Hack Your Art Librarianship Program: Wayne State University

I recently graduated from the Master of Library and Information Science program at Wayne State University’s (WSU) School of Information Science. I didn’t tailor my classes and coursework to follow a distinct art librarianship path, but the program offers a lot of flexibility for motivated students. 

The MLIS program at WSU has six required courses for all MLIS students:

  • INF 6010 Introduction to the Information Profession
  • INF 6080 Information Technology
  • INF 6120 Access to Information
  • INF 6210 Organization of Knowledge
  • INF 7040 Library Administration and Management or INF 7310 School Library Media Programs
  • INF 7996 Research for the Information Profession

Beyond this, students can tailor their electives to meet their individual interests. The school offers an Archives Specialization and a further Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration, which requires courses beyond the 36 credit MLIS. It is important to note that while the MLIS can be completed entirely online as a distance program, some of the archival classes are only offered in-person on the school’s campus. Even if a student is unable to attend in-person, there are a variety of electives offered online and a good deal of flexibility within assignments to pursue an interest in art librarianship.

In Digital Curation & Preservation, I focused an annotated bibliography project on issues of documentation in preservation of digital artworks. In Metadata in Theory and Practice, our final assignment had each student curating a collection of items of their own choosing. We created appropriate descriptive and administrative metadata for each item, digitized these items, and created a digital collection through Omeka. The professor for these two courses was Dr. Jean Beaudoin. While I didn’t end up pursuing this opportunity myself, Dr. Beaudoin let know about the possibility of creating an independent study with her related to my interest in art librarianship or assisting with her research on museum informatics.

Numerous classes offered the opportunity to focus specific assignments on issues and topics of a student’s interest. In Archival Administration, each student picked an archival collection of their choosing, located anywhere in the world, to focus on for small assignments throughout the semester, culminating in a final paper. For an Advanced Online Searching assignment we had to create an online pathfinder or reader resource on a topic of our choice. In several classes I was tasked with writing research papers involving a specific topic, such as a problem in the archival field or related to reference, which I believe could easily be adjusted to incorporate an interest in art librarianship.

While no practicum is required from graduating from WSU’s MLIS program, credit is available for applicable internship opportunities and this provides another avenue for students to pursue a focus in art librarianship. Practicums are worth 3 credits and can be completed during any semester. A practicum requires 135 hours at the work-site and attendance at three online meetings. A practicum is strongly recommended for students who do not have practical experience in the field and I think this could be particularly beneficial for those who want to gains hands-on experience in an art library. Students local to Detroit can find opportunities at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the College for Creative Studies, or other museums/institutions in the metro area. Opportunities for volunteering with archive or digital content projects are available to students and are routinely updated by the Archives Program Coordinator Kim Schroeder. The School of Information also supports an Alternative Spring Break program. Students apply for one-week internships at various organizations in the U.S. Many of these past internships have been assisting with projects in archives and museums.

Overall I had a good experience in Wayne State’s MLIS program. As someone who has been working as staff in an academic library since 2013, and who continued working full-time while pursuing my degree, the opportunity to do so remotely was a huge benefit. Wayne State and the School of Information Science also offer a variety of scholarship opportunities for new and continuing students. To get the most out of this program a student should be proactive, motivated to learn, and pursue their own particular interests and research.

If you have any questions about the MLIS program at Wayne State, please feel free to reach out to autumnwetli@gmail.com or comment below!

A Success Story: An Interview with Jenny Ferretti, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art

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

I’m a first-generation American Latina; both of my parents emigrated to the United States from Central America. I never considered librarianship as a career because I didn’t know what librarians did. I had no real connection to the library or librarians. Before becoming a librarian, I had never met a Latinx librarian, which may have contributed to why I didn’t see myself in this profession.

I went to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and got my BFA in Photography. If it hadn’t been for MICA, I wouldn’t have gone to college and I probably wouldn’t be a librarian. I was a difficult, underachieving student in middle and high school because I didn’t learn like everyone else, and no one, including myself, had the patience to realize this. If my fine art practice hadn’t been something I wanted to pursue in college, I don’t know what would’ve become of me. MICA led me to a career in librarianship because in order to graduate, the Photography program requires students to complete an internship. I interned at a private, non-profit museum/library and it was there I realized digitizing museum and library collections was a job. After completing the internship, I got a part-time job there and after graduating I stayed there part-time and got a part-time paid internship position at Smithsonian Institution’s Anthropological Archives. I stayed at both part-time jobs for about a year, then pitched a full-time job at the museum/library (complete with budget projections and digitization program plans) and ended up getting it. I stayed there for about five years before applying to Pratt Institute’s School of Information.

