Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter Newsletter




Vol.3, No.4

Report from the Chair

Note from the ARLIS/NA President

2004 Annual Chapter Conference, Denver
Conference Reports

Conference Photos

Travel Award Report

Member News

Editor’s Note

Report from the Chair

The MW Chapter conference in Denver was a great success with one of the largest attendance rates for the MW region! Many thanks go to Peggy Keeran, Tom Riedel, Chris Ramsey, and Nancy Pistorius for putting together a stimulating and information-packed conference. Reports of sessions and activities are included in this newsletter.

You will notice that Ellie Vaughter is now the newsletter editor. Thank you, Ellie! If you have any ideas for articles, please contact her. I am pleased to report that Lisa Blankenship (Univeristy of Northern Colorado) has volunteered to be our new listserv moderator.

Elections will be coming up for the Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer for the MW Chapter Board. Frances Clymer, chair of the Nominating Committee, along with committee members Mary Graham and Chris Ramsey, have found candidates for those positions and will be sending out ballots shortly. Be ready to vote!

The 2005 MW Chapter Conference will be a joint conference with the Central Plains Chapter. I am happy to report that ARLIS/NA granted us $500 for the 2005 conference as a special funding award. Any ideas or suggestions? Please contact me. The Santa Fe conference planning committee is working hard to put together a great conference for you.

And if you have any other ideas or suggestions for the Chapter, please feel free to talk to me or another board member.

Best wishes,
Eumie Imm-Stroukoff
Chair, ARLIS/

Note from the ARLIS/NA President

The editors of Library Journal need your help in identifying the emerging leaders in the library world. The fourth annual Movers & Shakers supplement will profile 50 plus up-and-coming people from across the United States and Canada who are innovative, creative, and making a difference. From librarians to vendors to others who work in the library field, Movers & Shakers 2005 will celebrate the new professionals who are moving our libraries ahead. Go to and nominate someone.

NOVEMBER 1, 2004 is the deadline.

Jeanne Brown
President, ARLIS/NA

2004 Mountain West Conference Reports

Keynote Speaker: Lawrence Argent

The keynote address was delivered by Lawrence Argent, a professor of Art at the University of Denver. Argent was one of the artists selected to create a piece of art as part of the expansion of the Colorado Convention Center. A Denver city ordinance requires that 1% of the design and construction budgets for city projects of over $1 million be used for public art.

Argent was born in England, and was educated at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia and the Rinehart School of Sculpture, part of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been on the faculty at University of Denver since 1993, and has received commissions for four public art projects in the Denver area over the past several years.

Encompassing a variety of forms including sculpture and painting as well as public art installations, Argent describes his work as imbued with humor and irony. He claims to collect “a lot of junk,” and showed slides illustrating his use of found objects such as large street sweeper brushes, cast iron sinks, lawn chairs, and ladders. In his public art works, he cares about honoring a sense of place and a sense of history. For a look at his work, see his web site at

During April 2005, Argent’s 40-foot-tall blue bear with a faceted surface made of composite materials will be installed at the Colorado Convention Center. Entitled “I See What You Mean,” the bear will appear to be peeking into Convention Center windows. Argent passed around a small model of the bear, and discussed the process from design to fabrication.

In designing the piece, he wanted to create something representative of Colorado, and also representative of the fact that conference attendees are displaced from their usual habitats. He chose to bring a kitschy Colorado icon, the chainsaw bear, into the city, standing outside wondering what’s going on inside. The process of bringing a project like this to completion involved many steps and was a collaboration of many people. There were contract negotiations about issues such as copyright, payment, and ownership, followed by planning with engineers and fabricators to decide how to actually create and then transport this very large work of art. Technology played an important role from start to finish, and Argent spoke of feeling pleased that technology enabled the transfer of the character he intended, as the piece was moved into a new space.

More information about the creation of “I See What You Mean” is found in the September issue of Architecture (Sullivan, C.C. “Superlight, Superstrong, and Superlarge: Polymer Structures Give Life to Unusual Conceptual Designs.” Architecture 93.9 (2004): 77-78.)

