Art Libraries Society of North America | Mountain West Chapter
Winberta Yao Travel Award
2017 Travel Award Committee

Elizabeth Ehrnst, Chair
Archives and Digital Collections Librarian
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM

Nicole Beatty
Arts and Humanities Librarian
Stewart Library, Weber State University, Ogden, UT

Deadline & Application
Deadline: TBA

Send letter of application and resume to:

Elizabeth Ehrnst
Archives and Digital Collections Librarian
Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe, NM

Please submit your application via email with "Winberta Yao Travel Award" in the subject line.


Deadline for Applications: TBA

This travel award was established in honor and recognition of Art Librarian Winberta Yao, a co-founder and the first president of ARLIS/AZ (Arizona). Winberta Yao worked at Arizona State University from 1975-1997, although her interest in forming a chapter of ARLIS began earlier, while she was working at the Phoenix Art Museum. ARLIS/AZ, established in 1975, became ARLIS/MW (Mountain West), when the states of Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming joined the chapter in 1997. Montana joined the chapter in 2003.


To encourage chapter and conference participation by supporting travel expenses for attendance at the ARLIS/NA annual conference or the ARLIS/NA-MW annual conference. If, for any reason, the travel award is not granted for the ARLIS/NA conference, the call for applications will be reposted before the next ARLIS/NA-MW annual meeting.

Award amount: up to $1,000

This award is dependent on Chapter member donations, and whatever additional amount the Chapter’s Winberta Yao travel award committee, in discussion with the Chapter executive board, sees fit to add to the donations, each year.


Current ARLIS/NA-MW and ARLIS/NA member living in the Mountain West region including Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Applicants must receive partial or no institutional funding toward ARLIS conference travel.

Award criteria:

Preference is given to librarians and to students currently enrolled in or accepted into an accredited school of library and/or information science. Priority is also given to first-time attendees, and to those who are participating in the conference as a speaker, panel member, session moderator, session recorder, or ARLIS/NA committee member.

Conditions of the Award:

Award winner must write and submit a report to the Winberta Yao Travel Award committee chair of conference activities and experiences for the chapter newsletter, The Mountain Ledger. This report should include an account of how the award helped the recipient's professional development. Award recipients are strongly encouraged to take future committee and leadership responsibilities in the Mountain West Chapter.

To apply for an award, submit:

  • A letter of application indicating the conference for which the applicant seeks funding and addressing relevant eligibility and award criteria. The application should include a description of interest and expectations of the conference and its relevance to the applicant's professional development.

  • An estimate of conference expenses and amount of applicant's institutional funding.

  • A one-page resume listing employment history, educational background, and professional activities. Include preferred mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, and e-mail address.

Guidelines approved by Mountain West chapter membership, 11/12/09

Past Award Recipients

John Burns | Award Report

John earned his MLIS from the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2010 and serves as the 2016 Chair of our Mountain West Chapter.  He is an assistant professor, Reference and Instruction Librarian, Electronic Resources Librarian and Art Librarian at Dixie State University, St. George, Utah.  John will be a panelist in the following sessions at the New Orleans conference: “Engaging Library Users in Collection Development” and “When Research Doesn’t Start with a Question: Teaching with the Framework within Art and Architecture Librarianship”. He will also chair our annual Mountain West Chapter’s business meeting.

The award supported travel expenses for John’s attendance at the ARLIS/NA 45th annual conference in New Orleans February 5th-9th, 2017. We are pleased to be able to support John’s attendance at the upcoming conference in New Orleans. It is a measure of our appreciation for his contributions to the Mountain West Chapter. The Winberta Yao Travel Award Committee also wishes to extend special thanks to all contributing chapter members who made the award possible.

Jessica Mlotkowski | Award Report

Jessica earned her MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, where her concentration was in the organization of information and materials. She is currently the Cataloger and Public Services Librarian at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), in Santa Fe, New Mexico. IAIA is the only four-year degree fine arts institution in the United States devoted to contemporary Native American and Alaska Native Arts.

