Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter Newsletter




Vol.12, No.1
Summer 2013

Chair's Column
Chapter Liaison Report
MW Chapter Business Meeting Minutes
Pasadena | April 27
New Logo Contest
Winberta Yao Travel Award Report

New Mexico's MW Chapter Contingent Gathers in Albuquerque, October 2012

Why Am I a Member of ARLIS/NA-MW?
Spotlight on Institutions and Collections
Members' Highlights

Chair's Column
Contributed byJulie Williamsen

Dear MW members,

The last weeks of summer are upon us, and preparations for fall courses have begun.  This is one of my favorite seasons as I have a few, uninterrupted moments to reflect on the past academic year and plan for future endeavors in librarianship.

I invite each of you to think about your recent accomplishments, findings, or research, and prepare to share some of those with us at our upcoming ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter 2013 Virtual Conference this November.  I hope the virtual format will allow all in our chapter to participate.  The deadline for proposals is August 15, and registration will begin shortly thereafter.  The conference theme is Wide Angle: Perspectives on Visual + Media Arts Information.  Please send your proposals to Nicole Beatty, Arts & Humanities Librarian at Weber State University Stewart Library  For those new to the profession, and seasoned librarians alike, this is an excellent opportunity for giving a paper or professional presentation.

It was great to see so many of you in Pasadena at the ARLIS NA Annual Conference.  As usual, the conference was outstanding, and Pasadena was an ideal location--a beautiful, vibrant, and culturally rich city.  I wish we could meet in person more often.  I’m happy to hear that most members are able to meet regularly in their respective states.  I encourage you to seek out other librarians who may also have an interest in ARLIS and the Mountain West Chapter.  This organization facilitates a varied range of interest in the visual and media arts.

I would like to thank all of the Mountain West Chapter officers and volunteers for their hours of work and devotion.  I would also like to thank each of you, our members.  It is because of all of you that this valuable organization exists.

I hope ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter will continue to help advance your career growth and development.  Please let me know if you have any recommendations on how we can continue to improve.

Warm regards,

Julie Williamsen
ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter Chair

Chapter Liaison Report
Contributed by Sarah Sherman

Hello Mountain West Chapter Members!

As the new Executive Board Chapters Liaison, I look forward to working with your Chapter during my two-year term.

At the 2013 annual conference in Pasadena, the Executive Board had a series of meetings. I wanted to share some highlights with you:

Pasadena Conference: It was a record-breaking success! We welcomed 713 registrants during a week of perfect weather -- warm with sunshine.  The fundraising efforts totaled $71,250.

Future Conferences: The Washington DC Conference planning team is already hard at work.  It will be a fantastic conference from May 1-6, 2014. We come back to the West to meet in Forth Worth, Texas in 2015. The Executive Board is working on finalizing the 2016 location.

Virtual Conference: I look forward to seeing many of you in-person at the future conferences. However between DC and Fort Worth in Fall 2014, we will have the opportunity to meet online. A Virtual Conference is in development under the leadership of Executive Board Education Liaison, Sarah Falls. An implementation team is being formed.  

Chapters have generously sponsored the Welcome Party at the annual conference. The donations have been greatly appreciated. I hope all Chapters will consider contributing a minimum of $200 to the DC conference. Get creative with your chapter fundraising throughout the year to support “The Reception at Dumbarton Oaks” the welcoming event of the conference.

ARLIS/NA Website (AWS)
The redesign is on track. This summer the content will be migrated to the new platform.

New Association Manager
In April 2013, Robert Kopchinski was hired as the ARLIS/NA Association Manager.  He has over 24 years of association management experience. Robert’s contact information is on the ARLIS/NA Website. His email is

Mid-year Board Meeting
The Board will meet for two days, September 26-27, 2013 in Washington DC (home of ARLIS/NA President, Gregg Most). This will be a nice change of pace from our monthly phone meetings. As usual, with every meeting we will have a lot to discuss toward the advancement of ARLIS/NA. I will keep you posted!

If you have questions please do not hesitate to contact me.

Wishing you all the best for a lovely summer!

Sarah Sherman
ARLIS/NA Executive Board, Chapters Liaison
Reference Librarian
Getty Research Institute

ARLIS/NA-MW Chapter Business Meeting Minutes
April 27, 2013  | Pasadena, CA
Photos contributed by Joan Benedetti

The Mountain West Chapter met on April 27, 2013 for their annual business meeting during the ARLIS-NA Annual Conference.  Minutes of the Business Meeting are posted on the Mountain West Chapter website at:

Mountain West Chapter New Logo Contest
Contributed by Christiane Erbolato-Ramsey

The Mountain West Chapter will launch a competition for a new chapter logo next year.  As discussed in the business meeting in Pasadena, we would like to invite graphic design students from various institutions in the Mountain West region to submit a proposal for the new logo.  This will be a great opportunity for students to strengthen their portfolio and to help out our non-profit organization.

