St. Louis Trip!


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.




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.


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.

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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



This past Friday, SALS members attended the Midwestern Art Cataloging Discussion Group meeting at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The MACDG is a loosely organized group of librarians who meet at least once a year. Anyone interested in art and architecture or visual resources cataloging is welcome to attend. For more information or to add you name to the group’s mailing list please contact the current chair, Karen Stafford, at

Kendra Werst, Andrew Wang and Julia Kilgore, left at 4 am to catch a 6:30 am Greyhound bus from Indianapolis to Chicago. We arrived in Chicago at 9:30 am which was perfect timing for the 10:30 am start time of the meeting.

The meeting had two guest speakers: Sarah Guernsey, Executive Director of Publishing at the Art Institute of Chicago and Gary Strawn, Authorities Librarian from Northwestern Univeristy’s Library.

Sarah presented on the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI). Here is a Getty article about OSCI if you are unfamiliar. We highly suggest checking out the Chicago Art Institute’s Scholarly Catalogs. Each digital catalogue contains in-depth curatorial and conservation research on the museum’s collection, including high-resolution, zoomable images and other interactive elements. Gary spoke about preparing data for migration to a new ILS.  The agenda items that followed were checking out the new MACDG website, finding a volunteer to host the next meeting, reports of what was happening at attendees libraries and general questions for the group. Jasmine Burns and the Society of Art Librarianship Students volunteered to have the next meeting at IU Bloomington. When we broke for broke lunch we introduced ourselves to a few people who were also in attendance, a couple of them being students.

During our lunch break, Julia, Andrew, our new friends, and Kendra stopped by the Chicago Public Library. We were interested in the Maker Lab  but wound–up getting an impromptu tour of the YOUmedia Library, an innovative, 21st-century teen digital learning space at 11 Chicago Public Library locations.

With an emphasis on digital media and the maker movement, teens engage in projects across a variety of core content areas including graphic design, photography, video, music, 2D/3D design, STEM and hands-on making. YOUmedia connects young adults, books, media, mentors and institutions throughout Chicago in dynamic spaces designed to inspire collaboration and creativity.

The YOUmedia space was incredible!!! If I were a teen I would be there every day after school! Eric, our lovely tour guide, told us that Chance the Rapper is an alumnus of the YOUmedia program. And he often comes back to perform for the teens, Chance the Rapper loves the Chicago Public Library.

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After lunch, we met back the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries to hear from Doug LittsAutumn Mathers, and Nathaniel Parks about some highlights from the collection and the digital collection.  My favorite work that was placed on display for us was Marel Duchamp’s published Rotoreliefs, a set of 6 double sided discs meant to be spun on a turntable at 40-60 rpm. You can see a video example here.

After viewing the collection that was pulled for the MACDG, we met outside the library for a tour of Dionysis Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints. This was led by Jeff Nigro, the Research Associate for Ancient and Byzantine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago.

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Overall, we had an amazing time and the presentations were very informative on their corresponding topics! We will be hosting the next meeting that will be at IU!