Please welcome our new Feature Post Writer: Courtney Hunt!

Hello! I’m so happy to volunteer for ArLiSNAP and write for the blog as a Feature Post Writer. I graduated in 2017 from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with my M.S.I.S. and also hold an M.A. in the History of Art and Architecture from Hunter College/CUNY.

I currently work as Collection Development & Assessment Librarian at the College of Charleston Libraries in Charleston, SC. I’m from Charleston, and I just moved back for this position (and to be closer to family), so I’m taking my time to get to know the campus and reacquaint myself with all that Charleston has to offer. Prior to this position, I worked as an instruction librarian at a community college in Virginia, where I also taught art history as an adjunct instructor.

My research interests are wide, but center around intersectional feminism and art making, specifically looking at women artists from the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Europe. My library research interests include the intersection of critical librarianship and collection development, visual resources, and the ways in which fine arts collections are used.

In my spare time I love to travel and experience art/music/food in new places with my partner and our 14 month old son.
I am very excited to be here and to contribute to ArLiSNAP, which is full of inspiration and information for all of us new professionals in the field! Thanks for having me.

Please welcome your new Social Media Liaison: Larry Eames

Hi Hi! My name Larry Eames (she and he pronouns) and I’m excited to be serving as your social media coordinator!

I’m currently working on my MLIS at the University of Washington iSchool and working at Suzzallo Library as a Graduate Reference Assistant in Government Publications, Maps, Microforms, and Newspapers. You can find me personally on Twitter @liblarrian. I’m excited to get more involved with ArLiSNAP after the 2018 New York ArLiSNA conference and I’m even more excited to connect with all of you!
Before Library School, I received a BA in Religious Studies and an MA in the Humanities focused on Art History and Print Culture. Outside of class, I play D&D and enjoy knitting and listening to podcasts on Seattle’s many rainy days. Right now, I’m hooked on Spirits Podcast, the CBC’s Because News, and Scriptnotes, but I’m always taking recs.

Welcome Our New ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator, Michele Jennings!

Please join me in welcoming our new Co-Moderator for 2018-2020, Michele Jennings!

Hi ArLiSNAP! My name is Michele Jennings and I’m excited to serve along Breanne Crumpton as your new ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator. I’m the Art Librarian at Ohio University (as of this January) where I act as a subject liaison for Art + Design, Art History, Interior Architecture, Interdisciplinary Arts, and Visual Communication. I completed my MLIS at the University of British Columbia in September 2017 and I have a BA in the History of Art and Visual Culture from UC Santa Cruz. 

I have been a follower and member of ArLiSNAP since 2015, and I’m thrilled to serve as your co-moderator now that I’m able to volunteer time to the organization! As someone who didn’t attend a library school with a dual-masters option or a specialization in art librarianship, ArLiSNAP has been a lifeline to me and an opportunity to be engaged (albeit virtually) with the broader community of students and new professionals in the field. I’m looking forward to offering more chances for new members to connect with each other, and to maintaining ArLiSNAP’s robust social media presence and invaluable job postings and career tips–another lifeline to many of us who follow ArLiSNAP!

Additionally, in the next two years I’d like to strengthen our engagement with critical librarianship and, as job seekers and students, to critically examine the ways that social justice and diversity and inclusion impact our studies, our work, and the field as a whole. This past year the ArLiSNAP/VREPS virtual conference was wonderfully thought provoking and has informed the way that I have personally approached my work as a new professional located at the nexus of art and information. There’s so much more work to be done in our communities, institutions, and organizations, and as new professionals and students it behooves us to bring this critical awareness and engagement into the future of the profession.

And of course, let’s have some fun while we’re at it! I’m so excited to get to work and to connect with all of you, and I hope you’ll share with me your thoughts, opinions, and experiences to make this an even better space for our community.

Thanks,
Michele

Introducing Feature Post Writer Sarah Bilotta!

Hi, everyone!

I am so excited to be a part of ArLiSNAP as a Feature Post Writer. I graduated with my MLIS (with a concentration in Archival Studies) in May 2017 from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. As a distance learning student, I love talking about the wonderful experience I had studying at UWM online.

Since 2013 I have been working in an academic performing arts library, where I do a lot of cataloging, supervising student staff, research assistance, outreach, and whatever else I can get my hands on! I am also a volunteer librarian for a small art museum. My interests in the information profession include audio-visual resources, museum libraries, arts research & instruction, and archival management and preservation. In my spare time I am a professional music and arts writer and photographer. I look forward to being part of this amazing group!

Canadian Librarians Spotlight: An Interview with Mark Black

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

Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

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 currently the manager of the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives at Banff Centre. I have been working libraries in a variety of positions from clerk to marketing to home delivery to programming to youth librarian since 1997. I also have worked in television as a researcher and production coordinator.

