Congratulations to Art History doctoral student Leah Sherman for her recent promotion from Assistant to Associate University Librarian at FSU Libraries! Leah supports the College of Fine Arts as the Visual and Performing Arts Librarian and serves the profession of librarianship in a variety of regional and national service positions.
As FSU’s Arts Librarian, Leah’s work includes outreach, instruction, and research consultations with Fine Arts student and faculty researchers. She is also responsible for developing and managing the Arts general collection of library resources. Upon her promotion Leah has made both a local and regional impact in the field of arts librarianship. Last year she served as Vice President of the Art Libraries Society of North America – Southeast Chapter (ARLIS/SE); her primary charge in that role was to organize and host the annual chapter conference. ARLIS is the leading Arts Librarianship professional organization, specifically made up of art and design, museum, and academic arts librarians, archivists, and visual resources professionals. The conference at Strozier Library in November, 2019, was the first Tallahassee meeting in ARLIS/SE’s 45-year history. Highlights included presentations and site visits to local arts institutions including the Lewis Spring House, FSU Special Collections, and the FSU Museum of Fine Arts.
When asked what inspired her to be an Arts Librarian, Leah recounted that while working on her masters in Art History she had the opportunity to research at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University, and the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles as part of her thesis research on Italian Futurist painting. At each of these institutions she met with arts librarians and archivists and gained invaluable first-hand experience researching in these arts-specific collections. Leah writes:
Careers in dance, fine arts, and theatre are especially dependent on the passion of their practitioners, and their advocacy efforts. Now more than ever, the arts can teach empathy, social interaction, and critical thinking, skills that are invaluable for the individual but also for the community.
Student authors Lydia Dobransky and Heidi Knippel contributed to this article.