Ann Baird Whiteside, Librarian and Assistant Dean for Information Resources at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, is the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Awards from both the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and the Visual Resources Association (VRA). The awards were announced at the 2016 ARLIS/NA and VRA joint conference, held March 8–12 in Seattle.
The ARLIS/NA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual whose exemplary service in art librarianship, visual resources curatorship, or a related field, has made an outstanding national or international contribution to art information. The VRA Distinguished Service Award honors an individual who has made an outstanding career contribution to the field of visual resources and image management.
Whiteside has the distinction of being the only person to have served as president of both organizations; she was president of VRA President in 2000 and 2001, and president of ARLIS/NA President in 2006 and 2007. She also served on ARLIS/NA’s Strategic Planning Task Force in 1999 and on the VRA’s Data Standards Committee, where she contributed to the development of the VRA Core metadata standard. She also served as chair of the ARLIS/NA & VRA Joint Conference Task Force.
Whiteside joined the GSD in 2010 and has been a change agent at the GSD’s Frances Loeb Library, which reopened for the Fall 2015 semester after a significant renovation. Prior to joining the GSD, Whiteside was the head of MIT’s Rotch Library of Architecture and Planning, where she helped lead the FACADE project investigating best methods for capturing, describing, managing, preserving, archiving, and making accessible digital 2-D and 3-D models produced by architects.
Among her publications, Whiteside coedited Cataloging Cultural Objects: A Guide to Describing Cultural Works and Their Images (2006), an extensive data-content standard that paved the way for resource sharing and interoperability.
Whiteside also served as project director for the Society of Architectural Historians’ SAHARA initiative and has been generally recognized for helping library communities keep pace with the rapidly changing nature of scholarly communication.