Summer 2012 Meeting Minutes

ARLIS/DC-MD-VA Chapter Meeting
National Audio-Visual Conservation Center
Packard Campus, Library of Congress, Culpeper, VA
August 3, 2012, 3:20 PM

Present: Sarah Osborne Bender (Chair, Phillips Coll), Erin Blake (Folger), Kate Cooper (USHMM), Charlotte DonVito (NGA), Megan Halsband (Secretary/Treasurer, LOC), Yuki Hibben (VCU), Alex Hodges (American Univ), Emily Hunter (Web Manager, Smithsonian), Allison Kelley (LOC), Jo-Ann Lawson, Roger Lawson (Content Editor, NGA), Kimberly Lesley (SAAM-NPG), Doug Litts (SAAM-NPG), Eden Orlove (Smithsonian), Anne Simmons (Past Chair, NGA), Heather Slania (NMWA), Arthur Soontornsaratool (MICA), Shalimar White (Vice-Chair, DO), Tony White (MICA), Julia Wisniewski (LOC), Kathy Woodrell (LOC)

Connected via conference call: Marla DiVietro and Kristen Regina (Hillwood), Gregory Most (NGA)

Introductions. Sarah Osborne Bender called the meeting to order and asked members present to introduce themselves. She also thanked Kathy Woodrell and Shalimar White for their help with planning the chapter meeting at the LOC Packard Campus.

1. Approval of meeting minutes.

Minutes from the Spring 2012 chapter meeting held on March 31, 2012 at the ARLIS/NA Annual Conference in Toronto, CA were posted online on the chapter website. The minutes were approved.

2. Report from the Chair.

Sarah reported on a number of items related to the national society:

  • ARLIS/NA has renewed its contract with Technical Enterprises, Inc. (TEI), which provides association management services to the national society. Since the departure of the previous Association and Conference Manager shortly before the Toronto conference, TEI has assigned a replacement to ARLIS/NA, Guadalupe Rodriguez.
  • Rachel Resnick, Chair of the Mentoring sub-committee of the Professional Development committee, is seeking additional volunteers for the mentorship program. Sarah noted that many chapter members are mentors or mentees and encouraged others to participate.
  • Sarah Falls is leading an advisory committee to investigate the feasibility of virtual conferencing for the Pasadena conference and future ARLIS/NA meetings.

Sarah then turned to chapter-related news:

  • PayPal is being implemented on the chapter website to collect membership dues. Emily Hunter has added a PayPal button and created a new web form to replace the current PDF. Megan Halsband has submitted the necessary documentation and is awaiting approval from PayPal, which should come through shortly. It is hoped that the increased ease of use with online payments will encourage renewals and new memberships. Megan confirmed that members may continue to mail in checks if they prefer.
  • In April 2012, the ARLIS/NA International Relations Committee organized a study trip for German librarians to visit a number of institutions in New York and Washington, DC. The DC portion of the trip was coordinated by Kristen Regina and Shalimar White and included two social events to which chapter members were invited (at the homes of Kristen and Gregg Most).
  • Also in April 2012, Sarah organized an informal meet-up at the Hirshhorn Museum’s installation of SONG 1 by Doug Aitken. Sarah encouraged members to share other arts events on the chapter listserv and use these informal events to strengthen social relationships among chapter members.
  • Sarah praised the recent content posted to the chapter website. She encouraged members to contribute content and perhaps even urge interns working at their institutions to provide project updates through the website.

3. Treasurer’s Report.

Megan distributed a report detailing 2012 revenues, expenditures, and memberships. She highlighted the fact that several donations and additional memberships, particularly new student members, have come in since the last chapter meeting in March 2012. Megan also took note of the ongoing expenditures for website hosting and domain name registry, which are on staggered two-year cycles. Last year, renewals for the coming calendar year started in October. Megan is hopeful that this year’s renewals cycle will go more smoothly with online payments through PayPal.

