CUA CHIM Forum Update: Call-For-Posters Submission Deadline Extended

The Department of Library and Information Science at the Catholic University of America will be hosting the Cultural Heritage Information Management Forum on June 5, 2015.  This year’s Forum will include a poster session.  Call-For-Posters: Cultural Heritage Information Management Forum at the Catholic University of America, posted on January 31, 2015, outlined the specifications for submitting poster proposals to the Forum Planning Committee.

Since the original press release, the CHIM Forum Planning Committee has elected to officially extend the poster proposal submission deadline to March 15, 2015.  All subsequent call-for-posters announcements and related information releases will reflect this change.  All other “important dates” related to the Forum and call-for-posters remain the same, including the March 23, 2015 notification of proposal acceptance.


For more detailed information on submitting a proposal, please refer to the original blog post.  Those seeking further details about the CHIM Forum itself may refer to the event website.

As always, questions and concerns can be answered by contacting the CHIM Forum Planning Committee.


Important Changes:  Deadline for poster proposal submissions has been changed from March 2, 2015 to March 15, 2015.

Check Out the Upcoming 7th Annual “Bridging the Spectrum Symposium”

No matter what sector of librarianship you happen to be in, you’re sure to gain valuable knowledge and useful insights at this year’s annual “Bridging the Spectrum” Symposium! The Symposium is coming up on Friday, February 20, so register now for:

  • Keynote speaker Superintendent of Documents Mary Alice Baish’s update on the changes underway at the recently renamed Government Publications Office, and the future of government information.
  • Panelists and speakers sharing experiences and insights from across the spectrum of librarianship, from School Library Media to Law Librarianship and more.
  • Lunch and poster sessions that provide opportunities to catch up with old friends and make unexpected new connections.

As the National Capital region’s only regional symposium featuring diverse contributions from your local colleagues, and at an incredibly affordable $25, this is a “don’t miss” event!

For more information, visit the Symposium’s homepage. To register now, please visit the event registration portal.


CUA Library and Information Science students are eligible to have their registration fee supported by AGLISS!  Simply register for the Symposium, using this form, by Friday, February the 6th, and you will be registered for free, courtesy of AGLISS.

Once you’ve requested the registration fee waiver, AGLISS will verify your current enrollment as a CUA LIS student and send you a confirmation message.

The Art of Navigating Conferences

Written by Justine Rothbart

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“You’ve been to a lot of archives conferences,” my fellow CUA CHIM cohort member said to me last weekend while attending the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC) in Baltimore. Yes, she’s right. The conference last weekend was my third MARAC conference. I’ve also attended conferences for the Society of American Archivists and the American Alliance of Museums. Along the way, I’ve picked up some tips for how to navigate these conferences. I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t work. Becoming more accustomed to attending conferences gives me a greater understanding how to experience them to their fullest potential. So here’s a few of my tips for navigating these conferences:

(P.S. This not only applies to archives-related conferences, but it applies to any conference.)

1. Plan Ahead

I know our lives are very busy, but if you get the chance before you attend, print out the conference schedule. Download the app. Plan your schedule. For conferences that are smaller, such as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, I like to actually print out the conference schedule (if it’s not too many pages). Maybe I’m old fashioned, but there’s something satisfying with circling the sessions I plan to attend. For larger conferences, such as the Society of the American Archivists, download the app and select the sessions you plan to attend. Planning ahead gives you a greater idea of everything that is offered. By planning ahead, you probably won’t miss a session because you “didn’t know about it.” Planning is always done with a pencil and eraser. This means that you don’t have to stay committed to those sessions. Chances are, you’ll decide to attend different sessions on the actual day(s) of the conference. And that’s a good thing.

