Reflections from a First Time Attendee: 3 highlights from ARLIS/NA 2017

I’m Anna Van Someren, one of the over 70 first-timers at this year’s ARLIS/NA conference in New Orleans. My path toward art librarianship has been long and loopy. On the way, I’ve passed through art school, advertising, and teaching. While managing digital media projects at MIT, I became interested in library and information studies and decided to get my MLIS from Simmons College, with a concentration in Cultural Heritage Informatics. I’ll graduate this May! Right now I’m working on an arts inventory project at the Boston Public Library and a metadata internship at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Dare I specialize – should I even go to ARLIS? (Yes!)

I’ve heard bad things about the job market, and a specialized library job is even harder to find. Maybe I should just hope for a full-time job anywhere! But my dream job is to work as an art librarian. The people I’ve met through my local chapter, ARLIS New England, have been so kind, encouraging and generous with their time. And taking the Art Documentation class taught by the celebrated (and approachable, funny, inspiring) Ann Whiteside whipped my humble wish into a fevered frenzy. Working with art students, finding resources to inspire them!, I thought.  Collaborating with art professors, following their research, finding what they need before they even know it!, I trembled. Purchasing art books! … So I did it. I attended my first ARLIS/NA conference. And I am so glad that I did.

Highlight #1: The ArLiSNAP Career Development Workshop

I’ve been to things like this before – you get someone to glance at your resume, you maybe get an established professional to give you some vague advice while you stare at them, wondering desperately: How do I get to where YOU are? and What comes first, the crazy good haircut or the crazy good job?  But this one was different. It was three hours of creative, engaging, productive fun!

Ashleigh Coren took us through a three-part writing activity that to our pleasure and surprise, resulted in some pretty decent personal statements. Mine still needs some work, but I’m excited to use it on LinkedIn, in interviews, and pretty much everywhere. Then Breanne Crumpton moderated a great Q&A session with a panel of three well-established professionals: Kim Loconto, Kristina Keogh and Heather Slania. Here’s a pdf document summarizing their advice on cover letters, resumes and interviewing in our field. My question was “How do you address a gap in your resume due to staying home a year with your new baby?” The panelists agreed that employers notice such gaps, and suggested mentioning it briefly in the cover letter narrative. They also recommended that parents and caregivers attend the ALPACA meeting later in the day (see my highlight #2 below).

After fielding our questions, the panelists gave us personalized resume advice. We broke into small groups and took turns sharing our resumes and asking questions. This was especially valuable to me, as I’m moving from academia into librarianship; the expectations can really vary in different fields. I feel much more confident about my resume – or I will, as soon as I finish implementing all the new ideas!

  

Highlight #2: Art Librarian Parents and Caregivers SIG (ALPACA)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this group, but liked the idea of meeting and hearing from other working parents in the field. The ideas generated in the discussion were exciting: research into federal and state family leave laws, for example. I had to leave early for another event, but this meeting had a deep impact on me later in the day.

I was talking with a friend who had also attended the ALPACA meeting. We talked about one of ALPACA’s main concerns: “work life balance”. My friend has a mentor who had once worked with her to unpack this idea of balance – which can sometimes feel like pressure to achieve the impossible. Does successful “balance” mean giving exactly half of your attention to your job and the other half to the rest of your life (your family, personal health, social life, and other activities)? In real life, that would be impossible on almost any given day! This mentor encouraged my friend to think about the effort of balancing one’s life over the long term. For a span of time, work may require more of your attention, and at another time in your life, circumstances may cause a shift in the direction of your energy. I was relieved to realize that maybe balance doesn’t have to mean two equal halves. Maybe we can find balance through flexibility, or in the slow swinging movement of our attention over many years.

Highlight #3: ArLiSNAP meeting

I was excited to attend this meeting. As you know if you’re reading this post, ArLiSNAP stands for Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals – and I’m trying to transition from student to professional. Perfect! Like every other ARLIS meeting I’ve attended, the vibe was welcoming and buoyant. I scribbled notes as fast as I could – “the virtual conference is online at the learning portal!” – “check out VRA job digest, VRA FB and twitter!” – “check out ArLiSNAP blog!” – “volunteer to write blog posts!”

