Hello from co-moderator Johanna Kasubowski

And a hello from me, Johanna Kasubowski.  I join Teri in co-moderating the Materials SIG.  I am the Materials & Media Collections Librarian at the Frances Loeb Library at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design (GSD).  While the GSD Materials Collection has been in existence since 2004, it was in 2011 that it transitioned from a faculty collection to one administered by the library.  Since then I have been involved with the evolution of our collection – collection development, sample storage, circulation, outreach, and research support – as well as participation in a project with the Rhode Island School of Design to develop a shared materials collection management tool. This project’s intentions were not only to replace our existing independently-built database and online discovery system, but to create a standardized and stable system for design materials collections at other academic and cultural institutions.

As one of the five collections of the Frances Loeb Library’s Special Collections, the GSD Materials Collection consists of over 600 material products ranging from innovative, new materials to those found in the everyday built environment. Developed according to faculty and student research agendas, the collection has been focused in these areas: Material Ecology; Fabrication Materials; Bio-based Materials; Recycled Materials; Urban Scale Materials; and Materials in Use.  It is a collection of objects which visitors are encouraged to handle and study.

The Frances Loeb Library provides additional resources to support research of materials: the Materials Collection Primer (PDF), which serves as an introduction for students investigating materials topics in design; a subscription to Material ConneXion’s material database and ActiveMatter; a 100-seat license to Granta’s CES Edupack, a tool that visualizes materials properties to enable understanding on how material families behave; a Materials Collection Research Guide comprised of both library and non-library material resources; and a collecting area of publications that focus on materials for research and practice.

Teri and I look forward to seeing many of you in New Orleans at the annual ARLIS/NA conference, especially at the Materials SIG.

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