4. Web and Communications Report.

Emily distributed a Google analytics report for the chapter website, which detailed traffic at a rate of 80-100 site visits per day. According to Emily’s analysis, most visitors tended to read the content articles and consult the member directory. Roger Lawson thanked all those who contributed such excellent content to the website. Sarah suggested that a digest version be compiled and sent to the ARLIS-L listserv, in lieu of a chapter newsletter. Emily also reported that there are 110 current subscribers to the chapter listserv. On average, they receive 2-3 new requests to subscribe per month, though some of these are from advertisers. Emily also tracks the error logs for email addresses that aren’t responsive. Roger noted his recent difficulties with posting to the listserv and reminded members that the L-Soft software does not support attachments. Emily reminded members that there is a chapter Flickr account, which is accessible through a button on the chapter website. She encouraged members to add their photos from chapter events to the Flickr pool so that they can be shared.

5. 2014 Conference Planning Committee Report.

The conference committee announced that they would conduct a planning meeting after the chapter meeting. Roger provided a brief summary of recent developments:

  • Based on the recommendation of committee, a hotel has been selected. It should be noted that the contract has not yet been signed.
  • The new Association and Conference Manager, Guadalupe Rodriguez, will be coming to DC for a site visit on August 22, 2012. She will meet with the conference committee and hotel representatives to negotiate the contract and concessions.
  • All planning documents are available chapter members through the PBworks wiki ( ).

6. Other Chapter Business.

Fall 2012 Meeting

Sarah solicited suggestions for a location for the next chapter meeting. Erin Blake from the Folger Shakespeare Library generously offered to host the meeting. Tony White also volunteered to host a future meeting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD. Sarah reminded chapter members to prepare to nominate colleagues for the open chapter officer positions: Vice-Chair and Secretary/Treasurer.  Descriptions for these roles may be found on the chapter website:

2013 Pasadena Conference

Gregg recently attended the CPAC meeting for the upcoming Pasadena conference and was able to preview the hotel and conference center. There will be a strong program, which may include new programming features such as “lightning rounds” with short 10 minute presentations, not necessarily related by theme. There has been some difficulty finding venues for special events for a group of this size, but the planning committee is continuing to investigate possibilities.

Chapter Meeting Adjourned.

2014 Conference Planning Meeting.

Roger called the meeting to order and distributed agendas to the group.

1. Conference Schedule

ARLIS/NA President, Deborah Kempe, suggested that the committee develop a survey to gauge the membership’s preference for the scheduling and duration of the core conference program (sessions, special events, business meetings, etc.), as well tours and workshops. To be considered are the effects on hotel contracts, availability of off-site event venues, and the number of out-of-office days for attendees. The committee will be circulating the survey on ARLIS-L and expect that the information gathered will be useful to the Executive Board and future conference planning committees.

2. Hotel Contract

Last October, the committee conducted several site visits to hotels in the area. In their evaluations, committee members placed a premium on factors such as accessibility of public transportation, meeting spaces, number of hotel rooms, etc., before narrowing it down to a short-list of 5 options. ARLIS/NA HQ circulated an RFP for dates and concessions, which further narrowed the list to 3 options. Of these, the committee recommended a large, well-known hotel with a prime downtown location near museums, restaurants, and the Metro. Gregg remarked that surveys from previous conferences have indicated that attendees highly value the accessibility of public transportation, which makes the recommended hotel an ideal choice.

While a room rate ($219, plus free wireless) and basic terms have been determined, other concessions have not yet been negotiated (e.g. staff rooms, complimentary rooms, rebates, upgrades, room block cutoff dates, relocation clauses for overflow, early/late checkout fees, etc.). The contract will be finalized as part of the site visit on August 22nd. Roger noted that for conferences, hotels typically require a food and beverage minimum and the recommended hotel’s falls in line with the precedent set by hotels used for previous ARLIS/NA conferences. Members congratulated the committee on the selection. Roger stated that since the hotel contract was not yet finalized, the planning committee would wait until after the August 22nd site visit before sending a chapter-wide announcement of the conference venue.

