Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter Newsletter




Vol.7, No.1
Fall 2008

Chair's Column
Past-Chair's Column
Chapters Coordinator
Chapter Meeting Minutes
Election of Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer
Chapter Updates
2008 Winberta Yao
Travel Award Report
2008 Denver Conference
2009 Indianapolis Conference
Dues Reminder
Events & News for
Next Issue

Chair's Column
Contributed by Jennifer Mayer


Happy fall to everyone!

There have been some recent changes to the ARLIS/NA Mountain West executive committee. The Chair position became vacant after Paula Wolfe stepped down for personal reasons. As previously elected Vice-Chair, I moved into the position of Chair. Lisa Blankenship, University of Northern Colorado, continues to serve on the Mountain West executive committee as Past-Chair.

Marly Helm, Assistant Librarian at the Arizona State Museum, University of Arizona was elected Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect. Marly is also the Mountain West newsletter editor. Peggy Keeran, Associate Librarian at the University of Denver, now holds the Secretary/Treasurer position vacated by Jennifer Parker’s move from the region. Thanks to both Jennifer Parker and Paula Wolfe for their service. And, congratulations to Marly and Peggy.

At the Mountain West chapter meeting this last May in Denver, chapter members decided not to hold a chapter conference in 2008 so soon after Denver as a well-deserved breather. In terms of the next Mountain West chapter conference, options are currently being explored—I’m open to suggestions! — and I will provide updates as they develop.

I hope to see you at the annual ARLIS conference in Indianapolis this April.

Please feel free to get in touch with me any time regarding any chapter business.

Jennifer Mayer
ARLIS/NA-Mountain West Chair
Fine Arts and Women’s Studies Librarian
University of Wyoming Libraries
Laramie, Wyoming


Past-Chair's Column
Contributed by Lisa Blankenship, Past-Chair

The Mountain West Chapter – Our Big Conference Year(s)

In 2006, when the decision was made that Denver would be the location of the 2008 ARLIS/NA conference, we all knew that we were in for a busy couple of years. And indeed, many of our chapter members contributed an extraordinary number of hours, culminating in a very successful May 2008 national conference.

With our primary focus on the Denver 2008 ARLIS/NA conference, we managed to continue many of our regular chapter activities while sacrificing others. During these past couple of years, we made adjustments in our chapter name (adding the /NA following the ARLIS and before the MW) and our membership categories (adding a non-voting chapter-only “affiliate member” category), both as a result of ARLIS/NA board decisions. We edited the criteria for our Winberta Yao Travel Award, and granted it to Meredith Friedman in 2007 and to Tammy Ravas in 2008. We elected officers. And much of this was accomplished through email communications.

The most visible things that we had to give up were our fall chapter conferences for 2007 and 2008. Because our chapter members are quite spread out geographically, we’re not able to have a membership meeting (outside of the annual ARLIS/NA conference) unless we make it a significant enough event to justify out-of-state travel. We have, therefore, traditionally held a small conference in the fall. During the fall 2006 chapter conference in Tucson, we voted to forego a fall 2007 chapter conference because we couldn’t imagine planning one at the same time as we were planning to host a national conference. And then we voted to forego a fall 2008 chapter conference because it seemed to be following so close on the heels of our “big conference” experience.

Our hope is to join in with one or two of our neighboring chapters for a really great conference during fall 2009. Our chapter officers agreed to stay in office for the rest of 2008 and through 2009 to help facilitate this. I urge all of you to keep this in mind as a goal, and when the time comes, step up and contribute a program proposal, or volunteer to help in some way.

I’d like to thank our members for continuing to help with the day-to-day operations of the chapter even though they were working so hard on a more exciting long-term goal. It’s certainly been an interesting and challenging time (and I mean that in a good way!)


Chapter Liaison

Cate Cooney, Metadata Cataloger, ARTstor, fills the new
Chapters Coordinator position on the Executive Board of ARLIS/NA, replacing the regional representatives.

I am sure that the Mountain West Chapter members recall the Assessment Task Force recommendations from 2007.  The ATF recommended that the board shift from having regional representatives to functional liaisons.  I spent the first year of my term on the ARLIS/NA board in a "hybrid role" of Northeast Regional Representative and Chapters Coordinator, while the other regional representatives continued their duties and took on their functional roles.  As of the Denver Conference, we transitioned into our functional roles.

