Departing Chair’s Message

Wow! Two years has flown by. This month marks the end of my term as chair of the Arts Section and this is my last Chair’s message to you. It has been a honor and a pleasure being Chair of the Arts Section. While there was a learning curve for me at first (which ACRL Liaison Megan Griffin and the Executive Committee helped me with), I think we have made great progress as a section. We’ve updated our mission and orientation manual, and developed core organizational values and strategic directions. Earlier this Spring, the Strategic Planning Committee and the Membership Committee sent out a survey to the membership. 729 personal invitations were sent to members, in addition to posting the survey to the listserv and social media. We received 253 responses. Thank you everyone who took the survey. We heard you! The Strategic Planning and the Membership  and Outreach Committees did great work reviewing the results and developing recommendations for the Executive Committee. After much discussion, we would like to immediately implement the following four initiatives over the next couple months:

  • Create an Education Committee
  • Expand the scope of the Membership and Outreach Committee’s charge to include diversifying our membership
  • Provide more support for librarians working with the performing arts liaisons
  • Utilize the listserv more

Since these initiatives will be carried out mostly by the new Chair Jennifer Cox, you will see emails on the listserv and social media, and mentions in virtual meetings to recruit for new positions and updates on implementation from her. If you are interested in joining the Education Committee or helping out with any of these initiatives, please email Jennifer at: As apart of my duties as past chair, I will work with the Strategic Planning and Membership Committees on developing a report to post publicly to our website this year.   

ALA Annual is upon us. and for those of you attending don’t forget there are Arts Section meetings and sessions. If you are hanging out in Chicago and want to see some art, check out the Chicago ArtsGuide developed by the co-editors Melanie Emerson & Alessia Zanin-Yost of the Publications and Research Committee. Share your photos of the arts/performances you attend via our Facebook page or tweet about it using the #ArtsSection hashtag.

For those that can not attend the conference, the we look forward to updating you on the hard work the committees are doing at the Virtual All Committee Meeting this Wednesday, June 21 at 9am PDT/ 11 am CDT/ 12pm EDT. Join us here:

If you will be at Annual, don’t miss the following Arts Section meetings on Saturday, June 24.

Executive Committee Meeting
Location: Hilton Hotel, Conference room 4E
ACRL/Arts & LES Forum: Exploring Chicago Architecture through Art, Literature, & History
Location: Hilton Hotel, Stevens Center, Salon A-5 
3:30 - 4:30pm
Publications and Research Committee Forum
Location: Hilton Hotel, Conference room 4E

Image credit: CC0 Public Domain

 I‘d like to thank everyone I’ve worked with in the Arts Section. We are a volunteer organization and without your hard work this section would not exist. Thank you to the outgoing Webmaster Shannon Robinson. She did phenomenal work on the website and was instrumental in redesigning the current website and blog, both of which are easy to navigate. She also developed the member’s publications section, so we can all stay on top of the great work other section members are doing. Thank you to Sandy Gekosky the outgoing Public Relations Officer. She has done stunning work involving restarting the section blog after years of inactivity, along with starting Facebook and Twitter up again. She also developed content for all the platforms includes the Member’s Spotlight. To all the committee chairs Mallory Sajewski, Marty Miller, Ariel K. Turner, Shannon Robinson, and Sara Harrington and committee members you have done a tremendous job and set the tone for future committees. Thank you so much for all your hard work.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Executive Committee for your patience, support, and availability. We probably met more times than you expected to, but we have accomplished a lot together. I am looking forward to seeing Jennifer continue to lead the Arts Section as well as see new members join the section and new committee members grow into their positions. The Arts Section was there for me when I was a budding academic Art Librarian and hope it can be there for other members in more ways than one. I hope everyone traveling to ALA annual have safe and uneventful travels.       


Kai Alexis Smith


Congrats to our new Executive Committee members

Congratulations to Yvette Cortes the Arts Section’s incoming Vice-Chair/ Chair-Elect and Mallory Sajewski the incoming Secretary.

Yvette Cortes is the Fine Arts Librarian at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York. She will serve one year as vice chair, one year as chair and one year as past chair between 2017 and 2020. Yvette’s shared her vision as incoming Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect of the Arts Section. “I plan to use strategic directions and core values to guide my leadership, especially regarding membership. I’m intent on finding new ways to recruit additional members and engage existing members in the activities of the Arts Section through promotion and outreach. I also aim to foster more collaborations with other organizations focused on the arts and arts librarianship.”

Contact Yvette at


Mallory Sajewski is the Music Librarian and Assistant Professor at Western Illinois University. She will serve a two year term as Secretary and concurrently a second two year term as the chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. You can reach her at


Please welcome Mallory and Yvette warmly.