  

Of course there were many other highlights in my conference experience, including sessions that gave me an inside look at the work art librarians do. I also had a beautiful walk down Magazine Street, saw a gorgeous sunset over the water, and ate delicious meals with dear friends. Turns out I love New Orleans!

Next year, NYC!

What I've learned since I graduated.

As of this writing, it’s been just about six months since my degree was awarded. I handed in my last coursework at the end of August 2014, and did some nail-biting while my thesis was graded. But I didn’t actually see my physical degree, framed and signed and in all its majesty, until last week, when I went home for Easter! It was surprisingly affecting — I didn’t think seeing my name all gussied up like that was going to be such a gut-punch of emotion, but I am really proud of that big piece of paper.

Between seeing that and reading this, I thought I’d try my hand at articulating a bit of perspective. It’s hard for me to write a “what I’ve learned” article without hedging my bets a bit — there are things I’ve started to dig into deeper, but I wouldn’t say I’m an expert or that my knowledge has yet paid off in practical terms. I started a full-time job as a corporate archivist the week after handing in my thesis, so a lot of what I can recommend isn’t directly applicable to arts librarianship or even the majority of MLIS/MISt graduates who might be reading this. But, I’m going to tell you what I do anyways, and it starts with how I …

1. Criticize myself. 

There is no time for a break, no time to kick back and separate yourself from the field once you hand in your last assignments. Chances are you’ve got a job offer lined up, unfinished research projects, a handful of applications to send out, a move, some volunteer commitments or conferences, or some other thing that should be occupying your time.

But you should prioritize a few hours (ideally with wine) to assess your situation, yourself, and your goals: what gaps are left in your education that will stand between you and your dream jobs? What experience do you lack based on the job postings you’re seeing? What’s the most likely progression going to be for you, from entry-level onwards? How can you prepare for each of those steps?

One of the best little tricks is to go back and read the term papers and assignment you handed in in your first semester. Does it make you cringe now to see how naive you were? Alternatively, aren’t you impressed with how far you’ve come in such a short time?

I never would’ve guessed I’d end up in corporate, but here we are, and I’m trying to look critically at which of the soft skills I’m picking up here (project management, training, research and policy-writing, etc.) are transferable and provable, and which ones I still need to acquire, so that I can start out at higher than entry-level when I get back into art and media work. But I have to acknowledge that some of my discipline-specific skills are getting rusty, so I …

2. Keep abreast.

Are you happy with all the listservs and newsfeeds you belong to? Could you stand to add more, or lose a few of the less-relevant options?

Personally, my feed for information on the profession comes from a couple of Canadian archiving lists, ARLIS, AMIA, SHARP, MCN, and the ALCTS eForum I mentioned previously. I’ve pared down a bit, and there are a few lists I’d like to be on for which I can’t afford a membership.

AMIA, for example, is a fantastic way just to keep in mind all the weird format issues and preservation challenges that multimedia workers face every day — there are always emails about finding a specific fitting for a rare tape player, or how best to clean a certain type of film with flourescent dye on it. If you’re bad at mechanical terminology, I guarantee you’ll pick it up quickly.

I use the Art News mailing that comes via CARLIS-L to remind me to check websites like Artforum and Canadian Art. Otherwise I tend to forget.

I don’t read any librarianship-specific websites regularly (other than job boards, for ArLiSNAP), but because of Twitter I’m constantly seeing blog posts from people like Barbara Fister on Inside Higher Ed, updates to journals, etc. If you want art-specific Twitter accounts to follow, check out the institutions and individuals that the ArLiSNAP account follows. (I follow a more eclectic collection, but hey, here are a couple suggestions.)

I can’t afford individual journal subscriptions, and I don’t have institutional access to that stuff, but I do read up on accessible (OA, PD) things when they go by in my feed. I only splurge on one physical publication, and that’s Cabinet Magazine, which doesn’t keep me up-to-date so much as inspire me regularly on all fronts.

On WordPress I follow things like Archives Gig, SNAP RT, most of the ARLIS SIGs’ and Sections’ blogs, and a few oddballs like Artist-Driven Archives and Failure in the Archives. I’m sure someone will tell me that I should consolidate or aggregate a bit better, but, nah.