So what does the Chapters Coordinator do? The Chapters Coordinator Acts as liaison among the various chapters, and between the Executive Board and the chapters, in order to strengthen cooperation and communication. The Chapters Coordinator responds to the problems of individual chapters and aids in their solution.  I see myself as the chapters' advocate on the board, and welcome your questions and concerns.

You likely already know about the revised guidelines for special funding requests. We'd like to make it easier for chapters to apply for (and get!) funding for their special projects.  I hope that we'll see a request from Mountain West next year!
You might also want to take a look at the Chapters Success Book.  I have updated it to reflect the changes in the board structure and to make some procedures more clear.

I consider myself very fortunate to have the role of Chapters Coordinator.  I have been an active member of three very different chapters, and consider the chapters to be the heart and soul of the Society.  I'm currently a member of the Delaware Valley Chapter, which is centered in the Philadelphia area.  I live outside of Philadelphia, where I work part-time for ARTstor while my husband and  I raise my young son. Again, I welcome your questions and comments.

You can reach me via email at


MW Chapter Meeting Minutes | May 2, 2008
Contributed by Nancy Pistorius, Recording Secretary

ARLIS/NA-MW Chapter Meeting, May 2, 2008, 4 p.m.

Attendees: Lisa Blankenship, Out-going Chair, Paula Wolf, Incoming Chair, Mary Graham, Tom Riedel, Leslie Trimble, Jeanne Brown, James Ascher, Marly Helm, Chris Ramsey, Peggy Keeran, Julia Williamson, Jennifer Parker, Jenni James, Erica Church, Glen Plum, Nancy Pistorius, recording.

1. Introduction of new officers –The chapter Executive Board decided to suspend the by-laws for another year and have Paula Wolf serve as the chair for the remainder of 2008 and through 2009. For this time period, Lisa will serve as past-chair, and Jennifer Mayer was elected as Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect. Jennifer Parker continues as secretary/treasurer. Elections for 2010 officers will be during our Fall 2009 conference

2. Reports

  • 2007 Annual Report—Lisa will copy Nancy for the minutes and Chris Ramsey for the website.

  • Treasurer’s Report – Jennifer P. reported that the chapter has 41 members. Before the conference, disbursement of the travel award, donation to the Conference Welcome Party, and other expenses the balance was $2240. There are still outstanding membership renewals to be paid.

  • Winberta Yao Travel Award – Nina Stephenson and Nancy Pistorius reviewed the guidelines and updated the language to address the intent of the award. Tammy Ravas at University of Montana was selected to receive the award. Nina and Nancy were thanked for their work.

3. Vacant Committee Positions – Membership, Nominating, State Coordinators

We let the vacancies go for this year due to everyone’s commitments to the national conference planning and preparations. Committee members are out of date on the website. Questioned and discussed why we have a membership committee and if is still needed. Paula and Lisa will check the by-laws for clarification regarding the activities of the membership committee and the state coordinators. There was agreement that committee membership lists needed updating and since fundraising was related to conferences, it needs to be someone local to the conference sites.

4. Newsletter Discussion – lead by Editor Marly Helm

The Spring issue was delayed in favor of Summer issue and two issues a year were proposed. Marly inquired if the membership had any suggestions for the The Mountain Ledger regarding topics, frequency, etc. Rather than discussion which is covered by the ARLIS/MW-L listserv it was suggested that members write about what they are doing, projects, job profiles, and personal profiles.

5. Other Business

There was discussion of having a Fall 2008 chapter conference in Utah or seeking a joint Mountain West and Southern California in Southern California. Attendees voted not to meet in Fall of 2008 but to pursue a possible 2009 joint conference with the Southern and/or Northern California Chapters. Mary Graham will contact Leslie Abrams, who is both a member of our chapter and the Southern California Chapter, regarding the possibility. Lisa will contact Angele to see if any local arrangements have been made for a Mountain West Fall 2008 Chapter Meeting in Salt Lake and if so, the need to cancel them.

There was discussion of applying to ARLIS/NA for funds to support a joint MW/SC chapter conference. Paula will talk with Eumie regarding the process since she applied for and received funding for the Mountain West/Central Plains joint meeting in Santa Fe. The objective is to learn whether the process is worth the effort since the chapter had to pay back to the National Society when in made a profit at the Santa Fe joint chapter meeting

Lisa and Paula will clean-up the committee lists and review the by-laws for any necessary changes. Lisa will ask Jennifer Mayer if she is willing to extend her term as described in #1. Lisa encouraged another year of flexibility as we recover from the national conference and implement review and clean-up activities regarding committee memberships and the resultant impact on the website.

