Job opportunity: First Year Experience Librarian @ The University of New Mexico

The University of New Mexico College of University Libraries and Learning Sciences (CUL&LS) seeks a service-oriented, innovative First Year Experience Librarian to support a dynamic library system with a strong outreach and instruction program. This is a full-time, 12-month tenure track faculty position with the rank of Assistant Professor. The desired start date is Spring 2019. The annual salary is negotiable based on qualifications and includes full benefits.

Position Description

The First Year Experience Librarian will:

  • Coordinate the first year experience program for the University Libraries and provide information literacy instruction to undergraduates in a variety of disciplines.
  • Have a passion for teaching and be excited about providing instruction to lower-division undergraduates.
  • Serve as the liaison to the First Year Learning Communities, First Year Research Experience, High Schools, Orientation and Transition programs, Residence Life, and the University College.
  • Teach credit courses for the CUL&LS’s Organization, Information & Learning Sciences (OILS) department.
  • Be an engaged, innovative, and service-oriented individual ready to join a dynamic, collaborative team of information professionals.
  • Establish and maintain strong relationships with colleagues and researchers, and employ communication, organizational, analytic, and problem-solving skills.

They will work to meet scholarship and service requirements for promotion and tenure and will participate in faculty governance as detailed in the UNM Faculty Handbook. Working some evenings and weekends is required.

The CUL&LS integrates the UNM values of Academic Freedom, Diversity Within the Academic Community, Creativity and Initiative, Excellence, Integrity and Professionalism, and Access and Student Success into all we do. As identified in the CUL&LS strategic plan, we strive to be “a leader in imagining, creating, and realizing the 21st century academic research library and university.”

Primary Duties

  • Coordinate and assess the impact of the first year experience program for the University Libraries.
  • Design shared instructional materials in various formats (including online tutorials, in-class activities, user guides, and training materials) — working closely with other librarians in doing so.
  • Teach OILS 101: Introduction to Information Studies (3 credits).
  • Build relationships with students and faculty to support their research and instructional endeavors.
  • Market library services to assigned liaison areas and to the university community.
  • Participate in UL&LS faculty governance and in library management as required.
  • Meet scholarship and service requirements for promotion and tenure as detailed in the UNM Faculty Handbook.
  • Contribute to CUL&LS initiatives that further UNM’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Qualifications

Education and Experience

Minimum Requirements:

  • An earned master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library/information sciences program or equivalent by the start date.
  • Two years of teaching experience.

Preferred (Desired) Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of and experience with information literacy concepts and trends (e.g., the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy and curriculum mapping).
  • Experience or demonstrated interest in conducting outreach and engagement efforts with students, faculty, and campus partners to support their research and instructional endeavors.
  • Experience with face-to-face and online instruction, including the design of instructional materials, activities, and curricula as well as presentation techniques and skills.
  • Experience teaching credit-bearing courses.
  • Demonstrated skill in using principles of effective design to communicate information or solve problems.
  • Knowledge of Spanish or an Indigenous language of the Southwestern U.S.
  • Excellent oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills as well as strong service orientation.
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and student success as well as working with broadly diverse communities.

Application Instructions

Instructions: Please prepare the following documents: CV, Cover Letter addressing each Minimum and Preferred Qualification, Statement of Teaching, and a list of three professional references including email and phone contact information. Questions may be directed to Leah Boetger, search coordinator, at lboetger@unm.edu. Note: We will require official transcripts at the time of hire.

Applicants who are appointed to a UNM faculty position are required to provide an official certification of successful completion of all degree requirements prior to their initial employment with UNM.

For Best Consideration

For best consideration, please apply by 11/2/2018. This position will remain open until filled.

The University of New Mexico provides a comprehensive package of benefits including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. In addition, UNM offers educational benefits through the tuition remission and dependent education programs. See the Benefits home page for more information.

JOB OPP: Exhibitions Coordinator – The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum

Exhibitions Coordinator (University Title)

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Department

Special Collections & Area Std

Summary of Duties:

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum (BICLM) holds the largest collection of cartoon and comics material in the world. Its facility on OSU’s campus, which opened in 2013, includes a free museum with three exhibition galleries open six days per week from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. BICLM seeks a Museum Manager who will be responsible for organizing, managing, and promoting exhibitions and educational events for BICLM’s exhibition galleries. Programming consists of exhibits relating to cartoons and comics with special emphasis on exhibits that encourage engagement with our permanent collection materials and contribute to teaching and learning at OSU. This position will work with Ohio State University Library (OSUL) staff and faculty, external curators, collectors, cartoonists, lenders, and campus and community partners. The museum manager will coordinate all administrative aspects of the museum including museum operations, exhibits workflow, programming and communications. Hours vary including some weekends, evenings, and possible holidays.