2. Tell Everyone

Tell everyone you will be attending this conference. How many times have I heard, “I didn’t know you were going to be here!” It’s great running into people at conferences you didn’t know were attending. However, sometimes  you might run into them at the end of the conference and you don’t have enough time to talk. It would have been nice to plan ahead so you can grab a cup of coffee with that person earlier in the conference. How do you tell people? Start by e-mailing your previous co-workers, supervisors, and other archives-related contacts. This will start a conversation if you haven’t “talked” in awhile. Even if that person can’t come, this will give you the chance to plan another time to meet. Also, spread the word on social media. Tell your friends you’re attending this conference via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. Tag the organization hosting the conference and add relevant hashtags. If it’s an archives-related conference, tell your archivist friends and also your non-archivist friends. You’d be surprised who might be interested that you’re attending. This summer at the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Conference in Washington, D.C., I posted to Facebook, “I am at SAA!” I immediately get a text from my non-archivist friend who saw my Facebook post. She asked if I will be going to the reception the next night at the Library of Congress. Of course I was attending, but I was kind of confused how she would know about it. It turned out, she was attending as someone’s guest! We ended up meeting at the reception the next day and had a great time! If you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, or e-mail to spread the word, try sending smoke signals.

3. Be Spontaneous 

Even though you planned your schedule ahead of time, leave some room for spontaneous encounters. When the day(s) to attend the conference finally arrives, you might change your mind to attend a different session than you planned. That’s ok. You never know what you’ll stumble upon. Maybe you should grab a cup of coffee with a new person you just met at the conference instead of sticking to your previously planned schedule. Maybe you should spend an extra 30 minutes in the exhibit hall. Whatever it is, don’t be tied down with your previously planned schedule and have fun. In May at the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) conference in Seattle, fellow CUA CHIM cohort member, Kelsey Conway, and I ran into a fellow alumni from our undergraduate school (University of Mary Washington). We ditched our plans and spontaneously joined her for a lunch at the Seattle Public Library hosted by her Museum Studies program at the University of Washington. We didn’t plan to go to this event (because we didn’t know about it), but I’m glad we did! We ended up meeting other students in the program and listened to their poster presentations. Read more about the AAM conference in my blog post: A Latte of Museum Fun in Seattle.

4. Be Flexible 

This goes along with the whole spontaneity thing. Just remember, some things don’t always work out as planned. Maybe there are no seats available in the session you planned to attend. Be flexible, and go to a different session. Who knows, you might end up enjoying it. This summer when there was a major delay on the metro during the Society of American Archivists Conference in Washington, D.C., I had to remind myself, “Be flexible.” Maybe it’s meant to be this way. Because of the metro delay, I could not go to some sessions I planned to attend. I still had a great time! Check out my blog post about being flexible at the SAA Conference: Go with the Flow (Even if it’s hard for Archivists).

5. Get out of your comfort zone

You might be tempted to attend sessions where you know the subject really well. But one of the reasons to attend conferences is to learn something new, right? So try to pick at least one session where you know nothing about. Are you planning on attending all sessions relating to education? Mix it up a bit and attend a session about professional development. You never know what you might learn. Read about my experience of being out of my comfort zone at the Library of Congress National Book Festival: Geeking Out.

6. Socialize 

As you can tell by now, socializing is a high priority for me at conferences. Yes, it is important to learn new things and to attend the sessions, but it is also important to meet new people in your field and see old friends. So when you’re at a conference, try not to turn down a socializing event. Is there a reception? Great! Go to the reception and tell other people to attend too. Do you have some free time to kill before the next event? Great! Meet up with other people from the conference to talk in a more casual setting. At the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference last weekend, a group of us (from Catholic University and University of Maryland) decided to go to a restaurant (in a historic hotel, of course) while we had some time before the reception. This gave us the chance to meet new people and talk to classmates outside of class.

CUA “CHIMers” at the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference reception at the Peabody Library in Baltimore. Left to Right: Justine Rothbart (me) and Kelsey Conway. October 17, 2014.

7. Think about the Future

What’s going to happen when you go home after the conference? What can you do to harness the momentum? While you’re at the conference, make connections with people who live in your geographic region. At the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC), there are different regional caucuses. I am a member of the MARAC DC Caucus and get local updates through e-mail and Facebook about DC related archives topics and MARAC DC happy hours. At MARAC last weekend, I attended the DC Caucus session where we received updates and we able to put a face to the name. Also, share your experience! Tell people that you attended a conference. After the conference, post on your social media accounts or write a blog post. Writing a blog post (longer than 140 characters) about your experience, what you learned, and your thoughts about the conference gives a little more depth and perspective. It is also a good way for you to reflect on your own experience. By sharing your conference stories afterwards, you might encourage someone to attend the same conference in the future or make a connection with someone unexpectedly. After attending the MARAC conference last year in Philadelphia, I wrote this blog post: A is for Archives and Advocacy. A member of the Society of the American Archivists (SAA) Issues & Advocacy Roundtable was grateful I wrote a blog post about their session in Philadelphia and recommended I should write a blog post for the SAA blog! I wrote this blog post for the SAA Issues & Advocacy Roundtable blog called: Oh my gosh, this is so cool!

