The Ricker Library of Architecture and Art at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign welcomed Melanie E. Emerson as its new head librarian on March 1, 2015. She brings more than 15 years of experience to the position, including providing reference service, tours, and orientations; managing and coordinating service activities; planning outreach and educational programming; and curating exhibitions.
Emerson was previously at the Art Institute of Chicago for 10 years; there, she was a senior reference librarian before becoming the head of Reader Services within the Institute’s Ryerson & Burnham Libraries. Prior to working in Chicago, Emerson worked at the Detroit Institute of Arts Research Library & Archives and the Rochester Hills Public Library in Michigan.
“It is a privilege and an honor to be part of the University of Illinois community. I believe the many years of experience I gained working at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago will serve me well as I work with the students, faculty, and other researchers in Ricker Library,” said Emerson. “My goal is to continue building on the rich collections in the fields of architecture and art while exploring new and innovative ways to serve our patrons.”
“We’re thrilled to have Melanie Emerson join our Library,” said Dean of Libraries and University Librarian John Wilkin. “Melanie’s vision and voice will be critical for us in defining the next generation of library services to faculty in Art and Architecture.”
In addition to her many publications, lectures, and presentations, Emerson has served on several committees and groups within the arts and library fields, including the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA). Between 2012 and 2014, she served on the Executive Board of ARLIS/NA. During this time, she helped the organization implement a new website and their online publication: The Multimedia & Technology Reviews. She is also a member of several other professional associations and has attended numerous conferences and workshops, including the California Rare Book School at UCLA.
Emerson earned her bachelor’s degree in art history and her MLIS (Special Libraries and Archival Certification) from Wayne State University. She also holds an MAAH (Contemporary Art History, Theory & Criticism) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
For more information about the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art, visit www.library.illinois.edu/arx .