2012 Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect Candidates

Below you will find statements from our candidates for 2012 Vice-Chair/ Chair-Elect. We have three candidates this year: Marla DiVietro, Heather Slania, and Shalimar Fojas White. Ballots will be sent out via the Chapter  list-serv. If you are a member, and are not on the list-serv, please subscribe or email a-simmons@nga.gov.


Anne Simmons

Chair, ARLIS/D.C.-Md.-Va.

2012 Vice-Chair / Chair-Elect Candidates:

Marla DiVietro

Hi Everyone! I’m excited to be running for Vice-chair.
I graduated from the University of Virginia in 2005 with a degree in Art History.
I am currently finishing up my last year at Catholic University’s Library Science program and work at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens in the library and as Visual Resources Associate.
I am looking forward to getting to know everyone in our local chapter better.


Heather Slania

I am pleased to accept the nomination for Vice Chair of ARLIS/DMV. Attending my first ARLIS/NA conference in 2010 was an inspiring experience. At last I found my home in librarianship and vowed I would find ways to help our profession successfully navigate the future. As Vice Chair of ARLIS/DMV, I would assist our membership as we move forward. For the benefit of chapter members in making their decision during this election, I have outlined my experience and vision.

I began my career in libraries and art 15 years ago at Northwestern University, as a studio art major working in the library’s Conservation Lab. Since then I have worked at a paraprofessional level in almost every library department. I received my MLS in 2007 at the University of Maryland with an Archives concentration. For the past five years I have worked as a librarian at both University of Maryland and Georgetown performing original cataloging, reference, instruction, Special Collections, and art bibliography. In April 2011 I became the Director of the Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts where I am using every skill I’ve learned, and learning new skills, to revitalize a once shuttered art library.

With my new position as Director I crafted a vision for my library and am working to make it into a reality. I can help do that for ARLIS/DMV. My ideas for our chapter are built on conversations I’ve had with many ARLIS/DMV members over the last two years. ARLIS/DMV should set an example for excellence by engaging in issues of both local and national importance. We are helped in this endeavor by the exceptional librarians in our area, two library schools, and our location close to the seat of the United States government.

ARLIS/DMV should be a leader amongst the regional divisions of ARLIS/NA in three ways:

1. Provide professional development opportunities for our members

2. Contribute towards the national dialogue on issues facing art librarianship

3. Sponsor outreach and mentorship opportunities for library school students

First, in addition to providing networking, our meetings should offer significant professional development through workshops and lectures on topics requested by members. These learning opportunities should encourage more people to join as members and boost meeting attendance. Also, we should create more such opportunities outside of our meetings. Secondly, hosting the 2014 ARLIS/NA conference will showcase the excellent work that our chapter does as well as provide a uniquely political location for conversations concerning art librarianship in the 21stcentury. While we are busy preparing for the conference, our chapter should engage with emerging challenges and publish our thoughts and experiences with these issues to put us at the forefront of art librarianship. Finally, let us provide more mentorship opportunities for students interested in art libraries including resume workshops and field trips. Outreach programs can work to introduce the field of art librarianship to many student groups and help diversify our field.

Thank you for the nomination and good luck to all those nominated.


Shalimar Fojas White

It would be an honor to be considered as a candidate for Vice-Chair of the ARLIS/DC-MD-VA chapter in 2012. I have been a member of the local chapter for 5 years and a member of the national organization for 7 years. While I was a student at the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Science, I received the Celine Palatsky Travel Award from the ARLIS/NY chapter, which allowed me to attend the 2004 ARLIS/NA conference in New York. This support provided me with my first introduction to art librarians as a group, a formative experience that led me to this profession. As I noted in my conference report: “Being a first-time ARLIS/NA attendee was rather like going to a foreign country, being temporarily bewildered by the language and customs of the inhabitants, and then… discovering that it feels a lot like home. As the name of the professional organization suggests, art librarians speak a unique language made up of many acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations. They use these terms with great facility, but are not reluctant to explain their expansions to uninitiated students like myself. All in all, the conference was a very positive experience, reinforcing my desire to enter a profession filled with such passionate and welcoming practitioners.” So, from the very beginning of my career as a librarian, ARLIS/NA and my local chapter played a vital role in inspiring, supporting, and encouraging my professional development. For this, I am deeply grateful and thus very eager to contribute to our local chapter and the society as a whole.

After completing my M.S. in Library and Information Science at Pratt Institute, I joined the ARTstor Digital Library, first as a Public Services Librarian and then as a Collection Development Manager. During much of this time, I was commuting between New York and Washington, D.C. and endeavored to be as active as possible in both chapters and the national organization. In the past, I have served as chair of the ARLIS/NA Membership committee (2008-2010) and as a member of the Gerd Muehsam Award committee (2008-2011). Currently, I am serving as a member of the International Relations committee and just joined the Research and Travel Awards sub-committees. Last year, I left ARTstor to assume the role of Manager of the Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives at the Dumbarton Oaks Research Library and Collection. Now that I am in DC full-time, I would like to become more active in the local chapter and contribute to the planning for the 42nd annual ARLIS/NA conference in 2014. Having been introduced to the profession through such a positive conference experience, I am excited about the opportunity to draw new professionals to the field by showcasing the passion, knowledge, and expertise of its current practitioners in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area.

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