At Pratt I concentrated on Digital Humanities (DH), getting as much digital tools experience as possible in the classroom and as much archives-related experience outside the classroom. While in NYC, I worked at a variety of institutions, including Pratt Institute, Columbia University, New York Public Library, and Barnard College. Pratt’s program was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to be challenged, particularly in the area of technology and user experience work. After moving back to Baltimore in 2014, I worked in the Library & Archives department at Smithsonian Channel archiving their born-digital assets for about a year.

When I saw the opening for my position, Digital Initiatives Librarian, at MICA, I thought this would be the perfect job to engage two areas I absolutely love: tech and art/design. I had no connection to the library when I was an undergraduate student. This would be my opportunity to engage with a student like me when I was in college. I had what it takes to bridge the gap between artist and archivist/librarian. I wanted to share this knowledge and explore the ways in which DH work could be integrated in the fine art/design context.

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, which would it be?
If I had to base my response on my instagram feed, my favorite things are baseball, sneakers, plants, working, music, being Latina, dogs, family and friends, and eating! Some of my favorite things to do are go to the movies, Bike Party, and dancing. I come from a family who likes to have fun, so we’re generally in a celebratory mood!

I’d love to visit the Stony Island Arts Bank, founded by artist Theaster Gates and I’d love to visit libraries or archives in Nicaragua or El Salvador to try to find any records about my family.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
This is a tough question because I don’t often have ‘typical’ days! One of the best things about my job is that my day-to-day can be unpredictable and varied. I could be doing a research consultation, in a meeting about something web-related (most recently I’ve been involved in researching a MICA-wide DAMS), creating social media posts for Decker Library, doing collection development for the Film and Video Collection or my liaison areas, less often teaching, etc. My team, the Digital Initiatives Unit, is in charge of the digital presence for the library (which includes the website and social media). Between that and being a liaison librarian, those are the things that take up most of my time.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
My advice always includes do your research. Make a spreadsheet of all the places you’d like to work – I think my list had around 35 institutions – with links to their job opportunities and check them frequently. I would check them several times a week, especially when I was close to graduating. I looked at the job titles and anything else about people who already worked at these institutions. I would also research the institution, staff, and average salaries.

I would also suggest meeting with your advisor, a trusted faculty member, or using your school’s career development center. A career development center might also help with salary negotiations.

Also, keep in mind that your position might shift priorities. My position originally was not supposed to teach at all and I was not supposed to staff the reference desk regularly (granted I only do two hours per week). I was okay with these changes because I wanted to get instruction experience. But that meant that I had to start reading about pedagogy (which I wish I had done a lot more in school).

Finally, I’d say build up your peer network. Find people who will have your back and be honest about applying for jobs, read your resumes/cover letters, etc. Applying for jobs can involve intense, emotional labor. Find your people and support them as you would want to be supported.

What were/are some challenges for you as a librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship or the field in general?
On a personal level, balancing my time between being a manager of a unit and liaison librarian has been the most challenging. I’m lucky our library director gives me room to vent, express what I like or dislike, helps me prioritize my time if I’m feeling stressed, etc.

In terms of librarianship as a profession, I think the most challenging has been to have an open, honest dialogue about what librarianship, particularly art librarianship, is and what our values as a profession should be. Lately I’ve been writing and presenting about whiteness and neutrality in librarianship. Coming to terms with the overwhelming whiteness of this profession is the only way we can hope to change the profession’s demographics. As a woman of color, this has been challenging because many people try to derail the discussion because they view it as a personal attack. After being awarded a Library Journal 2018 Movers & Shakers award for my work with the library and archive workers of color group We Here, I know now is the time to have these difficult discussions and rethink/redesign inclusion and equity initiatives.

Job Posting / Archivist / Alabama State Archives / Montgomery AL

The Alabama Department of Archives and History is extending the deadline for applications on the following job announcement to April 20, 2018.

 Position: 30430 Archivist – Collections Archivist

Annual Salary Range:   $33,086.40 – $50,119.20

Deadline for applications: April 20, 2018

Anticipated start date: Early Summer 2018

 The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) seeks an entry level archivist to arrange and describe government records and photograph collections held by the ADAH according to local and national best practices. Primary duties include processing and cataloging new acquisitions of government records and photographs, as well as revising legacy finding aids and catalog records, as required by current practices and user needs. The archivist will participate in committees to assist with the creation and implementation of departmental decisions, policies, and procedures and may also contribute to special projects such as exhibits and community outreach. As a member of the Archival Collections Section the Collections Archivist reports to the Section Coordinator.

