. Held in the Grand America Hotel (conference hotel).

Stop by the Convocation and Awards Event (Thursday, March 28, 5:30-6:30pm), featuring keynote speaker Sarah George, Executive Director of the Natural History Museum of Utah, and support this year’s award winners, including the Distinguished Service Award winner! George will discuss how she collaborated with her staff and the museum board to develop a multi-million dollar building, exhibits, programming, and more for the LEEDⓇ-Gold certified Rio Tinto Center, where the museum is housed. The Museum has won more than 30 regional, national, and international awards for architecture, engineering, materials, construction safety, dark sky design, exhibitions, media, and public art.  Held at the Grand America Hotel (conference hotel).

A catered reception will directly follow the event at the Natural History Museum of Utah at 7:00pm. Buses await  to whisk you away to the foothills of the Wasatch Mountain Range, where the museum follows the contour of the surrounding hillsides and “illuminate[s] the natural world and the place of humans within it” (from the museum mission). Enjoy the rich natural history of Utah while connecting with colleagues and enjoying light food and drinks!

Last, but certainly not least, join us for an inspiring venture with this year’s featured Closing Plenary Keynote Speaker, Hikmet Loe, “Maps, Lines, Paths, Insights, and Art” (Friday, March 29, 10:00-11:00am)! A former art librarian and ARLIS/NA member,  Hikmet Loe now teaches art history at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. She is a leading expert on Robert Smithson and his renowned earthwork, Spiral Jetty.  As a practicing artist, writer, and teacher, her research and practice examines the changeable nature of the earth, and perceptual and cultural constructs of the land. Beginning at the Fine Arts Department at Salt Lake City Public Library in the early 1980s, she will reflect on her personal and professional development of her 25 year library career which included work at the MoMA Library, the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Parsons School of Design, and the University of Utah.

Following the plenary, copies of Loe’s The Spiral Jetty Encyclo will be available for sale at a book-signing at 12:00pm in the Exhibits Hall, at the Ken Sanders Rare Books booth. This book draws on Robert Smithson’s writings for encyclopedic entries that bring to light the context of the earthwork and Smithson’s many points of reference in creating it. Containing around 220 images, most of them in color, with some historical black and white photographs, The Spiral Jetty Encyclo allows readers to explore the construction, connections, and significance of Smithson’s 1,500-foot-long curl into the Great Salt Lake.

We hope to see you there!

Thinking About SLC: Entertainment

A paradise for foodies, outdoorsy types, and film buffs, Salt Lake City and the surrounding environs are also home to a wealth of arts and entertainment opportunities. The Beehive State is the source of the pioneering modern dance company Ririe-Woodbury, Utah Symphony (one of the only full-time symphonies in the nation), and plenty of museums and galleries to keep you busy for days (or at least the hours you are not in conference sessions!). Here’s just a few events to pique your interest; be sure to check the resource list for additional opportunities or “create your own adventure” using ideas from the half-day trips local guide.

PS: have you REGISTERED yet? Now’s the time!
Early bird deadline is February 24th…what are you waiting for?


  • The Egyptian Theatre, located on the historic Main Street of Park City, was designed by an Egyptologist inspired by the exploration of King Tut’s Tomb in the 1920s. The building itself, one of very few Egyptian Revival buildings in Utah, is worth a visit; go see Mamma Mia! while it’s playing at the theater. When you’re in Park City, visit the local Banksy artworks, and explore the bookstores and galleries of Historic Main Street.
  • Are you a fan of Blues music? Then an evening with Buddy Guy and Jimmie Vaughan is not to be missed. Playing at the beautiful, newly opened Eccles Theater, within walking distance of the conference hotel, this is an experience truly worth your while.
  • Pioneer Theater, located on the University of Utah campus, is a professional theater that continually provides high quality productions to the community. Sweat, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, will open on March 29th.
  • Take some time to explore Salt Lake City’s public artworks. Use this interactive map to guide your tour, and be sure not to miss the Granary District, a burgeoning haven for local restaurants and businesses, as well as the locale for 11 new murals, unveiled this past fall.
  • In case of inclement weather, you can explore more art by taking either a guided or self-guided tour of the murals and exhibits in the Utah State Capitol building. View the murals funded by the Public Works of Art Program in the early 20th century, as well as the Level 4 exhibit in honor the Chinese railroad laborers that were instrumental to the completion of the transcontinental railroad (May 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of this historic event).
  • For the foodies, a not-to-be-missed event at the Natural History Museum of Utah: the 2019 Chocolate and Cheese Festival. Buy goodies from the best local producers and attend workshops to supplement your pairing and tasting skills.

