Students and Professionals Delighted by ARLIS/NA & SLA ROM MEGA-TOUR

On a chilly day in mid-December, UofT iSchool students took a break from their studies, and library professionals stepped away from their desks to participate in the ROM MEGA-TOUR: AS BIG AS THE DINOSAURS! Hyperbole aside, 15 guests joined ARLIS/NA Ontario Chapter and Special Libraries Association UofT Chapter to go behind the scenes at the Royal Ontario Museum, visiting the institution’s fascinating libraries and archives.

Librarian Max Dionisio showing visitors a Japanese scroll

Beginning at the Bishop White Committee Library of Easts Asia, librarian Max Dionisio entranced tour guests with an array of scrolls, prints and delicate books.

Student listening to talk infront of library shelves

While guests could have stayed at the East Asian Library for hours, the tour had other equally interesting stops to make. At the Richard Wernham and Julia West Library, Archivist, Charlotte Chaffey delighted visitors with a glimpse into the ROM’s storied past with selections from the personal fonds and research of remarkable staff members.

Visitors listening to Archivist, Charlotee Chaffey, speak at Wernham West Library

Last but certainly not least, head librarian Brendan Edwards took us into the stacks. After examining some of the more special tomes of the collection, Brendan generously shared his experiences in the specialty librarianship field with the group and answered our myriad of questions.

Visitors listening to Librarian Ben Edwards speak at Wernham West Library

Emerging from the hallowed halls of the ROM hours later, many tour participants headed over to The Bedford Academy Gastropub. Over drinks and food, students and professionals alike shared their thoughts and ideas about all we had discovered during this exciting experience. Thanks to all who attended!

Special thanks to Charlotte Chaffey, Max Dionisio and Brendan Edwards for being such generous and remarkable hosts.

Announcing our 2020 Travel Award Winner – Michelle Johnson!

We are very pleased to announce that Michelle Johnson is the recipient of this year’s ARLIS/NA Ontario’s Travel Award! The grant is intended to promote professional development among chapter members and to encourage their involvement in ARLIS/NA by defraying the expense of attending ARLIS/NA’s annual conference.

Michelle attends the University of Toronto’s Master of Information program and considers herself an “art librarian-in-training.” While pursuing her studies, she continues to work full-time at the Canadian Film Centre as the organization’s Manager of Annual Giving. Johnson earned her Hons. B.A. from the University of Toronto in Art and Art History, and received a Masters in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies from Columbia University. In 2019, she received a Canada Graduate Scholarship to support her research, focusing on moving image art and its accessibility to students.

Previously serving as the student representative for ARLIS/NA Ontario, she has recently been elected to serve as the Vice-Chair for the chapter, and will be transition into the Chair’s role in 2021. This will be the first time attending the ARLIS/NA annual conference.