Reference and Information Services Section (RISS) SIG Notes: 2014 ARLIS/NA Conference, Washington, D.C.

2014 ARLIS/NA Conference, Washington, D.C.

Sunday May 4, 2014, 8:00- 9:00am


Moderator: Elizabeth Lane

Vice-Moderator: Beth Hylen

Recorders: Elizabeth Lane and Beth Hylen


35 attendees


  1. Welcome and Introductions
  2. Overview of RISS’s activities since the last conference
  • Overview of Multimedia & Technology Reviews (M&T Reviews)
    • M&T Reviews is managed by co-editors Hannah Bennett, Elizabeth Schaub, and Emilee Mathews, who also serves as the appointed liaison to theRISS to ensure that an area of M&T Reviews directly reflects the sorts of tools and resources of interest to the RISS membership.
    • M&T Reviews debuted in April.
    • Two authors of the April publication are RISS members – Amy Ballmer and Sylvia Page. Congrats to both!
    • If you would like to author a post, please contact Emilee Mathews.
  1. Call for Vice-Moderator for 2015
    • Please let us know if you are interested in being Vice-Moderator for RISS!
  2. Discussion about RISS News Contributor position
    • Please let us know if you are interested in being RISS News Contributor!
  • Could the news contributor position become a blog editor for RISS? Does anyone look at the RISS blog? Elizabeth will post once a month.
  • Elizabeth plans to have a RISS hashtag post on Twitter so we can be seen in the greater ARLIS community. First, ARLIS must set Twitter policies.
  • ACTION ITEM: Generate RISS blog content.
  1. RISS Webinars
    • We would like to have a few RISS-sponsored ARLIS/NA webinars.
    • Emilee Mathews is on the Education Subcommittee and has offered to work with us on a proposal. Also, Alice Whiteside is chair of the Education Subcommittee and she would like to work with us.
    • Webinars take around 6 weeks to produce.
    • Other more informal options:
      1. Twitter Conversation
      2. ARLIS/NA Chat using Adobe Connect
  • Google Hangout
  1. Virtual Meeting using GoToMeeting
  • Subject specific vs. procedural webinars. Ex. Iconography for art & design students.
  • Webinar ideas:
    1. Highlights of museum websites; what kinds of tools are available? (timelines, collection searches, special databases, etc.)
    2. Using primary resources. This is particularly relevant for institutions who are working with the “Common Core” standards for elementary through high school students.
  • Assessment of reference or instruction
  1. App based webinar: show and tell
  2. Embedded course guides; LibGuides and other tools
  3. What is the 2014 Reference Desk?
  1. How to train staff
  2. Ask for webinar ideas from students
  • ACTION ITEM: Send out webinar survey to RISS membership asking about preferred medium, length of discussion and possible topics.
  • RISS Journal Club
    • From Wikipedia: a journal club is a group of individuals who meet regularly to critically evaluate recent articles in the academic literature, generally of some branch of science or philosophy. Journal clubs are usually organized around a defined subject in basic or applied research.
    • It was mentioned that the Social Media chat group distributed a reading list prior to their conference session. They used the list for discussion. Should we do something similar for our RISS meeting next year?
    • ACTION ITEM: RISS should start an online journal club. We could add it to our webinar agenda.
  • Open Discussion
    • TOPICS – 2015 Conference session topics:
      1. Reference service to diverse groups
      2. Working with English as a second language patrons.
  • How to identify those who need help?
  1. Use of LibGuides and other embedded course guides – pros & cons (are we spoon-feeding? Is there room for self-discovery?)
  2. Changing nature of resources and how that affects what we do with instruction
  3. Lifelong research process (student access to information and databases after graduation as well as service to other researchers)
  • Instructional services (how do we make an independent researcher?)
  • Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) threshold concepts (what are they? How do we integrate them into our instruction programs?
  1. ACRL Thresholds meets ARLIS/NA: The Importance of Visual Literacy
  2. Other standards: some groups are removing the emphasis on information literacy, i.e. Middle States & the Midwest (for example: ) How will this impact instruction? Can ARLIS/NA advocate for information literacy?
  3. The Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design is creating a MOOC that can be shared between schools. How far have they gotten & what have they done so far?
  • Assessment and its role; student learning outcomes
  • Change in Reference Desk/Reference Collection models
  • Use of LibGuides (see webinar topics, above; also new 2.0 version is coming out)
  • RISS membership should take a Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) together.
  • RISS advocacy ideas should be organized and presented to ARLIS/NA Board and Public Policy Committee.
    • ACRL Thresholds
  • ACTION ITEM: Post RISS conference notes to RISS Blog.





