Archive for July, 2010

31
Jul
10

Leave Your Mark: community art and artist books

Note: portions of this post are duplicated at the ZSR Library Gazette.

On Thursday, July 29, my library was lucky to have two special visitors from the University of Portsmouth in the UK: art professors Claire Sambrook and Maureen O’Neill, creators of the Visual Libraries project. Claire and Maureen obtained a grant to visit Winston-Salem to check on the status of the Leave Your Mark project at Forsyth County Public Library that was inspired by Visual Libraries.

I originally read about Visual Libraries in a news email for libraries in 2009 while a librarian at FCPL and gathered a group of librarians to see if we could emulate the project in the US. When our fledgling project started, I contacted Claire, who was an enthusiastic supporter of our efforts. Fast-forward one year — FCPL has 36 Leave Your Mark books, Claire and Maureen are visiting Winston-Salem, and we are investigating the possibility of making Leave Your Mark into a collaborative project between FCPL and WFU!

Candace Brennan, a reference librarian at Central Library downtown, took over the project and has been promoting it widely in the community. She hosted our friends from Portsmouth, held two workshops at FCPL, and invited me to host a workshop which took place in the Rare Book reading room. Their and the project visit were featured in the Winston-Salem Journal.

Claire and Maureen demonstrated how their project started as a small idea and expanded into a community asset, incorporating faculty, students, and the community at large. They have over 230 blank art journals circulating in Portsmouth! Workshop participants were invited to add our own art to the FCPL and Portsmouth art journals in order to get a taste of the Visual Libraries/Leave Your Mark experience.

When the books are filled, they are treated as artists’ books and are added to the special collections area of the North Carolina Room at Central Library in downtown Winston-Salem. My library is interested in making this a collaborative effort, perhaps incorporating artist work into digital exhibits and traveling exhibits that highlight the work of local artists, art faculty and students, and the general public together.

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07
Jul
10

An archivist at ALA

Note: this post is duplicated at http://cloud.lib.wfu.edu/blog/pd/.

After completing my project as a 2009 Emerging Leader (updating the wiki and resources of the Joint Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums, also known as CALM) I was nominated to join the Emerging Leaders subcommittee, which is a big reason why I participated in ALA Annual 2010.

On Friday, June 25, I attended the 2010 Emerging Leader poster session, which included excellent reports from this year’s EL cohort. Final projects have been posted to ALAConnect. The 2010 EL group assigned to CALM created a podcast that included an interview with the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero. After the poster session, I joined the hush of librarians that waited patiently for the Exhibit Hall to open.

On Saturday, June 26, a session entitled “Developing a Sustainable Digitization Workflow” was canceled, so I wandered over to the professional poster sessions and discovered a relevant and interesting poster by Melanie Griffin and Barbara Lewis of the University of South Florida’s Special & Digital Collections department. Entitled “Transforming Special Collections: A (Lib) Guide to Innovation,” the poster detailed the department’s creative use of LibGuides to create special collections guides that unify digital objects and EAD into one interactive interface. Here is an example of a guide to graphic arts materials, with a specific collection tab selected. Their MARC (via Fedora) and EAD (via Archon) is displayed in LibGuide boxes using script created by their systems librarian. Perhaps the most interesting result of the experimental project is that statistics show higher hits to collections that were displayed as LibGuides. I am in touch with Melanie and Barbara, who continue their project and are working to create a new stylesheet for their EAD as well.

After lunch, I attended the Emerging Leaders summit, which was a discussion led by current and past Emerging Leaders to reflect on the process and experience of the EL program. I gathered feedback to bring to the EL subcommittee meeting. On Sunday, June 27, I participated in the EL subcommittee meeting (my first experience with ALA committee work). We discussed the EL mentor experience and project development, as well as assessment and managing expectations from both the EL and mentor/sponsor perspective.

After lunch with Atlas Systems regarding the Aeon archives management program, I attended the LITA Top Tech Trends forum. This was my first time at TTT, which Erik explores in greater detail in an earlier post. Cindi Trainor brought up a topic that I thought I would hear only at an archivists’ gathering: after declaring the end of the era of physical copy scarcity, she asked “what will the future scarce commodities be” in libraries. Of course, my ears heard “what will future special collections and archives be?” For the first time, I started thinking that as an archivist, I should be part of LITA.