University Librarian at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Winston-Salem NC

The University Library provides materials and services which support the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ educational, artistic, and performance objectives, and which serve the intellectual, informational, and cultural needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the school, as well as other members of the local community. The University Librarian provides leadership for the library with the following:

– Responsible for hiring, performance management and professional development of library personnel. Directly and indirectly supervises 7 professional librarians and 8 support staff, providing leadership that fosters a positive rapport and a collaborative spirit among all library employees.

– Oversees Access Services, University Archives, Benjamin F. Ward Music Library, Reference, Systems, and Technical Services.

– Directs the exploration, development, and implementation of innovative services and tools that provide high quality, user‐focused learning experiences and foster student success.

– Promotes assessment strategies and data‐informed decision making, enhancing support for future choices and changes in library service.

– Leads processes by which the library is integrated into the campus community, working to support the curricula, student learning outcomes and the goals of the university.

– Collaborates with library colleagues and the Provost in long‐range planning and budgeting for the library.

– Enhances financial support for the library through the pursuit of proposals and grants.

Minimum Qualifications

aster’s degree in Library/Information Science from an ALA-accredited institution with a demonstrated record of at least 5 years of successful, progressively responsible library leadership at the academic/university level.

Preferred Qualifications 

– Arts background

– Experience developing capacity for new and emerging areas of library focus – e.g. user experience, digital preservation, data collection, assessment, and digital scholarship.

– Experience acquiring funding through a diverse array of sources, including institutional funds, grant-writing, and fundraising

An Interview with Ryan Flahive, Archivist at the Institute of American Indian Arts

Ryan Flahive is the Archivist at the Institute of American Indian Arts, a college focused on Native American Art. He comes to this position without a background in Library and Information Science, bringing a unique and different perspective to the job than is regularly seen in the ArLiSNAP interviews. Please read about his career journey, his work, and advice for getting into the profession below!

Can you tell us a little bit about your background, your current position, and how you got into the field?
I’m originally from a small farm town in Northeastern Colorado called Sterling, the youngest of nine children. My father, Frank Flahive, was dedicated to teaching the social sciences—history, government, geography, etc—at every level and spent his career fighting for teacher’s salaries through his volunteer position with the NEA. He is by far the greatest influence on my career. From an early age, my Dad and I spent countless hours at museums, libraries, cemeteries, and historic sites—reading every panel, stone, and engraving.