Conference Highlights: Program

The ARLIS/NA 2019 Conference Program Subcommittee is proud of the variety of options selected for this year’s conference. We used the results of the NYC conference survey to guide us in the topics, content, format, and scheduling of the panel sessions, workshops, poster presentations, and special events. In addition, we’ve added a few new elements to this year’s conference program. Below, subcommittee members offer their insights to the highlights of the Arts: In/Site program below:

Thematic Tracks

Two thematic tracks highlight sessions, meetings, tours, and other events.

Expanded Practice & Inclusivity
This track, created by the ARLIS/NA Diversity Committee, highlights sessions that deal with making art librarianship inclusive and that aim to help art librarians expand the reach and impact of their practice. Some sessions focus on diversity as their main topic, while others incorporate inclusion into aspects of librarianship such as cataloging or collection development. Of special note is the Diversity Forum Plenary. It’s not to be missed and so is offered this year with no conflicts. Explore the Expanded Practice and Inclusivity Track.

First-time Attendees
This track, created by ARLIS/NA Membership Committee, highlights programming that is idea for first-time ARLIS/NA conference attendees. It includes tours, which are a fantastic, low-pressure way to meet other attendees on the first day of the conference. It also includes meetings that are, in fact, open to everyone; attendees are encouraged to attend meetings relevant to their work and interests. ArLiSNAP is hosting several CV reviews throughout the conference and a career development panel. Especially recommended is the SIG lightning talk where, after short presentations by SIG representatives, attendees will be invited to mingle, in order to learn more by speaking with SIG reps and with one another in an open networking session. Explore the First-time Attendees Track.

Interactive Sessions

Have you ever attended a conference session, learned about amazing projects developed by your peers, and left the session thinking, “But how can I do the same thing at my institution?” Well, the Interactive Sessions at ARLIS/NA 2019 have been developed to address that issue: Panelists will use a small portion of their time to present insightful and innovative ideas. During the majority of their time, they will lead attendees in hands-on exercises to apply the theory into practice and get you started on your way to implementation! Explore All The Interactive Sessions.

Featured Vendor Talks

Pick up a beverage and a snack at one of the Exhibit Hall receptions, and join us for the Featured Vendor Talks! ARLIS/NA 2019 is offering three sessions with various exhibitors for you to learn about the products and services they offer in more detail. These sessions are great opportunities to meet and engage with exhibitors as well as other conference members who attend. Each session will conclude with a question and answer period. The Featured Vendor Talks will be held during the non-conflict break times in the Exhibits Hall on Thursday, March 28 from 9:00-9:40 am and 3:00-3:30 pm, and on Friday, March 29 from 9:00-9:40 am. We’ll plan to see you there!

Poster Session

The ARLIS/NA 2019 Poster Session feature an exciting variety of nearly 30 posters relating to the conference theme Arts: In Site Insight Incite In Sight. Conference posters provide an opportunity to explore emerging interests and innovations across many professional fields in an accessible format.

This year’s topics are wide-ranging and include subjects from journaling and data visualization to exhibitions and the classroom. The presenters are equally diverse. Poster presenters include librarians, professors, students, and leaders from institutions such as international libraries, colleges and universities, and art museums. Several of the posters discuss collaborations led by art librarians trying to work in new and different ways. Other posters focus on new programs that you can also implement at your institution.

Be sure to check out the posters on view during the Salt Lake City conference and don’t miss the opportunity to talk with the presenters at the Poster Session Opening on Wednesday, March 27th at 3:00.


Off/Site: Lesson Planning Inspired by Studio and Online Environments
Thursday, March 28, 1:30-2:50pm

This timely panel addresses library instruction in our new reality of blended learning environments. Increasingly teaching is happening in new locations, especially online. I think many of us have struggled with how to teach effectively in this new environment. How can we develop innovative lessons that take advantage of the affordances of new educational environments? I’m excited to learn how during this panel.  

