ARLIS FTC SIG Conference Meeting Minutes & 1st Year Thank You


Below is a final copy of our meeting minutes.  Please review them and contact me if you would like to assist with our ARLIS 2013 FTC tour plans.  Please also let me know if you have a person of interest in Pasadena or L.A. with whom you’d like to place me in contact.

While you’re always welcome to contact me at, please remember that sometimes our entire membership would benefit from our conversations, so always consider responding via our blog first.  🙂

Now that our SIG is one year old, I want to express my most sincere appreciation to all of you.  FTC SIG membership and blog subscriptions have far exceeded my expectations.  We are so fortunate to have over 110 blog subscribers, not only from the USA and Canada, but also from the U.K., Sweden, Italy, and Brazil.  (Give us a shout-out if I’ve missed your country!)   You are all a constant source of inspiration to me in my work, and I’m proud to have received communications letting me know that so many of you feel the same way.  Thank you all very much for a wonderful first year!  🙂

Sandra Ley (FTC SIG Moderator)


40th Annual ARLIS/NA Conference


4:00 – 5:00 PM, Elgin Room, Toronto, Canada

Sandra Ley, Pima Community College, Moderator /

 In attendance:

Susan Chute, Independent, Recorder

Kareemah Hamdan, Chesterfield Co. Public Libraries

Daniel Starr, Metropolitan Museum of Art

Terrie Wilson, Michigan State

Lisa Ryan, LIM College

Lindsay King, Yale University

Moira Steven, Maine College of Art

Kat Oosterhuis, St. Catherine University

Julie Williamsen, Brigham Young University

Margaret Richter, EBSCO

Greta Earnest, Fashion Institute of Technology

Introductions (with notes of interest to all)

Moira Steven, who recently developed a fashion information resource collection for Maine College of Art, noted that she found the FTC SIG Workshop presentations from ARLIS 2011 very helpful:

Edith Serkownek, Collection Development Resources for Fashion & Textiles,

Robin Dodge, Trend Forecasting and Trend Reporting Services: an Overview for Libraries,

Lindsay King will have an article in a forthcoming issue of Art Documentation.

Daniel Starr informed us that he’s working more closely with the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute library while the Institute is under renovation. (Scheduled to reopen in 2014.)

Membership Update

Sandra announced that, in this first year of the FTC SIG, she has been contacted by several SIG members who have expressed their appreciation for the new group and its activities. (Comments included, “There’s nothing like it out there” and “It’s long overdue!”)

In the FTC SIG’s first year, 106 people subscribed to the blog.

“Official” FTC SIG membership is restricted to those with active ARLIS memberships. However, anyone who is interested is welcome subscribe to the blog and interact as a member.

Most members are affiliated with academic institutions with active fashion programs. Others are from museum and public libraries. Some subscribers are from foreign countries, an area which Sandra noted she’d like to develop further as they provide a much-needed and appreciated international perspective.

Call for Vice-moderator, Blog Assistant-Editor

Sandra opened the floor for self-nominations to the position of Vice-Moderator and Blog Assistant-Editor. She encouraged anyone who’s interested to volunteer.

As no one volunteered for the job of vice-moderator, Sandra agreed to continue as moderator. Should anyone decide later on to volunteer for this or any other position, just email Sandra.

Kareemah Hamdan volunteered be the Blog assistant editor and was accepted. She will be given blog administrator status immediately.

FTC Blog:

Sandra noted that she’d like to see more active participation on the blog from the membership. Sandra reminded us to use the blog ( regularly to disseminate any fashion news or information of interest to fashion librarians. (Is the difficulty of the WordPress software an obstacle?)

Sandra has used one of the standard templates for the interface. She has played a bit with it, but not extensively.

Kareemah said that she has found online instructions for “how to blog on WordPress” put out by a vintage pattern lending library that would be appropriate for the SIG community. She will look into the possibility of reusing and adapting those instructions.

Kareemah also expressed interest in trying to customize the WordPress implementation so that it is as tailored to the fashion community as possible.