The judging committee will be Chris Ramsey (BYU, Provo, UT), Alex Watkins (University of Colorado, Boulder, CO), Rebecca Potance (New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, NM), and Julie Williamsen (BYU, Provo, UT).  The committee will define the basic requirements for the competition, and distribute it to the Listserv so that members can share the announcement with their institutions.

The winner will receive $250 and a spotlight in the chapter’s newsletter.

Stay tuned for more details!


Winberta Yao travel Award Report
Contributed by Rebecca Potance

I will most likely remember the 2013 ARLIS/NA Conference in Pasadena as a turning point in my new career as an art librarian.  Where I work at the New Mexico Museum of Art I am the only professionally trained librarian.  As useful as technology is in communicating across distances, there is really no substitute for meeting people face to face.  At the conference I was able to reunite with a few of my fellow Class of 2011 library school alumni, meet professionals from all over the world, and learn about different aspects of both librarianship and art history. 

Because this was my first ARLIS conference, I went to the first time attendees’ welcome.  It was there that I met up with my conference networking guide, Roger Lawson from the National Gallery of Art.  Had we not been matched up, I may not have had the courage to talk to a 30-year veteran of ARLIS like Roger.  That would have been a huge loss for me.  Going to a conference for the first time can be a little overwhelming, and having the assistance of someone who's more experienced can make a huge difference.  Roger made me feel completely at home in ARLIS, and I hope that I can return the favor one day in the future.

The Mountain West Chapter meeting was another event that really helped put a human face on the names I had previously corresponded with through the Internet.  Since I have only been a chapter member for a few months and the chapter is widely spread out, this was my first time meeting several of the Mountain West members.  Seeing for myself how the chapter runs made me eager to get more involved in the future.

Next to the change to meet people, the second best part of the conference is hearing from more experienced professionals.  The conference started off with a bang with the plenary session about the art in Los Angeles from 1945 to 1980.  One of the reasons I felt compelled to go to this year's Conference was that I recently moved to the American Southwest from the Northeast, and was less familiar with the artwork of the region.  At the first plenary session I learned that several of the artists included in my museum's permanent collection lived in the LA area during the time period of the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions.  It was also at the plenary that I won a free copy of L.A. Rising: SoCal Artists Before 1980 that made a lovely addition to my museum's library.

The first information session I went to was Growing and Reviving Museum Library Audiences Through Programs and Collections.  Although it was disheartening to hear so many colleagues mention their financial shortages, they all had great ideas about how to overcome such pitfalls.  I took copious notes on how other museum libraries have built Friends of the Library Groups, secured funding for the library, and otherwise promoted their materials and services through simple changes.

The next session I went to was very different from the previous one.  Unlike the other sessions I went to, it looked at the medium from the perspectives of several different professionals, not just librarians.  I was previously unaware of the significance of artist's books within the art community.  Lucy Lippard, another artist with a New Mexico connection, has promoted artist's books as a democratic model because they are relatively inexpensive to make.  Artist's books occupy a fascinating intersection between art and literature, and, given the way both fields are adopting new technology, it is interesting to think about what artist's books might look like in the future.

The information session that has had the most immediate impact on my current position dealt with donated labor and library materials.  I have already started to implement some of the speakers' suggestions for managing volunteers.  This session challenged the common assumption that offers of free material and labor should never be rejected.  Many libraries have had to learn the hard way that when staff and budgets are in short supply, managing donated materials and/or volunteers can be stressful if there is not a system in place for handling them.  This session was so relevant to so many institutions that I think we could have easily gone on for another hour on this topic!

Overall, I had an amazing experience at the 2013 ARLIS Conference.  Like many rookie attendees, I probably overextended myself trying to do too many things.  However, if I had to do it over I would not have done anything differently.  I cannot thank the Mountain West chapter enough for helping me to get to Pasadena with the Winberta Yao Travel Award.

New Mexico’s Mountain West Chapter Contingent Gathers
in Albuquerque in October 2012
Contributed by Joan Benedetti

Thanks to the enthusiasm and diligence of Kathleen Keating, University of New Mexico Fine Arts Librarian, several New Mexican ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter members met for a second time this year—this time at the University of New Mexico (UNM) in Albuquerque on October 12, 2012.  Kathleen planned a very full day of activities for the day.