My arts background is mostly in music and the literary arts. When it comes to fine arts, I would say my formal skill set is somewhat lacking. I spent a few years working in this library as a clerk back in 2001-2003 so I have called on that experience a lot. Luckily I wasn’t hired to be an artist, I was hired to be a librarian. I do need to modify my approach depending on needs, but ultimately the goal is to put people in touch with what they need in order to create and learn.

It’s been a very circuitous route. I was lucky to have worked for a number of librarians who encouraged me to pursue librarianship. My grades were not good, but everything I did from 1997 until I entered grad school had a library or research focus. I made it hard for them to not accept me because I wouldn’t settle for anything but a yes.

What brought you to your current position? 

I was a youth librarian at an under-resourced and heavily used public library.  I loved the staff and kids I worked with, but it could be a very taxing job. I’m probably describing the work of every public librarian ever. I wanted to prove myself in a leadership role and the opportunities to do so weren’t present. I had promised myself that after two years in my position I’d re-evaluate where I was headed career wise. Almost exactly two years to my start date this job was posted and it seemed like fate. I had worked at Banff Centre in the library early in my career and thought it might be the right fit for me again. I was lucky that they thought so too.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

Check email, meetings with departments, staff, faculty, and artists on how the library can support their work – whether through our current collections, increased access to resources, or hosting programming, reference questions, taking care of paperwork (HR, budget, scheduling, health and safety, purchasing), trying to plan for and prognosticate the needs of our users – I want to make sure that we not only react to their needs, but anticipate them, drink too many cokes, and a steady iTunes soundtrack.  Also in there is reading to stay on top of trends and news that impacts our library and our community of users and trying to squeeze in professional development.

What were/are some challenges for you as an art(s) librarian? What do you think are current challenges in the field of art librarianship/librarianship in general, particularly within Canada?

One of my greatest struggles is developing a collection that is inclusive. We work in an industry that is primarily white with materials that are predominantly produced by white people. Our collections and our practices have a lot of blind spots. We have to be better. It’s a big conversation that has to happen at so many levels – collections, library schools, hiring practices, programming, etc. and I’m not sure we as librarians are actively having it

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market? What are the most important things emerging art librarians should know?

Be honest in interviews. Know your value, know why someone would want to hire you, and communicate that in an interview.  Formulate a game plan of how you are going to sell yourself and your abilities in an interview and make sure to hit those notes.

You’re trying to create a relationship in an interview as quickly as possible.  It will help you make a decision on whether this job is a good fit if you do your best to be you throughout it.

Can you talk a little bit about ways that you draw on the more conventional aspects of your LIS education? What are some things you’ve had to learn on your own?

I’m not entirely convinced that my LIS education sufficiently prepared me for what I would encounter in the field so to speak. I had a lot of well educated, distinguished, and intelligent professors, but what I was taught in the classroom and what I encounter in practice are often quite different. There can often be a gap between library academics and library practitioners. It’s not a right or wrong situation, it’s just that my experience in libraries didn’t always match up with what I learned in the classroom.

The three biggest areas where I had to learn on my own were: public outreach and community building, leadership/coaching/managing a staff, and finances (budgeting, grant applications, business proposals).

Luckily there are lots of colleagues who have been in the same position and you can draw on a diversity of opinions and experiences – that has helped a lot.

What would you consider the most rewarding parts of your job, and what are your biggest challenges as an information professional in a special library environment?

Most rewarding: Putting someone in touch with something they didn’t know existed or didn’t know was accessible– as librarians we can often make the impossible seem possible and that is a great feeling.

Biggest challenge: No library is free from this – there are still a lot of people who do not understand the possibilities of the library and what a library can offer (whether it’s academic, public, special etc.). It’s an ongoing struggle to prove our relevance to people who not only haven’t been through our doors, but don’t even know where our doors are.

Do you have any insight or advice as to how ArLiSNAP can assist in connecting emerging Canadian and American information professionals?

Mentor partnering, informal meet-ups and chats, opportunities to partner with more established information professionals for presentation or writing opportunities – really just anything that gives people a chance to speak honestly, connect, and share knowledge in an environment that drops ranks and allows everyone to be themselves. We all need a place where we can ask earnest questions without feeling dumb or judged.

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time? If you could take a trip right now to visit any library in the world, which would it be?

Baseball, music (mostly punk rock), reading, and travel are my biggest outlets. I’m trying to  get back into ice skating and skiing now that I am back in the mountains – my mileage will vary.

Easy – the Giamatti Research Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library in Cooperstown, New York. I have dreamed of working there for almost 20 years.  Some day?

Please welcome our new Conference Liaison, Michelle Wilson!

Hello everyone – I’m excited to join ArLiSNAP’s volunteers as your new Conference Liaison!

