ARLIS/NA offers you ever-expanding, dynamic ways to grow professionally, network with colleagues, develop new skill sets, learn from others, keep abreast of new products, technologies, and trends and build life-long relationships and friendships.

No matter where you are in your career; no matter what your current or emerging interests are as an art information professional; no matter what type of arts-related institution or situation you are in; ARLIS/NA offers you unlimited ways to engage with your colleagues, increase your knowledge, experience, and expertise and meaningfully contribute to art and design librarianship and image management.


Here Are Ten Ways to Get Involved:

1. Write Articles for ARLIS/NA Publications.

ARLIS/NA’s signature publication is Art Documentation. Published by the University of Chicago Press twice a year, it’s the official bulletin of the Society and recognized both nationally and internationally for its excellent writings on field research and analysis, commentary and project descriptions.

2. Be a Reviewer for ARLIS/NA Publications.

Contribute to ARLIS/NA Reviews where you can review the latest in art publishing–or–Volunteer to author a review of online resources for award winning Multimedia & Technology Reviews. Both of these publications appear on a bimonthly basis and reviews are featured on the Society’s website.

3. Apply for a Committee Appointment.

With 13 standing committees to choose from, you have a variety of options to pursue if you enjoy collaborating with colleagues to accomplish important Society work. Each committee has its own charge and various initiatives. Seasoned ARLIS/NA members chair the committees with members serving up to three years.

4. Explore Committees’ Initiatives.

You don’t have to be a committee member to participate in some of the Society-wide initiatives that committees sponsor. For example, the Membership Committee seeks contributors to its What Are Members Are Saying (WOMAS) and Featured Art Libraries. These are published on the ARLIS/NA website for the benefit of all website visitors.

Similarly, the Professional Development Committee has a Mentoring Programs Page and also maintains an Internship Roster.

Be sure to periodically check out all committees’ web pages to identify other important initiatives and contributory opportunities.

5. Contribute to Special Interest Groups (SIG’s).

Special Interest Groups (SIGS) are less structured than committees and offer you a chance to engage in specific tailored or open-ended discussions and information exchanges in their namesake areas of interest. Currently, there are 27 SIGS, each with its own unique set of listservs, blogs, resource lists, etc.
Just like exploring committee initiatives, periodically check out various SIG web pages that interest you to identify their offerings.

6. Participate in Chapter Meetings, Events, and Discussions.

There are 17 Society Chapters throughout Canada, the Midwest, Northeast, South and West regions. Most of these have their own listserv or other means for member communications. They also offer a variety of online and in-person educational and social events. Local Chapters play a significant role in hosting Annual ARLIS/NA Conferences based on their city proximity to the chapter.

7. Participate in Annual Conferences.

Attend meetings for committees, divisions, sections, special interests groups and chapters. Most meetings are open to everyone. This is a great way to discover the purpose of each group and maybe volunteer for a project that interests you. Many of these groups have leadership positions that change annually.
The Diversity Forum, held during each conference is dedicated to having honest and fruitful discussions about how ARLIS/NA can further its core values and strategic directions regarding diversity and inclusion.
Like to share your research, expertise, or experience? Watch for a call for proposals and posters shortly after the current conference for participation in the upcoming one. Various groups seeking such participation use ARLIS-L to alert the overall membership to its unique opportunities.

8. Check Out ARLIS/NA’s Professional Development Offerings.

All of us, regardless of our career experiences value continuous learning. Through the Learning Portal, you can take part in easy-to-access online learning programs developed by the Society including “virtual conference tracks, lunchtime chats, and webinars that focus on current issues most important to the art library community in a rapidly changing collections, services and technology-driven environment.” 

The Learning Portal is just one aspect of ARLIS/NA’s professional development offerings that also include more general but on less important Career Resources such as its JobList.

9. Read, Respond, Reach Out through ARLIS-L.

ARLIS-L is the Society’s main electronic discussion list. It’s moderated and open to all ARLIS/NA members and non-members alike. You need to subscribe to it. Once you do, you’ll receive in your inbox a variety of queries and postings including reference questions; materials offerings; position openings; conference, meetings and workshop announcements; calls for committee and project participation; grant and funding opportunities, Executive Board reports and summaries of its activities and actions and so much more. Even better is that ARLIS-L maintains an online archive, so no matter when you subscribe to it, its past entries are accessible and searchable.

10. Use the Membership Directory to Identify and Network with Colleagues.

Search the online Membership Directory to identify colleagues in a specific organization or company, state or by affiliation with a particular Division, Section, or SIG. You can also get a full downloadable Member List (PDF) giving member-supplied contact information including name, title, address, email, and phone numbers.