Pre Employment Screening

Requires the successful completion of a background check.

Required Qualifications

Bachelor’s degree in art, history, or museum studies or related field or equivalent combination of education and experience; experience in a museum or gallery setting; experience in planning, coordinating, or curating exhibitions; experience with collections management software; knowledge of cartoon and comics history and art; experience with planning and executing public educational programs.

Desired Qualifications

Master’s degree in Museum Studies, Museum Education, Museum Administration, or equivalent; experience collaborating with multiple organizations or partners; experience planning or coordinating significant exhibitions in recognized library or museum venues; experience with planning and executing comics or cartoon-related public programs.

Target Salary

$20.19 – $23.55 Hourly

Job Category

Administrative and Professional

Posting Start & End Date

10/20/18 – 11/11/18

Link to full job ad:

https://www.jobsatosu.com/postings/90294

Meet an Art Librarian: Career Interview with Emilee Mathews

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the field of (art) librarianship?

I went to Indiana University for an MA in Art History, starting in Fall 2008. Initially, I had only planned on getting the MA and to figure out what I wanted to do after that. But, in the meantime, I was in a class called Research Methods in Art History, and I met a bunch of people who were in the Art Librarianship specialization and others in the Dual Degree program, which offers masters in both Art History and in Library Science. I started considering this as a career path, never having realized before that this was an option. The clincher was that the ARLIS/NA conference was in Indianapolis the coming year (2009), and I got to meet local art librarians, and volunteered at the conference and met many, many more art information professionals from around the country. Everyone was so kind, helpful, and down to earth, I felt like I had found my “people.”

 

What “keeps you busy” these days in the field? What projects are you working on?

Just a few months ago I wrapped up teaching an online course in art librarianship for Indiana University, which I taught in Spring Semester 2018. It was a super intensive development process, as when you build an online course, you have to fully establish what you’ll cover, what the students will be exposed to, and how they’ll demonstrate proficiency in the topic way before the class actually starts, which means very deliberate content creation and development. A big part of it was recording around 30 interviews with art librarians in the profession, as well as art historians, curators, and artists. So now, I’m considering how to expose that content to reach a broader audience, since the interviews were so insightful and rich.

Spinning off of the knowledge I developed on designing online classes, I’m working [on] writing a monograph for Primary Research Group on this topic. I’ll be interviewing fellow practitioners to better understand best practices for developing online content. That is planned for publication in February 2019.

And one more project I’m hard at work on is participating in the State of Academic Art LIbraries Report Task Force, spearheaded by members of the Academic Libraries Division with help from the Museum Libraries Division and the Public Policy Committee. So far, we’ve scanned the literature for trends, created a survey to gather key information from fellow ARLIS members, and identified institutions that we want to feature as case studies. It’s been eye opening to see the trends I’ve experienced locally at the positions I’ve held, and see how widespread a lot of these developments are. I will say, the thing I’m most excited about in the report is gathering strategies for advocacy from colleagues. There are so many great stories that people have been telling, I think it’ll help everyone be more strategic in communicating their value once we publish the document and give people so many great examples to inspire them.

 

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?

Remember that what you bring to the table is unique and valuable, no matter where in your career you are. For those just starting out, you need to know that many libraries are more than willing to help foster an early career person, and see what you bring as useful. If you are getting phone interviews, it is likely that they are willing to help mentor you in the profession. However, as you progress through the interview process, watch for what types of training, orientation, and mentorship they have built into the onboarding process. Ask questions about how other early career people have been supported. Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions even after the onsite interview. Make sure to establish relationships among your library school professors and any practicing librarians you can – whether working part time in the library, or in an internship, a formal mentorship program, or what have you – so that you can benefit from their perspective and their network of relationships. They likely will have information about the institution you’re interviewing with that you would not necessarily be able to determine from just a day’s worth of interacting with people – or, they’ll be able to pick up on cues that you might miss.

 

What accomplishments in the field of art librarianship are you most proud of?   

In addition to the things I talked about above, I’m proud of being on the Strategic Directions Committee for ARLIS the last three years. That committee works super hard and comes up with amazing ideas. Basically, our charge is to look for ideas for what the society should become, try, or do, and present these options to the Executive Board. Already several things we’ve recommended have started to be put into action. It’s really satisfying to give back and to make a positive difference.

