Senior Librarian Emeritus, Visual Arts Librarian (1997-2017)
Concordia University, Montréal
Prior to her 20 years of practice as the Visual Arts Librarian at Concordia University, Melinda Reinhart held other librarian positions at Concordia University and at the Université du Québec à Montréal (and before this, she enjoyed a career as a TESL professor at McGill University). Melinda’s career-long dedication to librarianship and her extensive contributions to art research locally and nationally make her the consummate art librarian.
In addition to providing art reference services to the Concordia University community, Melinda worked closely with generations of undergraduate and graduate students to ensure their academic success. Her subject areas supported an impressive list of departments within the Faculty of Fine Arts including Art Education, Art History, Cinema, Creative Arts Therapies, Design and Computation Arts, and Studio Arts.
Working in collaboration with professors from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Melinda was able to create enduring learning opportunities for researchers at Concordia University and beyond. For instance, she and two professors in the Art Education Department developed The Electronic Artroom – a visual art and new technologies project upon which she presented at an Art Education conference in 2002. Melinda was also a founding member of CWAHI – the Canadian Women Artists History Initiative (https://cwahi.concordia.ca/) – a publicly accessible, bio-bibliographic database that documents the work of Canadian women artists born before 1925. In 2008, she initiated the Webster Library’s exhibition program that showcased the work of students, faculty and alumni. Arguably, it was the art students who benefited most from this program in the long-term, as for many of them, the library was their first public exhibition venue. Despite “retiring” from Concordia in 2017, Melinda continues to research, update and edit entries for the CWAHI database. She also curated Boundless Dialogues (http://boundlessdialogues.blogspot.com/) – a group exhibition of artists’ books at the university’s Webster Library. This exhibition included works by artist and master bookbinder Jacques Fournier alongside artists’ books produced by Concordia Fine Arts students who followed a master class given by Fournier.
Melinda joined ARLIS/NA and ARLIS/NA MOQ in 1993, prior to becoming Concordia University’s Visual Arts Librarian. In 1995, she contributed to the successful hosting of ARLIS/NA’s first annual meeting held in Montreal. With much grace and aplomb, she served as the Vice-President of ARLIS/NA’s local chapter in 2000, and as its President in 2001. And, in recognition for their CWAHI project, Melinda and her colleagues received an honorable mention from the jury of ARLIS/NA’s Melva J. Dwyer award (2010).
On a more personal level, I’ve had the great pleasure to know Melinda since I joined ARLIS/NA MOQ in 1995, and we shared one graduate Art History class at Concordia University in the mid-2000s. In fact, learning that there was such a thing as a Visual Arts Librarian position in an academic library, was one of the factors that motivated me to pursue a MA in Art History. And a mere 15 years later, I find myself trying to fill Melinda’s shoes at Concordia University Library (and what big shoes they are!). On behalf of the countless students, professors, artists and librarians she’s helped over the years (myself included), I’d like to say “thank you Melinda,” and to wish her all the best for what I know will be a wonderful and productive retirement.
Teaching & Research Librarian – Fine Arts