Fast forward to 1997—I moved to St. Charles, Missouri (just west of St. Louis) to play football and pursue a degree in History—in that order—at Lindenwood University (LU). During the course of my studies at LU, I discovered the world of anthropology, and added it as a second major. It was my anthropology advisor, Dr. Ray Scupin, who suggested I pursue a career in museums rather than a PhD in American History, which was the route my history professors preferred. After graduation from LU in 2001, I began a graduate program in history and Museum Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (UMSL). The program is small; only twelve students are accepted each year. It focused on the overall management of cultural institutions—grant writing, policy development, strategic planning, curatorial basics, exhibiting planning, you name it—and rather than concluding the two-year degree with a capstone thesis, we were required to submit an exit project; something practical rather than esoteric. While other students in the cohort were interested in projects involving art conservation, exhibit development, or an education plan, I found archives. Specifically, I found the rotting archive of the St. Louis Public Service Company at the Museum of Transport in St. Louis County. Several hundred boxes were stored in a refrigerator box car at the back of the museum campus for over 25 years and documented the history of public transportation in St. Louis, c. 1870-1981 through maps, photographs, and other historic records. I couldn’t leave them to certain demise and set upon the task of preserving and arranging the materials. After nearly eighteen months of volunteer processing and preservation, I submitted the finding aid as my exit project and graduated from UMSL in May 2003. Since then I have worked in museum education in Wyoming (Ft. Caspar Museum, 2004), archives and rare book librarianship in Arizona (Sharlot Hall Museum, 2005-2009), and now as the Archivist at the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe, New Mexico (2009-present). I am currently responsible for the historic record of our college and museum and teach museum studies courses (Basics of Archives Management and Oral Histories Research). My job, as a one-man-shop, is complicated. For some general information on the archives at IAIA, visit our webpage at https://iaia.edu/academics/library/archives/.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
As I said above, my job at IAIA is complicated—but in a good way—so no day is typical. First and foremost, I am an educator. On any given day I might present the history of IAIA to a class or touring group, serve a variety of research patrons, grade papers, advise students, develop a syllabus, record a lecture for online delivery, or simply lend a sympathetic ear. Second, I identify as a practical historian dedicated to the development of alternative historic narratives. This part of my job entails not only helping my patrons develop these narratives through access to the archives but also through writing and publishing (Celebrating Difference: Fifty Years of Contemporary Native Arts at IAIA, 1962-2012, 2012; The Sound of Drums: A Memoir of Lloyd Kiva New, 2016). Last, but certainly not least, is my work as an archivist. By far the largest part of my job, my focus is on the overall management of the archives. I often work on policy revision and development, grant writing (never-ending), collection development, processing strategies, and digital asset & database management (http://econtent.unm.edu/cdm/insameindart, https://rmoa.unm.edu/results.php?inst=NmSfAIA). However, my day-to-day duties might include scanning and sharing photos with remote patrons, photo preservation, arrangement & description and everything in-between. As a museum professional, I have the honor and ability to work with our museum, The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, on collaborative projects and also sit on the campus Public Art Committee. The curation of art and history exhibits and the development of important narratives within museums plays a daily role in my career.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
My advise for students (who eventually become those on the job market)—for what its worth:
Be as effective as possible in as many tasks as possible. Become a good grant writer. Learn project management strategies. Continually develop your technical skills, both on the public end and the back end. In other words—don’t back yourself into a predefined box!
Get involved with professional organizations! Serve on boards, work on strategic plans, and expand your toolbox.
Can’t find a job? Volunteer! Working for free is not optimal, but maintaining your skills and professional network during tough times is a must.

What were/are some challenges for you in the library/archival field?
I have degrees in History and Museum Studies—but not a library degree. I had no formal training in archives during my college years, so I learned the primary concepts of archives management informally during my exit project and later during my first formal archivist job at Sharlot Hall Museum. In a way, the entire field was a challenge to me. Coding has always been problematic, EAD and XML in particular. Having no formal training on technical coding or database management, learning EAD in 2009-2010 using Oxygen was a major challenge.
There are several overreaching issues/challenges in the field that I try to address through my daily work. Most recently, I’ve been lecturing and writing about traditional archival access issues. Specifically, the need for archives and archivists to become proactive in the digital and visual repatriation of cultural materials to source communities and revising access policies (see my article “Repatriating History,” http://www.oif.ala.org/oif/?p=9030 for more information). Institutional equity is also an issue I address through professional board appointments. I try to do my part to assure that funds, both public and private, are available to small, rural institutions (including historical societies, museums, Tribal entities, and archives).

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time?
Happily married for fourteen years, my wife and I have a twelve-year-old boy and a ten-year-old girl. The family consumes the majority of my spare time, and rightly so. That said, I spend much of the remainder of my free time on the game of disc golf, which I’ve been playing, teaching, and organizing since 1999. Luckily, my wife and children also caught the bug. You might find me throwing discs, planning a tournament, teaching a school clinic, designing a course, overseeing the installation of a new course, or cleaning up an existing course. My passion for the game worked its way into my professional life; in 2015 I organized the funding and installation of a championship course at IAIA accompanied by a health class in disc golf—the IAIA Disc Golf Course is a fun side project. For more information, visit our webpage at https://iaia.edu/student-life/disc-golf-course/.

If you could take a trip to visit any library in the world, which would it be?
Only one? The New York City Public Library for its dynamic map collection. The Trinity College Library in Dublin for its genealogical resources and architecture. And the McHenry Library at the University of California-Santa Cruz to visit the Grateful Dead archive!

A Success Story: An Interview with kYmberly Keeton, Independent Publisher & Art Librarian

What is the name of the employer/institution you work for, and your current position?
At this time, I am in transition and applying for jobs in art librarianship and museums. I currently work as a self-employed Independent Publisher/Art Librarian. My company name is entitled: bookista media group. In my current role, I design and create personal library digital and physical spaces in churches, cultural centers, and residential homes.