Six of us met at the UNM Fine Arts and Design Library at 10 am: two of us were from Santa Fe: Eumie Imm-Stroukoff, Librarian and Assistant Director, Research Center, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum; and Joan Benedetti (retired) and four were from Albuquerque: Kathleen Keating, UNM Fine Arts Librarian; Cindy Abel Morris,  Manager, UNM Bunting Visual Resources Library; Heather Kline, Outreach & Collections Specialist, UNM Bunting Visual Resources Library; and Nina Kay Stephenson (Retired).

Kathleen walked us through the large and beautiful Fine Arts Library, which includes, besides ample seating and electronic hook-ups, several rooms for conferencing and study groups, as well as spacious staff offices with wonderful views of the campus and New Mexico’s beautiful mountains beyond.  Subjects supported by the Fine Arts Library include architecture and landscape architecture, urban planning, studio art and art history, as well as music, dance, and photography.  The Library is on the 4th floor of the George Pearl Hall building, designed to house classrooms and studios for all of the arts curricula.  We also spent time in the Bunting Visual Resources Library, which is in the process of digitizing many of its collections, both its slides and picture collections, which are extensive.

After touring the Fine Arts Library (and admiring some prints produced by Nina Kay Stephenson in a class she now has time to enjoy in retirement), we walked across the lovely campus to the historic Zimmerman Library, designed by John Gaw Meem, and entered the Center for Southwest Research, a collection that is housed in a renovated part of the old library.  Just outside the Center is a remnant of the old card catalog, which Eumie could not resist peeking through [insert image 1383].  Inside the Center, in addition to displays of items from the Southwest Research collections, Kathleen had assembled for our delegation many fascinating artists books in the collection.  We were able to open and examine the delightful and diverse examples. On our way out, we paused to admire the Works Progress Administration (WPA) murals.

Lunch was next on the agenda and we walked just a few blocks off campus to the charming Indian restaurant, Rasoi, where we caught up with each other’s lives, professional and otherwise.

After lunch, we walked back across the warm and sunny campus to the UNM Art Museum Print Room, formerly the Fine Arts Library, which has been totally renovated for display, storage, and staff offices of their amazing print collection. One noteworthy collection recently acquired is the Tamarind Archive Collection, donated by the Tamarind Lithography Workshop’s founder, June Wayne, who passed away August 23, 2011.  The UNM Art Museum archives two impressions of every Tamarind edition, both from its earlier Los Angeles days and from its continuing Albuquerque productions.

The staff of the Print Room, Sara Otto-Diniz, Michele Penhall, Lelani Ringkvist, and Bonnie Verardo, had pulled out some of their most valuable prints, including etchings by Durer, Rembrandt, Dali, and Picasso and placed them so we could examine them close-up, even providing magnifying glasses for those who wanted to see some of the incredible detail.  They also put out some of the exhibition and permanent collection publications for us to peruse, including the June Wayne catalogue raisonné and answered many of our questions.  Bonnie Verardo, Collections Manager and Registrar, who has worked there for more than 18 years, gave us a tour of the storage areas and filled us in on the history of the collections and what it was like to move the collections into the renovated space. 

Finally, we were allowed to go into the print galleries, where a wonderful and moving exhibition, “Dancing with the Dark: Joan Snyder Prints, 1963 – 2010,” had opened on September 15, 2012.  And, last but not least, we were each presented with a packet of Art Museum catalogs, including the beautifully designed and written University of New Mexico Art Museum: Highlights of the Collections.  A truly fabulous day was had by all!



Why Am I a Member of ARLIS/NA Mountain West?
Contributed by Kay Teel

I work at Stanford University, located about 35 miles south of San Francisco, California. I'm a member of the ARLIS-NA/Northern California chapter, but I'm also a member of the Mountain West chapter. I'm often asked why I joined a chapter out of my area.

I joined the Mountain West chapter, by courtesy, when I served as the ARLIS/NA Western Regional Representative in 2002-2003. (ARLIS/NA later phased out regional representatives in favor of role-centered liaisons.) I represented the Mountain West, Northwest, Northern California, and Southern California chapters to the executive board of ARLIS/NA. I visited each chapter at least once during my term, and found the Mountain West chapter small but vibrant -- and fun! When my term as regional representative was over, I maintained my Mountain West chapter membership.

