Seattle 2016: Conference programs for new professionals

New to ARLIS/NA or VRA?  First time at the conference?

glasses on table
Kilgub “new glasses, same old bad eyes” , (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Make the most of opportunities to meet people, learn more about professional issues, solutions and emerging practices, and have a great time doing it.

The following sessions, workshops and social events are recommended for new art information professionals and those who want to emulate them.

  1. ArLiSNAP and VREPS Career Development Workshop 
    Discussions, demonstrations and brainstorming to help you take the next steps to building your career.
  2. ARLIS/NA Career Mentoring Program Workshop
    The catalyst for the year-long mentoring program, pairing emerging and established leaders in the art library community.
  3. New Voices in the Profession
    A glimpse of academic interests and current discourses through research presented by those newest to art librarianship or visual resources.
  4. First time attendees and new members reception
    Your chance to discuss the future with VRA and ARLIS/NA leaders.
  5. Duty Now for the Future: Connecting Libraries, Library Schools, and New Librarians through Internships
    This panel interrogates the role of internships in libraries today.
  6. Poster sessions:  40 chances to talk to someone about about a project or service that they’re passionate about.
  7. Most interest group, committee or section meetings  are open to interested members.  Drop in and learn how to make an impact in your professional association.

Featuring Seattle: Local beer

People in Seattle love beer made locally. Beer has been a part of Seattle’s culture since the mid 19th century. Craft breweries now number nearly 50 within the Seattle city limits alone. The most popular craft brew type tends to be the hoppy India Pale Ale (commonly known as the IPA), which is not surprising as Washington State is the second largest hop-growing region in the world. Nonetheless, many other varieties and styles abound, with a great many being award winners.

Some ways to familiarize yourself with beer in Seattle:

  1. Pubs and Bars with lots of local taps — the Taphouse Grill Seattle offers 160 beers on tap; The Yardhouse offers “hundreds” of beers on tap.
  2. Brewery toursRoad Dog Tours will take you to three breweries in three hours; Seattle by Foot will take you to four pubs in three hours.    TIP:   Make reservations sooner than later.
  3. Find a brewery and try a “flight” — A flight is a number of small glasses (usually 6-8), each holding a sample of a different beer. Breweries love to do this and can offer all sorts of suggestions about choice. Typically, beers are arranged from lightest to the heaviest/darkest and equal about two pints in total.   TIP:   Many breweries have “tasting rooms,” rather than bars. These are open limited hours and may have food trucks or a limited food selection.
    flight of beer Seattle craft beer
    Brian Ochalla <> (CC BY-SA 2.0)


    More options….

  • Are you gluten free? No problem! Ghost Fish Brewery is becoming legendary for its gluten-free brewing
  • Seattle Eater: The 13 Best Seattle Breweries: This site has a nice GIS component and I heartedly agree with the results.
  • Seattle Beer Map: I don’t know who created The Beer Mapping Project, but I bet s/he has some librarian DNA.
  • SeattleMet: The New Guide to Washington Beer: “What’s new, what’s next, and why lager doesn’t really suck.”
  • Had enough hoppy craft beer and just want a good, old fashioned macrobrew? Ask for a Rainier on draft, in the bottle, or a tall can. This affordable regional lager was brewed for over a century in town and is named after the glorious mountain peak southeast of Seattle.  Though they make it in California now, its red neon ‘R’ still graces the top of the former brewery south of downtown, and it is a widely available cheap option at many bars and restaurants.
    Thomas Hawk (CC BY-NC 2.0)
    Thomas Hawk <> (CC BY-NC 2.0)

    Josh Polansky,  Joint Conference Co-Chair Seattle 2016, and Traci Timmons,  Local arrangements team


Featuring Seattle: Live music

Seattle will probably always be best known for the grunge scene that began in the 1980s and gained national and international attention in the 1990s with bands like Pearl Jam and Nirvana. Since then, the music scene here has only blossomed, producing such acts as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Death Cab for Cutie, Brandi Carlile, The Head and the Heart, THEESatisfaction, and Odesza, among many others. Importantly, independent record labels like Sub Pop, Barsuk Records, and Tooth & Nail continue to push the boundaries of the Seattle music scene. There’s so much good music!

Elysian's beer tribute to the Sub pop t-shirt and attitude. Sam Cavenagh (CC BY 2.0)
Elysian’s beer tribute to the old Sub pop t-shirt and attitude. Sam Cavenagh
<> (CC BY 2.0)

And if you want to get ready for Seattle music at your desk, just tune to world-famous listener-supported KEXP online and on the air at 90.3 FM when you’re in town. People may already be listeners or have read this recent article in the New York Times.

Sam Cavenagh (CC BY 2.0) /21367121909
Scuttlebutt’s beer tribute to KEXP.   Sam Cavenagh <> (CC BY 2.0) /21367121909

If you want to see a show when you’re in town, we have tons of music venues where you can find something nearly any night of the week. Here are some places to find out what’s happening:

Want to know more about the current music scene? Check out this documentary: Something in the Water.

TIP:   The Triple Door, the Paramount, and the Moore Theatre typically have shows that end at a decent hour.

TIP:   Want to see something at the Neptune in the U District, the Tractor Tavern or Sunset Tavern in Ballard? No problem! Buses run between both neighborhoods from within a few blocks of the Westin.

TIP:   As you get set to enjoy the nightlife, you should know that music venues and bars (and all other public businesses) in Washington State are tobacco-smoke free as of 2005. And though marijuana sales (at regulated stores) and personal possession have been legal for those 21 and over since 2012, it’s still illegal to use pot in public, despite what your nose may detect as you walk the streets.

