Report from the ARLIS/NA Upstate Travel Award Winner

A few months before the ARLIS/NA conference I received a wonderful surprise in the mail: a congratulations card and a travel award from the Upstate NY chapter!

It was so exciting to become a travel award recipient, kind of like receiving my first merit badge on my librarian sash. I felt totally supported as someone new to the field and this thread of encouragement and support continued throughout the whole conference experience.

My last semester of Library School is drawing to a close and I can’t help but feel a slight twinge uncertainty…while I am absolutely thrilled to graduate there is still the looming sense of “what will come next?” How will classroom conversations translate into the real world? How long will it take to find a library job? What exactly should I put on my business card? Attending the ARLIS conference was so heartening. It was like a balm for all of my pre-graduation anxieties, it made me feel excited and eager to really dive into the profession!

If you asked me to name the ONE most valuable aspect of the event, I would be hard pressed to make a decision. Inspiring conversations between sessions, the welcoming vibe at the reception and the social events, the fascinating panels… so many aspects of the conference seemed to re-affirm my confidence in the path I’ve been taking toward my degree. I really felt like I was in good company at ARLIS!


ARLIS members mingle in the Grand Hall of the Library of Congress

One of the highlights was the reception in the Grand Hall at the Library of Congress. Roaming the magnificent reading room and exploring the card catalog, I realized: “these are totally my people!” It was so meaningful to be able to share in a collective excitement and awe over the gorgeous architecture and the magnitude of the “mothership” of libraries.

Exploring the Card Catalog

Exploring the Card Catalog

Another major highlight occurred earlier in the week when I kicked off the conference by guiding a workshop entitled “Bookings: Making spaces for Makerspaces.” This workshop was a collaboration with various members of the Women’s Studio Workshop community, including the founders who are well versed in many technical aspects of book binding and book arts (with over 200 published artists’ books in the WSW catalog).

The workshop began with an overview of the makerspace movement, we reviewed a handful of unique spaces and library projects to serve as models. We also discussed the ways that WSW’s goals align with library makerspaces to provide resources and tools for creative expression and exploration. After this discussion we moved into some hands-on bookbinding fun.


Founders Ann Kalmbach & Tatana Kellner share a selection of Artists’ Books published at WSW

While many of our workshop guests had never bound a book before, a few had some prior experience. Varying levels of background experience aside, I hope every participant came away from the workshop inspired to keep making books and motivated to engage their local artist communities while designing library programming. I for one came away from the whole conference with my wheels spinning and I adamantly appreciate the opportunity to share and learn from the ARLIS membership!

-Sandra Brown, MSIS candidate at SUNY Albany

ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Spring 2014 Meeting: June 6 at RIT

ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Spring 2014 Meeting
Friday, June 6, 2014 at RIT (Rochester Institute of Technology)
Hosted by RIT

Spring 2014 Registration Form

9:00 - 9:30: Registration and Coffee
RIT, Wallace Center, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, 2nd floor of Library

9:30 – 10:30: Business Meeting
RIT, Wallace Center, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, 2nd floor of Library

10:45 am to 11:45: “RIT’s Cary Collection: Highlights from 45 Years“, presented by Steven Galbraith, Curator, Cary Graphic Arts Collection
RIT, Wallace Center, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, 2nd floor of Library

11:45 am to 12:45 pm:Graphics Atlas: An Introduction“, presented by Alice Carver-Kubik, Photographic Research Scientist, Image Permanence Institute
RIT, Wallace Center, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, 2nd floor of Library

1:00 – 2:00: Box lunches. Location, TBD

2:15 – 3:15: Tours of Vignelli Center for Design Studies, by Jennifer Whitlock, Vignelli Archivist or Image Permanence Institute, by Alice Carver-Kubik, Photographic Research Scientist
Map will be provided along with Guides to get you to these buildings

3:15 – 4:00: Printing a Letterpress Keepsake, with Amelia Hugill-Fontanel, Assistant Curator, Cary Graphic Arts Collection
RIT, Wallace Center, Cary Graphic Arts Collection, 2nd floor of Library

Map of RIT Campus:
Library is WAL on map

Pick up visitor pass at Welcome Booth, Visitor Parking in E Lot

Cataloging Internship at Rakow Research Library (Corning Museum of Glass)


The Rakow Research Library at the Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s foremost library on the art and history of glass and glassmaking, is excited to offer an internship for a library science student interested in the field of cataloging. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with our book collection, which covers subject areas from archaeology to zoology and everything glass in between. Projects involve modifying and enhancing existing bibliographic records, copy-cataloging, and authority work, but may be tailored to the strengths and/or interests of the individual intern.

The preferred candidate is a motivated problem solver with an interest in cataloging. Applicants should have some practical experience with copy cataloging and the use of authority files. The intern will have strong organizational skills and attention to detail, and will feel comfortable working semi-independently with library materials in various languages. Ability to work in a Windows environment is required. Hands-on experience with OCLC Connexion and the Voyager library system is a plus. Experience with art-related subject matter is preferred but not necessary.