All of the western regional chapters have similar concerns -- small membership separated by distances -- but the Mountain West chapter covers the largest area by far.  Mountain West chapter members work hard at connecting with others and networking despite the geographical challenges. Other chapters, such as Northern California, can learn from the experiences of Mountain West. At a recent Northern California chapter meeting the members discussed having a virtual chapter meeting, and the model of the Mountain West chapter's virtual meetings informed the discussion.

Ultimately, though, the main reason I'm in the Mountain West chapter is the members: a great group of interesting, welcoming people.

Spotlight on Institutions & Collections

Denver Art Museum Adding New Office Building
Contributed by Susan Ferrer-Vinent


Colleagues at the Denver Art Museum (DAM) will soon be moving into new office space and a new library. The Denver Art Museum began construction in April 2013 on a new 50,000 square foot building to be located on the museum’s grounds.  Currently, more than 100 museum employees, including administration, curators and other staff, are working five blocks away from DAM.  The new building will house curatorial departments, the education department, administration departments, 9,000 square feet for collection storage and a new research library on its basement level. The new building, located next to the museum, will enable closer collaboration among museum staff and a more efficient work environment.  

The $11.5 million privately-funded building was designed by Denver-based Roth Sheppard Architects and Saunders Construction, Inc.  Construction is progressing on schedule.

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum Has New Directors
Contributed by Eumie Imm Stroukoff


The Georgia O’Keefe Museum announced that Cody Hartley is the new Director of Curatorial Affairs and Eumie Imm Stroukoff is promoted to the Director of the Research Center.  Cody comes to the O’Keefe Museum from the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston, where he held the positions of Assistant Curator of Paintings, Art of the Americas, and later, the position of Director of Gifts of Art.  Eumie was the Librarian and Assistant Director of the Research Center.  Both appointments begin in April 2013.

Hartley received his Ph.D. in Art History from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2005.  His dissertation was Art in an Arid Climate: The Museum of New Mexico and the Cultivation of the Arts in Santa Fe.  As curator at the MFA he worked on the installation of their new Art of the Americas wing which opened in 2010.  As Director of Gifts he facilitated major acquisitions.  He also worked specifically with O’Keefe materials in exhibits at the Sterling and Francine Art Institute and the Boston Museum.

Eumie received her Master’s degree in library science from Columbia University and worked as a museum professional in New York before joining the O’Keefe Museum as their Librarian and Assistant Director.  As their new Director her goals are “to move the Research Center forward into the next decade in an open and accessible environment and to strengthen the relationship between the Research Center and the Museum.”

Arizona State Museum Celebrates 120th Anniversary and Appointment of New Director
Contributed byMarly Helm

The Arizona State Museum (ASM) celebrates its 120th anniversary this year.  The museum began in 1893 as the state’s Territorial Museum, when Territorial legislator George W. P. Hunt, who would become Arizona's first governor, penned a bill establishing the Museum.  ASM is the oldest and largest anthropological museum in the Southwest.  The 120th anniversary was celebrated in April with a birthday party for the community on April 6th and a black-tie reception on April 11th.   The Museum was recognized in the Congressional Record by U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva as “a National Treasure, after a century and a score of national leadership in research, preservation, collections care, and public outreach.”  For a photo slideshow of the anniversary, see the YouTube at:

Patrick D. Lyons, Ph.D. was named the seventh Director of the Museum after a national search and began his tenure on June 1, 2013.  Dr. Leslie Tolbert, Senior Vice President for Research at the University of Arizona believes that Lyons “brings great expertise and passion to the position and will be an extraordinary leader for this gem of a museum as it extends its reach in research, education, and outreach to the community.”  Lyons was a field archaeologist before he became Head of Collections at the Museum in 2006 and their Assistant Director since 2009.  Lyons priorities for ASM, moving forward, are excellence and relevance. The focus on excellence will target fundraising to: keep and attract the best and brightest faculty and staff; maintain and expand the museum’s world class collections and their efforts in research, preservation and public outreach; and to launch new initiatives that will become models of best practices in the museum field.


Art and the University of Wyoming Libraries
Contributed by Jennifer Mayer

The University of Wyoming Libraries recently dedicated a commissioned artwork in honor of outgoing University President Tom Buchanan and his wife Jacque Buchanan (pictured in attached image with UW Libraries Dean Maggie Farrell).  The mixed media piece, titled A Low Soft Sound, was created by UW art student Carli Holcomb, as an internship project, supervised by Fine Arts Librarian Jennifer Mayer.  The piece was commissioned to honor the ongoing support of the Libraries mission by Tom and Jacque Buchanan, and to honor their appreciation of student art.  Carli described her inspiration for the work, “In my piece I would like to explore the idea of memory as a form of natural blooming, maturation, germination, and growth. Our memories mirror the natural world so well, and as we share these ideas it is as if we are releasing spores of our experience out into the world to tangle and mingle with the memories of others. These memories often connect and merge in such a way that where they begin and end is often imperceptible. Our memories are an integral part of who we are, and shape who we will become as people.”



