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Monday, March 22

11:00am CDT

Visual Communication for Knowledge Acquisition, Processing and Dissemination [Add-On Workshop 2]
$40.00 for conference attendees | Limited to 30 participants.
Register for this workshop through the conference online registration

Would you like to improve your understanding of visuals, improve the impact of your presentations, and better remember content?    
This four-hour workshop will engage participants in a variety of techniques to better use visuals in capturing and presenting information. Participants will investigate and learn about the power of visual communication and how it improves our processing and retention of information. Hands-on activities like how to take visual notes (sketchnoting), mindmapping, and other drawing exercises (no artistic ability is necessary - really!), will be demonstrated so participants can better remember information, share knowledge with others, and communicate ideas more engagingly.

avatar for John Trendler

John Trendler

Curator of Visual Resources, Scripps College
technology, databases, archives, design, cycling

Sheryl Frisch

Visual Resource Specialist, California Polytechnic State University

Session Organizers
avatar for Rebecca Moss

Rebecca Moss

LATIS Engagement and Online Experiences Consultant, University of Minnesota
I've become a big fan of sketchnoting or visual note taking and am interested in learning more and practicing this with others. I am also a big believer in the power of play to produce creative learning environments.

Monday March 22, 2021 11:00am - 3:00pm CDT

1:00pm CDT

Digital Accessibility and Accessible Design Practices [Add-On Workshop 3] -- WORKSHOP FULL
$30.00 for conference attendees | Limited to 25 participants.
Register for this virtual workshop through the conference online registration

This workshop focuses on the concepts of digital accessibility and accessible design practices, and the tools and strategies we can use when creating digital projects to be sure we are making them useful to as many people as possible. This year has seen a necessary focus on virtual teaching and resource creation - how are accessibility needs being considered?

This workshop will not be recorded.

avatar for Tiffany Saulter

Tiffany Saulter

Accessibility Consultant and Trainer, Deque
Digital Librarian and pop culture fanatic.
avatar for Carie Fisher

Carie Fisher

Sr. Accessibility Consultant and Trainer, Deque
Carie Fisher is an author, speaker, and developer who is passionate about the intersection of front-end code and UX, digital accessibility, and diversity in technology. Currently, Carie is employed as a Senior Accessibility Consultant and Trainer at Deque Systems while pursuing h... Read More →

avatar for vrcHost


vrcHost specializes in installation, integration, customization, and feature development for the Madison Digital Image Database (MDID) project - an open source digital content management system used at hundreds of institutions worldwide for teaching and scholarship in the visual arts... Read More →

Monday March 22, 2021 1:00pm - 4:00pm CDT
Tuesday, March 23

10:00am CDT

Adaptability, Ingenuity, and Opportunity: VR Professionals During a Pandemic
In 2020, most if not all of us went from working in an office to working at home in the blink of an eye, forcing us to immediately pivot into new practices and approaches to our professional roles. From assisting faculty and students with the transition to online teaching to managing our collections from a distance, we all rose to the challenge of our new “normal,” transforming our day-to-day work in the process. And while some of these changes may be temporary, others will permanently impact how VR professionals approach their facilities, patrons, and practices. This roundtable discussion is designed to help us engage with and process these changes, with an eye to how we have met these challenges and thrived. Through a series of short, lightening round talks by speakers from a range of institutional roles and via lively discussion we will explore what has changed and what remains core to our work, addressing enhanced responsibilities; the use of new tools; innovative changes to our services; cultivating connections with patrons in a remote environment; safely transitioning back to the office; and what changes we anticipate to the profession and our professional lives moving forward based on the experience gleaned from working at home.   

Endorsed by the VRA Education Committee

Lightning Round Speakers (Lightning round speakers will briefly address the range of topics outlined above, to prepare for what we hope will be a robust discussion!)

