Connecting Collections: Art Libraries in Collaboration, LALIC, Leeds, 5th November 2019

Connecting Collections: Art Libraries in Collaboration, Leeds Central Library, 5th November 2019


LALIC (Leeds Art Libraries in Cooperation) is twenty-five years old this year and members were keen to host an event that would look back at the history of the group and its activities and generate ideas for future events and projects. We are extremely grateful to ARLIS for providing one of the ARLIS 50th anniversary grants to make this event possible.

The event, ‘Connecting Collections: Art Libraries in Collaboration’, was held in Leeds Central Library’s new multi-use arts space Room 700 on Tuesday, 5th November 2019.  The programme aimed to share LALIC’s long tradition of mutual support among its members, 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.

We invited several guest speakers to discuss the idea of collaboration between libraries, artists and galleries. Ella Snell spoke about the British Library’s Living Knowledge Network and Dr Althea Greenan gave a presentation about the Women’s Art Library and the projects she has developed with artists. More information and images from the day can be found at

The event attracted librarians and archivists from across the region, with representatives from the Northern College of Art, Hartlepool, Huddersfield University, West Yorkshire Archives and libraries across Leeds attending.

At the end of the afternoon there was time to discuss ideas for promotional and skill-sharing events and we received some great ideas for future events. Suggestions included reciprocal visits, demonstrations of specialist art and design e-resources, mentoring/shadowing and speed-dating a library treasure – three minutes with a book.

There was also the opportunity to visit the Henry Moore Institute Library and Leeds Central Library’s Drawing Room for a demonstration of the new printing equipment available to users.

It is testament to LALIC’s usefulness as a collaborative and mutually supportive alliance that we celebrate twenty-five years. LALIC has made contact with potential new members through this event and the group has been strengthened, with renewed enthusiasm for future events and projects.

Ann Sproat

Henry Moore Institute