 

If you could go back in time and do part of your career or education over again, is there something you would have changed? A class you would have taken? A missed opportunity?

So many things! In library school, I wish I had taken the seminar in Intellectual Freedom that Ron Day offered, or the Digital Humanities classes, or the hands-on conservation practica. But the cool thing about being a librarian is that there’s a real acknowledgment of the importance of continuing education, and there’s lots of support for that. I also think one of the most important aspects of this profession is learn how to be an autodidact. The only guaranteed thing about librarianship is that you’ll constantly need to adapt and grow along with the profession.

MOQDOC Call for Submissions

Share your thoughts for the next edition of MOQDOC!

The Winter 2019 issue calls for discussion surrounding the digital exchanges that enable the professional community, their users, and institutions to thrive in the age of digital initiatives. This call for papers is asking: how are libraries, archives’ centers, art centers, museums, and artists’ collectives, as well as other such organizations that are dedicated to the arts by their cultural heritage and visual cultural resources and information services, rising to the challenges of the digital era?

We welcome articles on the following topics, but are not limited to:

  • Virtual exhibition reviews
  • Social media initiatives
  • Profile of an established member or information studies student (preference given to profiles of members participating in the development of digital projects or social media initiatives)
  • Description of research, special projects, or work in progress on digital projects
  • Arts related practicum projects

Submit your 250-1000 words in French or in English. Feel free to consider highlights, problems, lessons learned, and larger implications.

Submit your proposal no later than October 29, 2018 to arlismoq@gmail.com

Fall 2018 U.S. Chapter Meetings are Underway

Hit close to home with ARLIS/NA by attending your regional chapter meeting! Upcoming meetings dates for United States chapters are below (in alphabetical order). Some require preregistration or fees, so check the websites for chapter-specific information. Have fun, and keep in touch about your experiences on our Slack!

Central Plains

10/18-20 | St. Louis, MO
RSVP was due 9/30 – contact Chapter if interested in attending
http://centralplains.arlisna.org/meetings.php

Mid-Atlantic + Southeast joint meeting

11/15-17 | Richmond, VA
RSVP by 11/2
http://midatlantic.arlisna.org/meetings/upcoming-meetings/

Midstates

10/19-20 | Indianapolis, IN
http://midstates.arlisna.org/2018fallmeeting.html

New England

10/12 | Worcester, MA
RSVP by 10/8
http://newengland.arlisna.org/fall-joint-chapter-meeting-arlis-ne-and-vra-ne-friday-october-12-2018/

Northwest

10/12 | Vancouver, BC
http://nw.arlisna.org/2018/09/20/2018-annual-meeting-vancouver/

Ohio Valley

10/11-12 | Columbus, OH
RSVP by 10/5
*Call for lightning-round presentations; deadline 10/5
http://ohiovalley.arlisna.org/2018/08/31/registration-is-open-for-fall-meeting/

Southeast

(See Mid-Atlantic listing)

Southern California

10/19 | Santa Clarita/Valencia, CA
http://southerncalifornia.arlisna.org/2018/08/fall-business-meeting-2018/

Texas-Mexico

10/26-28 | Austin, TX
RSVP by 10/12
*Call for papers; deadline 10/10
http://texas-mexico.arlisna.org/annual-meetings/

Upstate New York

11/2 | Syracuse University, NY
https://arlisupstateny.org/2017/01/26/arlisna-45th-annual-conference-arts-du-monde-new-orleans/

ARLIS/NA Northwest Chapter 2018 Fall Chapter Meeting in Vancouver, BC – Fast Approaching!

Registration is now open for the joint ARLIS/NW + VRA-PRC 2018 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC!

When
Friday, October 12, 2018
Where
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Ron Burnett Library + Learning Commons
520 E 1st Ave, Vancouver, BC V5T 1A7

 

Preliminary Program
– ARLIS/NA Northwest Chapter and VRA business meetings
– Talk on Allyship with guest speakers
– Emily Carr University Campus exhibitions tour
– Lunch
– Reconciliation workshop
– Optional activities on Saturday

Meeting Registration
Register in advance with the form below and pay via PayPal or in person the day of the meeting (cash/cheque).