In like manner, I teach two online art courses as a Certified Online Scholar Instructor in conjunction with the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. I publish a monthly African American online art reference journal and digital exhibition space. Additionally, I write for an online magazine entitled, Ms. XFactor and serve on various professional committees in ALA, ACRL, and SAA. #mywebsite here.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got into the field of art librarianship?
I am an African American writer, librarian, and creative-mixologist. I graduated in 2014 from the University of North Texas with a Master’s of Library Science and obtained a graduate certificate in Digital Content Management. In 2008, I received a Bachelor’s and Baccalaureate Degree in English-Creative Writing from the University of Houston with a minor in African American Studies. Thereafter, I was a awarded a Graduate Certificate in African American Studies. The uniqueness about my graduate education, which led me to art librarianship, is that I am also an artist and trained curator.

In 2000, I began my professional career in museums as a Poetry Curator at the Arlington Museum of Art in Arlington, Texas. I then went on to become a Resident Literary Artist at the South Dallas Cultural center and taught in underrepresented communities for BIG THOUGHTS! as an Arts Integrationist. During my career, I had the opportunity to work as a Gallery Assistant at Richland Community College and as an Gallery Assistant/Art Docent at the University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum. Through these experiences, I have obtained extensive training through internships, workshops, taking courses, and shadowing others in the arts, librarianship, and education to have a balanced perspective and methodology about the arts.

When I decided to become a librarian I made sure that to look at all of the art institutions that would allow me to complete my practicum in a library setting. I completed my graduate practicum at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston Hirsch Library and helped develop the Houston Museum of African American Culture’s website platform and blog. I also had the opportunity during my graduate career to create ART_library deco, an African American online art reference journal. Today, it is a resource updated monthly, available to the global community, and embedded in libguides in academic libraries, and is used as a resource in secondary education.

What brought you to your current position?
I have always wanted to work in an artistic institution that housed a library. I decided to take a leap of faith; go out for my dreams and walk away from a position that I was in that was not creatively fulfilling. After thinking long and hard about my decision, I decided to apply for jobs that are tailored to my skill set in art and design librarianship as well as in curating, teaching, and archiving.

Through this process, I had the opportunity to take on my first entrepreneurial project for a historical African American church in Jefferson City, Missouri this summer. I designed and created the Dr. Carolyn V. Atkins Reading Room at Quinn Chapel A.M.E.; I archived four-hundred books, created a library management system, and designed the physical infrastructure. While creating this entity, I realized that it is important to always have a side hustle in librarianship and in any profession.

What does a typical work day look like for you?
At this juncture, I am curating an online poster exhibition in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture entitled, “A Place for All People: Introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture” a commemorative poster exhibition celebrating the opening of the Smithsonian’s newest museum that opened in September 2016. Based on the inaugural exhibitions of the museum, the posters highlight key artifacts that tell the rich and diverse story of the African American experience.

ART_library deco online exhibition space was chosen alongside a host of cultural institutions in the United States to share this body of work with the public. “A Place for All People” is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) in collaboration with the museum. The exhibition will debut on the ART_library deco Exhibition Space platform on December 1, 2017 through February 28, 2018.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
Honestly, I believe that you should apply to as many places as possible in your area of expertise. Do not be afraid to go out for what you want in this profession. In like manner, keep at professional development. Attend free online conferences and enroll in open access or moocs that will help with or introduce you to a new set of skills that will help you in the future. Be positive and maintain your health. Remember that you are not alone. Feel free to read my take about my own journey more in depth here.

What were/are some challenges for you as an art librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship?
The lack of opportunities for African American art librarians, curators, and archivists is dismal to say the least in our profession. Regardless, I feel that it is imperative to apply for what you know that you can do to best serve the greater community and for your own professional goals.

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time? If you could take a trip to visit any library in the world, what would it be?
I get a kick out of shooting pool, traveling the globe, and chilling in my design studio. If I could visit any library in the world it will be the presidential library of Barack Obama.