 While this position is the only one currently approved for appointment, the state accepts applications to the archivist classification on a continuous basis and the ADAH anticipates at least one additional hire to work in the sphere of local and county records management and outreach activities. If you are interested in any archival position with the State of Alabama, we encourage you to submit an application to the Alabama State Personnel Department by April 20, 2018.

 To see the complete job announcement with application instructions, please open the attached job announcement or go to the department’s employment page at the following link:


Paid internship at Erie Art Museum

The Erie Art Museum offers one full-time, 12-week paid internship each year to a recent college graduate thanks to the generosity of Michael and Judy Cheteyan. The internship can start in August or September 2018. Cheteyan interns choose a focus of Exhibition Development, Museum Education, or Collections Management. Applications are due by May 1, 2018. The application and more can be found at https://erieartmuseum.org/internships/. Any questions can be directed to Carissa Brandt at edcoordinator@erieartmuseum.org or(814)459-5477.

A Success Story: An Interview with Margaret Huang, Digital Archivist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Can you tell us a little bit about your background, your current position, and how you got into the field of (art) librarianship?
I received an MLIS from the University Pittsburgh in the Archives, Preservation, and Records Management track. I am currently the Digital Archivist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I have been interested in working with and around art ever since I got a job in high school in the gift shop of a museum. During undergrad, I was an art history minor and also happened to get a work study position in my college library’s digitization lab. This is when I started to piece together my career path. I considered pursuing a Masters in Museum Studies but ultimately decided that an MLIS could be a more flexible degree.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My position recently pivoted to focus on one specific project so my typical work day right now involves a lot of noodling around in XML/JSON and Excel spreadsheets since I am deep into the metadata creation phase of the project. It is broken up by some of my other responsibilities as issues arise, such as maintaining our ArchivesSpace and Preservica instances, developing digital preservation policies and procedures, answering reference questions, participating in discussions surrounding our time-based media art (I am currently the mentor for our NDSR Art resident on our project: Planning for Time-Based Media Artwork Preservation), and whatever else may come up!

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
My advice to current students and/or those on the job market is to hustle. I was juggling freelance jobs, part-time jobs, and volunteering until I finally got a full time permanent library/archives job. Try to get as much hands on experience and technical skills as possible. Apply to as many jobs that interest you as possible, even if you feel unqualified. It never hurts to give it a shot. Meet and talk with people who have the jobs you want to see how they got there. Again and again, I have found that people tend to want to help and give advice. Also, your first job out of school doesn’t have to be your exact dream job but you can use what you learn to build towards it. At the same time, it’s also ok to not settle if you know what you want. I do honestly believe that hard work pays off so keep hustling.

What were/are some challenges for you as a librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship or the field in general?
Currently, my biggest work related challenge is copyright issues. There are so many legal complications, risk tolerances, and stakeholders to consider. This is definitely a common challenge in the field, especially when embarking on digital projects and it becomes even more overwhelming if you’re dealing with entire archival collections, like me, that comprise of hundreds of possible copyright holders. Moving forward, I would like to see libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions collectively push Fair Use as far as possible.

My biggest personal challenge is feeling confident in my technical chops aka imposter syndrome. I think this is felt by many people and while I do not know the cure for these feelings, I can at least say: If you feel this way, you are not alone — let’s empower each other!

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, which would it be?
I love to ride my bike, hike, and travel when I can. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of true crime books. I think I would be most curious to see the personal libraries of people I admire or am intrigued by – for example, what’s on Iggy Pop’s or Amy Goodman’s bookshelves?

Hack Your Art Librarianship Program: Pratt Institute

This post was contributed by Anna Holbert, Carissa Pfeiffer, and Karalyn Mark.

Anna, Carissa, and Karalyn will all soon be graduating from Pratt Institute in May 2018 with MS degrees in Library and Information Science, and Advanced Certificates in Archives & Special Collections. Additionally, Karalyn will also receive a second Advanced Certificate in Conservation & Digital Curation, and as a dual degree student, Anna will receive an MS in the History of Art & Design.

During their time at Pratt Institute, they have each had opportunities to hold fellowships and internships at several arts institutions.

Currently, Anna is a Pratt Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Key projects and activities include gift comparison and cataloguing, as well as the creation of a reference database for decorated publishers’ bindings. Previous internship opportunities have also been completed at several other libraries within local New York arts institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Carissa is currently employed as an Archives Support Aide at the New York Transit Museum, and she holds a fellowship in the Frick Art Reference Library, where she assists with web archiving efforts for the New York Art Resources Consortium. She has also interned with The Barnett Newman Foundation as a Pratt student.

