I was grateful to be the recipient of this year’s ARLIS/NA Upstate NY Travel Award, which helped fund my trip to Fort Worth, Texas to attend the ARLIS’ 2015 national conference.

My flights were canceled (both to and from Fort Worth) because of snowstorms, and this unfortunately caused me to miss the first day of the conference in its entirety (and left me marooned in Chicago for 24 hours). I was able to attend panels including New Voices, numerous sessions on Digital Art History/Humanities, the ArLiSNAP meeting, the Gerd awards committee meeting, the membership meeting, the poster sessions, and I spent time with the exhibitors, which was useful for collection development. One of the highlights for me was an excellent session entitled “Focus on the Learner: Strategies for Improving PowerPoint Presentations.” I give a workshop each semester on Designing Effective Presentations and it was so validating to hear someone discuss similar tips and techniques to the ones that I pass on to the people that attend my sessions. The facilitator, Lee A. Hilyer, has a blog that can be found here, and it contains many of his resources:

I was able to go to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, which was an unexpected pleasure. The space itself, designed by Tadao Ando, is majestic and allows for so much space for the works to breathe and for people to interact with them. There was a beautiful exhibition on recent acquisitions of photographs and video, which were stunning, and the show was composed beautifully. More information can be found here:

One of the most rewarding parts of the conference was facilitating a well-attended session on urban planning. I co-organized the Postcards from the Edge panel this year entitled, “I Didn’t Know Urban Planning Was About…” with Rebecca Price and Kathy Edwards. The panel addressed the challenges brought about by the broad array of disciplines that need to be addressed by the urban planning librarian. Speakers included planning experts from the Dallas/Fort Worth area, including a member of the city’s planning department, the dean of UT Arlington’s School of Urban and Public Affairs, a member of the Fort Worth Open Data Portal and a geospatial librarian, who was able to demonstrate a few resources, including SimplyMap.

I facilitated the Urban & Regional Planning special interest group’s meeting. We mostly discussed potential tours and workshops for ARLIS/VRA 2016 in Seattle. There was no upstate New York chapter meeting, and so I was unable to take notes. Members of the chapter met informally at the hotel bar, and I used the time to attend another panel, and I caught up with our colleagues between sessions.

Thank you to the awards committee (Tina Chan, Barbara Opar and Stephanie Frontz) for supporting my application for funding to attend this conference. It was a privilege to receive this award.

– Marsha Taichman


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