Hack Your Art Librarianship Program: The University of North Texas

This Hack Your Art Librarianship Program post is contributed by Cassie Swayze. Cassie is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas and is interested in the convergence of fine arts, digital technologies and long-term preservation solutions. She currently resides in Austin, TX and can be found on Twitter @castleswayze. When she isn’t blogging or library-ing, she can be found reading longform articles and swimming in lakes, creeks and streams around Central Texas.

The University of North Texas (UNT) Information Science school is an ALA accredited program located in Denton, TX. The program requirement is 39 credits including the practicum and capstone courses. Incoming students can choose to major in either MS-Information Science or MS-Library Science. I received my degree from UNT this fall (just two short weeks ago), and elected to complete the MS-LS degree. Although, program staff strongly encourage me to pursue an Information Science degree because it is more versatile. However, my career objectives are focused on employment in either a fine art museum environment or humanities archives and the Library Science track was a better fit for my personal goals. This post will focus on the MS-LS program but you can read more about the IS track on their website [http://informationscience.unt.edu/].

The MS-LS can be completed online or in-person, or a combination of online and in-person. I live and work in Austin, and the UNT program is based in Denton (about an hour north of Dallas), so my program was primarily completed remotely. However, there were students in my cohort who completed a mix of online and in-person coursework, and it is feasible to tailor your experience depending on your location. I also encountered students in my cohort located across the country from California to Maine. Each region is assigned its own cohort but students interact with each other primarily through their program of study (more on that below). For example, one of my fellow students was located in the Bay Area and completed a wide variety of internships from area museums to the Internet Archive. There are advantages and disadvantages to pursuing an online experience. I elected to complete the majority of my coursework remotely because I did not want to relocate from Austin. I was also fortunate to obtain my degree debt free because I was working full-time and attended as an in-state resident.

Students enrolled in the MS-LS can select from seven different programs of study to tailor their degree experience. Students may also complete the general program of study for librarianship. Your selected program does not appear on your transcript or diploma but serves as a guideline for course selection. Students pursuing the online program are encouraged to speak with their advisors throughout the program and advisor approval is required before enrolling in courses each semester. I chose to speak with my advisor via telephone prior to each semester and emailed past instructors seeking advice about coursework selection. I was quite nervous about the level of involvement from faculty and program staff prior to enrollment, but everyone was readily available to advise and answer my questions. I only visited the advising office in person one time in two years (which was really different than my undergraduate experience)! Beyond the program of study guidelines each student must complete and pass three required courses: Information and Knowledge Professions, Information Organization, and Information Access and Knowledge Inquiry. The three core courses require in-person attendance at a two day institute either in Denton or a city based in your cohort\’92s region. These core classes were the only time I interacted with students outside my program of study and I found it refreshing to hear perspectives from student librarians, music librarians, metadata specialists, cataloguers, health informatics, etc.

Additional mandatory requirements include two guided electives selected from a predetermined list with the assistance of your advisor. Finally, all students must complete an 120 hour practicum. There is an option to waive the practicum if you have been or are already employed in a library or related organization (archive, museum). Although I qualified for a waiver, I chose to complete the practicum because it was excellent work experience and an opportunity to develop workflows using the applications and databases I learned about throughout my coursework. One big advantage to the online coursework is that the practicum can be completed anywhere. The UNT LIS program maintains an active graduate list serve where local and national organizations advertise opportunities for practicums and employment opportunities. The Dallas Museum of Art’s reference library and the Southern Methodist University (SMU) art library recently advertised practicum opportunities on the list serve, and the Amon Carter Museum of Art in Fort Worth occasionally posts advertisements for students in the local area.

I chose to complete my practicum with the UNT Special Collections Library and worked directly with the Portal to Texas History digital library describing records and performing metadata creation. Although my practicum was not in the fine arts I worked at the Blanton Museum of Art throughout my program. I was also able to perform processing duties at the Harry Ransom Center humanities library and collaborated on digital projects with staff at the Blanton Museum while enrolled. These experiences certainly made my online degree program feel worthwhile and diverse, but UNT LIS students must be proactive in seeking out opportunities themselves. I also joined professional organizations (student discounts!) and attended webinars whenever my schedule allowed. One big difference between an in-person versus virtual experience is that students have to be motivated about networking and internship opportunities. I was able to develop my resume while enrolled at UNT without relocating or pursuing financial assistance, which was ideal for my personal/family life. The UNT LIS department also offers scholarship assistance to enrolled students and has a lengthy menu of scholarships available. I was told during one of the core institutes that the department frequently has funds leftover from unclaimed scholarships.