Karalyn holds a fellowship in the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is overseeing a digitization project of early photography trade catalogs and technical manuals. Previously, she served as a Library & Archive Work Scholar at Aperture Foundation.

The Basics

Since its creation in 1890, the Pratt Institute School of Information is notably the oldest continuous Library and Information Science program in North America, surviving Columbia University’s program which existed from 1887 to 1992. Accredited by the American Library Association since 1924/1925, Pratt’s School of Information has also been an iSchools Associate Member institution since 2016.

(If you’re interested in finding out more about the school’s history, a finding aid and several digitized records have been made available online thanks to ongoing efforts by students in the Management of Archives class in recent semesters!)

The MSLIS degree requires the fulfillment of 36 credits, with 12 designated for foundation courses meant to offer knowledge necessary for all information professionals regardless of program focus. Those courses are

Information Professions, Information Technologies, Knowledge Organization, and Information Services & Resources. Students can test out of Information Technologies if they have pre-existing knowledge in web basics, markup languages, and databases, and those who test out may put those additional three credits toward an elective of their choosing.

One important point to address first is that it’s not an inexpensive school, and New York is not a cheap place to live. (Graduate tuition for the School of Information is less than the MFA, though.) The three of us have managed to balance working and interning throughout the course of our time at the Information School. Thankfully, class times made this possible: classes are Monday through Thursday, mostly 3-5:50 PM or 6:20-9:20 PM, with a couple sections of core classes offered earlier in the day, from 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM. The 6:20-9:20 classes are easiest for students who are also working full-time, but it’s difficult (though not impossible) to get through the entire program taking only evening classes. Another major practical benefit is that only a few classes require the purchase of textbooks. Most reading materials are made available through Pratt’s online subscription databases or on course reserve at the Manhattan Campus Library. We probably don’t need to remind any prospective librarians of this, but taking advantage of other area libraries, ConnectNY, MaRLI, and Interlibrary Loan is, y’know, a good idea.

Pratt’s main campus is located in Brooklyn, but most classes in the LIS program are taught at the Manhattan Campus on 14th Street. A few courses are taught off-site at libraries around New York City (more on this below!) We recommend checking in with the Pratt Institute SI Office regarding off-campus course meeting times and locations.

Generally speaking, courses at Pratt are small in size and typically consist of 11-12 students per class (according to a recent tweet). We’ve enrolled in classes with as few as 6-8 students, often in formats that emphasize discussions and project work. These smaller class sizes definitely allow for increased opportunities to ask questions, contribute, and get to know your professors as well as your classmates, who may well become lifelong mentors and colleagues. From what we’ve seen, alumni of Pratt tend to remain involved well past the time they graduate, and we’ve gotten the opportunity to know several through guest lectures and professional panels.

It’s possible to do plenty of research before selecting courses each semester. In our experiences, many professors don’t send out syllabi prior to the first day of class, which can be a little anxiety-inducing. (Or is it just me?) Between meeting with your advisor, talking to a librarian at the Manhattan Campus Library, and checking out the syllabus archive, you’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of what you’ll gain from specific classes and instructors before you sign up.

The facade of Pratt’s Manhattan campus building, where most LIS classes meet.

Tailoring the Program to Art Librarianship

Pratt School of Information doesn’t specifically offer a track designated as “art librarianship,’ but there are plenty of art librarians who have graduated from this program! This is thanks in part to being part of an art and design school, being located in New York, and having a few other specific tracks that are especially useful for anyone considering this route.

There is an Advanced Certificate in Museum Libraries, which emphasizes courses relating to museum collections and services. Students interested in museum librarianship can also take additional elective LIS courses from within the curriculum for the MS in Museums and Digital Culture; while those interested in being a librarian at an art & design school can pursue a program concentration in Academic/Research Contexts. Some classes are offered more frequently than others. Browsing Pratt’s online syllabus archive is a good way to see what typical semesters have looked like in the past and what each class entails.

For those interested in exploring the crossroads between art and information, or in pursuing careers ranging from curation to art librarianship in academic and museum contexts, the MSLIS/MA History of Art & Design dual degree may be a good fit. History of Art & Design courses are most typically held on the Brooklyn campus, with the exception of the occasional design class at the Manhattan campus. It is up to the student how course fulfilment will be divided, with the flexibility of taking LIS and Art History classes simultaneously.  

