ARLIS+Librarian Wardrobe Collaboration Survey Results

We appreciate the feedback, and we’ll take the opportunity at the FTC SIG meeting in Seattle to discuss options with the group. We invite anyone interested to join us for the meeting which will be on Thursday, March 10, 3:30pm – 5:00pm. Due to the short window of time before Seattle, we will go ahead with executing the Librarian Wardrobe collaboration as we have done in the past, with the potential for a new approach at the next conference.

LIB Wardrobe

The Fashion Textile Costume SIG and Librarian Wardrobe survey received 62 total responses with 57 (91.9%) individuals responding favorably towards participants photos being featured on the Librarian Wardrobe blog. The Moderator and Vice Moderator of the FTC SIG have analyzed the results of the survey and have summarized people’s reactions to this partnership.

Question Two (If yes, why?) Themes:

  • Several respondents reiterated that it is a fun opportunity for art and fashion librarians to express themselves as fashion is part of a visual culture.
  • Several respondents looked at it as a good way to promote ARLIS-NA and the FTC SIG to other librarians (and non-librarians) around the world.
  • Some respondents said it was a great way to keep up with old friends and colleagues. They enjoyed seeing people they know featured on the blog. They also look at the blog as an informal way to meet and connect to librarians around the world.
  • Several respondents said that they get fashion inspiration from the photos featured on the blog.
  • Several respondents believe that the Librarian Wardrobe blog helps deconstruct librarian stereotypes as it shows the diversity within librarianship.
  • Several respondents reiterated that it encourages librarians to be creative and shows the lighter side of our profession.

Question Three (If no, why?) Themes:

*there were five (8.1%) respondents that were not in favor of this opportunity.

  • Two main themes came from this question: it added to the librarian stereotype and it was intrusive.
  • There was a concern regarding this opportunity in regards to cyber-bullying and the respondent said that they would not encourage this partnership unless it was going to be part of a ‘true, sound, vetted, anthropological study’.

Question Four (Do you have any suggestions for how the Librarian Wardrobe ARLIS/NA collaboration could evolve in the future?) Themes:

  • Several respondents agreed that there should be more diversity in the photos displayed on the blog. They also believed that if there were group photos vs. individual photos that it would give more attendees a chance to be featured on the blog.
  • Several respondents suggested that the volunteer photographers ask questions of the people being photographed (the context of what they’re wearing, how does fashion relate to your job, where did the outfit come from, etc.)
  • Several suggested that a photo booth was set up so that photos could be taken of those who were interested in having their photo taken.
  • Some suggested that selfies and hashtags be used so that the photos could be seen outside of the blog.
  • Some suggested that people have the opportunity to create a blog post based on a piece of clothing that was special to them and give the person the opportunity to do more than have their photo featured on the blog.
  • There were some respondents that suggested that an event be held by the FTC SIG where photos could be taken of attendees.
    • Themes were suggested: jazz age, cocktail, costume (dress as your favorite artist), retro
    • Offer a speaker or featured artists to correspond with the event.

Question Five (Do you have suggestions for any other fashion-related programming the Fashion, Costume, & Textiles SIG could coordinate?) Themes:

  • Several respondents were interested in a clothing swap meet.
  • One respondent suggested a designer giveaway.
  • A sponsored panel/discussion about ‘what you didn’t learn in library school’ FTC edition.
  • Program suggestions:
    • Feature designers who ethically produce clothing and accessories
    • Study of online shopping and shopping in general in regards to other cultures
    • Discuss how fashion theory and philosophy relates to our professional identity and perception as librarians (specifically art librarians)
    • Information on textile preservation and cataloging
    • Focus on dating garments using archival materials
    • Film screening or invite local design students to show off their work at annual conferences
    • Brown bag lunch workshops: fashion tutorials or evolution of a fashion trend (cardigans)
  • Suggestion to cross-pollinate with similar organizations such as the Costume Society of America.
  • Encourage other members of ARLIS/NA to collaborate with the FTC SIG.
  • Several suggested a fashion show to feature designs created by ARLIS/NA members.
  • Collaborate to create a poster session on fashion in libraries.
  • Blog suggestions:
    • Feature exhibitions that are located around the world
    • Feature new materials that relate to the fashion and costume subject matter
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