Conference Experiences: Vaughan Hennen

It is hard to comprehend how much I have learned in the past months about music librarianship and art librarianship.  From March 2-5 2016, I attended the Music Librarian Association conference in Cincinnati, Ohio and from the 8th to the 12th I attended the joint ARLIS/VRA conference in Seattle, Washington.
Both conferences exposed me to many different areas of librarianship and helped me connect with both students and professionals.  The conferences reignited my passion for librarianship and gave me tons of new ideas for outreach and programming.

It was evident that the attendees of both conferences are advocates and defenders of the “common good” in libraries and society.

Music Library Association (MLA) Conference – Cincinnati, OH – March 2016

The MLA conference taught me a lot about networking and what other schools are doing to promote access to their unique and diverse collections.  The association is trying to become more “diverse” – there were great open discussions about what “diversity” means and how to create and foster a “diverse” library. The discussions in the committee meetings and round tables were enlightening and made me realize the profound amount of respect many librarians have for their counterparts.

Through the great musicianship of the performers at the conference, I found a spark to begin playing cello on a regular basis again.  It was great being in a group of people who are passionate about music scholarship, stewardship, and performance.  I never realized that MLA had so many wonderful musicians in its ranks!

My mentor for the conference was Leslie Anderson. She is a hoot, to say the least!  It was nice to see a familiar face after meeting dozens of strangers and nodding and smiling all of the time.  At times, I want to be like April Ludgate (Parks and Recreation) and run away from the onslaught of people.

I attended so many enlightening sessions!  Three of my favorites during the conference were:

  • “Teaching Performance Based Research Skills: Students Reflections and Experiences” by Kristina Shanton from Ithaca College.
  • “Soulful Sounds of Southwestern Ohio: From King Records to Dayton Funk” — Sponsor: Black Music Collections Round Table and speakers that included: Scott Brown (UCLA), David N. Lewis (WVXU Cincinnati), Brian Powers (Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County)
    • The attendees of this session had the privilege of hearing Otis Williams, the lead singer of The Charms and Philip Paul, a King Record session drummer.
      • Philip Paul was just notified that he will be entering the Jazz hall of fame this year
  • “Digital Curation with OMEKA” led by Anna Kijas (Boston College).

The Digital Curation and Research Skills lectures were especially helpful, as I would like to allow more music to be accessible to patrons.

I met several new student colleagues at MLA, who I will most likely be interacting and collaborating with for the rest of my professional career.  We had a great time getting to know each other’s backgrounds, home institution, and inspiration for pursuing music librarianship.  It was also really fun to get to know the music librarians who I have seen through list-servs and periodical articles.

While at MLA, the Contemporary Art Center had an exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe titled “After The Moment: Reflections on Robert Mapplethorpe”.  This amazing exhibition celebrated the 25th anniversary of the CAC’s exhibition of Mapplethorpe’s The Perfect Moment.  The show featured responses to CAC’s hosting of The Perfect Moment, both for and against — many of the responses against were very intense and showed the ripe chord that this show struck with many conservatives in the area.

Do Ho Suh was also being exhibited at CAC – his works are seen below – they had huge structures made of translucent materials!

Check out CAC’s web archive of every exhibition that has been at the Center since 1939!!

Pictures of the CAC’s exhibition of Do Ho Suh

The CAC had a great outreach and program to get patrons into the museum!  –Drink and Draw, where people can come, purchase drinks and draw!  This is a great idea for a library – maybe we could replace the alcohol with a themed drink like a V8 or smoothies.

 

Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and Visual Resources Association (VRA) Joint Conference Seattle, WA – March 2016

The ARLIS/VRA was an amazing experience and made me happy that I am taking myself out of my comfort zone to learn about art and art librarianship.  There are so many facets of art librarianship and visual resources that it is sometimes overwhelming for an art novice.

ARLIS exposed me to a group of amazing individuals who are greatly invested in making materials more accessible and better utilized.

The Graphic Novel Special Interest Group (SIG), GLBTQ SIG, and Fashion, Textile, and Costumes SIG were AMAZING!  The SIG meetings allowed me to meet people who share my interests and discuss issues that we both care about.  My friend and colleague, Andrew Wang, presented at the Graphic Novel SIG and presented a poster about Zine cataloging!  He is a great role model for art librarianship students!