I hope these tips will help you when you attend your next conference. Whether it’s your first conference or your 50th, remember the most important tip of all: Have fun.

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Wondering which conferences to attend? Here’s a couple archives-related conferences you should check out:

Society of American Archivists

Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference 

 

ARLIS/NA 2014 Conference

ARLIS NA DC 2014 WEB BANNER_04

 

During the first week in May, the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) held their 42nd Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. over a span of five days.  This year’s Conference addressed the topic of “Art+Politics,” which identified creative intersections of three central themes: fostering creativity; preserving and protecting; and power and agency.  One of the special speakers, Susan Stamberg, special correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR), addressed the large crowd during Convocation at the Library of Congress (LOC) on the concept of “Art Will Save the World.”  In addition to keynote speakers and stimulating debate, the Conference incorporated useful workshops that included, but were not limited to, the following:  book arts, provenance research, timely presentations, publisher exhibitions, and museum tours to the LOC, Dumbarton Oaks, National Gallery of Art (NGA), and the National Archives (NA) among others, highlighting the city’s extensive historical resources.

On May 2nd, I attended a session entitled, “Capitol Projects: Three Washington Image Collections Go Digital.”  The panel included the speakers, Melissa Beck Lemke (Image Specialist for Italian Art, Department of Image Collection, NGA); Shalimar Fojas White (Manager, Image Collections and Field Archives, The Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collections); and Brett Carnell (Acting Head, Technical Services, Prints and Photographs Division, LOC).  The various discussions within the session presented thought provoking arguments that were of great significance to a variety of challenges currently surrounding certain aspects of digital content management.  Collectively, presenters gave their own perspectives on the notion of ‘going digital.’ However, the most unique and insightful discussion was given by Melissa Beck Lemke (NGA) and her presentation on the Samuel H. Kress Photographic Collection, which conveyed the pressing need for innovative research and demonstrated the potential losses to valuable content if the field fails to adapt to modern technologies as quickly as possible.   

Mrs. Lemke explained the challenges her group faced during the complete re-housing and digital preservation of over 5,000 historic negatives from the personal collection of Samuel Kress, a wealthy philanthropist with an extreme passion for specific schools of art.  His combination of negatives, developed photographs, lantern slides, and other pictorial related materials distinctively documented the history of each object.  Towards the end of his life, Kress donated his vast collection to several museums whose own photographers oversaw the various conservation efforts involving his Italian Renaissance paintings.  In 2008, the NGA received a grant from the Kress Foundation to preserve the deteriorating negatives as professionally as possible.  Presently, this rare image series is one of the most comprehensive collections of Italian Renaissance art in the entire world, thus enabling researchers from anywhere to access the holdings.

Personally, one of the best features of the conference was an opportunity to actually network with different vendors, scholars, and professionals in the exhibit hall.  As a first time attendee, an archivist with a Fine Arts background, I felt very much at home browsing through art related images surrounded by art librarians, visual resource professionals, and scholars.  The conference was definitely a worthwhile experience to my own development as aspiring information professional.  It illustrated the communal challenges, enriching experiences, and potential rewards that professionals face every day whether in an archive, museum, or library.

A Latte of Museum Fun in Seattle

Written by Justine Rothbart

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With our lattes and umbrellas in hand, museum professionals arrived last week in the city of Seattle. We came prepared to the 2014 American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo. This year’s AAM Annual Meeting took place on May 18 – 21 and covered the theme “The Innovation Edge.” The sessions spanned a wide range of subjects, from “Preserving Collections in a Digital World” to “S#!t I Wish They Taught in Grad School.” Attending this conference with a fellow CHIM Cohort member, Kelsey Conway, made us both reflect on the relationship between our current studies and the museum world. As we navigated this conference, we became profoundly aware how important the role of library and information professionals are to museums.

