Cheryl Stevens’s highlights from the ARLIS/ANZ Conference 2012


Recently Cheryl Stevens, Academic Services Librarian with SIR, attended the ARLIS/ANZ (Arts Libraries Society/Australia and New Zealand) Conference in Melbourne. The conference was entitled ‘Collaborations: artists, scholars and libraries in a research ecosystem’. It was a small conference with 68 delegates from Australia, 7 from New Zealand and 2 from the USA. The professional program was held in the National Gallery of Victoria auditorium.

Cheryl shared some of her highlights of the conference with me:

The Keynote Speaker, Associate Professor Robert Nelson from Monash University, spoke about the ‘rigour of scholarship’ and how nowadays ‘rigour’ is seen in opposition to the creative method. I wonder whether the arts and humanities academics at Griffith think that bibliographic rigour enhances or inhibits artistic rigour?

The READ (pronounced ‘red’) project – as libraries move from the physical print to the digital format, there is a resurgence in library spaces. The artist Brigita Ozolins has merged towers of discarded bound print journals and the colour ‘red’ to create contemplative spaces in the Carrington Smith Art Library.    

Librarian colleague Alice Steiner talked about the new research services and the research-specific library roles that have been created this year at QUT. I was particularly interested in AIRS (Advanced Information Research Skills), which is a compulsory, online and/or face-to-face tutorial for all Honours to PhD students at QUT. I am keen to follow-up on the implementation of this tutorial in 2013 as, according to Alice, it is being offered outside of QUT.

Joshua Wheeler, Director of MGS Architects, also agreed that library spaces are changing. His architectural firm is working on new development plans for the Bendigo Public Library and the Caulfield University Library, which involve reaching out to the broader community. The Bendigo proposal includes a new internal street running through the library spaces.

In 2011 Museum Victoria was involved in the Google Art Project. I was extremely interested in the complex collaboration (centred around copyright, rights management, reproduction, research and data management) that was required for this group effort to deal with 180-200 objects/artworks from Museum Victoria.   You can view the MV collection on the Google Art Project at:

ARLIS/ANZ was a great conference to attend because the mixture of formal presentations and visits to institutions and exhibitions as part of the program was so interesting, and it’s great networking tool for (predominantly) art librarians.


Cheryl has disseminated her full report (which includes a few select photos) within Griffith, and externally (e.g. ARLIS Qld members). For more information on the conference, or if you would like to read Cheryl’s full report, please contact her:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s