Register online

Job Opportunity: Archives Assistant, The Frick Collection (term)

Background

The Frick Collection is an art museum consisting of more than 1,400 works of art from the thirteenth to the nineteenth century, displayed in the intimate surroundings of the former home of Henry Clay Frick. The residence, with its furnishings and works of art, has been open to the public since 1935. The Frick Art Reference Library is an internationally-recognized research library that serves as one of the most complete resources for the study of Western art. Founded in 1920, the Library today holds more than one million study photographs, 285,000 books, 80,000 auction catalogs, and 2,250 periodical titles. It is open to interested individuals from all over the world.

Position Summary Major responsibility of this position is assisting the Archives staff in preparing the archival collections for a move to off-site storage. Rehouse, organize and interfile archival material, create collection- and item-level inventories, and label and barcode boxes. The person in this position may also assist with reference queries, administrative duties, and other archival projects as needed. Frequent lifting to the waist of boxes weighing up to forty pounds. Requirements Undergraduate degree required. Additional consideration will be given to candidates possessing a Master’s Degree in Library/Information Science or enrolled in a Master’s Degree program with an archival component. Previous experience in an archival setting is desired, as is general knowledge of current trends and emerging technologies in libraries and archives. Candidates should be able to work both independently and collaboratively with other team members. Knowledge of Word and Excel required.

Work Hours and Compensation
Monday through Friday, work schedule to be determined. Compensation is $25.00/hour
Benefits in Employment with the Frick Collection
All employees of the Frick Collection may access free or discounted admission to most of New York’s finest museums. Additionally, we provide employees and volunteers with a discount on Museum Shop purchases and an on-site discounted employee dining service. Part-time employees are also eligible to accrue sick in accordance with the New York City Earned Sick Time Act. The Frick Collection offers a beautiful and pleasant work setting and an excellent opportunity to appreciate some of the world’s finest works of art.

To apply, please send cover letter and resume to: Chief, Archives and Records Management jobs@frick.org

The Frick Collection
1 East 70th Street
New York, NY 10021
Include “Archives Assistant” in subject line of email. No phone calls.

JOB OPP: Director of Bridwell Art Library, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY

The University of Louisville Libraries are looking for an energetic, creative and forward-thinking Director of the Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library. The successful candidate will be eager to engage students and faculty from an evolving Fine Arts program, and by crafting services, programs, and collections that support their learning, research and artistic endeavors.  The Director has responsibility for all aspects of management and planning for the Art Library, reports to the Dean of Libraries and serves on the Dean’s senior library administrative team.

The Director will also have the opportunity to participate in significant projects impacting the entire University Libraries, such as developing digital scholarship services and engaging in assessment projects.

Responsibilities:

  • Leadership: Provide innovative approaches to the development of services to faculty, students, researchers, and the community; manage operations of the library including the supervision of two full-time staff and student assistants; contribute to the goals and initiatives of the University Libraries.
  • Engagement: Serve as liaison to the Hite Art Institute, Department of

Fine Arts which currently occupies three locations within the city; promote use of the extensive print and electronic collections; collaborate with other liaison librarians, especially to other arts and humanities disciplines; use social media and other emerging technologies to engage users.

  • Information Literacy: Design and implement instructional programs and materials including online research guides and tutorials; communicate with faculty about information literacy services and work with them to develop appropriate library assignments; collaborate with instruction librarians from the Research Assistance and Instruction Dept. on the development of new skills and approaches to teaching.
  • Reference: Provide information services in person and online to campus and community users.
  • Collection Management: Develop print and electronic collections in studio art, art and architecture history, design, artist’s books and curatorial studies; promote and build archival collections.
  • Outreach: Work with arts organizations in the community and seek opportunities for partnerships; cultivate and provide stewardship to donors.
  • Collaboration: Work with other Libraries faculty and departments on campus on new initiatives in areas such as digital scholarship and assessment.

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program or international equivalent in library or information science
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree in an arts field or work experience in a fine arts organization
  • Three years relevant professional experience in an academic/research library
  • Knowledge of digital technologies, web design and social media; demonstrated ability to learn and use emerging technologies in innovative ways
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work collaboratively and independently, and to handle multiple priorities
  • Potential for satisfying the University Libraries Faculty promotion and tenure requirements

Desired Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with digital humanities
  • Experience providing instruction to classes and individuals
  • Experience providing reference services and familiarity with methods

of scholarly research in art

  • Demonstrated commitment to public service
  • Experience providing services outside of the library setting
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively and build strong relationships with colleagues, students, faculty, and researchers
  • Knowledge of collection development practices in art and architectural history, art, design, and curatorial studies
  • Reading or bibliographic knowledge of a second language
  • Supervisory experience
  • Membership in professional organizations such as ARLIS/NA

The initial rank and salary will depend upon experience and professional achievements. The University Libraries offer a comprehensive benefits package and annual vacation of 22 working days.  Library faculty appointments are twelve-month, tenure-track positions.