Justine Rothbart (Me) and Kelsey Conway at the 2014 American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA

Justine Rothbart (Me) and Kelsey Conway at the 2014 American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting in Seattle, WA

At this conference, there were curators, education specialists, graduate students, collection managers, exhibit design specialists, historians, and archivists. Some had multiple titles and wore many different hats, while others just had one. With our varying titles, we had one thing in common: museums. Our connection to museums may be different, but we all understand the importance and significance of these cultural institutions. Author of The Devil in the White City and Keynote Speaker Erik Larson said, “I’m not a historian. I’m an animator of history.” Whatever the title is, each of our roles play a significant part in shaping the future of museums.

In the session “Innovations in Using Museum Collections for Learning,” Amy Bolton, from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, discussed their new interactive exhibit “Q?rius.” She discussed not only the aspects of creating a hands-on exhibit, but she also discussed the creation of their digital library. In the “Topics Library” users can click on a subject and find the relationship with the related objects, media, and resources all in one location. In the session “Preserving Collections in a Digital World,” Leah Niederstadt from the Beard and Weil Art Galleries at Wheaton College discussed a future project where Google Earth will be used to visually track the provenance of the objects in the collection. These are just a few examples from the conference that tie into our current Library and Information Science studies.

The convergence of libraries, archives, and museums (LAM) was prominent throughout this conference. During our first semester in the Spring of 2013 at Catholic University we discussed LAM convergence in our class History and Theory of Cultural Heritage Institutions with Prof. Stokes. In our class we were lucky enough to have Ford Bell, the President of the American Alliance of Museums, as a guest speaker. Seeing Ford Bell address the hundreds of conference attendees last week was very different to when he spoke to our CHIM cohort in our small classroom. But it just reemphasized the important connection with library and information science and museums.

As a graduate student, attending a conference, like this one, is a great way to see how our studies are implemented through real-life examples. It’s also a great way to meet new people and meet up with old friends. Whether it’s in a session or at the top of the Space Needle, this conference was all about the making new connections with people who share the same passion (and having fun at the same time!).

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Click here for more information about the American Alliance of Museums.

 

VRA – More than Metadata

In the Metadata course last semester, we learned that VRA was created to help Universities manage their art slide collections beginning in 1968. Currently VRA4.0 is a popular and useful metadata standard for schools, museums and commercial business (like Getty) who manage visual collections. One of the benefits for members of the association is networking through the annual conference. The 2014 VRA conference provided me an opportunity for networking, an opportunity to hear about case studies and innovations in the visual resource information management field and some interesting tours of museums in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Philip Yenawine, Co-Founding Director of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) opened the conference with a practice session. VTS is a method initiated by teacher-facilitated discussions of art images and documented to have a cascading positive effect on both teachers and students. “It is perhaps the simplest way in which teachers and schools can provide students with key behaviors sought by Common Core Standards: thinking skills that become habitual and transfer from lesson to lesson, oral and written language literacy, visual literacy, and collaborative interactions among peers.”

Matthew Israel, Director of the Art Genome Project at Artsy.net gave the closing plenary about this start-up company whose mission is to make all the world’s art accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. Mr. Israel likened Artsy to Pandora where users can find art like art they already like. Artsy partners with 1,500+ leading galleries, as well as 200+ museums and institutional partners from around the globe to create their online platform for discovering, learning about, and collecting art with more than 125,000 artworks by 25,000+ artists from leading art fairs, galleries, museums, and art institutions. Artsy provides one of the largest collections of contemporary art available online.

Of the sessions I attended, I found two case studies from Shalimar Fojas White from Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection most interesting. She talked about challenges choosing a content management system for data management that could work for their images and field notebooks. She also talked about her experience and challenges with a collection of 16mm films reformatting them for online access. You can find many of the VRA session slides online at http://www.slideshare.net/VisResAssoc.

The conference networking sessions, including a first timers breakfast and discussion session for emerging professionals, gave me the opportunity to learn more about the association and meet with both new and seasoned professionals in the visual resource field. I also took advantage of several tours coordinated by VRA. We got a look behind the scenes at the Harley-Davidson Museum & Design Archives at their custom automated compressed shelving for storing motorcycles 3 rows high. The Milwaukee Riverwalk tour offered a chance to look at some of the public art, architecture and historic sites in the city.

The networking and conference session were a great way to learn about the VRA and learn about current issues and solutions for managing visual resources. I would definitely recommend this conference and association membership for Library students who plan on working with image collections.