Council news…

Council met on the morning of 13 April before the Annual General Meeting (AGM). Council business tends to follow a rather routine pattern with reports from the officers (Chair, Hon. Treasurer,  Hon. Secretary) and Business Manager, as well as reports from the chairs of each of our committees alongside updates on conference planning and other activities. Our committees are all active and there are some exciting projects in the pipeline. For example the Visual Resources Committee is currently planning a directory of analogue resources.

The greater part of April’s meeting was taken up with a discussion of the report from the Membership Working Group. The initial findings of the membership survey carried out by Emma Floyd produced an excellent round of amazingly diverse responses which is proving difficult to summarise. The current structures of ARLIS/UK & Ireland were devised at a time when there were many more specialist art libraries and librarians and when individuals had more time to give in support of ARLIS/UK & Ireland, and when we could count on free or special deals on venues in which to hold our events. ARLIS/UK & Ireland is at a crossroads. We can no longer carry on out of habit and must change our structures to ensure we stay relevant to the profession which we all love. The responses to the survey will inform Council’s proposals for changes to membership rates and structures, which we intend to bring to the AGM in 2017, but at the moment no one clear way forward has emerged.

The recent launch of the ARLISmatters blog has highlighted the fact the ARLIS/UK & Ireland website has not been kept as up to date as it might be, consequently Gerry White has volunteered to check the information on it.

The ARLISmatters editors outlined how they plan to develop the blog, but when all is said and done the success of the blog, and of ARLIS/UK & Ireland in general, relies on everyone being willing to contribute. Please do use this blog to share reviews of exhibition, events you are running or you have attended.

After the Council session finished we had time for a quick lunch and mingle with the gathering assembly before the AGM began at 13:00 . A full report of the AGM will follow. Suffice to say, everyone was very well behaved, laughed at my jokes and didn’t heckle.  The officers didn’t deliberately colour co-ordinate our outfits for the afternoon, but the fact that we did so unconsciously seems to me to symbolise that deep bond which runs through ARLIS/UK & Ireland and which will support us through our year of change ahead.

A big thank you to Emma Floyd and the team at the Paul Mellon Centre for hosting the event so well, to Tom Scutt (Paul Mellon Centre Digital Manager) our speaker, to our Sponsor Chris Mees (Arts: Search), and to Vicky Brown who stood down as Hon. Secretary after a busy full term of office.

David Pulford, ARLIS/UK & Ireland Chair

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