The program of study selected by students provides guidelines for the remainder of the required credits for the degree plan. Although I entered the program intending to pursue art librarianship my interest pivoted to archival studies and digital humanities once I was enrolled. The program relies heavily on project-based learning and I was able to tailor my research to arts communities and user groups. In my personal experience, metadata and cataloging coursework at UNT accounted for visual arts resources and their unique traits. I was able to use any project-based learning to examine LIS issues in art museums. Frequently I used these opportunities to examine digital scholarship in fine arts environments.

During my second semester, my advisor recommended enrolling in Introduction to Digital Libraries, which was offered as a five week course during the truncated May-June term. The course was taught by Dr. Jeonghyun Kim and introduced me to digital curation, which was my academic focus throughout my program. UNT also offers a Graduate Academic Certificate (GAC) in digital curation, although, unfortunately the offerings required for the curation GAC did not align with my academic schedule. Instead, I completed the GAC in Archival Management & Imaging Technology with special focus on born-digital and digitized archives, and explored the integration of digital libraries and digital exhibitions into preexisting arts communities. I enjoyed my coursework in digital curation immensely and was able to apply the principles to my archival studies. Art museums and art libraries, especially in academia, are more committed than ever to preserving born-digital records and digitizing existing collections. The digital curation coursework was the most valuable information I encountered at UNT and Dr. Kim was one of my favorite instructors. I continued to encounter the standards and principles taught in my digital curation courses in nearly every other class throughout the program. Beyond digital curation, I focused on archival studies in humanities repositories and art museums. My coursework was mostly taught by adjuncts who are professionals in the field, and their real world advice was extremely valuable.

The degree plan allows students to pace themselves according to their personal and financial capabilities, and I elected to complete my degree in 24 months. Full-time workers are encouraged to take no more than six credits (two courses) per semester but there were colleagues in my archival cohort who enrolled in nine credits. Personally, I took nine credits during each summer term and it was very challenging to maintain the pace while conducting in-depth research. I completed my practicum while enrolled in both guided electives, each of which focused on metadata creation. There were many late nights trying to puzzle out an assignment about VRA Core or MODS while juggling my description duties for the Portal to Texas History. I would not recommend agreeing to this many obligations while working full-time; it was very challenging to remain focused and manage my personal schedule beyond school/work.

I have nearly a decade of experience in the fine arts, working in galleries, nonprofit arts organization, and art museums. The decision to pursue art librarianship was a longtime dream and felt integral to my personal career goals. However, there are salary limitations to librarianship (as most of you reading understand!), and I could not justify pursuing a degree with large out of pocket costs. Like the LIS program offered by San Jose State University, the UNT LIS degree is designed to advance students’ careers who are already employed full or part-time. Faculty and staff possess an understanding of working professionals unique needs, and I found that most faculty (and definitely the advising office) are compassionate towards remote students’ specific limitations. Throughout my program I met and collaborated with students employed in libraries, archives and museums, and they brought unique, real world experiences to our discussions. I really enjoyed the diverse perspectives because learning about librarianship and archival studies in theory is quite different than in practice.

The online program relies heavily on Blackboard discussion forums and GoToMeetings for lectures so a dependable Internet connection and reliable computer hardware is necessary. I returned to graduate school after seven years in the workforce so there was a slight technology learning curve for me. I also enjoyed pacing myself and my work load throughout the program. My time management and organizational skills improved ten-fold and I mastered effective online writing and communication skills. There are several other excellent LIS programs in Texas, but I would recommend pursuing the UNT program if you are a working professional seeking to expand your skills. If you are already employed in a library, art museum or humanities archive, the MS-LS or MS-IS provides an opportunity to gain academic credentials and expand your skill set without committing to full-time coursework.