Lisa extended kudos to Chris Ramsey for daily website updates.
Also thanks to Leslie Trumble for assisting with Silent Auction be providing a Denver mailing address for donations. Thanks were extended to Nina Stephenson for the photo gallery of auction donations and to Nancy Pistorius for coordinating donations to the Silent Auction. Nancy expressed her thanks to everyone who contributed to the auction and devoted time during it’s implementation. The auction made $3116 for the Society.

Attendees thanked Lisa for keeping the chapter running during the past year.


Election of Vice-Chair/ Chair-Elect and Secretary/Treasurer
Contributed by Jennifer Mayer

Ten ballots were cast for Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect for 2009 and Marly Helm was elected. Congratulations to Marly!

Congratulations also to Peggy Keeran, Arts and Humanities Reference Librarian from the University of Denver, who has been appointed by the executive committee to fill the vacant position of Secretary/Treasurer. Peggy's term will last through 2009.


Chapter Updates
Contributed by Marly Helm

With all the activities and responsibilities of hosting the ARLIS/NA conference in May 2008, chapter members agreed to suspend the bylaws related to board and committee memberships until we had a chance to catch our collective breath. To summarize (and document) the status of our current situation and NEED FOR VOLUNTEERS to serve on committees for 2008-2009…

Executive Committee
Jennifer Mayer assumed the Chair position in August 2008 and her term will run through Dec 2009. In 2010, she will serve as Past-Chair.

Marly Helm was elected Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect in the election conducted in September 2008 and her term will run through Dec 2009. The Vice-Chair/Chair Elect will serve as Chair in 2010 (Jan-Dec).

Peggy Keeran, Arts & Humanities Reference Librarian from the University of Denver, will serve in the role of Secretary/Treasurer for the ARLIS/NA Mountain West Chapter through 2009.

Committees and Coordinators

Nominating Committee
Will need new members in Oct 2009.

Conference Committees
At this point, this is a good place to update members about the upcoming 2009 chapter conference. Jennifer is investigating several possible conference sites. The appointments to some of these committees (Local Arrangements, Program, Promotion, Registration, and Funding) will depend on the selection of host city.

Local Arrangements
To Be Determined

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect (Helm) is chair.

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect (Helm) is chair.

Current Secretary/Treasurer (Keeran) is chair.

Past-Chair (Blankenship) is chair.

Travel Award Committe
Nina Stephenson and Nancy Pistorius have agreed to continue serving on this committee.

State Coordinators

  • Arizona: Tom Grieves has agreed to continue to serve as AZ coordinator.
  • Colorado: Volunteer need to serve as CO coordinator.
  • Montana: Volunteer need to serve as MO coordinator.
  • Nevada: Jeanne Brown has agreed to continue to serve as NV coordinator.
  • New Mexico: Jenny James has agreed to continue to serve as NM coordinator.
  • Utah: Christiane Ramsey has agreed to continue to serve as UT coordinator.
  • Wyoming: Jennifer Mayer has agreed to serve as WY coordinator.


Meet Tammy Ravas

Tammy is the recipient of the Winberta Yao Travel Award for 2008 and she used the award to travel to the ARLIS/NA annual conference in Denver in May 2008. Tammy is the Fine Arts Librarian and Media Coordinator at the Mansfield Library, University of Montana.
Her blog is at:


Report by the Recipient of the Winberta Yao Travel Award
Contributed by Tammy Ravas

Recently, I joined ARLIS/NA as well as the Mountain West Chapter in order to grow my skills in Art Librarianship. In May of 2007, I began a new position as the Fine Arts Librarian at the University of Montana¹s Mansfield Library. This position has been very exciting and rewarding for me in that I provide instruction, reference service, and collection development in visual arts, theatre, dance, media arts, and music. While I have plenty of experience in working with music, theatre, and dance from my previous positions, the areas of visual arts and media arts were completely new to me.