Laramie Mural Project
Contributed by Jennifer Mayer

Laramie Mural Project by Jennifer Mayer

For the past two years there’s been a movement in Laramie to enhance public art in the historic downtown district.  Started as a collaborative project between the University of Wyoming Art Museum, the Laramie Main Street Alliance and several local artists, the public art is taking blank store walls and turning them into colorful murals.  The project is funded by the Guthrie family Foundation, the Wyoming Cultural Trust Fund, the City of Laramie and the Laramie Beautification Committee. Susan Moldenhauer at the University of Wyoming Art Museum and Trey Sherwood, Director of the Laramie Main Street Alliance are project coordinators.

For a list of the artists and the stores being transformed, see   


New Book Celebrates the Institute of American Indian Art's 50th Aniversary
Contributed by Jenni James

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Institute of American Indian Art, archivist Ryan Flahive recently published a book titled Celebrating Difference: Fifty Years of Contemporary Native Arts at IAIA, 1962-2012 (Sunstone Press).  The book explores the history of the unique institution and its innovative arts and culture based curriculum through essays, photographs, an oral history transcript, and manuscript materials culled from the IAIA archives.
On a 140-acre campus on the high plains south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) stands as a world leader in contemporary Native arts and culture education--an educational institution committed to ''difference.''  This fifty year history explores some basic questions.  How is IAIA different from other colleges?  What is it about the history, structure, location, and curriculum of IAIA that makes it a special institution?  How did a school that began as an experiment in American Indian arts education progress from a Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) high school to a junior college to an accredited non-profit baccalaureate institution in less than fifty years?  And what does the next fifty years have in store?

Members' Highlights

International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums, June 2013
Contributed by Mary Graham (Arizona State Museum) past ARLIS-NA President

I recently attended, along with several Arizona State Museum colleagues, this wonderful conference in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.  The Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries and Museums (ATALLM) have been sponsoring these meetings for several years, with support from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

The meetings were held at the beautiful Hyatt Regency Tamaya Spa and Resort located on the tribal lands of Santa Ana Pueblo along the banks of the Rio Grande, north of Albuquerque, NM.  This year there were over 500 participants from the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the Solomon Islands.

The program was packed with intriguing and practical pre-conference workshops (such as 3-Dimensional Scanning of Cultural Objects); hands-on workshops (such as Mounting, Matting and Framing Artwork to Tools for Producing Digital Stories); to nearly 100 sessions; luncheon programs and receptions covering three-and-a-half days! 

My colleague, Dr. Nancy Odegaard, Head Conservator, and I presented a program, “Out of Chaos Comes Order: Managing a Donor’s Diverse Cultural Collections.”  We discussed the nature of ephemera and the kind of eclectic collections a working conservator, in this case, develops over a long career of teaching and “bench-work”…and how we sorted out its best use for our Museum’s collections and how we planned to make it accessible to the public.

At the conference, we were treated to special presentations by Walter Echo-Hawk, a well-known author and attorney and N. Scott Momaday, a renowned poet, Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, playwright, painter, storyteller and professor of English and American literature. 

In addition, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation used the conference venue to announce their 2013 Literature Fellows:  Natalie Diaz (Mohave/Pima); Sherwin Bitsui (Navajo); and Joan Kane (Inupiat).  Each young poet read portions of their work as part of the luncheon programs.

Next year’s conference will be hosted by the Agua Caliente Band of the Chahuilla Indians in Palm Springs, California, June 10-12, 2014.  Please visit ATALM site for more information on this dynamic organization,

Article Published: Engagement and Assessment in a Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Course by Jennifer Mayer (University of Wyoming) and Melissa Bowles-Terry (University of Wyoming)

Published in the Reference Services Review, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 62-79.  Abstract is located here:

Jennifer Mayer also taught a 3-credit information literacy class during Spring 2013, LBRY3020: Managing and Navigating the World of Information at the University of Wyoming and completed her term on as Chair of the ACRL Women & Gender Studies Section at the close of the ALA Annual Conference in June 2013.  She is planning a sabbatical from Jan-June 2014.



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Newsletter Editor:
Marly Helm, Arizona State Museum Library, University of Arizona

Online Editor:
Christiane Erbolato-Ramsey, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University

August 5, 2013