Project Archivist at the Center for Creative Photography at The University of Arizona

The Library Information Associate, Senior (Project Archivist) will support the archives staff with surveying, processing, and describing two large, complex, keystone archival collections: the W. Eugene Smith archive and the Witkin Gallery archive. By completing this project, there will be improved intellectual and physical control, increased visibility and access to these collections, and ensured collection longevity. Essential functions will include: surveying the collections to identify processing and preservation issues; improving under-processed collections; refining finding aids to meet archival standards; rehousing and preservation; and authoring and publishing EADfinding aids online. This is an Extended Temporary Employment position.

The Center for Creative Photography (CCP) is the premiere research collection of American photographic fine art and archives, promoting creative inquiry, dialogue, and appreciation of photography’s enduring cultural influence. The Center for Creative Photography is a world-renowned leader in preservation, teaching, learning, scholarship, and the appreciation of archival material and works of art by North America’s greatest photographers.

With more than $606 million in research and development dollars from federal, state, and private sources, The University of Arizona currently ranks #21 among public universities in the US in overall research expenditures and #2 in physical science research. With world class faculty in fields as diverse as astronomy and space exploration, plant science, biomedical science and biotechnology, anthropology, Native peoples, business, law, philosophy, music, and dance, the UA is one of only 62 members in the Association of American Universities. The University’s main campus is situated in the heart of Tucson. Surrounded by mountains and the high Sonoran Desert, Tucson boasts a distinctive southwestern feel and enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine each year.

Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Complete collection-level surveys on the W. Eugene Smith and Witkin Gallery archives
  • Advance intellectual and physical control over the materials by improving the arrangement, organization, and description of collection materials
  • Discuss proposed changes with archives staff
  • Rehouse materials as necessary
  • Improve finding aids to follow archival best practices and standards (DACS)
  • Author EAD finding aids using Oxygen XML editor and publish online
  • Link collections to subject guides available on the CCP website
  • Additional duties may be assigned

Knowledge, Skills, & Abilities:

  • Thorough knowledge of Encoded Archival Description
  • Strong organizational skills, attention to detail, and ability to follow complex guidelines
  • Demonstrated excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to demonstrate proper care and handling of materials
  • Ability to work independently with self-initiative and minimal supervision

Minimum Qualifications:

In addition to ABOR Minimum Qualifications listed below:

  • Previous processing experience in an archives repository
    (EAD), DACS guidelines, and other archival standards and best practices
  • Excellent computer proficiency (Microsoft Office, XML editors, collection management systems)

Preferred Qualifications:

  • ALA-accredited Master’s degree in Library/ Information Science
  • Grant proposal writing experience
  • Knowledge of the history of photography, including the identification of photographic processes
  • Experience working in an academic research library, scholarly special collection, or large research organization

For more information & to apply please look here. Applicants are encourage to apply until November 12, 2017 with reviews beginning November 3, 2017.

Program and Exhibits Manager at Valley Cottage Library, Rockland County NY

This position is for those who do not want to be bored at work! The Valley Cottage Library, a busy suburban library serving the residents of the Nyack School District and dedicated to providing a superior library experience to our users, seeks a creative, outgoing individual to serve as our Program and Exhibits Manager. The successful candidate will be someone with a passion for public service and a desire to showcase their interpersonal skills and creative energies to bring dynamic cultural and educational programming to the community and to continue the success of our widely sought-after gallery exhibit space.
Performing under the supervision of the Library Director, the Program and Exhibits Manager is a position with many aspects which will energize and motivate the right individual. Tasks vary from program planning for adults, curating and managing an exhibit space, and overseeing the creation and distribution of press releases to local media outlets and social media to handling the library’s branding and marketing of print publications, web presences, and other relevant mediums.
Position requirements:
  • Bachelors Degree preferably with a concentration in the art and/or marketing field
  • Two years’ experience in public or community relations and programming
  • Demonstrated expertise with MS Office and Adobe CS5+ or higher
  • Familiarity with HTML5
  • Professional presence and demeanor
  • Capacity to command the attention of and speak in front of large groups
  • Ability to work well with varied public and employee clientele
  • Excellent organization skills and ability to multi-task
The 35 hour work week involves a varied schedule including some weekend and evening hours dependent on program and exhibit schedules. The 7-hour work day includes a paid 30-minute lunch period. The library offers a generous benefits plan, a matching 403B plan and paid health insurance benefits.
Valley Cottage Library is an equal opportunity employer.
Applicants responding before November 17, 2017 will attract earliest consideration.
Please email a cover letter and resume to Amelia Kalin, Library Director; vclsearchcommittee@rcls.org

