A blog for materials collections in art, architecture, and design environments. Sponsored by the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA).

Job Opening: Color and Materials Librarian, College for Creative Studies

The Color and Materials Library (CML) is an established branch of CCS’ libraries located on the Taubman Campus.  This facility serves all undergraduate and graduate art and design majors at the College. The CML houses material samples, books, catalogues and periodicals relevant to the study of color, materials, sustainability, and trends in the commercial art and design context.


  • Oversee the daily operations of the CML;
  • Provide reference services, including bibliographic instruction sessions tailored to materials, to students, faculty and staff;
  • Purchase books and materials, including soliciting donor materials, to support the BFA and MFA curricula;
  • In collaboration with library staff, create, schedule and execute marketing events for the CML;
  • Perform original and copy cataloguing through the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC);
  • Work with the Main Campus Library in collection management and serials control activities;
  • Evaluate and subsequently, update and withdraw library materials;
  • Train, supervise and manage work-study students assigned to the CML;
  • Collaborate with Department Chairs, faculty and staff to work with relevant manufacturers and suppliers to build and update the materials sample collection;
  • Chair a color and materials’ advisory committee;
  • With the Director, plan, research and develop annual operating budget and capital budget projects;
  • Work with part-time staff and other AICAD institutions to develop a color & materials database;
  • Additional duties as assigned.


MLS from an ALA accredited program with one year experience.


Candidates with a background in art, design or material science are strongly preferred.  Candidate must be an energetic, enthusiastic, self-motivated and service-oriented individual with strong organizational skills and excellent written and communication skills.

Last Chance to Pre-register for 2016 Materials Education Symposia

There are less than two weeks left until the early-bird registration closes on December 31 – register now to secure your place.

Register here for early-bird discount >

There is a packed agenda of speakers, short courses, and hands-on workshops for the 7th North American Materials Education Symposium (UC Berkeley, USA) and the 8th International Materials Education Symposium (Cambridge, UK).

See full program of speakers and courses for Berkeley (US) >

See full program of speakers and courses for Cambridge (UK) >

Submission is still open for poster abstracts, with the first 25 submissions being guaranteed a one-minute oral presentation in a poster teaser session. Submit poster abstracts and register online >


Material Xperience | 27-29 January 2016 | Rotterdam

Material Xperience, the yearly materials event for architects and other creative professionals, will take place from Wednesday, January 27th to Friday, January 29th, 2016. The theme of this upcoming edition will be ‘The Future is Here.’

‘The Future is Here’ will be presented in three themes: New Techniques, New Materials and New Energy Sources. Digital technology is a true evolution in the fields of design, manufacturing, distribution, maintenance and recycling. 3D printing, CNC milling, robotized folding/stacking/weaving and new building techniques offer exciting opportunities for a new language of form, materialization and ornament. Another development is the circular economy, where renewable resources and the recycling of plastics and minerals play a major role. There is also considerable development in the area of low-energy materials from microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria and algae, along with various residual materials coming from the agriculture and forestry industries. In addition, the latest innovations from the fields of energy generation and conservation will be presented. In short, there will be plenty to experience, discover, discuss, share and find in this edition of Material Xperience!

Get your Free Ticket.

University College of London’s Institute of Making is Hiring Technicians

UCL’s Institute of Making is expanding their friendly Makespace team and looking for two part-time, multi-talented technicians to join them.

Deadline: Wednesday 25th November 2015
Interviews: Friday 4th December 2015

Download the full job description and apply here.

Contact Ellie with any questions about the role or application process.

ARLIS/NY Chapter Visits Material ConneXion

Several ARLIS/NA New York members visited Material ConneXion (MC), an industrial materials library located in the Time-Life Building at Rockefeller Center (and listed on the Resources section of this blog). Its parent company Sandow focuses on products and services that are driven by innovation and design. MC is a subscription library that has branches in several countries around the world. Members pay a fee to access its extensive database of materials and its onsite library where samples can be touched and examined. MC acts as liaison between designers and companies that manufacture pioneering materials. New materials are investigated by a staff of material scientists, and library candidates are presented at monthly meetings to determine if they are in or if they are out. There are more than 7,500 materials listed in MC database and more than forty new materials are considered each month for inclusion in the library.

Read more of the event summary by Suz Massen (Chief of Public Services, Frick Art Reference Library) on the ARLIS/NY chapter website at

Materials Education Symposia 2016: Call for Abstracts

September 30 Deadline

You still have two weeks to submit your abstract for the 2016 Materials Education Symposia. You can either submit for the North American event (UC Berkeley, Mar 17-18) or the International event (University of Cambridge, Apr 7-8). There will also be an Asian Symposium later in the year (Singapore, Dec 8-9; deadline for abstracts March 31).

If you have a passion for materials education, submit your abstract or register now for these unique conferences, which are open to all educators teaching undergraduates about materials within engineering, design, sustainability, architecture, and other science subjects.

After successful 2015 events, we are looking forward to a busy speaker program next year, moderated by the Symposium AcademicAdvisory Committee. Further information about the Symposia themes and sub-themes are detailed on the event website.


Tuscany Materials Tour: Website and Registration Launch

The website and registration form are now live for the ARLIS/NA Study Tour, On the Material Trail: Inside the Culture of ‘Made in Italy’

This tour is available to ARLIS/NA members and non-members.


The Materials Special Interest Group of the Art Libraries Society of North America, in partnership with the ARLIS/NA Fashion, Textile, and Costume Special Interest Group and the ARLIS/NA International Relations Committee, announce a study tour of leather, textile, and fashion-related sites within the Italian region of Tuscany from October 11-17, 2015.

On the Material Trail: Inside the Culture of ‘Made in Italy’ is envisioned as a highly immersive program in a location like no other in the world. It is a unique opportunity to gain a behind-the-scenes experience of the industries that craft the luxury products that define the excellence of ‘Made in Italy.’ Designed for librarians, curators, and those interested in and whose subject areas cover these industries, program attendees will have guided access to sites and learn from experts to gain a thorough understanding of Italy’s famous culture of making and design that is both centuries old and contemporary.

On the Material Trail will be based in the town of San Miniato in the heart of Tuscany halfway between Florence and Pisa and is accessible via rail and major airports in those two cities. San Miniato is a site on the Via Francigena, a former pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome and now the center of the Tuscan Leather District. Attendees will be welcomed by the Consortium of Vegetable-Tanned Leather, a non-profit association of twenty-two tanneries in the region that promotes the natural beauty and responsible use of this rich material. Our personal guide for this week, Diane Becker has 35 years of experience in Italy: ranging from shoe designer, department chair for Footwear and Accessory Design at Polimoda to trend forecast and brand identity for the luxury leather sector. She is responsible for didactic projects for the Consorzio Vera Pelle and the workshop Craft the Leather.


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