The University Libraries, a member of the Association of Research Libraries, values its collaborative efforts both within the university and among other organizations. The University of Louisville is a Carnegie Research/High university and recipient of the Carnegie Community Engagement classification for Curricular Engagement & Outreach and Partnerships. The University has a national reputation for its high-quality undergraduate programs; over twenty nationally recognized research, graduate, and professional programs; 22,000 graduate and undergraduate students; and a strong commitment to the community in which it resides. UofL is located in the state’s largest urban area.

The city of Louisville offers hospitality, warmth and smaller city advantages like shorter commutes and lower cost of living alongside major city amenities like world-class performing arts, great sports, incredible dining and a nationally-acclaimed parks system. The city also has a vibrant arts scene with numerous museums, including the Speed Art Museum and the Kentucky Museum of Arts and Crafts, and several neighborhoods with contemporary galleries and distinctive shops.

Applications received by October 19, 2018 are given full consideration in the initial screening. The position will remain open until filled. Applicants must apply at:    https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flouisville.edu%2Fhr%2Femployment%2Fjobs%2Fcurrentopenings&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ce7151d4cce934e2593ed08d61f299987%7Ce285d438dbba4a4c941c593ba422deac%7C0%7C0%7C636730660866168791&sdata=0ndK6Vl8FymsqMYJc0ol9rs2AdHD7RTHOVOKl8jwbJ4%3D&reserved=0 (Job ID

34499) and attach AS A SINGLE, COMBINED PDF a CV, letter of interest detailing your familiarity, aptitude, and/or experience with the required and desired qualifications, and the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of three references.

The University Libraries are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive workplace and have recently joined the ACRL Diversity Alliance to work with other academic libraries toward this goal.

 

Please direct questions to:

James Procell

Director, Anderson Music Library

University of Louisville

2301 S. 3rd St.

Louisville, KY  40292

502.852.0528 or james.procell@louisville.edu

 

The University of Louisville is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer, and is committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, sex, age, color, national origin, ethnicity, creed, religion, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, pregnancy, or veteran status. If you are unable to use our online application process due to an impairment or disability, please contact the Employment team at employ@louisville.edu or 502.852.6258.

The “Art” of Job Hunting or How We Got From There to Here

ArLiSNAP Feature Post Writers Sarah and Courtney, both fresh from the job hunt process, describe their experience job searching as an art librarian and interview each other about the process in the hopes of starting a dialogue for all new job-seeking art librarians.

A white coffee mug with “begin” written on it on a wooden table

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Sarah’s Experience:

I decided to get my Master’s degree in Library Science while working in a paraprofessional position in an academic performing arts library, and I took on an archival studies concentration in order to broaden my post-graduation job possibilities. Leading up to graduation I began applying for local music librarian positions, but after graduation in May 2017 I broadened my job search to include research, instruction, and collections jobs outside of the arts and in other parts of the country (and abroad). I had a few job interviews but, in my first few months with my Master’s degree, did not succeed in finding a position that was a match for me.

In October 2017 I had the opportunity to interview for a librarian position in an art museum, and it showed me a new path that I could take in my job search, beyond academic work. This motivated me to learn more. I joined ArLiSNAP, began a volunteer position at an art museum, and began taking webinars to teach myself more about art museum library collections and cataloging. After seven months, my volunteer position turned into a part-time paid fellowship, and shortly after that I was offered a full-time position as a cataloger for a museum library.

My experience showed me that art librarianship is an extremely competitive field in which one must be willing to learn and engage with other art librarians and researchers. The job hunting process is very involved and can be very discouraging (even causing anxiety and depression for which we should not be afraid to seek help). It was very helpful for me, personally, to relieve stress by speaking with other job-hunting librarians about their experience. I also made the most of the paraprofessional job I was in by asking my supervisor to teach me new things and taking on new and different responsibilities. Ultimately, my personal experience was one which taught me to “go with the flow” because your job search may take you in directions that you never would have considered as long as you are open to learning new things.