I moved to New York from Boston about about two and a half years ago to take my current job at Oxford University Press where I am an editor for Art Reference. In Boston, I earned my bachelor’s from Tufts University and a master’s from Boston University – both in Art History – and I am halfway through my MLIS coursework at Rutgers. At OUP I primarily develop content and manage data for The Grove Dictionary of Art and the Benezit Dictionary of Artists.  Developing these resources, getting to know many art librarians through reference publishing, and my past work with archives and works on paper at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Nichols House Museum in Boston all led me back to school to study librarianship. Outside of classes and my day job, I am also a volunteer at Interference Archive in Brooklyn, and a maker of slightly-off-center ceramics at a local pottery studio here in Manhattan.

I’m looking forward to a great virtual conference in October and getting to see some of you at the 2018 ARLIS/NA Conference here in New York next year.

Please welcome your new Communications Liaison, Marie Andrews!

picture of Marie Andrews

Hi SNAPpers! I’m Marie, your ArLiSNAP Communications Liaison.  I volunteered with this group to learn about the great things going on, and to share all this good info with you.

I have a bachelor’s in Fine Arts and master’s in environmental design while taking some American studies courses on the side. Over the years a few things stayed with me: the power of visual communication and a deep appreciation for the everyday ways life persists and thrives in the face of injustice. I wanted to support communities in finding, using, and creating their own stories of place and community.

I’m completely hooked on Tate’s Animating the Archives series. I regularly watch the video on collecting oral histories for inspiration when finals come around!

I live in Washington (by way of Illinois and New Mexico) and am a second-year part-time student at University of Washington’s iSchool. This is the first time I’ve lived near water, and love watching baby crabs scurry around. It will be a long time before riding a ferry into Seattle is boring! 

When not thinking about work and school, I love spending time with Baba Yaga, Joseph Campbell, or Clarissa Pinkola-Estés. I enjoy seeing how myths play out in modern storytelling, like the podcast Tanis, and re-envisioning elements and embroidering my own illustrations.

Looking forward to a fantastic year!

Please welcome your new Student Liaison, Christain Hartman!

Hello there everyone! My name is Christain and I am excited to volunteer as the Student Liaison for ArLiSNAP! I was so happy to come across this group as it is a fantastic resource. It is my hope to help share it with others who are interested in becoming part of the art and museum library community and in doing so, become more involved in it myself!

I have my bachelor’s degree in Art History from UMKC and am currently in the MLIST program at Mizzou. I work at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (which has an incredible little reference library) and have worked and interned at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Chicago Architecture Foundation. I have a fascination with researching, organizing, and sharing the histories of objects and the more obscure they are, the better. Want to know more about miniature eye portraiture or Victorian hair art? Then I’m your gal!

In my free time I love: horror movies, grapefruit LaCroix, cheese and fruit combos, anything Victorian or Mod, Indian food buffets, hermit crabs, thrifting, and sewing.

It is so very nice to meet everyone!

 

Introducing your new Chapter Liaison, Joseph Angelo!

Hello!

I’m very excited to be one of the Chapter Liaisons and help connect members of ArLiSNAP to the ARLIS/NA regional chapters. I’ve enjoyed being active in the Northern California ARLIS chapter and was really inspired to get involved with ArLiSNAP and the greater ARLIS community after attending this year’s conference in New Orleans.

If all goes well, I’ll be graduating this May with a MLIS degree from San Jose State University. I currently work in the Materials Library at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco where I’m responsible for acquisitions, cataloging and reference. I love working in an academic art library environment and am excited to continue my career in arts librarianship.

Speaking of art, my background is in visual art and I have a BFA from the University of New Mexico. As an undergraduate I primarily focused on intaglio printmaking. Since then I’ve been busy with screen printing, drawing, photography, experimental music and sound art.

I’m thrilled to be a part of the ArLiSNAP community and help support each other as we build our professional careers!

Please welcome your new Feature Post Writer, Autumn Wetli!

Hello!

My name is Autumn Wetli and I am excited to join the ArLiSNAP team as a Feature Post Writer! I am new to ArLiSNAP, but looking forward to my involvement and learning more about this organization and ARLIS/NA.

I am just wrapping up my second month as a User Services Assistant at the University of Michigan’s Fine Art Library. I assist with managing the day-to-day operations of the library, circulation, course reserves, overseeing student employees, and offering basic reference help as needed. Having graduated with a Bachelors in Art history from the University of Michigan in 2009, I spent many hours studying in this library. It is a special, loved place to me and I couldn’t be more happier to join the team here. I’ve been working at the UM Library since 2013, previously in Monograph Acquisitions and Print Ordering.

I am pursuing my MLIS at Wayne State University and am particularly interested in instruction, research, and digital humanities work. Outside of my job/school life… I love my houseplants, doing karaoke, reading books of all sorts, and I occasionally play music with my band. I’m looking forward to sharing new ideas, information, and news about the art librarianship field with you all!