I felt that attending the ARLIS/NA conference this year would be a healthy first step in my professional growth as a new art librarian. Upon reading the preliminary program, I was very interested in attending the numerous sessions on current trends in Art Librarianship so that I could explore and implement new ideas. My institution was only able to partially fund my trip, so the only way that I would have been able to have afforded attending was to seek other funding opportunities. It was exciting to discover that the Mountain West ARLIS chapter provided such opportunities through the Winberta Yao Travel Award, and I was thrilled and quite grateful to be this year's recipient!

Upon arrival into Denver at the Welcome Party, I met with my conference mentor, Adeane Bregman, who introduced me to a large number of people and we had a chance to talk about the conference as well as professional goals. We kept in touch frequently throughout the course of the conference to discuss different sessions and exchange different perspectives on what we learned. Meeting and getting to know Adeane at the conference was a pleasure and she really helped me to network with other art librarians! After that first evening, I attended several sessions/discussion groups per day and came away with more knowledge and food for thought than when I entered. The sessions, "New Voices in the Profession," "What's Hot and What's Not: Trends in Technologies and Services in Libraries," and Dr. David Silver's plenary session titled "Literacy, E-Literacy, Me-Literacy, We-Literacy: A Talk For and From Art Librarians" all had good information on trends in Art Librarianship and libraries in general. I really enjoyed and appreciated seeing the applications of blogs and mashups to assist patrons interested in art, and I plan on trying to implement similar projects at my institution.

Similar ideas were discussed in the Teaching Librarians Discussion Group meeting as well as the session, "Bye-Bye B.I.: Innovative Approaches to Library Instruction." It was refreshing to hear more about the large undergraduate user study at the University of Rochester as well as Problem-Based Learning.

I was able to attend part of the Collection Development Discussion group meeting, view vendor exhibits, as well as the session, "Scholarly Publication and the Art/Architecture/VR Library"; all of which were helpful in introducing me to some of the challenges in art collection development. Lastly, I attended the Artist Files Working Group business meeting and plan on participating in their project.

Thanks so much again to the Winberta Yao Travel Award Committee for selecting me as this year's recipient and for giving me the opportunity to attend my very first ARLIS/NA conference. It was great to meet all of the Mountain West chapter members who were able to attend this year and to be introduced to fellow art librarians in ARLIS/NA. I couldn't get over how friendly and welcoming everyone was to me as a new member. You really helped to make this one of the best library conferences I've ever attended!

Tammy Ravas
Fine Arts Librarian and Media Coordinator
Assistant Professor Interim Reference Desk Manager
Mansfield Library, University of Montana
Ph: 406-243-4402


2008 ARLIS/NA Denver Conference

The 36th annual ARLIS/NA conference was held May 1-5, 2008 in Denver, CO.

If you were fortunate to attend this Mile-Highly rewarding event, you came away with newly acquired knowledge, friendships and probably altered altitudes. If you didn’t have a chance to attend the conference, several opportunities exist to view sessions or posters.

Conference Poster Sessions at:
Click on the titles for the PowerPoint presentations, if available.

The official blog for the conference is at:

Conference proceedings at:

Conference images at:

Conference participants are encouraged to add their own digital images to the group. For a PDF tutorial on how to join the ARLIS/NA Annual 2008 Flickr group and how to add your images, please go to .


2009 ARLIS/NA Indianapolis Conference

Looking to the future, the upcoming 2009 Indianapolis conference is already posting material on their website at:

Keep checking back to the site, which is under construction, for new information. It looks to be a great conference so reserve the dates: April 16-21, 2009.

If you can come early and/or be in two places at once, the Museums and the Web 2009, international conference on culture and heritage online, is in Indianapolis from April 15-18, 2009. Their website is at:

Reminder of Dues Due

Chapter and national membership dues are due January 1, 2009 and are maintained on a calendar-year basis. In order to be a full chapter member, you must also be an ARLIS/NA member.

To renew your national membership, go to:

To renew your MW Chapter membership, go to: or download the
pdf file and send MW Chapter dues to:

Peggy Keeran, ARLIS/NA-MW Secretary/Treasurer
Penrose Library
University of Denver
2150 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO   80208


Events & News for Next Issue

The next edition of the Mountain Ledger will be issued in Spring 2009. Editor Helm would like news and events articles, stories and highlights from members on what is happening at their institutions in 2009. Please send all articles to:

Marly Helm


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

Web Editor:
Christiane Ramsey, Brigham Young University

23 October 2008