Fashion Librarians Resource Guide (LibGuide):

Question from Moira: Does the SIG LibGuide cover textile arts (i.e., fiber arts?) Answer from Sandra: No, but if anyone would like any other FTC-related topics to be covered on the LibGuide, put a call out on the blog to see if there is a general consensus for the need to cover the topic. If general consensus is received, then gather and submit the most highly-recommended information resources into a list with descriptions and vendor URLs. Useful commercial resources are welcome. When ready, submit the list to the “Resources” area of the blog. Sandra will insert them into the LibGuide.

Question from Susan: Is there interest in a section on resources for costume design for theatre & film? As there seemed to be sufficient interest, Susan agreed to work on this, in collaboration with Lindsay.

A section on Fashion Merchandising, and other resources related to the business of fashion was also suggested and agreed upon, although there might be slight overlap with the existing section on trend forecasting. (Who volunteered to cover this area?)

The existence of other LibGuides on the subject of fashion was raised, and concern about duplication expressed. The FTC LibGuide, however, serves a different function, because it is directed at librarians for collection development and pedagogic purposes, rather than as an assist for students in their research.

A Pathfinders section in the LibGuide already links to a fair number of these guides; the question was raised whether, in considering a librarian’s limited time, there might be some way of indicating the “best of the best.” Sandra agreed to include the LibGuide’s own “star ranking system” for all the LibGuide links, so users could easily indicate the sites most helpful to them.

Trend Forecasting Services

A brief discussion ensued about academic institutions being unable to support subscriptions to commercial Trend Forecasting services due to the high cost of the subscription as well as contractual conditions about access and use that are difficult for colleges and universities to comply with. Sandra related that with persistence, she has been able to negotiate with some vendors and overcome some of these obstacles.

FTC-related ARLIS/NA 2012 Conference Highlights

The ARLIS/NA Society Circle event on Sunday evening will feature Sylvia Frank, Director of the Film Reference Library and Curator of the Canadian Film Gallery, with an onsite presentation/tour of her exhibition Otherworldly: The Art of Canadian Costume Design

The ARLIS/NA Fashion, Textile & Costume Collections tour will occur on Monday from 9:15am to 6pm.

Discussion of ARLIS/NA Pasadena – Brainstorming & Initial Planning

Possible Panel Presentation: Sandra had a preliminary discussion with ARLIS/NA President Debbie Kempe and past-President Jon Evans about organizing a panel presentation on the research process for costume design for film, television and theater productions. Debbie and Jon recommended that we contact ARLIS/NA member Leah Whittington of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. (Sandra volunteered to contact her.) It was suggested that the process of designing for film be compared with theatrical design by inviting a noted theatrical designer as well. Susan and Lindsay will investigate this possibility. Sandra volunteered to contact two acquaintances in the Hollywood film industry for more recommendations.

Walking Tour Possibility: Sandra announced that Justine Parish of California’s Art Center College of Design ( offered to conduct a walking tour of the L.A. fashion district:

The tour would include a stop at the Fashion Bookstore:

All present expressed great interest in this tour. Sandra will contact Justine and ARLIS/NA to begin organizing the tour.

Among additional suggestions for extending the tour, those received most enthusiastically included:

Otis College of Art & Design & Library: (Sandra will contact Sue Maberry, Library Director, to see if there’s interest.)

The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising – Library & museum: (Sandra will contact Robin Dodge, Librarian, to see if there’s interest.)

The Costume & Textiles Department at the LA County Museum of Art:

Sandra suggested that, given it takes 30-60 minutes to drive to LACMA from the fashion district, LACMA might be a stand-alone tour. She suggested that we might expand the tour to include other SIGs (decorative arts, photography, general arts) that would appreciate tours in the other LACMA departments. (Sandra will contact the conference organizers and other SIGS to see if there’s interest.) Susan suggested that perhaps sessions could be held at some of these venues, as well.

As it was after our allotted time, at this point the meeting was informally adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Susan Chute, Recorder

April 2012


Author: Sandra Ley

Sandra Ley is the visual arts and fashion design librarian for Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona.

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