CFPs

I’ve also got a special label in Gmail just for Calls For Proposals from the various listservs: I’m not going to apply for many this year, and most of them aren’t applicable to what I do, but I like being able to see what kinds of research and projects are being asked for, when the various deadlines come up, and which journals and conferences I might just want to consume without contributing to. But, occasionally, I do apply for stuff, because it’s always important to …

3. Hustle.

On top of the full-time job, I’ve got a few guest posts and articles queued up for publishing, two regular volunteer commitments (ArLiSNAP, and a journal I help copyedit) and some irregular ones (peer-reviewing for two journals), an ongoing data-mining project with a non-profit here in Toronto (no funding, just fun!), writing for ArLiSNAP and my own blog, and maintaining a Twitter presence of questionable quality.

I’ve done two conferences so far this year, and have two more to come (both speaking engagements, one of which is reporting on a yearly survey I run using Google Forms). This weekend I decided to start a project to improve listings of library and archives associations in Canada (probably with the goal of making Wikipedia pages for each). I have at least four copyright-related tumblrs I’d like to start. Now that I’m thinking of it, I volunteered to copyedit a new book by CARLIS, which I should be hearing about any day now ….

I think of all this as essential to keeping myself engaged with the fields I want to be in. As opposed to grad school, where my time was occupied in shallow exploration of a lot of subjects of varying interest to me, now I get to dig deep into the things I’m passionate about, and construct a broader career arc that includes artists’ practices and intents, copyrights and moral rights for creators, the history of print, preservation and access of both art and art-related documentation, and new techniques for analyzing art. Without calling it “personal branding,” I will say it was a lot easier to define some long-term research goals once I distanced myself from the generalist approach of my classes. Which leads me to …

4. Forget about everything I did in school.

No offense to my alma mater, but I didn’t leave school with a huge network of trusted peers and great professors (or respect for government funding for higher-ed, or ALA accreditation, or …). There was little critical education in the classes I took, which is understandable given the breadth of what has to be taught, but it meant I didn’t find people who thought and argued like I do. Being thrown into a room with people doesn’t guarantee you’ll find things to talk about — and the #1 thing I’ve learned since graduating is that there is a huge variance of why people got into this profession, and what it is they want to accomplish within it.

I moved away from Montreal when graduation was in sight, so I may have shot myself in the foot a little there (also I’m not on Facebook and am only a recent convert to Twitter), but I’ve managed to network so much better back in Toronto, without many ties to the people I spent a year and a half interacting with. A lot of it is online, through associations and listservs and volunteer work with eventual face-to-face meetings at conferences — and a lot of it is engaging people on social media once I’ve come to know and respect their work.

I think the best part of my MLIS was the four jobs I did during that time — one RA position, one job in the library, one internship for a design company, one summer contract with a non-profit — because it gave me at least some experience in a diversity of settings. While I am invested in the academic use of the degree, I wasn’t going to get a job without being able to articulate some proven skills and accomplishments. So, yeah, I recycled some term papers as applications for student awards, sure, but I don’t think my classwork and student chapter attendance are worth much now — and I’m sure they’re not all you have to offer the world, either. Which is why it’s good to ….

5. Stay smart about career moves.

I’ve taken to reading Get Bullish for career inspiration and advice; you might enjoy one or more of the following, if these questions are on your mind:

http://www.getbullish.com/2012/10/bullish-how-to-compete-when-youre-young-and-inexperienced/
http://www.getbullish.com/2015/04/bullish-qa-how-to-effectively-share-examples-of-your-work/
https://www.themuse.com/advice/no-really-these-are-the-best-conference-networking-tips-weve-ever-heard
http://www.getbullish.com/2012/03/bullish-the-nerdy-reflective-persons-guide-to-networking/
http://www.getbullish.com/2015/03/bullish-qa-how-do-you-get-motivated-for-a-huge-unimaginable-life-change-like-graduation/
http://www.getbullish.com/2012/06/bullish-three-tips-for-pitching-your-dream-gig-and-why-you-need-to-pitch/

I am also a fan of the Billfold, not just for the voyeurism involved in their “how other people do money” column, but for some of these:
http://thebillfold.com/2013/05/how-to-make-a-linkedin-profile-that-will-actually-help-you-get-a-job/
http://thebillfold.com/2013/02/meet-people-get-a-job-even-if-youre-an-introvert/
http://thebillfold.com/2012/05/reader-mail-how-much-should-i-be-earning-after-graduation/

 

… I think that’s it. Other than “Don’t be ashamed of using a lot of spreadsheets to get things done.”