Submitted by
Lisa Blankenship
University of Northern Colorado

“Do you see what I see? What Images are telling us”
Presented by: Alessia Zanin-Yost, Reference Librarian, The Libraries, Montana State Library, Bozeman, Montana
Saturday, October 2, 2004

In her presentation Alessia Zanin-Yost, Montana State University, asked and answered questions about visual literacy as an essential component of library instruction. In an age of television, graphical user interface, and streaming media, Zanin-Yost believes that visual literacy can be learned and that it should be taught. Librarians have a unique opportunity to teach library-users to find, understand, and use information in a visual context. She routinely incorporates visual elements in her library instruction courses to meet the needs of users and to promote library services. She shows rather than tells when she offers library tours. After conducting surveys to identify the most useful format for bibliographies and other library handouts, she recommends using good design to create accessible information. In addition, she recommends clear directional signage to welcome users to the reference desk and to promote the use of library materials. Ultimately, instruction in visual literacy in the library can contribute to the essential skill of thinking critically and visually. As librarians, we may all want to seriously consider the implication of the words ‘I see what you mean.’

PowerPoint Presentation

Submitted by:
Ree Mobley
Museum of International Folk Art
Santa Fe, New Mexico.

“You never think it will happen to you—count to ten, breathe, move on. It can’t happen twice.” Presented by Mary Graham, Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

In 2003, the Arizona State Museum Library and Archives developed and launched its online catalog, Library Archives & Archeological Records (LARC). Web site available at:

The implementation of this new catalog was well received by students, staff, faculty, and public. Because of the project, the library was able to create a new cataloguing position. In early summer, Arizona State received the Best Practices Award.

Everything was going well, until catastrophe hit. Due to hardware and backup failure during the summer, LARC was lost. Endeavor, an automated retrieval and storage system, was able to recover some of the data, but most of the cataloguing had to be redone from scratch. The Grant Committee had to be informed and the library was able to re-direct funds to the recovery process.

Ms. Graham highlighted what she learned from this: The most important thing is to backup multiple times all of the data and read all the clauses from the contract agreement. If these are not understood, or there are files/folders that are not clear to you what they should be used for, contact the company directly—in this case, Endeavor. Cooperation with various departments prior to and during the project is essential. People saw the importance of LARC and assisted in the recovery of the information.

Lessons learned include:

Submitted by
Alessia Zanin-Yost
Reference Librarian, MSU Bozeman

Panel: “Impact of Electronic Resources on Collection Development in Arts Collections and Libraries in General” Presented by Margaret Landesman, Head of Collection Development and Acting Head of the Fine Arts Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT. and Nancy Pistorius, Coordinator for the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

Margaret Landesman’s part of the presentation was entitled “Vanilla Collections in an Aggregated World,” which focused on assumptions by those outside the library profession and what we as librarians need to do to clarify or correct these assumptions. Legislators have assumptions about libraries that make them resistant to allocate money to libraries. The assumptions include that libraries are warehouses for books, they are bottomless pits, and that librarians let publishers “walk all over them” by charging high prices. Funding for higher education gets smaller every year and during the next three to five years, there will not be any improvement.

Even within our institutions, libraries are identified as important to programs but they are not a top funding area and fall far behind funding needed for campus infrastructure, digitization projects, and research. OCLC’s environmental scan report provides a detailed assessment of the future that academic, and all, libraries will be facing.
Librarians are in a dilemma. Do we serve today’s users by collecting materials to meet their current needs or do we collect materials for tomorrow’s users? With materials budgets being cut across the board with regularity, fewer dollars are resulting in mediocre collections that will look the same from library to library resulting in the “vanillazation” of collections.

A range of factors must be considered:

Nancy Pistorius’ part of the presentation was entitled “Impact of E-Resources on Collection Development Budgets, Staffing, and Services,” which addressed several of the myths and realities that librarians encounter daily in attempting to provide electronic access and services to our clientele.