Reference and Information Services Section (RISS) Agenda


The #arlis2014 Reference and Information Services Section (RISS) will meet Sunday May 4, 2014, from 8:00- 9:00am, in the Conference Theater of the Grand Hyatt. Do not forget to check out the RISS workshop and RISS session. Bring coffee! :)

• Welcome and Introductions
• Overview of RISS’s activities since the last conference
• Overview of Multimedia & Technology Reviews (M&T Reviews)
• Call for Vice-Moderator for 2015
• Discussion about RISS News Contributor position
• RISS Webinars
• RISS Journal Club
• Open Discussion


Elizabeth Lane

RISS at #ARLIS2014

Hello there, conference goers!

The #arlis2014 Reference and Information Services Section (RISS) will meet Sunday May 4, 2014, from 8:00- 9:00am, in the Conference Theater of the Grand Hyatt. We know that is early, but we will be ready to wow you with a cheery overview of all that outgoing Moderator Emilee Mathews has accomplished this past year. We have a few agenda items on the table already, but we wanted to cast a line out to interested RISS members, past, present and future. What would you like to talk about at RISS?

In the meantime, add the RISS section meeting to your conference schedule and make time for the following RISS workshop and RISS.

Workshop: They Didn’t Cover this in Library School: Applying Public Policy to Institutional Guidelines for Scholarly Communication and Fair Use
Thursday, May 1 8am-12pm, Farragut Square Room
Brandon Butler, Practitioner-in-Residence, Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Law Clinic, American University Washington College of Law
Christine Sundt, Editor of Visual Resources: An International Journal of Documentation
Gail Ravnitzky Silberglied, Vice President, Government Relations & Advocacy, American Alliance of Museums
Julia Blixrud, Assistant Executive Director, Scholarly Communication, Association of Research Libraries

Session: Retooling Art Reference and Information Services: Collaborative Tools, Strategies, and Models
Saturday, May 3 1-2:30pm, in McPherson Square Room
Sara Snyder, Information Technology Specialist, Archives of American Art
Elizabeth Botten, Archives Specialist, Archives of American Art
Kraig Binkowski Chief Librarian, Yale Center for British Art
Elizabeth Morris Assistant Librarian, Yale Center for British Art
Fran Scott, Director of Library Services, Georgian Court University
I look forward to your input. See you in DC!

Your incoming RISS Moderator,

Elizabeth Lane

Multimedia & Technology Reviews are Launched!

Reposting an announcement sent out by ARLIS Present Gregg Most about our publication’s launch!


On April 15th, 2014, the Art Libraries Society of North America launched the first issue of its newest publication, the Multimedia & Technology Reviews, an e-publication made freely available on the ARLIS/NA website.

The Multimedia & Technology Reviews (M&T Reviews) targets projects, products, events, and issues within the broad realm of multimedia and technology as they pertain to arts scholarship, research, and librarianship. While assessing current products and projects, these reviews are also designed to engage readers in a conversation about how technologies and multimedia are being or can be deployed within our profession and by our constituents. The issues are published bi-monthly, alternating with the publication schedule of the ARLIS/NA Reviews.

M&T Reviews is managed by co-editors Hannah Bennett, Elizabeth Schaub, and Emilee Mathews, who also serves as the appointed liaison to the ARLIS/NA Reference and Information Services Section (RISS) to ensure that an area of the M&T Reviews directly reflects the sorts of tools and resources of interest the RISS membership. Reviews are written by volunteer reviewers, elected by the M&T Reviews co-editors.  One does not need to be a member of ARLIS/NA or a professional librarian in order to get involved with this publication. Those interested in volunteering to review are encouraged to read over the publication’s policies and guidelines.