A Success Story: An Interview with Lindsey Reynolds

Lindsey Reynolds is the new(ish) Art Librarian at the Birmingham Museum of Art, in Birmingham, Alabama (http://www.artsbma.org). She’s graciously agreed to answer some questions for us here at ArLiSNAP.

Lindsey-Reynolds_sq_web-375x375

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your current position?

I got my MLIS degree from the University of Alabama in December 2011. I was fortunate to receive the ARLIS/NA internship award that year, so I went to New York in the Spring of 2012 to intern with the New York Art Resources Consortium (MoMA, the Frick, and the Brooklyn Museum libraries). After that, I took an archiving job at an architecture firm in Atlanta. In mid-2013 I went back to New York to work at the Whitney as the Library Assistant. And last September I started as the Librarian at the Birmingham Museum of Art.

What drew you to this position and art librarianship in general?

I had frequented the BMA as a student and really respected their permanent collection. I enjoy being at a smaller institution – I’ve gotten to know all of my colleagues and get to work on more museum-wide projects. The museum has recently challenged itself to grow from a regional clearing house for travelling exhibitions to a nationally-recognized and locally relevant museum, producing our own exhibitions and providing a socially-engaged, creative platform for our community. I’m excited to be a part of that change.

What are your main roles/duties at your current position?

I have a few interns and volunteers, but I’m the only librarian at the museum which means I am responsible for both the library collection and the institutional archives. So far I’ve been getting familiar with the collection and doing some housekeeping. I’m planning a stacks shift for the summer, and am working on a records retention policy for the museum which will hopefully help to grow our institutional archive. I’m most excited to start acquiring artist’s books.

What is a typical day like for you?

My days vary tremendously, that’s one of my favorite parts of the job. Since I’m the only one, I can really tailor my day to suit my moods – some days I do a little bit of everything (policy writing, outreach, reference, acquisitions), other days I dedicate to one task (cataloging or processing usually), and other days I have so many meetings that I hardly get to sit down at my desk!

What were/are some challenges for you as a new art librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship?

At first my biggest challenge felt like finding a job. Now that I’ve tried a few, I think one of the biggest challenges for me, and for museum libraries in general, is staying relevant and visible to my colleagues and to the public. It can be hard to push for more funding since libraries don’t typically generate income – I see it as an opportunity for creativity and collaboration.

What are the most important things emerging art librarians should know?

There are so many opportunities out there! Look around and find a career path that suits you (see the “New Voices in the Profession” panel at the ARLIS/NA conference if you need ideas!)

When you’re applying for jobs pay attention to where the library falls in an institution’s hierarchy – it can tell you a lot about the institution’s priorities and their commitment to the library/archives department.

Just for fun – what is your favorite library? Work of art or artist?

Oh geez – those are unanswerable questions. I’m pretty enamored with Etel Adnan’s work lately. I had never seen her artist’s books until the Whitney Biennial last year, and I think they’re great. I also really enjoy the things that the Office of Culture and Design are doing in the Philippines, especially the Manila Review. They are using publications as a platform for community engagement and are a great example of what social practitioners can achieve and keeping a sense of humor throughout it all.

On Freelancing and Contracting: some conference cogitations

I spent the end of June in beautiful, temperate, layers-friendly Victoria, BC, attending the Association of Canadian Archivists’ annual conference. It was amazing, scary, inspiring, and weirdly comfortable — no business cards were exchanged, but plenty of people wanted to gush about ideas.

I presented on the student panel between two very intelligent and articulate colleagues — my presentation was, let’s say, a bit more informal than theirs, but I think it went well. It was gratifying to hear some of my sentiments echoed in the closing plenary by Laura Millar. The main point I ended my student presentation on, which was picked up again by Millar, was the idea that the archiving profession needs to delve into freelancing models of employment.