For the full posting, as well as details on how to apply, please see this page:

Digital Collections at Skidmore College

Ode to a grand staircase (for four hands) / designed and printed by Julie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum, with text by Erik Satie.

Ode to a grand staircase (for four hands) / designed and printed by Julie Chen and Barbara Tetenbaum, with text by Erik Satie

The Lucy Scribner Library’s Digital Collections, a series of projects that began at Skidmore College in September 2012, have grown dramatically over the past year and a half. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Scribner Library’s Archives and Special Collections, Visual Resources, Bibliographic Services and Systems departments, they have made six distinct digital collections available. The collections began with a selection of stunning photographs of over one hundred works from the Library’s Artists’ Books collection. Most recently, they have digitized an illuminated Book of Hours from the 15th century. The Library also has an ongoing project, Saratoga Maps, to digitize a collection of maps of the city of Saratoga Springs and surrounding area.

For more information, please visit Skidmore’s Digital Collections site:

Postal Ponderings: The Activity of Mail Art at SUNY Oswego

mail art 1mail art 2

Penfield Library at SUNY Oswego has a mail art exhibition during the month of April. Mail art is a form of communication that utilizes the postal system as its method of transfer between individuals. An alternative art practice that emerged during the early 1960s climate of artistic, social, and political change, mail art manifests itself as a free and open activity directly between two or more people. In opposition to the traditional gallery system and art criticism where art and artists are judged on artistic criteria such as beauty derived from compositional and material virtuosity (for example, Michelangelo’s statue of David), mail art is open to all participants regardless of artistic abilities. This open door approach is a central principle that guides all mail art projects.

Mail art projects are commonly organized through a call for work – a theme or topic is defined and an address is given to send the work.  There are a handful of criteria for organizing a mail art project or exhibition: anyone can organize a project on any topic or theme; all mail art entries are free; all work submitted will be exhibited (there is no judging of artistic quality); and no work will be returned after submission to the project.

The work on display is composed of three components: a mail art call on the topic of artist Frida Kahlo titled, What has Frida (Kahlo) in her mind? (Buenos Aires, Argentina) created by students in Freshman Colloquium during fall 2013 and spring 2014, and students in Design Concepts III-2D during spring 2014; work created under the theme of Space for the mail art call titled, Reinvention (Nashville, TN) created by students in Design Concepts III-2D during spring 2014; and selected mail art artifacts from the instructor’s personal archive from mail art activity during the late 1990s.

At its core spirit, mail art demonstrates the willingness of its makers to engage in a creative gesture for the sole purpose of responding to a curious topic of interest. It is a form of communication that may yield work of the highest visual character or of minor visual success. It may serve as biting social or political commentary or it may exist as insular personal meanderings. From its beginnings until present, mail art remains a simple act of human expression and egalitarian exchange between communities of devoted practitioners. Mail art is indeed the space where all can enter and play.

- Richard Metzgar, Professor, Art Department, SUNY Oswego and
Tina Chan, Art Librarian, Penfield Library, SUNY Oswego

Polish Peace Posters: New Digital Collection at University at Buffalo

Peace    Europe_Poland_security_and_cooperation

University at Buffalo just made available their newest digital collection, Polish Peace Posters, created by their International Languages and Literatures Librarian and Polish Room curator, Molly Poremski.

This collection of 23 Polish posters was originally printed for the World Peace Council, an international organization that advocates universal disarmament, ranging in dates from 1948 to 1978. This collection came from a set of reproductions selected by Karol Małcużyński published by Krajowa Agencja Wydawnicza around 1978.

Winner of the ARLIS/NA Upstate Travel Award

Sandra BrownCongratulations to Sandra Brown, the recipient of the 2014 ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Travel Award! The $200 award will help to defray the expense of attending the 2014 ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., May 1-5.

Sandra, a MSIS candidate at SUNY Albany, will be co-presenting a workshop, “Bookings: Making Makerspaces for Artists Books” at the conference.

“The workshop will combine a discussion of makerspaces along with hands-on practice in several bookbinding techniques. We’ll be working with book structures that could easily translate to creative programing in library spaces. The workshop will also allow attendees to experiment with politically themed content in their new book creations. I’ve been really fascinated with the growing makerspace buzz in the library field because of my long connection with studio arts programming. My presentation partners from the Women’s Studio Workshop offer instruction, equipment, and studio space for printmaking, papermaking and book arts in the Hudson Valley. One of the goals of the WSW space is to support artists who need certain equipment to work on a project but don’t have them readily available in their own home studio. I am interested in the parallels between WSW’s community focused studio space and library makerspaces that offer similar access to creative tools. I love that libraries can be incubators for thought, idea, and material creation. I hope our workshop will help fuel some artistic inspiration for other ARLIS members!

I am looking forward to my first ARLIS conference so much. I know it will be an inspiring event, and it will feel a bit celebratory for me too since I will also be wrapping up my last semester of MLIS coursework in early May. What an exciting time for me to be able to participate!”