Although many full School of Information faculty members are not focused primarily on art librarianship, Pratt employs several excellent visiting professors who are practitioners in museum libraries and art and design school libraries. A major strength of the program for aspiring art librarians is the ability to learn from and work with people at world-class cultural heritage institutions. In Fall 2017, each of the writers of this blog post were enrolled in–and loved!–the Art Librarianship class (LIS 667), which is essential to any Pratt students seriously considering pursuing art librarianship as a career. This course is a survey of the practice of art librarianship from the perspective of a museum librarian, and is currently taught by Kenneth Soehner, Chief Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Topics covered in Art Librarianship include professional standards and competencies, collection development and organization, special collections, the art book trade, reference services, copyright, digital art history, and others. Through lectures and research projects, students develop a familiarity with the resources of an art library, including print and online reference sources: indexes, collection catalogs, databases, catalogues raisonnés, trade literature, and visual resources. Our class frequently met at the Met’s Watson Library, and throughout the course, students made use of the Watson Library’s collection, print, and digital resources. Members of the Library staff presented a series of guest lectures on the history of artists’ books, digitization initiatives, pest management, exhibitions, and development. We also visited the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Library for a tour!

The entrance of the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Art Librarianship class usually meets.

Other electives to check out include Art Collections: Research & Documentation (LIS 629, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Rare Books & Special Collections (LIS 689, held at the New York Public Library and Pratt Manhattan). Each of these involve hands-on interaction with materials in the context of their own collections. Other classes that are similarly haptic include Conservation Lab, which takes place at Brooklyn College, and Management of Archives & Special Collections, which has taken place at various locations over the past few semesters.

Whichever LIS classes you take, projects tend to be open-ended enough to pursue your specific interests within them, and professors truly encourage students to do creative things–apropos for an art & design school like Pratt. Even institutions that may not be specifically partnered with Pratt provide an excellent opportunity to compare libraries, interview practicing librarians, and discover paths to emulate. We’ve done cataloging projects focused on the collections of the Center for Book Arts, Data Librarianship projects using the Met’s open access collections data, and collaborated with the Brooklyn Public Library Special Collections on an audio digitization project (check out the online exhibition!)

Internships, Practicums, and Professional Development

Internships are not required for the general LIS program, but they’re the best way to truly take advantage of NYC’s status as an art hub and to get involved in the professional world of art librarianship as a student. At the end of the day, this is really where the program shines. There are so many opportunities for ensuring that you’re not leaving with only a degree but also with experience and connections.

Although not a requirement for the general program, internships are required to earn any of the Advanced Certificates. For a certificate, you must also enroll in a Practicum course, which meets only a few times throughout the semester, and mainly entails developing a paper or online publication about the work performed during your internship. Pratt offers several fellowships that provide funding which can be put toward tuition and to fulfill the work experience requirement for the practicum. Students also have the option of applying internships and fellowships found independently toward the Practicum course.

The student listserv is an excellent resource for finding out about opportunities, which in NYC are competitive and often temporary, but also abundant and in many cases (thank goodness) paid. Since Pratt is an art and design school, graduate assistantships in the libraries of either campus are also a good work option for aspiring art librarians, and these opportunities get posted to the listserv as well. (Recommendation: adjust your settings to receive messages as a daily digest, since the student listserv is really active!)

The listserv is also the best way to find out about meetings, workshops, and events led by student groups. Pratt has student chapters of ALA, SLA, ASIS&T, and SAA, all of which have been active during our time in the program. We’ve traveled to Washington, DC and taken bookbinding classes at the Center for Book Arts with Pratt ALA, attended a weekend workshop on the history of artists’ books, listened to panels of former students describe the paths they took after graduation, and attended a tour of The Mertz Library & Archives at the New York Botanical Garden with SAA @ Pratt. Upcoming this semester are workshops on Wikidata for culture data, digital privacy, mapping, and more.

A copy of Otto Brunfels’ Contrafayt Kreüterbüch nach rechter vollkommener Art … on view in the Metz Library Rare Books Room. This is the first German ed. of Herbarum vivae eicones, and the imprint is Strasszburg, Hans Schotten, 1532-1537. (Call no. QK41 .B75 1532)
A recent two-hour Saturday workshop introducing students to the history of artists’ books, with John Vincler. (Original post: @PrattInfoSchool)

Beyond Pratt, if you can swing it, student memberships in regional professional organizations are also good opportunities for networking and workshops. ARLIS/NA is, of course, recommended! (Shoutout to all the alumni we met at the Pratt Happy Hour at the annual conference!) ARLIS/NA’s New York chapter hosts several tours and events throughout the year. The New York Metropolitan Library Council (METRO) also offers good options for supplementing your classes with workshops in specific topics and for networking within specific interest groups.

