Leeds Art Libraries in Cooperation (LALIC) provides a forum for art librarians and information professionals working in Leeds to discuss collection management issues and to promote their organisation's resources and programs.
LALIC also provides practical ways of exchanging information by informal meetings held two times a year and enabling site visits of its members with each other and other local libraries and repositories in the area. Members enjoy close professional contact and provide each other with an oasis of support.
2019 has been a special year for both LALIC and ARLIS UK & Ireland with both celebrating milestone anniversaries. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, ARLIS UK & Ireland have kindly supported and funded the running of members’ events exploring themes and issues relating to art librarianship throughout the UK and Ireland. One such event, entitled ‘Connecting Collections: Art Libraries in Collaboration’, was held by LALIC to mark its 25th anniversary in Leeds Central Library’s new multi-use arts space Room 700 on Tuesday, 5th November.
This event aimed to share LALIC’s long tradition of mutual support among its members over twenty-five years, to enable the exchange of experience and ideas in relation to collaborative practice in art libraries, and to foster new relationships with practitioners from art libraries in the Yorkshire region.
Andrea Ellison, Chief Librarian of Leeds Public Libraries, opened the event with an overview of the vibrant and diverse arts and cultural scene in which LALIC is situated in Leeds.
Karen Fisher (Leeds Beckett University) and Bronwyn Brady (Leeds Central Library) then uncovered the history of LALIC over the last quarter of a century, drawing on its archive of internal documents and images of member libraries, before outlining future projects for the group.
Guest speaker from the British Library Ella Snell provided a fascinating account of the aims and objectives of the Living Knowledge Network project. Ella spoke about the twenty-two public libraries involved in the programme, with examples of touring exhibitions and live-streamed events by the British Library around the country, including projects in Leeds Central Library.
The second guest speaker Dr Althea Greenan gave an inspirational talk about the Women’s Art Library and its history. Althea spoke about working closely with artists and students on projects developed from the collection, including the ‘Once More with Feeling’ events at the Tate in 2009, when younger artists re-enacted feminist performances from the 1970s.
The event closed with an opportunity for participants to explore some of the Leeds Central Library and Henry Moore Institute Library’s art collections and to try a creative activity using the printing equipment in the Leeds Central Library’s Drawing Room.
On Tuesday 17th April 2018, LALIC presented Showcasing Leeds Arts Libraries: Stories from the Collection at the Tetley in Leeds. This event showcased books and objects from the collections of the Henry Moore Institute, the Leeds Central Art Library, and Leeds Beckett University Library that tell stories and provide insights into their collections. The presentation was followed by a brief panel discussion and Q&A and an opportunity for attendees to view the objects. The event ended with a tour of the exhibition The House that Heals the Soul led by curator and artist Nick Thurston.