Call for Participation: ARLIS/ANZ Annual Conference 2016: Persistence of the Real

Call for Participation: ARLIS/ANZ Annual Conference 2016: Persistence of the Real
 

The 2016 Art Libraries Society of Australia and New Zealand (ARLIS/ANZ) conference is to be held in Sydney on 30 November-3 December (welcome drinks the evening of Wednesday 30 November) with the theme being "The persistence of the real".
The conference addresses art librarians, artists, scholars, curators, critics, educators, students and other visual arts professionals.
Digital opportunities and challenges for art libraries have been a recurring theme at ARLIS/ANZ conferences over the last 20 years. Papers have been given on projects to convert valuable card files and indices to digital databases. We have reflected on the changing nature of library spaces and the impact of emerging technologies on their services. There have been a number of presentations on digital initiatives in preservation and on the wide variety of issues around putting collections online.

At the 2014 Arlis/ANZ conference in Auckland, however, there emerged a renewed interest in the physicality of art libraries, from their collections of books, periodicals, artists' books, ephemera and archives, to the physical space of libraries themselves and to the real people who staff them. Keynote speaker Courtney Johnston was enthusiastic about the new frontiers that the digital age has opened up, but she also acknowledged the many things unique to the physical object, which a digital surrogate could not provide.

It is proposed that we use the 2016 conference to take stock of the situation today. How has the digital environment in which we all operate changed and improved our services, our collections and their management, our work patterns etc. since 1996 when the ARLIS/ANZ conference was last held in Sydney? Have there been surprises? What are the disappointments?

What has been the impact of the digital on our profession? Are we better placed to assist our users? How do we understand and harness the technical skills needed in the rapidly changing digital world? Have digital technologies provided any concrete solutions to the preservation of our collections? What about the continuing issues of the stability of digital platforms, on the need to preserve outmoded devices, on migration paths? And what about the costs? Have digital technologies delivered on their promise of saving us time, skills and storage space? Many of us envisaged one large outlay at the start of our digitisation projects and then a simple and economical management of them into the future. Has this occurred?

Our digital world has not diminished the continuing appeal of the real object, or an appreciation for the serendipity of encounter with the world provided by the real object in contrast to the digitally specific. Art book fairs are drawing large crowds and there has been a proliferation of small publishing houses specialising in limited editions. In the world of reading, ebooks have not replaced paper ones, just as in the world of music vinyl and the cassette continue to have a future. Archives and their unique collections are proving themselves increasingly relevant to the popular imagination.

These are just some of the questions and themes which we believe our theme of 'The Persistence of the Real' could open up for our 2016 conference.

There are a number of ways you can share your ideas and expertise:
Present a paper (30 minutes)
Individuals or groups are invited to submit proposals for papers that expand on the conference theme in relation to the broad topics below:
• What has been the impact of the digital on our profession?
• Are we better placed to assist our users?
• How do we understand and harness the technical skills needed in the rapidly changing digital world?
• Have digital technologies provided any concrete solutions to the preservation of our collections?
• What about the continuing issues of the stability of digital platforms, on the need to preserve outmoded devices, on migration paths? And what about the costs?
• Have digital technologies delivered on their promise of saving us time, skills and storage space?
• Many of us envisaged one large outlay at the start of our digitisation projects and then a simple and economical management of them into the future. Has this occurred?

Areas of focus could include art archives, art education, art publishing, information literacy, digitisation.

As at past conferences we are all interested in each other's libraries or archives....tell us about your place (10 minutes)
Individuals or groups are invited to submit a proposal to present a virtual visit to your place of work in 10 slides or less.

Please submit your 250-word abstract, break-out session proposal or virtual visit proposal via the online form(available under the Conference tab of this website) by 15 April.

Important dates:
29 February 2016 Call for participation
15 April 2016 Deadline for submission of abstracts
2 May 2016 Notice of acceptance by the conference committee
15 November 2016 Deadline for submission of visual material and technical requirements
30 November-3 December 2016 Conference