Andrea Degener, Visual Materials Processing Archivist, and Skye Lacerte, DB Dowd Modern Graphic History Library Curator, both of Washington University in Saint Louis
Amy McKenna, Visual Resources Curator, Williams College
Lorraine Gerrity, Visual Resources Curator, School of Visual Arts
Betha Whitlow, Visual Resources Curator, Washington University in Saint Louis

avatar for Betha Whitlow

Betha Whitlow

Curator of Visual Resources, Washington University in Saint Louis

avatar for Skye Lacerte

Skye Lacerte

Modern Graphic History Library Curator, Washington University
avatar for Andrea Degener

Andrea Degener

Visual Materials Processing Archivist, Washington University in St. Louis

Tuesday March 23, 2021 10:00am - 11:00am CDT

1:00pm CDT

Re-imagining digital collections metadata: improving workflows and supporting user experience
Rachel Jaffe & Jess Waggoner, "Building User-focused Digital Collections" In this presentation, Rachel and Jess will introduce the UC Santa Cruz DAMS development team’s work on user-centered design and development. Jess will share her work in conducting user research, creating user personas and journey maps. Rachel will follow by describing how the team responded to needs that surfaced by updating the DAMS data model and rethinking how we present and contextualize digital collections material.

Devon Murphy, "Critical Metadata: Re-examining Data Transformation " Data transformation tools such as Open Refine and Tableau are increasingly being used by GLAM professionals to process metadata relating to visual collections. However, critical analysis of their usage is limited, especially in relation to critical cataloging or non-Western information protocols. This paper and related demonstration of an Open Refine workflow aims to examine how GLAM professionals can employ critical cataloging practices alongside these tools, as well as their limits. This paper will first introduce the highlighted data transformation tool, Open Refine, and its applications to cataloging/metadata work, then move to a discussion of current critical cataloging best practices. The paper will then culminate in a demonstration of a workflow combining critical cataloging best practices within data transformation, prepping it for use in a catalog, finding aid, or controlled vocabulary. (Examples can include but are not limited to LGBTQ+ artists, Native American artists and art terms).

avatar for Krystal Boehlert

Krystal Boehlert

Digital Initiatives Specialist, UCR Library, University of California, Riverside
Krystal Boehlert is the Digital Initiatives Specialist at the University of California, Riverside Library. She supports Digitization Services as well as the Digital Scholarship Program. She has previously worked in UCR Art History's Visual Resources Collections, as well as the Getty... Read More →

avatar for Rachel Jaffe

Rachel Jaffe

Digital Content & Metadata Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz
Rachel Jaffe is the Digital Content & Metadata Librarianat the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she serves as the productowner of the library’s DAMS development project, and as the primary resourcefor non-MARC metadata design, structure and standards. She is currentlypresident... Read More →
avatar for Jess Waggoner

Jess Waggoner

User Experience & Web Services Librarian, University of California, Santa Cruz
avatar for Devon Murphy

Devon Murphy

TARO Metadata Analyst, University of Texas at Austin
Researcher and artist focused on critical cataloging; Indigenous knowledge organization systems/GLAMs; art information, including Native American art information; metadata scripting and transformation; information/metadata ethics; the study of collecting, cataloging, and description... Read More →

Tuesday March 23, 2021 1:00pm - 1:45pm CDT
Wednesday, March 24

1:00pm CDT

‘63 Boycott: How a digital audiovisual civil rights collection inspires new generations of students
‘63 Boycott is a documentary film that connects the forgotten story of one of the largest northern civil rights demonstrations to contemporary issues around race, education, school closings, and youth activism. On October 22, 1963, more than 250,000 students boycotted the Chicago Public Schools to protest entrenched racial segregation. Unseen 16mm film footage of the march shot by director Gordon Quinn in 1963 formed the basis for the documentary that features interviews with civil rights leaders and follows activism at Chicago Public Schools through the present day.    This presentation will detail the unique collaboration between Kartemquin Films, Mikva Challenge, and Media Burn Archive to create interactive digital tools to enable teaching and learning with the body of footage shot and collected for ‘63 Boycott.    Creating access to a collection of never-before-seen footage provides students with the opportunity for meaningful and unique scholarship. Harnessing the power of archival footage, students will be able to make connections across time and space to tell nuanced, fact-based stories that showcase how today's struggles for social justice build on lived experience and enduring issues.      Participants will walk away from the session with a model for how archives can engage the public with collections of camera original footage; why rights holders should consider allowing re-use of their materials; and how educators can incorporate archival media into the classroom.