3. Graphic Identity Plan

The theme sub-committee formed during the March 2012 chapter meeting (Anna Simon, Lee Bagby Viverette, Julia Wisniewski) surveyed the chapter membership in May 2012. The consensus was not to have a theme per se, but to create a graphic identity based on the place and year – “DC MMXIV. “The sub-committee recommended hosting a competition for local art school students and offering a cash prize or gift certificate to an art supply store. Tony White has spoken to the head of the Graphic Art department at MICA, who is interested and asked him to send additional information about the criteria. Yuki suggested that the competition be expanded to include other area art schools, such as the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Virginia Commonwealth University. There was much discussion about how the competition should be structured. Sarah and Emily volunteered to oversee the competition, since it may be complicated to coordinate submissions and judging. Tony observed that since there was a similar competition to design the logo for the 2009 Indianapolis conference, he could ask B.J. Irvine and Eileen Fry to share the criteria they used. Gregg commented that for the 2013 Pasadena conference, the graphic identity was designed by the husband of a chapter member, which might be another option in addition to the competition. He also recommended that whoever is appointed as Publicity Coordinator should reach out to their Pasadena counterpart to confirm whether the design work was undertaken gratis or for a nominal fee.

Members discussed the timing for the competition, given the need to produce give-aways for the Pasadena conference. Tony suggested that the committee spend the month of August to investigate the feasibility of the competition. Sarah agreed and recommended that this time should also be used to approach representatives from the local art schools. However, if the scheme is not workable, the committee can open it up to volunteers among chapter members, their spouses or friends, to the general ARLIS-L listserv, or an outside contractor. Gregg confirmed that whatever graphic identity is chosen by the chapter membership, the Executive Board merely reviews the work, but their approval is not necessary to move forward.

4. Call for Funding

Turning to the topic of give-aways for the Pasadena conference, Anne Simmons reported that requests for additional funding from ARLIS/NA are due on September 1st. Sarah agreed to work with Anne and Kathy to submit the form, most likely for a request of $500. Anne circulated examples of buttons, which could be designed like campaign buttons and reflect DC’s political character.

5. Tours Brainstorming

Roger reported that conference evaluations from Toronto were overwhelming positive with regard to the tours. He recommended that tours focus on the unique places associated within the area. Heather Slania, Tours Coordinator, has created a Google doc to collect suggestions. She encouraged members edit the list or email any suggestions or additional information about venues to her.  Some suggestions were offered by members present, including: architecture, monuments in the evening, artist studios, LOC at Culpeper, Charlottesville, Mount Vernon, Pyramid Atlantic or other hands-on workshops, and tours combined with exhibitions or presentations at area institutions. Kathy suggested that for tours not organized as part of the conference, the committee could prepare a list of suggestions for attendees. Gregg also noted that tours should have a small profit built into the registration fee, since they do not always fill up.

6. Site Visit

Roger summarized the schedule for the August 22nd site visit with Guadalupe Rodriguez:

12-1:30 – Planning meeting and lunch

2-4:30 – Hotel site visit

4:30-5:30 – Findings meeting

7. Action Items

Roger listed the action items to be completed by September 10th:

  • Circulate conference schedule preference survey (Conference Committee)
  • Review past conference survey evaluations (Conference Committee)
  • Fill committee vacancies (Conference Co-Chairs): Program Committee (3 positions), Workshop Coordinator, Exhibits Coordinator, Finance and Development Coordinator, Publicity Coordinator
  • Compile list of tour sites (Tours Coordinator)
  • Create priority list of event sites (Local Arrangement Co-Chairs): Welcome Party, First-time Attendees, Convocation, Convocation Reception, Society Circle, Fundraising, Leadership Breakfast, Membership Meeting, Membership Lunch

Megan suggested that the committee confirm whether events held in hotel restaurants contribute to the food/beverage minimum and whether it is possible to book an entire restaurant for one of the special events.

Conference Planning Meeting Adjourned.

Sarah closed the meeting by sharing an excerpt from an ARLIS/NA newsletter that reported on the 1975 conference in DC, which mentioned buttons worn by local chapter members saying “You Gotta Have Art.”