Issues are published on the Multimedia & Technology Reviews website within the ARLIS/NA’s organizational website.  Questions about the reviews, getting involved, or the general management of the publication may be directed to Hannah Bennett.

Gregory P. J. Most


Art Libraries Society of North America

Revving up to write your conference proposal – an interview with 2014 Conference Program co-chair Roger Lawson

Who’s excited about submitting proposals for the Washington D.C. conference “Art+Politics?” We RISS folks are! In fact, we’re so excited that we asked Roger Lawson, program co-chair, to answer some burning questions we had about the conference. Below is the transcript of our interview, and below that we put together some tips and tricks learned from last year’s chat session “Crafting Proposals: Pasadena & Beyond,” co-sponsored by the Education subcommittee and the ARLISNAP section, with Pasadena program co-chairs Cathy Billings and Sarah Sherman, guest-starring seasoned conference presenters Tony White and Nedda Ahmed.


EM: What’s your favorite thing about being an art librarian in Washington, DC?

RL: I am always impressed by the rich variety of our collections, as well as the talents devoted to preserving and promoting them.

EM: Why did you volunteer to serve on the conference planning committee?

RL: There have been many changes to Washington since 1987, the last year the conference was held in the city — and having assisted with that conference, I was eager to help show our members what Washington and the entire DC MD VA Chapter have to offer.

EM: What has been your favorite ARLIS conference and why?

RL: It would be difficult to choose only one: New Orleans, 1980 (my first) for introducing me early in my career to so many dedicated art librarians willing to accept a novice; Los Angeles, 1985 and 2001; Banff, 2006 and Denver, 2008 (great programs in beautiful settings); but every conference is memorable for individual reasons.

EM: How did you decide on the “Art + Politics” theme?

RL: It seemed a natural theme for a city preoccupied with politics, where policy decisions have broad national and international impact. It is purposefully a big topic, one that can bring to light considerations of major issues such as intellectual property and copyright, provenance, and preservation as they relate to the arts and their documentation.

EM: ARLIS members come from a vast array of institutions, geographic locations, skill sets, experience levels, and job duties. How do you balance all of those factors in the conference theme and call for papers?

RL: We seek proposals for papers, sessions, and workshops from students and practitioners in a wide range of professions, not just librarians and visual resource specialists. We want to offer a program that will be as interesting and as valuable to the newly-minted art information professional as to the seasoned employee, and that will present viewpoints from outside the confines of conventional thinking.

EM: What do you hope that conference attendees will take away from this experience?

RL: We hope that conference attendees will be able to use the information and skills acquired and put them into action creatively  — and we expect to see the results of ideas planted here brought to fruition in future conferences and accomplishments. Most importantly, the ARLIS/NA annual conference presents professional networking opportunities well beyond those provided by social media and email (as convenient as they may be). Attendees will be able to engage in lively person-to-person discussions with peers and experts alike, and form friendships that can last throughout a career.

EM: Do you have any advice for those submitting proposals?

RL: Be bold and imaginative! The deadline is rapidly approaching, but don’t worry if the proposal is not fully formed — there is time to refine the details. We welcome proposals that will challenge conventional thinking, encourage active participation, and bring fresh insight to the range of professional issues we face.


Conference Proposing Tips and Tricks

Here’s the transcript from last year’s session, “Crafting Conference Proposals: Pasadena and Beyond.”