MYTH: Everything is on the World Wide Web and it is free.
With growth of the Internet, institutional administrators acquired the beliefs that everything, i.e., all the world’s knowledge – books, magazines, newspapers, etc., is on the Internet and it is also free. Thus, when librarians request additional funding and/or resist budget cuts, they are met with these misconceptions by those who hold the purse strings.
Open access materials on the Internet are adequate for primary and secondary educational programs and for some lower division undergraduate work but prove inadequate for scholarly pursuits at the upper division undergraduate level, the graduate level, faculty research, and are too general to be of value in a museum environment which relies on highly specialized information not readily available in general sources. The misconceptions that everything is on the web and that it is free, erode a library’s financial needs while adding a technology layer that requires ongoing funding. The needs of our clientele—both scholarly and specialized—come with a hefty price tag and we must present convincing arguments to those outside of libraries and who are in control of funding allocations.

MYTH: No one reads print books anymore.
We know this myth is anything but true. Does our clientele truly want full-text e-books? What does our clientele want? They tell us they want more online, more books, more journals. In fact, more of everything! Experience tells us that the value of e-books is questionable. E-books are most often used for fact checking, specific chapters, or meeting other informational needs, but rarely for reading an entire e-book, cover to cover.

MYTH: Everything is computerized; therefore fewer staff are needed so no vacant positions will be filled.
Acquiring electronic resources has proved to be more complicated than ordering a print equivalent. Did anyone foresee this? Not only have library staff taken on the work of reviewing licensing agreements but additional checking is necessary when links are broken or IP addresses change or Proxy servers crash. A trail of verifications takes places any time access to an online resource is lost and a multitude of staff are needed to reestablish the broken link. Typically, the work involved has been added to the work-loads of existing staff, demonstrating that not only do libraries still need staff; they often need additional staff with specialized skills. Acquiring and maintaining access to controlled online resources is an ongoing investment and people outside the library environment need to be continually educated on these realities.

Besides educating the institutional administration, those in our profession need to develop alliances with each other and with other institutions in our state and/or regions. Through state contracts or consortia agreements, libraries can acquire access to an online resource that they probably could not afford to acquire alone. Librarians need to identify e-resources that are essential to local programs of study and of value to our customers. E-resources are a long-term commitment requiring not only funding but also the work of many who provide the invisible elements that keep connections linked and active.

Submitted by
Nancy Pistorius
Coordinator for the Humanities and Social Sciences,
University of New Mexico

Donor Relations for Librarians, presented by Miguel Juarez, Assistant Librarian, University of Arizona Library, Tucson, AZ

Miguel Juarez gave a spirited presentation about fundraising by academic librarians, which is a relatively recent phenomenon; however, it has become increasingly commonplace, as campus administrators make libraries increasingly responsible to “hustle” funds needed for monies required for acquisitions, buildings or innovative programs. With this new direction comes the need for dedicated library fundraising. Art librarians can play a role in this process. Juarez noted that by exploring the process at the University of Arizona Library, others may see how the art librarian can be effective in the fundraising arena by:

— raising “good will,”
— by identifying potential donors,
— by contextualizing collection needs, and
— by providing opportunities for donors to become interested in the mission of the institutions we serve.

Look for the article on this session in an upcoming issue of Art Documentation.

Submitted by
Allison Colborne
Art Librarian & Archives Manager
Beaumont & Nancy Newhall Library
Chase Art History Library
College of Santa Fe

Tour of the Denver Art Museum

On Saturday afternoon of October 2, 2004, we had the opportunity to tour the construction site of the expansion project at the Denver Art Museum. It will be doubling its size with the addition of the Frederick C. Hamilton Building. This facility is designed by Daniel Libeskind and will be completed in 2006. Built of glass and titanium, it will house special exhibition galleries as well as several collections. We were able to tour a co-development project just across from the expansion site. This project, which is also designed by Libeskind, has residential units and a parking garage. Kristin Altman was our very capable tour guide.

Submitted by
Eumie Imm-Stroukoff
Librarian and Archives Manager
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Saturday Night Dinner

On Saturday, October 2, 2004, MW conference chapter attendees were graciously invited to dinner at Tom Riedel’s home. Tom and his partner, Steve, introduced us to their delightful cats, Cricket and Dash, and gave us a tour of their wonderful home. Chapter members admired the artwork that hung on the walls and mingled in the warm atmosphere. The lasagna, salad, and dessert were delicious … and everyone had a great time! Thank you, Tom and Steve!