Catalogers’ Judgements: Ethical Cataloging and Artists from Underrepresented Groups  Wednesday, March 27, 9:00-10:20am

One of our very first panels is also one of our most exciting, so make sure you arrive in time for this one. This panel promises to dive into some very important issues in how we organize information in ways that can harm entire communities. How can we commit to ethically categorizing our collections? Even non-catalogers will find a lot to think about and to inform their understanding of the systems that we rely on.

Creative Insight: Using Art + Critical Design Practices for Libraries Future Thinking  Thursday, March 28, 1:30-2:50pm

If you’ve ever felt a bit of imposter syndrome because you’re an art librarian who is not also an art practitioner, this interactive session is for you! The moderators will teach you how to apply renown design methodologies and frameworks to critically assess, adapt, and revise your library practices: from administration and user services to space planning and curriculum development. Wow! All the creative benefits of being an artist without the messy clean-up.

Material Culture in Utah and the West: Insights from Decorative and Fine Arts Objects  Thursday, March 28, 11:00am-12:00pm

One of the benefits of the ARLIS/NA conference happening in a completely different city every year is access to regional works of art and local experts. The moderators of this session have assembled a trio of art curators well-versed in Utah and the American West. I look forward to hearing their fascinating insights about how this region’s under-researched works contrast and complement their national and international counterparts.

Caregivers in Sight: Normalizing Parenting and Caregiving at Your Library Thursday, March 28, 9:50-10:50am

As a new parent, I’m excited about this panel, which will focus on how our libraries can support patrons and staff caring for children and other family members. After a keynote presentation by childcare expert Kat Martinez, panelists will address audience questions and offer diverse perspectives on how to transform library spaces and work environments to effect positive change. Some topics to be discussed include family programing, lactation spaces, and balancing professional and personal responsibilities. I look forward to hearing new ideas and insights that I can bring back to my own library.  

First Year Insight: Disrupting Assumptions about Research in Art & Design
Wednesday, March 27th, 1:30-2:50pm

If you teach information literacy to first year art and design students, you won’t want to miss this interactive session where participants will have the opportunity to explore creative methods to engage students with the research process. Panelists will share examples of activities they have done in the classroom, including mind mapping using found objects, drawing, and creating memes and zines. I am eager to learn from their experience, but also to participate in the interactive portion of this presentation that will result in the creation of a collaborative zine.

Eating and Drinking on the Wasatch Front

If you have never thought of Salt Lake City as a foodie’s paradise, you’re not the only one! However, Utah is the first state in the U.S. to receive an overall 3 stars in the Michelin Travelers Guide. The Beehive State is also an emerging hub of excellent farm-to-table fare, the next chocolate capital of the U.S., recognized by the New York Times as a haven for coffee connoisseurs, and sometimes referred to as “Brewtah” by local beer lovers.

As you plan your trip to Utah, here are a few recommendations and resources from your local conference planning committee:

  • Zack (Local Guides Editor) recommends Tacos Mi Caramelos for the best tacos in the State and Kiitos Brewing for the beer lovers who also appreciate sustainable brewing practices.
  • Chloe (Conference Materials Editor) recommends Zest Kitchen & Bar for gluten-free, vegetarian, and organic options, not to mention cocktails like the Beet Sangria!
  • Nicole (Local Arrangements Co-chair) recommends  Whiskey Street for a wide selection of local brews including an array of cocktails using local High West Distillery spirits.
  • Luke (Local Arrangements Co-chair) recommends Settebello for artisan pizza (save room for some amazing gelato!) and Seasons restaurant for its 100% vegan fare and locally sourced menu.
  • Jessica (Social Media Coordinator) recommends Amour Café for its exquisite pastries and gelato (don’t forget to take some house-made jam home with you!) as well as Bombay House, a pioneer in introducing Salt Lake City to Indian fare.
  • The pick UNANIMOUSLY recommended by the conference planning committee? Salt Lake City’s iconic Red Iguana, famous for its mole and other Mexican fare (celebrities passing through our great city are known to frequent this establishment).

Interested in more options? Try the Salt Lake City Local Dining Guide for more options, as well as the reviews and recommends in Gastronomic Salt Lake City and Salt Lake City magazines.