As seriously as you take your papers, projects, and internships, it’s important to leave some time to enjoy the plethora of incredible galleries, museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies throughout the city. Any aspiring art or architecture librarian will find plenty to inspire their mission. And feed your other interests! Whatever you feel passionately about, chances are NYC has an annual festival, a center, and a vibrant community for it. This city has a reputation for grinding people down, but it has equal potential to lift you up, if you keep your goals in sight and stay attentive to your needs.


Between the three of us, we’ve been quite pleased with Pratt’s MSLIS program. Whether our initial reasons for choosing the program were geography or a specific interest, we’ve found that there’s a solid breadth of course offerings and electives to round out our education. The Library Science program itself is small, and it’s very easy to become ‘at home.’ Pratt not only opened our eyes to our options, but also helped us gain practical experience and professional connections. We’ve particularly benefited from internship and fellowship experiences during our time as graduate students, and we’re grateful for how hands-on our experiences have been.

We would love to chat about our time at Pratt! Feel free to reach us via any of these platforms:

Sargent Archives and Special Collections Archivist – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA

Under general direction of the Croll Senior Curator of American Paintings, the Sargent Archives and Special Collections Archivist will oversee the archiving activities of the Sargent archives, including the housing, transcribing, and entering into the database of the items, and, when time, work on other Museum owned artist’s archives. This is a one-year, termed position from the start date.

Essential Functions:

• Prepare and organize archival records, such as document descriptions, to allow easy access to information in the Museum’s database.

• Working closely with our Conservation and Collections Management department, preserve records, documents, objects, or other formats as necessary, including housing, scanning, and transcribing materials.

• Assist with the organization and reorganization of storage as the collection grows.

• Research, catalogue, and write curatorial recommendations on new acquisitions for the Sargent archives and other artist’s archives as necessary.

• Establish and administer policy guidelines concerning public access and use of the Sargent archive. Will schedule and oversee visits of individuals and classes who wish to visit the collection, arranging for spaces and proper handling of materials. Will take out and put away work from the collection requested by visitors.

• Help maintain relationships with collectors of Sargent materials and respond to their needs regarding their collections; i.e. research, etc.


• Bachelor’s degree; 3 to 5 years of related archival experience

• Experience using a museum or collection database (TMS preferred)

• Experience with and knowledge of best practices in handling art and historical objects, including paper, photographs, and other ephemera

For consideration, please submit your cover letter and résumé to: resumes@mfa.org. You may also submit your materials via postal mail to: Human Resources Department, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Collection Development Librarian, Fine Arts Library / Harvard University / Cambridge MA

Collection Development Librarian

Fine Arts Library, Harvard University
Req. 44840BR

Harvard University seeks an innovative, collaborative, and user-centered Collection Development Librarian to build and manage collections for one of the leading libraries in the world for the study of art, architecture, and visual culture from antiquity to the present. Reporting to the Herman and Joan Suit Librarian of the Fine Arts Library, the incumbent will select library materials in all formats and work collaboratively with colleagues in the Fine Arts Library, across Harvard Library, and beyond to implement collection development strategies and operations. The incumbent will proactively partner with Harvard Library colleagues to develop creative solutions and efficient workflows for managing, acquiring, processing, preserving, and providing
access to library materials. He/she will actively engage with the visual arts community at Harvard to support innovative use of library collections in their teaching, research, and learning activities. To expand access to the Fine Arts Library’s unparalleled holdings to a wider global audience, the Collection Development Librarian will participate in local, national, and international digital initiatives and collaborative collection development partnerships.


  • Perform collection development processes in the Fine Arts Library for the Americas, Western Europe and portions of Eastern Europe (from antiquity to 1900), Africa, Australasia, Oceania, and other southern Pacific nations in traditional and emerging formats.
  • Work together with the Librarian and other Fine Arts Library selectors for Islamic, East Asian, Modern and Contemporary, Visual Resources, and Special Collections to build distinctive collections by acquiring and preserving antiquarian materials, primary sources, born digital collections, and electronic resources.
  • Ensure effective stewardship of the materials budget, including monitoring acquisition budgets and fund assignments for 8,000-10,000 titles annually.
  • Actively contribute to relevant Harvard Library collection development working groups, committees, councils, and innovative projects.
  • Maintain and update Fine Arts Library collection policy in consultation with FAL selectors and collection development colleagues across the Harvard Libraries.
  • Continuously evaluate print and digital publication trends in art history, architectural history, and the fine and applied arts and select rare and unique materials for digitization and wider dissemination to support digital scholarship.
  • Develop a wide and robust network of faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, museum curators and educators, fellows, and visiting scholars in order to exchange information related to FAL collections and current and emerging research areas and interests
  • Exchange information and best practices proactively with selectors across the Harvard Libraries for shared purchases, purchase recommendations, and de-duplication.
  • Contribute to collaborative collection development and digital projects with external partners, e.g., Ivies Art and Architecture Group.
  • Create and maintain in-depth and relevant content for multiple web presences for Fine Arts Library collections and collection-related events and news.
  • Assess collection strengths and correct weaknesses for curricular and research support and create routine and customized acquisitions and collections reports using COGNOS and other tools.
  • Establish and maintain effective and efficient relationships with approval, firm order, and antiquarian vendors and booksellers.
  • Work together with the Librarian and other Fine Arts Library selectors to negotiate and acknowledge gifts of materials and funds.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with Information Technology Services staff to insure consistent and efficient vendor relations and processing routines.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with Access Services collection management staff to plan for collection care, stacks space planning, and ongoing transfer of materials to off-site storage.
  • Work proactively and collaboratively with Preservation Services on disaster planning, collections care guidelines, and environmental concerns, as well as Digital Imaging staff on reformatting and digital preservation projects.
  • Engage in research services and activities, including contributing to regular hours of support for special collections researchers in collaboration with other librarians. Provide in-depth research consultations and resolve complex reference questions for library patrons.

