Exhibitions Committee Report for FY 2009-2010
The Library Exhibitions Committee promotes, schedules, and assists with exhibitions held in the display cases located in the first-floor hallway and Marshall Gallery of the Main Library. At the start of each academic year the committee member in charge of scheduling solicits exhibitions from members of the Library and campus communities. Throughout the year the committee maintains a schedule of exhibitions, including the titles, dates of displays, and names of exhibitors. Exhibitions are publicized through the Office of Library Advancement. To help exhibitors, the Committee maintains a wide variety of supplies and may offer modest funding assistance.
Annette Morris, chair (8/15/11)
Laura Larkin (8/15/10)
Anne Robbins (08/15/10)
Dennis Sears (08/15/11)
The Exhibitions Committee held its first competition for graduate assistants. They were required to provide a detailed written description of their proposed exhibition which would fill two cases. The subject should highlight some part of the Library's collection. We wanted to give future library, archive, and museum staff members an opportunity to practice their skills at designing and installing an exhibition. We also saw this competition as a resume building activity. We awarded 2 prizes, The C. Barber Mueller Prize for Excellence in Exhibition Design for a prize of $100 was awarded to Lindy Smith for her entry "143 Years of Student Life at the University of Illinois: Where Do You Fit?" AND The C. Barber Mueller Prize for Creative Exhibition Design for $75 was awarded to Clare G. Willis and Katherine Eriksen for their entry "Pulp Non-Fiction: True Crime at the Law Library". The awards were named for the donor of the funds which support the Exhibition Comm.'s work. We intend this competition to be an annual event.
The Exhibitions Committee worked with Library Facilities and Library Advancement to coordinate the replacement of the display boards in the North - South hall of the Library's first floor. The Committee selected a grey self-healing material framed by oak trim to coordinate with the woodwork surrounding the Bronze Tablets. The self-healing substrate will accept push pins without leaving a permanent mark.
The role of the Exhibitions Committee has been to facilitate and promote the creation of interesting and informative exhibitions in the Marshall and Main (North-South) Hall Galleries on the first floor of the Main Library. This role is set out in the charge and we have closely adhered to it. The activities have centered on expanding the website to include important information for exhibitors, purchase of quality exhibition props, improvement of the exhibition space, and providing support for the construction and installation of exhibitions. The Committee is grateful to have the C. Barber Mueller endowment to fund its efforts.
During the past four years, the Committee has successfully worked with Library Advancement and Library Facilities to improve the exhibit spaces in the Main Library. New exhibition cases were built by the UIUC Mill Shop according to designs provided by the Committee. New display boards were designed and installed in the North-South Hall which complements the design of the Bronze Tablets, as suggested by the Committee. The Committee is also interested in fitting the windows in the North - South hall with light filtering shades to reduce the damage caused by the sunlight that streams through and directly hits the display cases and display boards.
The Committee's membership includes staff members from Conservation and the Rare Books and Manuscript Library. Representatives from these areas have been instrumental in improving the quality of the displays. There are currently four members and one volunteer. The Committee membership could benefit by having a few more members. This would further ensure continuity and a larger pool of experienced Committee members to draw on when selecting the next chair.
The Committee fills a needed role by seeking out and encouraging the creation of informative exhibitions in the first floor Main Library. This somewhat public space is traversed by many students and faculty as they cross campus and oftentimes they pause to view the exhibitions. Exhibitors have included student groups, personal collections, and campus departments outside of the Library. The Committee has made significant improvements and is in a good position to grow stronger, provide more support for exhibitors, and better serve the Library and Campus community.