Submitted by
Eumie Imm-Stroukoff
Librarian and Archives Manager
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Winberta Yao Travel Award Report

Report from Award Winner Alessia Zanin-Yost on the activities and experiences at the chapter meeting, as well as an account of how the award helped her professional development.

The conference in Denver was my first meeting as a new member of ARLIS, and it was more than I expected. I would like to thank the ARLIS/MW Winberta Yao Travel Award Committee for making this possible. The conference started with a beautiful reception at Dixon’s where I had the opportunity to meet and talk to many of the attendees.
Professionally, this conference helped me in many ways. The topics selected were interesting and provided ideas on how to do things as well as to think about the future of art libraries and librarians. I had the opportunity to learn many things from more experienced librarians in the field, like copyright and digitization issues. The conference also gave me the opportunity to know members (who they are, what they have done and will be doing) and find mentors willing to give me tips on my development as a librarian. Thank you, again, to all of you who came to Denver. This great conference was possible because you were there.

Submitted by
Alessia Zanin-Yost

Member News

Annual Dues Reminder

ARLIS/MW Chapter dues, like those for ARLIS/NA, are payable for the calendar year. So that means it's getting close to time to renew for 2005. Dues are only $15.00 a year--$1.25 a month! If you are a new chapter member who joined to attend the chapter conference in Denver, your dues will be applied to cover 2005. In addition, many of you who had already been members in 2004 paid your 2005 dues when you registered for the conference. If you're not sure of your status, feel free to e-mail me at and I can let you know.

To pay your 2005 dues and avoid more direct nagging, please print the form from the ARLIS/MW web site (, complete it, follow the mailing directions, and enclose your check.

Tom Riedel
ARLIS/MW Secretary/Treasurer
Regis University

Mari Russell Awarded the International Delegate’s Award

Mari Russell, Library Director at the Institute of American Indian Arts, was awarded the International Delegate’s Award to attend the ARLIS/UK & Ireland Annual Conference, “Through the Looking-Glass: Meeting the Skills Challenge at St. Catherine’s College, in Oxford, England.” The conference was held July 15-18, 2004. It was a great opportunity for me to network with other Art Librarians internationally. The workshops and speakers were outstanding.

I was privileged to meet people from England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, Russia, Finland, and Sweden. And it was a delight to discover all that we have in common. It was interesting to share stories about “our” libraries, staffs, projects, collections, budgets, and databases, and so forth. I began to realize that libraries the world over have similar issues. I invited all at this conference to consider attending the ARLIS/NA 2005 Annual Conference to be held in Houston, Texas.

Submitted by
Mari Russell
Director of Library Programs
Institute of American Indian Arts

$5000 Preservation Grant goes to College of Santa Fe

Allison Colborne, reports that the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Library at the Marion Center for Photographic Arts received a $5,000 Preservation Assistance Grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. April Smith, Book and Manuscript Conservator from Austin Texas was hired by Colborne to conduct a preservation and treatment assessment of the Newhall and James Enyeart and Roxanne Malone collections of the library. The assessment included a long-range preservation plan and an environmental evaluation of the library and its collections.

Platt College has another successful Art Show

Platt College, a graphic arts and design technical school, located in Aurora, Colorado presents their annual Art Show. It is composed of art by the students, graduates, and faculty. Students present portfolios, multimedia, web designs, menus, packaging, CD covers, and brochure design, as well as fine art pieces. Entries vary from year to year. If anyone would like to come next year, please email Ellie and she will make sure you are on the invitation mailing list.

Editor's Note

I want to thank the officers for appointing me editor of the ARLIS MountainWest Ledger. If you have any comments, complaints, or suggestions, please email me at: The newsletter information is for everyone in the chapter to benefit from and enjoy. Please let me know of events in your area that you think others would appreciate knowing about.

Thank you.

Ellie Vaughter, Editor

Chris Ramsey, Online Publisher

28 October 2004