Here are some tips gleaned from this session:

  • Make sure the theme of your paper or session fits well into the overall conference theme: conference program committee will be looking carefully to enhance their chosen theme.
  • However, conference themes are generally written to accommodate a broad array of themes, so don’t let that stop you!
  • Once you get an idea, start outlining your theme to flesh it out
  • Send a message to ARLIS-L to find colleagues with similar interests at similar institutions or start conversing with your peers to generate potential collaborations
  • When attending conferences, engage with panels, discussions, conversations and think about how you could potentially work within these situations at your own institution
  • Familiarity with issues in art librarianship helps! But also identifying real needs and real solutions, or applying new answers to perennial questions. To gain familiarity with art librarianship issues, go back through previous conference programs and issues of Art Documentation.
  • Think about your audience: ARLIS members come from a very diverse background and variety of institutional settings, so making your proposal interesting to a wide scope of experience levels, job duties and institutional settings is key to a successful proposal

Benefits of presenting at a conference

  • become better known to your peers, increasing the chance of getting to know people, and thus networking!!
  • instant feedback or peer-review – this can be very helpful if you intend to continue with your project or turn it into a publishable article
  • practicing valuable public speaking skills

Also take a look at this article we posted last year! Good luck everyone!

Europeana iPad App!

An email message from Milena Popova, Senior Marketing Specialist at Europeana, to the open GLAM listserve this morning:


“Europeana has just launched its first free iPad app. ‘Europeana Open Culture’ introduces the public to hand-picked and beautiful collections from some of Europe’s top institutions, and allows people to explore, share and comment on them. Designed by Glimworm IT during a Europeana hackathon, the app provides an easy introduction to Europe’s glorious cultural treasury through five specially curated themes: Maps and Plans, Treasures of Art, Treasures of the Past, Treasures of Nature, and Images of the Past.

The 350,000 images available through the app are either in the public domain or are openly licensed which means they can be used for any purpose, like in a school project or a thesis, or in a presentation to your local history society, or on blogs, Wikipedia, or even commercially. What’s more, the app is built on the Muse open source platform developed by Glimworm IT. The code behind the app is available on GitHub repository and others can experiment with it and develop it as they choose (for instance, to create an Android version).

Download the app from iTunes and let use know about your comments or any further code developments at”

Call for Applicants: Multimedia and Technology Reviews Co-Editor

This message is reposted from Hannah Bennett, ARLIS/NA’s Professional Resources Editor:

Dear Colleagues,

The ARLIS/NA Executive Board invites applications for a co-editor to join the small team responsible for ARLIS Multimedia & Technology Reviews. This new online publication will appear bi-monthly in alternation with ARLIS/NA Reviews.


ARLIS Multimedia & Technology Reviews is designed to provide insightful evaluations of projects, products, events, and issues within the broad realm of multimedia and technology as they pertain to arts scholarship, research, and librarianship.  Subject areas may include films, performance videos, viral videos, video games, productivity software, mobile devices, social media applications, digital design collectives, research guides, databases and indexes, native online exhibitions, and much more.

The Multimedia & Technology Reviews Co-Editor is appointed by the President for a two-year, renewable term. The incumbent works with the M&T editorial team, which in includes the Professional Resources Editor who also convenes the team and serves as liaison to the Communications and Publications Committee, as well as a third co-editor appointed by the ARLIS/NA Reference and Information Services Section.

This position shares responsibility with the other co-editors for all content posted to the reviews’ featured section on the ARLIS/NA website.  At the same time, this position will be involved in soliciting and selecting appropriate topics for review.

Major Responsibilities:

  • Identifies potential topics for review
  • Solicits reviewer participation from the ARLIS/NA membership and affiliate organizations
  • Assigns reviews to reviewers
  • Obtains visuals, if available, from the reviewed resources to serve as “cover art”
  • Edits reviews alongside the other editors
  • Formats all reviews and submits them in required format to the ARLIS/NA Web site editor; checks posted reviews and notifies the Web site editor if any changes are necessary

Members with proven editorial experience and deep interest or knowledge in arts research technologies and related forms of multimedia are encouraged to submit a letter of interest and résumé to Hannah Bennett by Friday, June 21, 2013. Any inquiries about the position may also be directed to me.

An evaluation subcommittee consisting of the Art Documentation Editor, ARLIS/NA Review Editors, the Professional Resources Editor and the Reference and Information Services Section co-editor will review applications. The subcommittee will make a recommendation to the ARLIS/NA Executive Board for appointment no later than July 15, 2013.


Hannah Bennett, Librarian