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Central Plains Irregular

Number 38, March 2005



Patrice O’Donoghue resigned from the Arkansas Arts Center Library in December to take a position with the Central Arkansas Library System as a cataloger in the technical services department. “Beginning in January,” says Patrice, “I will be working at the Main Library in downtown Little Rock, a short walk from the new Clinton Presidential Library.”

“ This will be a new adventure for me since I have never worked in a "non-special" library before. This has been one of the most interesting jobs I have ever done. It has been challenging too, and I could not have done it without the support of all of you, my ARLIS friends. Some of you I just know by name, and others I have had the good fortune to meet in person at the conferences in St. Louis and in New York. You are a wonderful group of professionals.”


Kansas State University in Manhattan has a new art librarian. Ellen Urton started work in November as a subject specialist in the areas of art, apparel, interior design and textiles. Ellen received her MLS from the University of Missouri in 2003 and a B.A. in history and art history from Augustana College. Her most recent position before coming to KSU was with Expressions Bindery Consultants in Chicago.

KSU Libraries received a $1000 Interlibrary Loan Development Program (ILDP) grant from the Kansas Library Network Board in FY2004 to purchase 39 books on digital graphic design and digital photography. Libraries receiving ILDP grants must make all circulating items in their collections available through interlibrary loan. To see a list of the purchased titles, go to KSUL’s online catalog, and perform the following “Guided Keyword” search: Digital Graphic Design and Photography ILDP Grant.

Congratulations to Rachel Crane and her husband Songbin as well as to new grandmother Lois Crane. Rachel and Songbin are the proud parents of a baby girl, Maya Nah-Yun Chon, born in November.


Leslie Simpson, Director of the Post Memorial Art Reference Library in Joplin, MO was awakened at 3:00 a.m. on the morning of January 23 by a phone call informing her that a drunk driver, being pursued by police at 55 mph, had smashed through the brick wall of the library. When she arrived at the library, she found the impact had propelled a heavy 16th century English oak court cupboard out into the room and two 18th century Chinese ginger jars, which had been displayed on top, were lying on the floor; one completely smashed while the other remained mostly intact. A 17th century carved and polychromed wood Madonna and Child sculpture was hurled across the room and lay broken on the floor.


After some of the shock and distress wore off, Leslie turned to ARLIS/CP for help. Susan Bobo got the word out, and within the next few days, Leslie received dozens of replies. Leslie wishes to thank everyone who responded during her hour of need. The art objects are now in the hands of restorers.

Deborah Tinsley, Associate Librarian of Visual Resources at Kansas City Art Institute, received a $5000 federal “Library Services and Technology Act” (LSTA) grant administered by the Missouri State Library. The “Bring in An Expert” grant enabled the Visual Resources Library to use the services of a consultant for programming improvements to the FileMaker Pro database cataloging KCAI’s slide collection.


Jane Zander retired in September after almost 24 years as an art library cataloger at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. “My husband and I and our two cats are retiring to a house on Sugar Loaf Mountain at the Lake of the Ozarks here in our home state of Missouri. We will be located about 30 minutes from my hometown of Lebanon, Mo. They have a new library that includes a new Route 66 Museum and I will probably volunteer there in the future. We will be about 40 minutes from my sister's farm and will be able to spend more time with our nephew who will be eight in October.

While I'm obviously looking forward to this next chapter in our lives, it is also a sad time and hard to take leave of my friends and fellow art librarians, “ writes Jane. “ I will particularly miss my colleagues from ARLIS/NA and the ARLIS/CP chapter. I hope to attend some the future ARLIS/CP meetings. But for now, au revoir, and keep on crankin' out those beautiful art books.”


In October, Cynthia Barth joined the staff of the Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore as Library Director. Most recently, Cynthia was Head of Library and Research Services at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri.