Tracye A. Matthews

Producer, Kartemquin FIlms

Rachel Dickson

Producer, Kartemquin Films
Kartemquin is a collaborative community empowering documentary makers who create stories that foster a more engaged and just society. Kartemquin is internationally recognized for crafting quality documentaries backed by innovative community engagement.
avatar for Gordon M Quinn

Gordon M Quinn

Director, Kartemquin Films
Gordon QuinnArtistic Director and founding member of Kartemquin Films, Gordon Quinn has been making documentaries for over 50 years. Roger Ebert, of the Chicago Sun-Times, called his first film Home for Life (1966) "an extraordinarily moving documentary." With Home for Life Gordon established the direction he would take for the next four decades, making cinéma vérité films that investigate and critique society by documenting the unfolding lives of real people. At Kartemquin, Gordon... Read More →

Session Organizers
avatar for Sara Chapman

Sara Chapman

Executive Director, Media Burn Archive

Wednesday March 24, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm CDT
Thursday, March 25

2:00pm CDT

Collaboration and Outreach: Building Innovative Projects
Jackie Spafford & Sonja Sekely-Rowland, "Inter-agency Collaboration: Bringing together VRA and SAH preservation goals through an NEH grant-funded project"
Timing is everything: the presenters were notified of their successful application for a 2020-2022 NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Planning Grant just as the world went into lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The good news/bad news clash has presented them with a number of unforeseen challenges. This paper will provide insight into both the initial project vision as well as necessary and ongoing adjustments, and will cover:
  1. An overview of the project including background of the Society of Architectural Historians and its Color Film Emergency Project; the relationship to the VRA, especially the “Slide and Transitional Media Task Force”; internships and fellowships at UCR and UCSB that provided a model and proof of concept for this project.
  2. Grant writing lessons learned in navigating institutional research requirements and economic development policies.
  3. How the project goals and scope are being re-considered in response to pandemic travel restrictions and other COVID-related challenges.
  4. Opportunities for collaborative partnerships with other VRA members.

John Burns, "Curation of an International Documentary Film Festival" Join the presenter in this session to learn how curation of a special collection can be accomplished regardless of format. The presenter works at an institution that hosts an international documentary film festival every fall on campus. The festival has run and grow over the last 10+ years. By taking the initiative to join a campus committee in charge of the festival, the presenter (a solo art and electronic resources librarian) ensured the acquisition of the films from each festival. Curating this collection from scratch meant volunteering to learn how to create DVD and Blu-Ray discs from filmmaker digital files, gathering all metadata for cataloging, preserving the digital film files, and created access to a new collection. It also meant leading the coordination of several key players across campus. Curation of any collection from scratch is no small task. Answers to the following questions and more will be discussed in the session. What format will yield the most use? HD vs. standard definition? How to preserve the digital film files? How to work with copyright releases? How to best facilitate discovery? What are the best practices for essential metadata for cataloging?

Krystyna Matusiak, "Building a Community Digital Archive in the Post-Custodial World"   Community archives are vital for preserving and documenting the regional heritage of groups and individuals. Local archives are often organized by volunteers and represent grassroots activities. In contrast to institutional archives, community archives are characterized by mixed acquisition and curation practices, often described as post-custodial, that separate physical custody from the digital representation.  In this approach, original materials are returned to community members after digital surrogates are created.   This presentation will discuss the formation of a rural community archive in Park County, Colorado, and the collaborative project aimed at sustaining it. The Park County Local History Archive was established by a group of volunteers who collected and digitized over 4,000 photographs and created 60 oral histories. This effort resulted in an archive composed of a mix of original photographs, digital surrogates, and born-digital content. The archive provides unique primary sources for researchers interested in the history of mining and railroads, or the challenges of rural life in the mountainous region.  The presenters will describe the community-based project and efforts made to continue the work of volunteers. This collaborative initiative involves re-digitizing the original photographs, converting oral histories, assessing copyright, assigning standardized rights statements from RightsStatements.org, and building a digital archive and exhibits in Omeka. The Digital Archive is available at https://pclha.cvlcollections.org/ . This presentation will discuss the challenges of post-custodial practices and building a digital community archive, including re-scanning, evaluating the copyright status of historical materials, and working with digital donations. It will describe the strategies of working with a remote archive during the pandemic.

avatar for Jacqueline Spafford

Jacqueline Spafford

Image Resources Curator, University of California, Santa Barbara
avatar for John Burns

John Burns

Electronic Resources Librarian, Dixie State University Library
avatar for Sonja Sekely-Rowland