Courtney’s Experience:

I worked as a paraprofessional in a public library first, and then a community college library, as well as taught (adjunct) art history for 3-4 years prior to going back for my master’s in library science (technically mine is an M.S.I.S.). Currently, I’m not working as an art librarian, but as a collection development librarian, which I think has tons of potential for working in visual arts subject collections. There is a lot of overlap in collection work with art librarianship that I hope to use to my advantage later in my career.

I began applying for jobs in all academic libraries, some in art libraries, before I had conferred my degree. Honestly, I was living in a really expensive part of the country at the time, and I was really anxious to move up in the library world, as well as find a more fulfilling position in line with my interests.

The day after I earned by degree, I had the chance to interview in person at a large research university for an Art and Design Librarian position, which I did not get. It was a fantastic experience though. It really gave me a taste of what interviewing at academic libraries in general is like, and it also gave me insight into aspects of art librarianship that I hadn’t learned in school or at my job at the time.

Though I didn’t get that job, I realized that I could look for other jobs in academic libraries like the one I have now, and that I could interview with confidence because I had done it once. I realized that even though art library jobs are really competitive and hard to come by, I could develop skills I had less of (collection work in this case–I have a background in teaching, so reference and instruction are covered for me) and then look for art library jobs again in a few years.

I definitely agree with Sarah about going “with the flow,” because librarianship is so interdisciplinary. Even if you don’t get an art librarian job right away, the experience you gain doing other things will help you get there. AND, every position is tailorable! You can make relationships on campus that keep you in the loop in the arts world (some tips for which I wrote about here), which can be reflected in cover letters and CVs.

Photo by Evie Shaffer on Unsplash

Sarah Interviews Courtney:

What do you think is the hardest part of breaking into the art librarianship field?

So far for me, the hardest part is just not having worked in specifically an art library. I have a lot of experience in libraries at this point, but it is mostly paraprofessional. When I interviewed for an art and design position, I feel like I answered interview questions well and that my presentation was good (with great responses/questions!), but that to leadership, I probably didn’t have the level of experience on the job or serving on committees for national associations that they were looking for.

Do you think art librarians should be willing to apply for jobs in other parts of the country?

I think that it is a privilege to be able to do so. I moved for my current position (which is not an art librarian position) and would have moved for the position at the larger university. However, there are layers here: willingness/confidence/privilege to negotiate terms of a contract that would account for moving costs, a big enough bank account to cover the costs of moving whether or not your moving expenses are covered (reimbursement often takes forever), having a support system that can help you both mentally and physically with the act of moving, etc.

So, my answer here is: your job prospects will widen if you are open to moving, but many people would really be hard up to make a move prior to a “professional” librarian salary (which often isn’t even that high).

What has been your experience as an academic librarian preparing for a career in art libraries?

I am constantly trying to find new ways to stay connected with the visual arts. I go to galleries and museums and talk to the curators there. I’m lucky, because the Halsey Institute is right down the street, and one of their curators is a friend of mine from my first round of grad school! But I do a lot of reading articles and just generally trying to stay up to date with what is going on in art libraries.

Professionally, I think about research that relates to my job now and how it could be adapted specifically for art libraries. For instance, I’m currently working on assessments of our architecture and art history collections, and this has led to taking a deep look at the programs they support and the faculty who run them. I’m hoping that this work and the relationships I build will help develop any skills and knowledge I lack.

I think that volunteering for ArLiSNAP also counts as something I’m doing to prepare. Being a feature post writer is forcing me to think of issues in field and keep up with what other art librarians are doing.

Thinking back to your Master’s Degree program, is there anything you would have done differently to broaden your job possibilities?

I maybe would have tried harder to do a practicum in an art library. I did a practicum in collection development and instruction, the former of which helped me get my current position, but because I was a) pregnant and b) working full time, the convenience my practicum was key. One thing I did do was try to align what I was taking with library degrees at different schools that had a cultural heritage or art library “track” (mine didn’t specifically).

What has surprised you about the job searching process in this field?

I feel like I’ve been pretty prepared by colleagues and professors on the intricacies of applying for jobs in academic libraries, which includes subject specialist and art librarian positions, so I haven’t been surprised by much. However, for those reading this who haven’t been through it, in person interviews in academic libraries are like running a marathon. All day, grueling, but invigorating (sometimes) processes that require you to be “on” all day. I actually loved interviewing at that big university library even though I didn’t get that position, because I was able to engage with members of the campus community who came out to meet me at the various meetings. We talked a lot about issues in the field, and I genuinely felt like there was no “right” answer. I already knew I wanted to be an art librarian before interviewing, but I left realizing that it really is my career goal. Not every job interview is like that (maybe most aren’t?), but I guess it surprised me how at ease I felt with it. Probably because I am a subject specialist (M.A. in Art History), so I had a lot of feelings about fine arts collections, as well as their applications in teaching and research.