Josh Polansky,  Joint Conference Co-Chair Seattle 2016, and Traci Timmons, Local arrangements team


Silent Auction AKA the Super Market

Greetings ARLIS/NA and VRA Members. Conference sessions are interesting and all, but we know you’re really thinking about what kinds of goodies to bid on at the Silent Auction this year!

The 3rd Joint Conference of ARLIS/NA and VRA will mark the exciting launch of the expanded Super Market: Curated and Crafted, combining familiar and innovative opportunities to bid on and purchase donated items.

An onsite silent auction in the exhibit hall continues a conference tradition with in-person bidding for items from a variety of sponsors, local Chapters, and generous members (Curated!).  And for the first time, online buying will be possible at a special site featuring the handmade work of ARLIS/NA & VRA makers (Crafted!).

You don’t need to attend the conference to join in the buying frenzy! The Etsy site will be open 24/7 and items ship directly to you.

So start gathering your goods and crafting your wares, donation forms will go live just after the holidays.

Questions in the meantime? Contact Dayna Holz (

As in the past, the proceeds from any sales will be returned to ARLIS/NA and VRA to support travel awards, membership, professional development, and other special endeavors.

Thank you so much for all the support you give to your professional organization.

The Silent Auction Committee:
Dayna Holz
Traci Timmons
Cindy Abel Morris

Seattle 2016: Calling all volunteers!

Volunteers needed

The Joint Conference planning committee needs volunteers to assist with a variety of conference activities, such as:

  • Conference Bag Stuffing
  • Registration & Hospitality Desk
  • Guide attendees to Welcome Party & Convocation
  • Shepherd tours, along with the tour guide
  • Silent Auction set-up and wrap up

If you are interested and plan to be in Seattle, March 7-12, 2016, use the Volunteer Form to volunteer for the events of your choice. You will be contacted by the conference volunteer coordinators to confirm details, in due course.

If you have any question, please contact one of the coordinators below:
Suzanne Rackover (ARLIS/NA,
Tad Suzuki (ARLIS/NA,
Jasmine Burns (VRA,

Thank you for your consideration.


Seattle 2016: The Conference Co-chairs Speak!

As the co-chairs of the ARLIS/NA + VRA 3rd Joint Conference in Seattle, we look forward to welcoming you here in March 2016. Our committee based in the Pacific Northwest has worked hard to offer you an outstanding experience, both at the Westin and around the Puget Sound.

We have organized a variety of tours that will let you engage with Seattle and its region, making natural connections among art, architecture, urban life, and the green landscape. The local team has also developed an ever-growing set of online resources about Seattle, designed to help you confidently explore on your own or with friends. Don’t miss the About Seattle  section of the conference website as you plan your visit.

In the coming weeks, you’ll be hearing much more about Seattle from our joint conference publicity team. Topics will include help on using our public transportation system to reach the airport, enjoying local favorites like fresh seafood and craft beer, suggestions for day trips in the region, and how to dress for success in a downpour.

But, first things first: REGISTER! It’s already December 3rd! What are you waiting for?

Don’t just take our word for it; Perry Como thought you should come to Seattle, too.

Alan Michelson, Joint Conference Co-Chair, ARLIS/NA
Josh Polansky, Joint Conference Co-Chair, VRA

Seattle 2016: Register now for the ARLIS/NA + VRA 3rd Joint Conference, March 8-12

Seattle sunset
Howard Ignatius “The many faces of a Seattle sunset #2” <> (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Registration is now open for the 2016 ARLIS/NA-VRA Joint Conference in beautiful Seattle, WA!

In addition to inspirational speakers, information-packed sessions and terrific opportunities for making “Natural Connections” with colleagues and friends, old and new, the conference schedule allows you a free weekend at either end.

Come early, stay late and check out what Seattle has to offer!

Register here:

Check out the excellent programming at:

Mark your calendars for the important dates, conveniently located on the conference website homepage:

Stay in touch with developments on the Joint Conference blog:

And stay tuned for more in the coming weeks! See you in Seattle!

Stephanie Beene & Sylvia Roberts (joint conference publicity team)

Seattle 2016: ARLIS/NA + VRA Joint Conference registration is open!

On behalf of the ARLIS/NA and VRA Executive Boards, we are delighted to announce that registration is open for the 3rd joint ARLIS/NA + VRA conference (March 8-12, 2016, Seattle, WA).

Join us as we mark the 44th Annual Conference of ARLIS/NA and the 34th Annual Conference of VRA by exploring the affinities among art and visual information professionals through our conference theme, Natural Connections.

Seattle at night
Williamo! “Seattle” <> (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Meet and reconnect with colleagues from around the world, engage in discussion about key professional developments and enjoy the extraordinary natural and planned environments of Seattle, the Emerald City.

We are also pleased to welcome attendees of two affiliated events in Seattle: THATCamp digital humanities unconference (March 8) and the Association of Architecture School Librarians (AASL) annual meeting (March 11-13). As well as inviting these colleagues to the joint conference, we encourage ARLIS/NA + VRA members to consider extending their visits to include these meetings.

With the many Natural Connections created by this dynamic gathering of like-minded colleagues, thought provoking sessions, practical workshops, beautiful exhibits, festive social gatherings, and diverse cultural offerings, the stimulating Seattle conference will help us navigate the waters of our professional past and present, and guide our ascent as we rise together to meet the challenges of the future.

We look forward to seeing you in Seattle!

Elaine Paul                     Kristen Regina
President, VRA              President, ARLIS/NA