Alt-Career Spotlight: Joanne Fenn, Collections Manager/Museum Registrar for the Kent State University Museum

This series of interviews features individuals who have received their MLIS/MSIS, but do not currently hold positions solely dedicated to art librarianship. Some may work in libraries and  have an interest or duties related to art librarianship, while others use their information science skills in fields outside of the traditional library setting.

What is the name of the employer/institution you work for?

I work for the Kent State University Museum, informally known as the “Fashion Museum.” The Kent State Museum contains important collections of fashion and decorative arts. Its seven galleries feature changing exhibitions of work by many of the world’s great designers. Closely linked to the Shannon Rodgers and Jerry Silverman School of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Kent State University, the Museum provides students first-hand experience with historic and contemporary fashions, as well as costumes representing many of the world’s cultures. An extensive collection of American glass, fine furniture, textiles, paintings and other decorative arts combine to give context to the study of design. The Museum serves both the University and the community through exhibitions, public programs, and research appointments in the collections.

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your current position?
I have a B.A. in art history, and M.A. in arts administration, and an M.L.I.S.
Prior to KSUM, I worked for 10 years at The Cleveland Museum of Art in their Asian Art department and Registrar’s office.

I am the collections manager/museum registrar for the museum, with the academic rank of associate professor. I find that I need to explain to most everyone what I do. I am responsible for the intellectual and physical organization and care of the collection. The university considers my work as teaching in a non-traditional way; as a practitioner. It is a similar rational for why librarians have an academic rank.

What brought you to your current position?
I was looking for a change for a myriad of reasons from work/life balance to expanded opportunities. The timing was perfect.

What does a typical work day look like for you?
As you can imagine, collections work means the typical work day varies. Some of my favorite variations involve working directly with students hired to help me, and teaching collections management workshops for graduate library science students. I also work with faculty helping to augment classroom pedagogy through use of the collection. Because of the nature of the collection (predominantly light sensitive textiles) there is not a permanent collection gallery. The museum is in exhibition-change mode frequently, and we also travel in-house exhibitions and individual loans. The work ranges from desk work (contracts, “database” projects, grant writing) to projects that require physical strength and agility (installing/de-installing, packing/crating, etc.).

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

Of course to obtain hands-on museum experience through volunteering and internships. Recognize that this is a highly competitive field, so get as much education and training as feasible. Also, be positive; it will happen!

What are some of the current challenges you see in your field or the art/information science field?
Keeping up with technology in a way that serves museums, but does not replace the experience.

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time? If you could take a trip to visit any library or museum in the world, which would it be?
In my spare time I like to exercise and run. I greatly enjoy spending time with my husband and children, especially if it involves a beach.

If I could visit any museum in the world? That’s difficult! There are so many fascinating collections. I’ll just work my way through as many as I can (especially if it involves a beach).

Hack Your Art Librarianship Program: University of Wisconsin, Madison

This Hack Your Art Librarianship Program post was contributed by Ellen Faletti. Ellen is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin Madison Information School. She is interested in art and museum librarianship, especially at the intersections of provenance, digital humanities, and database management. Outside of school, Ellen enjoys biking, running, and yoga. Twitter: @LN2891

The Master’s Program at the University of Wisconsin Madison Information School is an accredited ALA program. A Master of Arts in Library and Information Studies can be completed either on campus or online. The Master’s Program is completed in 39 credits; required are 3 core classes, one technology course, one management course, a practicum, and an e-portfolio. Courses are taught by both academics and professionals in the library field – both on campus and online.

The possibility of becoming an art librarian is what encouraged me to seriously consider and apply to library programs. While the UW-Madison iSchool does not offer an art librarianship track, there is the option of doing a dual degree program in both the iSchool and the Art History program. This takes at minimum 3 years, and you must be admitted into both programs. While I am not in the dual degree program, I have been able to take classes and cater them towards my interest of art librarianship. This has meant choosing topics in my courses that deal with art databases, books as objects. Art librarianship can be a mix of both archives and academic librarianship, both of which are strong tracks in my program.