The GLBTQ Special Interest Group presentation allowed attendees to learn about the great programs that center around GLBTQ issues in Seattle.  The presenters included representatives from Gay City, Seattle Public Library, University of Portland Archive.

Fashion has always been fascinating to me – when I was a kid I wanted to be a fashion designer!  This was the first time that I got to discuss with scholars in the field and learn more about the textile facet of art librarianship.  Coming from a music background, all of this stuff is VERY new.

Here are some pictures of the closing reception at the Seattle Public Library.  Plus some fun pictures of Kendra Werst, Andrew Wang, and I.

Future Thinking

I believe it would be beneficial and very eye-opening if VRA and MLA did a joint conference.  Imagine the great ideas that could be fostered with musicians and artists in the same room!  Music librarians are madly trying to digitize musical scores to promote access and preserve the physical artifact.  Visual Resource librarians could help greatly with this process as they have great expertise in digitizing high-quality images.  In many cases when a score is digitized, it is not scanned at a high level and the beautiful cover is not included with the scan.

The Visual Resources librarians can greatly help to link artists to the cover art of scores or albums.

Advertisements

St. Louis Trip!

IMG_5052

Let me preface this blog post by saying that I was not expecting St. Louis to be as cool as it was!  In the past, I have driven through St. Louis many times while on family road trips or going back to Bloomington when coming back from Texas, but we never stopped in to view the crazy cool city!!

The morning began like any normal morning,  I picked up everyone who was riding in my car, got some much-needed coffee, and we were off!  While on the road, we had a good vent session about our classes and program.

On the way, we stopped in Pocahontas, Illinois for a stretch and potty break.  I was sure to get some lower leg stretches in, as I am 6 foot 3 and it gets fairly cramped in my 2005 Toyota Corolla.

My first glimpse of St. Louis was the arch, peeking out above a hill.  I exclaimed to the car, “There is the Arch!  We are here!”

We had lunch at a Schlafly Brewery, ordered a table for 6, but realized that the other car in our caravan was at a different brewery location!  Rachel Schend and I shared the Huevos Rancheros (H-OOO-EVOS) – one of the people in our group did not know how to pronounce Huevos or what they are – and the crab cake eggs benedict.  The eggs benedict was AMAZING, but I was SUPER happy with the Huevos Rancheros.

While driving to Washington University in St. Louis, I noticed how gorgeous St. Louis is.  The day was completely clear, sunny, and in the upper 60s.  The area surrounding Washington University in St. Louis reminded me of the area around Rice University in Houston, TX.  The architecture of the campus buildings and the enormous houses near the school scream Houston.

The Kranzburg Art and Architecture Library was delightful!  They had a great concept of passing out a sticker with the library resources site on it, a button of an image from ARTstor or another database.

FullSizeRender

 

 

After meeting with Jennifer Akins and Rina Vecchiola, we viewed the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.  While looking at a very interesting installation of videos, my brain gave me notice that it was time for some coffee.

imgres

Post coffee, the St. Louis adventure continued at the Arboretum. This featured many acres of beautifully manicured plants, succulents, and a variety of buildings that were temperature controlled to allow for the growing of unique plants.  I believe that the most beautiful areas were the arid cactus and succulent building, the Japanese garden, and the land around the house – pictured below.

After the Arboretum, we checked into our AirBNB (my first experience) – it was great!

We had dinner at The Block — their mushroom soup and meatball pizza was SO yummy!!!  After, we went had a few drinks at the City Museum.  We climbed around and had a great time sliding down the huge slide – WEEEE!!

Kendra then led us to Steve’s Hotdogs in Tower Grove… MANNNN was this place delishhhh!

The St. Louis Art Museum was GORGEOUS!  I never expected the building to be so majestic!  It reminds me slightly of the cathedrals in Rome.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After we left the St. Louis Art Museum, we were off to Bloomington!

We hit some traffic on the way back, which made me late to my shift at the Fine Arts Library.

All in all, it was a great trip!

-Vaughan Hennen