Jessica’s academic focus has been on cataloging and metadata management for visual resources, as well as the role our cultural perspectives and perceptions play in the description and retrieval of those resources. Diversity, social justice, and bias in descriptive practices are themes that Jessica considers daily in her personal work.

Caroline Dechert

Caroline earned her MLIS from Drexel University and was the Museum Cross-Pollinator Fellow at the Digital Library Federation Forum in 2014. Currently, Caroline is the Librarian and Archivist for the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The museum holds the world’s largest collection of international folk art. The museum’s special research library serves museum staff, volunteers, research associates and interested visitors.

Caroline is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Global Folk Arts Network, the Museum Collections Committee, the Website Committee, and the Steering Committee for the Center for International Textiles and Dress. In her letter of application, Caroline expressed the value of attending ARLIS/NA in Fort Worth, as she will attend several sessions on digitization projects and as well as the session on customizing library services.

Alison Verplaetse

Alison earned her MA in Art History and her MLS with a specialization in Fine Arts Librarianship from Indiana University. She is currently Digital Preservation Specialist at Dayton Memorial Library at Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Alison co-presented her poster Slipping the Bonds of Earthly Metadata Schemas: Cataloging the Regis University Santo Collection (with Tom Riedel) at the annual ARLIS/NA conference in Washington, D.C.

Alison’s many professional interests include the art of social movements, the collecting of non-mainstream library materials (such as political zines), digital humanities, and photography collection digitization and management. In addition, she has published multiple book reviews of Art History titles, both in ARLIS/NA Reviews as well as in ALA’s Choice Reviews. Alison is very interested in collegial networking and looks forward to strengthening her ties to her ARLIS/NA colleagues around the country through conference attendance and committee work.

Rebecca Potance

Rebecca is the Librarian/Archivist/Webmaster at the New Mexico Museum of Art, a position she has held since October 2012. As a solo librarian, she is responsible for managing all aspects of the museum's library, archives, and website. Rebecca has an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA from Case Western Reserve University. The ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Pasadena was Rebecca's first ARLIS/NA conference.

No awards.

Heather Kline

earned her MLIS in 2007 from the University of Alabama, and is currently enrolled in the graduate art history program at the University of New Mexico, where she also works as a research assistant in the Bunting Visual Resources Library. Her professional interests focus on the collaboration between libraries and museums, and the integration of visual resources into art collections. She has published several book reviews in the ARLIS/NA Reviews and is very interested in collegial networking.

Alexandria Caster | Award Report

Alexandria is a SIRLS graduate student at the University of Arizona. She participated in the Boston conference mentorship program, and will also create and share a blog with all ARLIS members from the perspective of a first-time conference attendee.

Elizabeth Ehrnst
| Award Report

Elizabeth has been a member of ARLIS/NA since 2006 and is a brand new member of ARLIS/MW. She began her position as the Archives and Digital Collections Librarian at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center (in Santa Fe, NM) in August 2008. Liz completed her Masters of Library Science degree at Indiana University, Bloomington, in 2007. She used this award to attend the ARLIS/NA annual meeting in Indianapolis.

Tammy Ravas

Tammy was 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.

Meredith Friedman,
graduate student in the School of Information Resources and Library Science (SIRLS) program at the University of Arizona (graduated August 2007). Since enrolling in SIRLS, Meredith has attended the Summer Institute in Florence, Italy through the Pratt Institute and has been awarded the Ansel Adams intern at the Center for Creative Photography of the University of Arizona. Meredith attended the 2007 ARLIS/NA annual conference.

Angelica Moyes Lopez
used the award to attend the ARLIS/NA conference in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Angelica is a Librarian at the Salt Lake City Public Library.

Jennifer Parker,
Art and Architecture Librarian at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Jennifer attended the chapter conference in Santa Fe.

Alessia Zanin-Yost
, Montana State University, Bozeman. Alessia attended the chapter conference in Denver.