This theme has been covered by the usual GLAM publishers (HLS on freelancing librarians; Hiring Librarians on contract work; INALJ on freelancing) — as has, of course, the dearth of cushy, steady, benefits-laden jobs you can hold for thirty years (or at least until all our icons and role models retire). I haven’t seen much discussion on how to freelance in art libraries or art archives, but I’d like to think there’s plenty of project work to be done in preserving and cataloguing artists’ files, implementing digital asset management, developing metadata schemes or collections mandates, digitization, publishing and reproductions management, exhibits and auctions, conservation for artists’ books….

My presentation focused on diverse and underrepresented communities that have media-collecting and -preserving needs not being met by institutionalized archiving systems. I focused on virtual communities (because social-network websites are where the best media are being collected, obviously), which meant that everything archival got put into a very technological framework.

I tried not to scare anyone off with the fear of archiving in the digital age (“Imagine you work for a historical society that has collected materials from each and every single resident of the town,” I suggested, to get a scope of the problem/potential of virtual communities), but I’m afraid it’s a very real part of the future of the profession, especially as we start moving from digitization projects to interface design for presenting our materials.

Bringing information-professional skills and techniques to your average website-builder or community-organizer is likely a consultancy task: you start with assessment, then they find enough money for implementation, you make some recommendations for maintenance, and eventually every community or arts group has an archivist-on-call, or a librarian for a half-day a week.

That means we all juggle multiple clients and bounce from one deadline to the next. Many people do not find this a very rosy picture of the industry’s future. Then again, there are those of us that can’t imagine working the same full-time processing or reference job day in and day out.

There are definitely ways to do it right. I’ll be interviewing some freelancing and entrepreneur archivists and librarians in the near future, on this blog, so you can see for yourselves. There’s even an association for independent information professionals, and plenty of opportunities for mentorship, entrepreneurial bootcamps, start-up funding, and guides to the legal and financial steps to declaring yourself a businesswoman.

Ideally, I’d love to do private archiving with artists — which is never high-paying. It tends only to happen when the artist is anticipating an eventual donation of their records to an institution — there, the benefit of getting things organized beforehand is the tax credit offered upon appraisal (in Canada, anyways). While an artist or arts group may want to get the job done, the money, often, simply isn’t there.

[Ironically, I just found contract archiving work in the private sector, which is not exactly walking-the-walk, but maybe I’ll have time for some pro-bono projects with individuals and non-profits. Stay tuned!]

I’m interested to know everyone’s thoughts. There were lots of nodding heads when Millar said it, but I still felt a bit radical suggesting it myself (ah, what the confidence a thirty-year career could give!).

What do you think: are librarians and archivists destined for lots of part-time, contract-based, multi-tasking jobs, helping everyone manage unique information needs? Or will the majority of us find the full-time, paid-vacation unicorn we dream of? Is there a balance between the two?

More scarily: will freelancing mean we all have to learn how to administer databases and provide cut-rate graphic design services? Is there a way to freelance in GLAM-related work that isn’t technologically dependent?

Part-Time Librarian – The Modern Museum, Fort Worth, TX

Original job posting by the TLA available here.

Position Starts:3/17/2014 Listing Closes: 2/21/2014 Listing Submitted: 1/13/2014
Position Description: The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth seeks a part-time (2 days per week) librarian to assume cataloging and organizational duties for the Museum’s library. Candidates should possess knowledge of art history and/or visual arts; knowledge of Library of Congress System and OCLC; knowledge of bibliographic cataloging; knowledge of RDA standard; and knowledge of stacks management.

Candidates should be able to research and evaluate materials for collection development; provide reference and research consultation to staff members; assist with reciprocal material situations; and assist with other duties as needed.

Institution: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
Type of Library: Other
City: Fort Worth, Texas
Annual Salary: Commensurate with experience
Salary Comment:
Telephone: Fax:
Email Address: bmitchell@themodern.org
Website Address: www.themodern.org
Required Education: Master’s degree in Library/Information Science from an ALA accredited program
Required Experience:
Contact: Brent Mitchell
Send Resume to: Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth
3200 Darnell Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Special Instructions:
Interviews will not be conducted at the conference placement center. Please contact directly.