Do you have any words of wisdom for those interested in working in academic libraries?

Get experience, somehow. Any way you can. Volunteer if you can afford it, try to get a part-time job as a paraprofessional if you haven’t finished your degree…but just try to get that experience. It sucks, because I feel like academic libraries should give new professionals more of a shot. At my last job, I was on a hiring committee where we really tried to keep that in mind and look at those who had related experience + their MLS (which was required by HR), but unfortunately at most places, they are really looking for that library experience. Also, I think experience counts for more than the degree in a lot of cases. We interviewed super new “professional” librarians who had lots of library experience in staff positions over people who just had their MLS.

Also, when you interview, remember that you are also interviewing THEM. Try not to be scared to advocate for yourself and ask hard questions. When I interviewed, both for the art and design position as well as my current place work, I was a pumping mother of a baby under a year old. I had to request facilities in which to do that. They were accommodating, but if they hadn’t been, I would have known that I didn’t want to work there immediately. You want to be comfortable and happy where you work, so ask the hard questions.

What advice can you give to those trying to cope with the disappointment that inevitably comes with job hunting (and which for new professionals may be especially unexpected)?

Ugh, it’s hard. Try not to be discouraged! When I didn’t get the job in that fine arts library, I was crushed. I didn’t think I’d get a second interview, so when I was invited on campus, I was elated–how could I, as a new professional, get a job like THAT? I tried to just be proud of myself for getting there, but after my interview I was convinced I had a good shot. Later on, when I found out who did the job, I was seriously even prouder of myself, because that person had years of experience and also was involved in national associations (which I didn’t have the chance to do). I felt so happy I got as far as I did — you need to celebrate those victories, because they’re all learning experiences. So chin up and move on! It’s 100% their loss!

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Courtney Interviews Sarah:

I’m repeating your question, because I’m curious: What do you think is the hardest part of breaking into the art librarianship field?

I think the hardest part(s) is(are) a combination of having the right skillset, finding the institution willing to take a chance on you, and not getting too discouraged by rejection. When combined, I think these things indicate (correctly) that the job search can be a long and challenging process for any new professional. But, it is worth it for anyone who truly loves art scholarship and collections.

How was your interview process different at an art museum library versus an academic art library?

It was completely different! Just as you mentioned, all of my academic library interviews were day-long affairs which typically involved a presentation that I had spent weeks preparing in advance. However, the art museum library interviews were typically only a couple of hours long and did not involve presentations. I interviewed for one position in an art museum library that was affiliated with a college, and that interview was structured more like an academic library interview. Another significant difference is that academic jobs typically involved multiple interviews with several members of the institution’s library staff, faculty, and administration, whereas museum library interviews were typically one-on-one or smaller groups.

Did you interview anywhere for a position you would not have accepted after you interviewed? What would the factors leading you to that conclusion?

Within weeks of finishing my MLIS, I interviewed for a position that I knew was not right for me. It was a step in the right direction (a professional title, a higher salary), but it involved responsibilities that were outside of my interests. I had initially applied for this job because it had a performing arts element, but when I learned more about the position, I realized that it did not have enough of an arts element to compensate for the other responsibilities that I was much less interested in. I was able to say “no” to this position because at the time I had a full-time paraprofessional job and a financial support network. However, if I had been in a financial or career position where I felt I was struggling, I would have definitely pursued that job. I think there is something to learn from any job you take, and even if it’s not your dream job, you can use it as an opportunity to learn and apply skills to your next position.

What are some of the things you feel are most important to do for someone trying to break into the field?

Relating back to your first question, I think that there are a few things art library students and new professionals can do to prepare themselves. This field is so competitive that students in art librarianship-focused MLS programs should be willing to cater the program to the skills they will need (i.e. taking the opportunity to do research in art librarianship or classes on visual resources or choose a concentration in digital media). I would encourage students to check out the ArLiSNAP “Hack Your Art Librarianship Program” blog posts for more advice on this.

