Olivia Miller, SILS graduate student, awarded Art Libraries Society travel grant

March 20, 2013

Olivia MillerOlivia Miller, a current MSLS student at UNC at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS), has been awarded the 2013 ARLIS/SE Professional Development Travel Award, which will allow her to travel to Pasadena, California in April to give a presentation at the 41st annual conference of the “Art Libraries Society of North America” (ARLIS/NA). The award will pay for a year-long membership to the Southeast Chapter of ARLIS.

Miller’s presentation is titled “Power Up! How Can Academic Libraries Collect for Video Game Design Students.”  The presentation description given on the Web site says, “As video games become increasingly more mainstream their legitimacy as a form of art has solidified. The number of universities offering degrees in video game studies and video game design rise annually, and more academic librarians now face the task of collecting for this new, highly interdisciplinary field.”

The presentation will focus on the behavior of video game design students and is based on research done for her SILS master’s paper. She came up with the idea for the paper and presentation while enrolled in the SILS course “Art and Visual Information.” Upon researching and realizing that there is very little available information on video game students’ information behavior, she decided to conduct her own study.

“The field is really unique in that it mixes the creativity and skill of digital and studio artists with the technical know-how of computer programmers,” said Miller. “After the mini-study I did for [the SILS course], I still feel like both video game studies and LIS would benefit from a solid study on these students’ information behavior to better serve them and to bring more attention to their budding field.”

This year’s ARLIS/NA conference will be held April 25-29, and Miller will give her presentation on the 27th. This will be her first time attending the conference. After graduating from SILS in May of this year, Miller hopes to secure a job working in a field involving some of the issues she plans to discuss in her presentation. 

“My dream job would be as an academic art librarian, being able to do arts based reference, instruction and collection,” Miller said, “Really I’d be happy working in any academic library in reference and instruction. Extra points if they have a video game design program.”