The Richardson Library launched their Innovative Interfaces Millennium System in the fall of 2003. The Saint Louis Art Museum shares the system with the Missouri Botanical Garden Library and the Research Library of the Missouri Historical Society. For the first time the library's catalog is available on the web at

In July of 2004, the Richardson Library was awarded a Missouri State Digitization Grant to create a digital resource documenting the visual history of the Saint Louis Art Museum Cass Gilbert building. The work is at the halfway point; approximately 700 archival slides and photographs of the museum building throughout its history have been scanned. The project includes exterior views, plans, and models for a variety of renovations. Approximately half of the images are interior views representing a historical perspective of the galleries, shops, and restaurants. A searchable database will be constructed and linked to both the Virtually Missouri web site and SLAM web site. The target date for completion is June 30, 2005.

In May 2004, Marianne Cavanaugh was elected President-Elect of the St. Louis Metro Area Chapter of SLA. The position is a three-year commitment to serve on the Executive Board with a progression from President-Elect, to President and then Past President.


Suzy Frechette has been working on a Virtual Exhibit about the special holdings of the Steedman Architectural Library of the St. Louis Public Library. This spring, the exhibit will become available through the SLPL homepage. Suzy has chosen some of the most spectacular and important books in the collection, spanning 16th century editions of Vitruvius through 20th century editions of Frank Lloyd Wright, up to contemporary holdings. A professional photographer has produced wonderful high-resolution images of some of the most beautiful pages and bindings represented in the collection. Suzy has been spending countless hours this winter researching and writing captions about the architects, buildings, and books that will be featured.

Suzy’s term as Midwest Regional Representative will come to an end during ARLIS/NA 2005 in Houston. Leigh Gates of the Art Institute of Chicago will be the new Midwest Regional Representative.

At Washington University, construction continues on the Sam Fox Arts Center project, which will include a new Museum building, Art Annex and Art & Architecture Library. Completion is predicted for Fall 2006.


In August 2004, Ellen Petraits attended the International Library Federation’s conference in Buenos Aires. Highlights included touring the National library, seeing Luis Borge’s writing desk and meeting colleagues at the Art Library Section tour of the Espacio Fundación Telefónica.

Gloria Short
, formerly with the Springfield Art Museum, is happily retired and living in Fair Grove, MO. “My retirement continues to be busy making dresses for my daughter’s wedding and a few other things, like rides on my husband’s Harley Davidson,” writes Gloria.


Casey Kralik left the Joslyn Museum of Art, Omaha, in December to become Technical Services Librarian at Bellevue University in Bellevue, Nebraska. Casey’s new email is


Matt Stock is the new Fine Arts Librarian at University of Oklahoma in Norman. He is responsible for the subject areas of music, drama, dance, visual art, architecture and urban planning. Matt originally came to OU to pursue a DMA in trumpet performance. Prior to arriving in Norman, he was Adult Services Supervisor at the public library in Lewisville, Texas.

Susan Bobo
showcased student work from the Oklahoma State University School of Architecture at the Oklahoma Library Association annual meetings in April 2004 and March 2005. Students were challenged to design new public libraries for an imaginary small town in Massachusetts and a community branch library for Boston’s North End. Models, renderings and precedent research were displayed and a bibliography of selected sources on the library building type distributed to conference-goers.

Tom Young organized an exhibition "Ron King and Circle Press: Artists' Books from the Permanent Collection." This exhibition was held August 22, 2004 - January 9, 2005 at the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa.


The Philbrook Museum of Art library received a grant of $5000 from the Models of Archival Administration Grant Program from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. Fifteen institutions from across the state are participating in this program for 2004-2005. In addition to the funds the program also includes a series of workshops related to archives management. The goal for Philbrook's project is to inventory, organize, re-house and create finding aids for the following two archives collections: The Waite Phillips Collection and the museum's exhibition records.


The Waite Phillips Collection includes documents, correspondence, photographs and plans related to the construction of Villa Philbrook and its transformation into the Philbrook Museum of Art, covering the dates 1925 - 1964. The museum's exhibition records cover the dates 1939 to the present.


Tom Young is also this year’s recipient of the ARLIS/CP travel award. He will be representing the chapter at the Leadership Breakfast during the upcoming 2005 ARLIS/NA conference in Houston, TX.


Last Updated on November 17, 2006