For MLS graduates, one must be willing to continue learning through webinars, volunteer work, professional organizations, and networking. Once you have a good-looking resume (full of relevant volunteer work and continuing education), it’s all about applying to positions where you think the institution would be willing to hire a newbie. If you think you’re a good fit, apply. Use your cover letter to tell them why you’re a good fit even though you’re new-ish to the field! Lastly, you may find yourself applying to dozens (and dozens) of jobs without any offers. Keep pushing on. If you can, use your joblessness as an opportunity to take on more activities to boost your professional development, and take advantage of services like mentorship and resume reviews at ARLIS/NA and ArLiSNAP conferences! As long as you are able to push on, try not to give up because the next opportunity could be right around the corner at any time, and you don’t want to miss it!

Do you feel your master’s degree aptly prepared you for your position? For the job hunting process?

My program took around 2.5 years mostly part-time, and I think even if it had taken 3.5 years it would not have been long enough to prepare me for all the different facets of librarianship and art librarianship that I am interested in. Fortunately, it was a very career-minded program (in the online SOIS at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – highly recommend!) which taught me practical things like how to analyze job descriptions and plan for a future in rapidly digitizing library environments. I also did not know when I was in this program that I would eventually become a cataloger. I have always preferred working with the public to sitting behind a computer screen. If I had known then that cataloging is much more than staring at a computer, I probably would have taken more cataloging courses, which might have prepared me to apply to cataloging positions right out of grad school. But, in the end, I feel that my program was well-rounded and did the best possible job of preparing me for job hunting.

Do you have any words of wisdom for those working in other types of libraries (school, public) hoping to get into academic or art libraries?

Yes! Any job in the library field (or art or museums) is a step towards working in art librarianship. The best possible thing you can do is make opportunities for yourself. Whenever you see a job posting for a position you are interested in but don’t think you are qualified for, save it and use it to help brainstorm ways to learn the skills you would need to be qualified for it. If you are working in a school library, try to include art books and topics in your library lessons. If you are working in a public library, ask your supervisor if you can curate a display of books about local art/artists. Start (and hopefully finish) projects that will look good on your resume, and don’t be afraid to get involved with professional communities of art librarians (ArLiSNAP is the perfect place to start!) and to ask questions about breaking into the field. You might start by posting your questions here, in this thread :)

Conclusions

Job hunting is so stressful! There’s no getting around that. And added to the stress is the passion that many art librarians feel for their subject specialty and profession. It can feel alienating to be in a position that is separate from what you’d rather be doing. But, as with most things in the library world, every experience leads to another.

If you have any questions for Sarah or Courtney, or would just like to share your own experience, please feel free to post in the comments section here!

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash

ARLIS/NA Midstates Chapter Meeting CFP – Deadline September 18th

CALL FOR PRESENTATIONS​

The Midstates Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) invites those engaged in work related to visual arts and information science to submit a proposal for a presentation at the annual Fall meeting on Friday, October 19th, 2018 in Indianapolis.  Submissions are welcomed in the following formats:

  • Presentations – a talk of 20 minutes, given by one or more presenter, with or without the use of visual aids
  • Lightening-round talks – a talk of 3-5 minutes, given by one presenter, with or without the use of visual aids; particularly suited for emerging trends
  • Poster presentations – a visual presentation in poster format about ongoing or completed projects; presenters may provide handouts and/or speak with viewers in an informal setting

Prospective presenters are encouraged to submit proposals on a variety of issues related to art, design, and visual culture, including:

  • ​book arts
  • cataloging issues
  • collaboration and partnerships across institutions
  • collection development
  • copyright and open access related to visual materials
  • critical librarianship
  • digital humanities
  • diversity and inclusion in the art library
  • information literacy for artists and art historians
  • museum librarianship
  • outreach to users
  • challenges in special collections
  • web archiving

Submission guidelines:

Submit an abstract of 300 words to Sarah Carter at saccarte at indiana dot edu.  Specify your preferred presentation format (presentation, lightening round talk, poster presentation).

Submission deadline: Tuesday, September 18th

 

Fall meeting information:

Dates: Friday, October 19th, and Saturday, October 20​th, 2018

Venue: Herron Art Library and IUPUI University Library

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

About ARLIS/NA Midstates:

The Midstates Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America is a dynamic group of library and information professionals dedicated to art, architecture, design and visual resources. The chapter serves the region including Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. Our members are art and architecture librarians, visual resources curators, museum professionals, archivists and special collections librarians, collectors and appreciators, book publishers and dealers, content providers, educators, artists, and students. The chapter meets twice a year, supporting our professional network, sharing information and visiting member institutions. We welcome all interested members of ARLIS/NA and all students enrolled in regional library and information science programs to become members of the Midstates Chapter. Participation in our meetings is open to all.