Special Collections Manager- The School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Duties
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago is currently seeking a detailed oriented professional that will participate in and support the curatorial, instructional, access, and preservation functions of the Flaxman Library?s Special Collections program.  This individual will assist the Special Collections Librarian in all aspects of collections management. In the absence of the Librarian, the Special Collections Manager will assume responsibility for daily operations, including management of facilities and collections (both physical and digital) and interactions with students, faculty, staff, researchers, and other visitors to the collections.Under the supervision of the Special Collections Librarian, the Special Collections Manager will represent the School and the Flaxman Library in presenting our resources to all types of visitors, on site and online. As directed, will work with colleagues throughout the campus and the external art, library, and archival communities to develop, maintain, and promote our collections and programs, in furtherance of the School?s goals and interests.  Assist with care of irreplaceable collections and materials, in a high-use educational environment. Contribute significantly to assigned digital library and cataloging projects, working in close cooperation with relevant staff at the School and the Museum, as necessary to complete assignments.

Qualifications
THE SUCCESSFUL CANDIDATE WILL HAVE: Bachelor?s degree in an art- or design-related field; advanced degree preferred. One or more years of relevant work experience in a library, archive, museum, gallery, or other collection-based setting. Demonstrable knowledge of contemporary art practices based in artists? books, archives, exhibitions, and/or publishing. Understanding of basic principles of preservation and handling for works of art and archival materials; Understanding of basic cataloging and metadata standards.  Good organizational and communication skills.  Proficiency using standard office software and hardware, web services, and networked environments. Ability to work effectively within a team or independently.  High commitment to customer service;  Must be able to routinely lift up to 50 pounds.Preferred
Teaching, curating, and/or publishing experience;
Experience with digital library workflows and standards;
Experience with scanning software and digital scanners, and related peripheral devices;
Experience with widely-used library systems and software such as OCLC, CONTENTdm, Voyager, or others;
Involvement in planning and execution of (on site and/or online) exhibitions;
Supervisory experience.

Apply here. Job ID: 7990.

Project Archivist– Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara

Summary of Job Duties
(Note: This summary will be used for keyword search)
Under the direction of the Curator of the Architecture and Design Collection, the Museum Scientist will serve as the Project Archivist for a one-year grant funded archival project.
Minimum Requirements Candidate should have an M.L.I.S. degree or equivalent experience in archival cataloguing. Must be well organized and able to prioritize work to meet quarterly goals. Ability to write clearly and concisely is required. Must have some experience with collection management systems or online library catalogues.
Desirable Requirements Knowledge of cataloguing rules (AACR2, DACS), controlled vocabularies, and authority control is highly desirable. Experience with Archivists’ Toolkit is desirable. Background in art and or architecture, cultural history is desired. Ability to read architectural plans will be an asset. Some knowledge of XML is desired.

Please visit the full posting for more information.

Project Archivist– Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara

Summary of Job Duties
(Note: This summary will be used for keyword search)
Under the direction of the Curator of the Architecture and Design Collection, the Museum Scientist will serve as the Project Archivist for a one-year grant funded archival project.
Minimum Requirements Candidate should have an M.L.I.S. degree or equivalent experience in archival cataloguing. Must be well organized and able to prioritize work to meet quarterly goals. Ability to write clearly and concisely is required. Must have some experience with collection management systems or online library catalogues.
Desirable Requirements Knowledge of cataloguing rules (AACR2, DACS), controlled vocabularies, and authority control is highly desirable. Experience with Archivists’ Toolkit is desirable. Background in art and or architecture, cultural history is desired. Ability to read architectural plans will be an asset. Some knowledge of XML is desired.

Please visit the full posting for more information.

The Menil Collection/Jasper John Drawings Catalogue Raisonne – Internship

The Catalogue Raisonné of the Drawings of Jasper Johns, The Menil Foundation, New York Office seeks an Archival Intern.

The Menil Foundation seeks a Winter/Spring intern/volunteer to work the their New York office, on the initial phase of the digitization of the Jasper Johns Drawings Catalogue Raisonné records for the Menil’s Drawing Institute collection.