  • Master’s degree in library and/or information science or equivalent professional experience
  • At least 4 years of work experience with research collections in the visual arts
  • Demonstrated experience or research in the fields of Art and Architectural History
  • Working knowledge of at least one Western European languages


  • Advanced degree in Art History, or equivalent, preferred.
  • Evidence of a strong service orientation and demonstrated ability to work effectively with faculty, students, library users, and library colleagues.
  • Expert level experience with arts and humanities databases and other digital research tools.
  • Experience working with the scholarly publishing market and the book trade.
  • Knowledge of trends in scholarly communication and digital scholarship and commitment to principles of open access.
  • Knowledge of intellectual property issues related to art library collections and services.
  • Strong technical skills and an enthusiasm for adopting new technologies and systems that expand access to collections and facilitate their use in research and teaching.
  • Record of engagement with professional groups and activities and/or contributions to professional or scholarly literature.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with culturally diverse library users and colleagues


Position will remain posted until filled, however applications will be reviewed beginning March 30, 2018.

For more information or to apply to the position please visit:
https://hr.harvard.edu/search-jobs. Select Administrative / Staff Jobs, then enter 44840BR in the Search Jobs Field.

San Jose State University: University Library : Academic Services Collection Strategy Librarian, Art & Art History and Design Emphasis

University Library

Specialization: Collection Strategy Librarian, Art & Art History and Design Emphasis

Job Opening ID (JOID): 24466

Rank:  Senior Assistant Librarian (Tenuretrack)

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library seeks an innovative and creative librarian to provide leadership in the area of collection strategy. Under the direction of the Director of Academic Services, the Collection Strategy Librarian will collaborate with faculty, library staff, and students to provide guidance in the development, management, delivery, assessment, and planning of the library’s digital and print collections. As a faculty member, the candidate participates in the library liaison program and engages in library and university governance and scholarship, which includes research, scholarly, and creative activities required for tenure and promotion. The Collection Strategy Librarian will serve as the liaison to the Departments of Art & Art History and Design.

Required Qualifications:

  • Applicants should demonstrate awareness of and sensitivity to educational goals of a multicultural population as might have been gained in cross-cultural study, training, teaching and other comparable experience
  • Minimum 2 years of experience in selecting library materials
  • Experience serving as a liaison to academic programs/departments
  • Master’s degree from an ALA accredited program or equivalent is required at time of appointment.
  • Knowledge of planning, designing, and implementing innovative practices or tools to improve collection development and maintenance.
  • Experience with collection analysis and assessment of print and electronic resources.
  • Familiarity with a collections budget and collection-related projects.
  • Excellent analytical, interpersonal, time management, organizational and problem-solving skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated ability to apply metrics and other evaluation criteria to support data-driven collection development decisions.
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively on collection building and management in a rapidly changing information environment.
  • Experience or coursework with library resources relevant to the research, teaching, and learning of art, art history, or design.
  • Undergraduate or graduate degree or equivalent training/work experience in art, art history, or design.
  • Proficiency with an ILS system and analytics.
  • Proficiency with Excel or other spreadsheet/reporting platforms.