I have had the opportunity to take a book history course, and I do know that an art librarianship course is offered every 2 years in the program. My program also offers 5-week, one credit classes which can cover different topics in librarianship. I have taken 5 week classes on Linked Data, Digital Image Archiving, and Special Collections.

The iSchool does allows students to take up to 3 courses in other fields that can count towards the degree. Knowing most art positions require a foreign language, I started German, and am currently in the first semester of a two-semester museum studies course.

A 120-hour field placement is required. I took this as an opportunity to work in the art museum on campus conducting provenance research and also creating a manual for the museum’s database. The program also offers a library instruction practicum. The iSchool does encourage us to work outside of our practicum and school as well. University of Wisconsin has over 40 libraries. I have worked at a general library, the map library, law library, and am currently working at the art library and the art museum. The university’s Special Collections, Digital Collections and Wisconsin Historical Society also hires LIS students. While it is important to gain practical experience, I also want to emphasize the importance of taking care of yourself physically and mentally, and that students should not feel compelled to do all the things.

Overall, I would recommend the UW-Madison iSchool. I feel supported in all my endeavors, and have built meaningful relationships with students, faculty, and staff. As a Wisconsin resident, it was hard to justify going to an out-of-state school, and I believe the education I am receiving at UW-Madison is valuable and a great fit for me.

Maya Lin’s Wave Field & Minoru Yamasaki’s McGregor Reflecting Pool

I work at The University of Michigan Library and am a student in Wayne State University’s School of Information. I wanted to share some of my favorite places and public art pieces on each of these campuses.

Image courtesy of The University of Michigan

Maya Lin’s Wave Field is located on The University of Michigan’s North Campus, tucked between some Engineering School buildings.

Image courtesy of The University of Michigan

Lin was commissioned to create the work in 1995 and describes it as, “pure poetry. It is a very gentle space that exists on a very human scale. It is a sanctuary, yet it’s playful, and with the changing shadows of the sun, it is completely transformed throughout the day. ‘The Wave Field’ expresses my desire to completely integrate a work with its site, revealing the connectedness of art to landscape, or landscape as art.” I love Wave Field and am always taking friends there who have never seen it before. It feels a bit magical, like a secret. If you didn’t know it was there, it would be hard to stumble upon.

Image courtesy of Wayne State University

Minoru Yamasaki designed several buildings on Wayne State University and in the Metro Detroit area. In 1958, the Yamasaki designed McGregor Conference Center was built, which included a beautiful and serene reflecting pool area. The pool lay empty and neglected from the late 90s until more recently, when they were reopened in 2013. The McGregor reflecting pools are truly a gem of the campus and the city of Detroit.

Image courtesy of Wayne State University

Do you have any favorite public artworks?

 

Librarians-in-Residence at The Library of Congress

Not specifically arts related, but this still may be of interest to new professionals and those recently graduated!

In support of developing the next generation of librarians and information professionals, the Librarians-in-Residence pilot program will give early-career librarians the opportunity to gain meaningful work experience in at least one track of the following: Acquisitions and Collection DevelopmentCataloging and MetadataCollection PreservationReference and Instruction, and Systems and Standards.

The Library of Congress will hire on a temporary appointment up to four recent graduates from American Library Association-accredited master’s programs who received their degrees after December 2016 and before June 2018.

The selections will be made via a non-competitive hiring process with the start date of June 2018. The participants will be hired at the GS-9 level for an initial six-month appointment, with a possible extension of up to four more months.

Participants will receive on-the-job training and undertake assignments that contribute to the ongoing mission and work of the Library. They will participate in enrichment assignments and receive mentoring from seasoned professionals. They will also be expected to participate in Library-wide activities, such as the National Book Festival, and to provide information sessions concerning their professional interests to Library staff as well as report back to their graduate programs on experiences as Librarians-in-Residence.

The job posting will open on November 1, 2017, and close at the end of the month.

Learn more and apply here.