The qualified applicant will work alongside the Senior Project Associate to develop the digitization project’s foundation by surveying and re-organizing existing digital assets and images files. Tasks will include surveying existing digital files to assess quality and eliminate duplicates; implement file-naming standards; and metadata creation.

Qualifications and Requirements
Currently pursuing a Masters in Library and Information Science, or equivalent.
Familiarity with records management and digitization standards.
Proficiency with Acrobat and Filemaker Pro.
Ability to work independently.
An interest in Post-Modern and Contemporary Art is a plus.

This is an unpaid internship that offers invaluable learning experiences and opportunity for individual research, fieldwork, and course credit. The position calls for at least 8-16 hours per week (schedule is flexible) and is open to students who will receive academic credit. Volunteers are also invited to apply.

Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resumé to: jasperjohnswork@gmail.com. Please include in the subject heading of your email that you are applying for the Archival Internship.

Assistant Librarian and Archivist – American Textile Museum, Lowell, MA

via INALJ, see original posting here.

Institution: American Textile History Museum, Lowell, Mass.
Job Title: Assistant Librarian and Archivist
Duties/Description: Search Re-opened: The American Textile History Museum
(ATHM) seeks a creative, motivated team-player for the part-
time position of Assistant Librarian and Archivist in the
Osborne Library. Reporting to the Librarian, this position
is responsible for assisting with recording, maintaining
and conserving ATHM’s library holdings. The collection
includes books, pamphlets, manuscript collections,
photographs, prints, insurance maps, and trade literature,
all relating to some aspect of the textile industry. The
Osborne Library serves researchers through on-site visits,
telephone, and email inquiries; researchers include in-
house staff, national and international researchers, the
local community, students, teachers, and families.The Assistant Librarian and Archivist will assist the
Librarian in all aspects of library work, including
processing manuscript collections using appropriate
archival techniques; providing services to researchers;
cataloging and processing books, photographs, etc. into the
museum database; identifying materials needing repair and
conservation; ensuring the use of proper preservation
techniques; storing/reshelving materials; helping to
prepare information and collections for web-based use; and
performing any other functions necessary to the operation
of a special collections library.Primary responsibilities include: process incoming and
backlogged manuscript collections by accessioning them into
the museum’s database, organizing the materials, re-housing
documents in acid-free folders and boxes, creating an
inventory and/or finding aid, and cataloging into OCLC if
warranted; assist on-site researchers at the Osborne
Library by explaining library and archival policy,
conducting interviews, identifying and retrieving research
materials, photocopying documents, and monitoring
researchers; answer in-house, telephone, and e-mail
requests by searching for the materials, producing required
reproductions, corresponding with researchers, and mailing
materials; collaborate with the Librarian in setting policy
to determine preservation practices, reproduction and usage
fees, research use of the collections, and copyright issues
involved in digitization; assist the Librarian in
maintaining the library’s website, the Chace Catalogue, and
other digitization projects; accession newly acquired books
and pamphlets into the museum’s database; supervise student
interns and volunteers in various library and archival
tasks; handle daily library duties including answering
visitor’s reference questions, shelving books, maintaining
the stack area, and ordering supplies; provide
collaborative support to the museum curator in museum
exhibit research and preparation, and work with museum
staff in developing library exhibits that highlight the
library’s collections.
This position is 20 hours/week with no benefits.
Qualifications: MLS/MLIS with concentration in archival studies from an ALA-
accredited program; at least two years’ experience
supporting library and archives operations, including
collection preservation, online migration, maintenance and
digitization of collections. Proven track record of
coordinating and completing projects with limited
resources, working in a collaborative culture, and being
able to manage a changing and varied workload. Must be
able to work independently as well as part of a team. The
candidate possessing skills that include computer data
management, collections’ marketing, ability to communicate
with a wide range of audiences, strong research interests
in American history and willingness to assist researchers,
attention to detail, and a sense of humor will have the
edge.
Salary:
Closing Date: February 5, 2014
Send: To apply: Please submit cover letter, resume, and
three professional references to Jane E. Ward,
Librarian, at jward@athm.org (please put
Assistant Librarian in subject field) or mail to
Jane E. Ward, Librarian, American Textile History
Museum, 491 Dutton Street, Lowell, MA 01854.