  • Candidate must address the needs of a student population of great diversity – in age, cultural background, ethnicity, primary language and academic preparation – through course materials, teaching strategies and advisement
  • Under the direction of the Director of Academic Services, leads collection development activities including assessment, selection, and deselection of print, non-print, electronic resources, and gifts in all subject areas.
  • As part of the Academic Services team, develops the collection management, preservation, and deselection strategy.
  • Coordinates collection development and selection activities of liaison librarians.
  • Work with relevant stakeholders in developing collection development policies, evaluating print and electronic material purchases, and providing disciplinary collection assessment and statistical analysis and reports.
  • Establishes and maintains a strong collaborative relationship with all library units that build and maintain digital and physical collections.
  • Represents and participates in cooperative collection development programs with other libraries and library consortia.
  • Develops and maintains an awareness of the trends and issues affecting collection management and development.
  • Builds a record of progressive scholarly and professional achievement to fulfill the University requirement of retention, tenure and promotion.
  • Participates in the library liaison program, providing services to the departments of Art & Art History and Design.

Salary Range: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Starting Date: Summer 2018.

Eligibility: Employment is contingent upon proof of eligibility to work in the United States.

Please include Job Opening ID (JOID) on all correspondence.


Application Procedures: For full consideration, submit: (1) a letter of interest; (2) curriculum vitae; (3) statement of teaching interests/philosophy; (4) research plan; and (5) names of three professional references with contact information by April 6, 2018 via Interfolio link. This position will remain open until filled.

Important: This item will be required of finalists at the time of on-campus visit: (1) Original, sealed, graduate school transcripts. Mailing address: SJSU, King Library; Attention: Evelia Sanchez; One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95192-0028.

Tracy Elliott, Dean, University Library, invites you to contact us with your questions at (408) 808-2080 or via email at library-jobs@sjsu.eduPlease visit our websites at http://www.sjsu.edu and library.sjsu.eduFor information on faculty retention, tenure and promotion, see the SJSU Academic Senate policies S15-7 & S15-8 at http://www.sjsu.edu/senate/policies/pol_chron/

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library at San José State University is recognized as an innovative shared facility combining a large academic library (with a collection of over one million items) and a major downtown public library. This facility uses a merged service model to support the lifelong learning needs of academic and public library users. The University Library’s strategic plan is to build a digital library which will “aggressively increase access, creation, and use of digital collections,” and “will creatively utilize innovative technologies to provide the University and the broader community with a 21st century library environment, both physical and digital.”

San José State University is California’s oldest public institution of higher learning. The campus is located on the southern end of San Francisco Bay in downtown San José (Pop. 1,000,000), hub of the world-famous Silicon Valley high-technology research and development center. Many of California’s most popular national, recreational, and cultural attractions are nearby. A member of the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system, San José State University enrolls approximately 35,000 students, a significant percentage of whom are members of ethno-cultural minority groups. The Library – and the University of which it is a part – is committed to increasing the diversity of its faculty so our community can benefit from multiple perspectives.

Apply here.

Library Fellowship – Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA

The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute Library is pleased to announce the creation of a Library Fellowship for Collections Management. This fellowship is intended for a recent library school graduate interested in pursuing a career in art librarianship with a focus on technical services. Working closely with the Collections Management Librarian, the recipient will gain valuable hands on experience working with materials in all formats from the main research collection, special collections, digital collections, and archives. Training will including collection assessment and preservation, metadata creation and enhancement, library systems management, digitization, and capture of born digital materials. Special projects will be designed in response to the recipient’s individual interests and skills. In addition to work within the library, the recipient will be expected to participate in ARLIS on a local and national level and will be encouraged to share their experiences through professional writing, poster sessions, and/or presentations.

This is a one-year project position with the possibility of renewal for a second year and an anticipated start date of July 2, 2018. The position is full time with an annual salary of $32,000, benefits, and an additional stipend for professional development and to defray costs associated with attending the ARLIS/NA annual conference.


Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited program for library and information science
Excellent oral and written communication skills.

Background in the History of Art or a related field.
Reading knowledge of at least one foreign language.
Prior library experience, ideally in technical services.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Individuals interested in applying should submit a cover letter, resume, and the names of three references via email to humanresources@clarkart.edu


The Clark is one of only a handful of institutions globally with a dual mission as an art museum and a distinguished center for research and higher education, dedicated to advancing and extending the public understanding of art. The Clark is located in Williamstown, a community within the Berkshires of western Massachusetts, a region known for its scenic beauty and the rich diversity of its cultural institutions. Williamstown is one hour from Albany, New York and three hours from Boston and New York City.


Established in 1962, the Clark Library has become one of the major art reference and research libraries in the country. Focusing on post-medieval European and American art, the collection is outstanding in the fields of Italian and Northern Renaissance, Baroque, nineteenth-century French art, and the history of photography. Recent grants have greatly increased holdings in contemporary and non-Western art and the library is home to exceptional rare and artists’ book collections.