Sonja Sekely-Rowland

Visual Resources Curator, University of California, Riverside
avatar for Krystyna Matusiak

Krystyna Matusiak

Associate Professor, University of Denver
Krystyna K. Matusiak has been working as an Assistant Professor in the Library & Information Science Program (LIS) at the Morgridge College of Education since September 2011. She earned her MLIS and PhD from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Prior to accepting her position at the... Read More →
avatar for Lisa Dot Donovan

Lisa Dot Donovan

Digital Content Specialist, Regis University
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Sarah Werling

Metadata Technician, University of Colorado Boulder
Sarah Werling is the Metadata Technician in the Metadata and Optimization Discovery team at the University of Colorado, Boulder Libraries. Sarah received her BA in Art History at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs and got her MLIS at the University of Denver. Sarah has worked... Read More →

Thursday March 25, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT

2:00pm CDT

With a Critical Eye: Analyzing Impact of Visual Resources
Michalle Gould, "Teaching Visual Literacy in the Context of Social Media" The Association of College and Research Libraries' Visual Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education defines visual literacy as a set of abilities that enables an individual to effectively find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media." Individuals in fields that rely heavily on visual resources are more accustomed to analyzing and interpreting visual imagery; however, precisely because they are trained to value visual information, they may be more vulnerable to the mis-use of images on social media to provoke an emotional response.  In classes on Visual Rhetoric and Aesthetic, I have presented lessons on visual literacy as it applies to social media, discussing some of the ways that images can be misleading and presenting techniques for applying critical thinking to images presented as support for arguments related to social/political issues.  In this paper, I will discuss the importance of more widespread implementation of visual literacy instruction at the college level, and propose suggestions for how to integrate a greater focus on visual literacy into existing frameworks for information literacy instruction.

Dijia Chen, "the Unintended "Afterlife": The Presentation, Reproduction and Circulation of Exhibitionary Representations in Architectural Production" This paper traces the production, the presentation and the “afterlife” of an exhibited image in the 2001 exhibition “TUMU: Young Architecture of China.” While the photo was not included in the exhibition catalogue and occupied an inconspicuous spot on site, its wide circulation, repetitive reproduction and multiple interpretations in news reports, online discussions, and professional critiques have won quick reputation for the architect, resulting in domestic and international awards, exhibitions and new projects. The stunning representation of the façade reached out far beyond its maker’s intention and in turn shape the professional career of the architect in unexpected ways, even though the building itself was more immature than satisfactory as an early project, featuring a mundane floor plan and many practical problems in use. This research problematizes the process in which the complex body of architecture is negotiated in the displaced photographic representations by analyzing the texts and narratives from different cultural, language, geographic and temporal backgrounds that facilitated the unintended popularization of the image. While acknowledging the flattening of programmatic complexity, I see the image as an autonomous assemblage of meaning independent to architecture. Tracing the image’s impact on the career development of the architect, I argue that the project was not only recognized as an image, but also, consciously or unconsciously, designed as an exhibitionist building. The paper, therefore, further informs of the state of design specific to the early experimentations of contemporary Chinese architects, characterized by image-based media practices and transcultural communications.

Charlotte India Eagle, "Digital Legacy Building": Since the establishment of the first presidential library under Franklin D. Roosevelt, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has put forth 13 subsequent presidential libraries each more idolatrous than the previous. This paper begins by analyzing the creation of the Presidential Library System and how it (and NARA) became a method of legacy building for past presidents. In looking at the historical policies, the paper goes on to suggest how implications of the current shift to a digital library chosen by President Barack Hussein Obama, is starting to breakdown previously established issues of access, digitization, and legacy building. 


Maggie Murphy

Visual Art & Humanities Librarian, UNC Greensboro University Libraries


Michalle Gould

Assistant Librarian, Laguna College of Art and Design
avatar for Dijia Chen

Dijia Chen

PhD Candidate, University of Virginia
Dijia Chen is a third-year doctoral student in the Constructed Environment program at the School of Architecture, The University of Virginia. Her research work lands at the intersection of curatorial studies, transcultural communication studies, and contemporary Chinese architecture... Read More →
avatar for Charlotte India Eagle

Charlotte India Eagle

Freelance Archivist

Thursday March 25, 2021 2:00pm - 3:00pm CDT
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