Category Archives: Job Searching

Advice on resumes, cover letters, and more.

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?

Free LLAMA Webinar Presents Interviewing Tips to Get a Job

The Library Leadership and Management Association (LLAMA) will present “Interviewing Tips to Get a Job” on Wed., April 9, 2014, from 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM (Central Time).  This free webinar will help prepare participants for interviewing and offer insight into the interviewing process from the employer’s viewpoint.  It will include examples of interviewing behavior and questions/answers to illustrate how to best prepare for impressing potential employers.

By the end of this webinar participants will:

  • Understand what interviewers desire in a candidate
  • Know how to prepare for different types of interviews (phone, video, in-person)
  • Know what to do and not do on interview day
  • Learn how to follow up after the interview

Presenter Sharon Holderman is the Coordinator of Public Services at Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, Tennessee.

 

Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/476428906

 

ARLIS/NA Yearlong Career Mentoring Program Deadline March 3

Calling all prospective mentors and mentees for the ARLIS/NA Yearlong Career Mentoring Program! This yearlong program begins with a workshop at the Washington, DC conference and continues until the 2015 Fort Worth conference. Our program has matched dozens of art library professionals in successful mentoring relationships and contributes to the wonderful bonds of cordial collegiality for which the Society is known.

2014-15 ARLIS/NA Career Mentoring Program Application

While mentoring may seem like a time consuming venture, it is actually a rather straightforward, yet impactful, way to make a difference in our profession.  You only need 1-2 hours a month!

Not sure if you’re ready to be a mentor?If you are active in the field of arts librarianship, there is a good chance you could be a mentor to a burgeoning professional. If you have ever participated in the Career Mentoring Program as a mentee, you are also likely qualified to serve as a mentor.

Details:

The application deadline is Monday, March 3, 2014.

Notification of acceptance and assignment of mentoring pairs will be made by Monday, March 10, 2014.

For questions, please contact the Mentoring Subcommittee: mentor@arlis.org

 

If you aren’t yet convinced of the power of the mentoring program, check out what some of our past participants have had to say:

 

I have the best mentee. I don’t know how intentional the pairing was, but it is perfect in my mind. And I feel really grateful that we were matched up in this formal way, because I don’t know that we would have met otherwise. –Mentor

 

I cannot think of a more positive experience than what I have shared with [my mentor]. Her kindness, encouragement, and willingness to go out of her way to answer my questions …has been the most useful to me. –Mentee

 

I am delighted with my mentee. … I’m so glad to have come into contact with this youthful and very vibrant librarian. She gives me great hope for the future of the profession. This is what I have taken away from this relationship. I hope that I have passed along some useful information or a helpful attitude about facing career challenges in the process –Mentor

 

She [mentor] was really great at helping me work through any issues I had at work or figuring out my plans. She would listen to me talk for a while, and then sort of synthesize what I was saying into something more concise and pretty. That seems to me to be the mentoring gold standard. It was great to be able to discuss things with someone objective who knows the field and has more experience than I do. –Mentee

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.

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.

Assistant Archivist – Charles M. Schulz Museum, Santa Rosa, CA

via Simmons Jobline, see original post here.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum, a not-for-profit institution located in Santa Rosa, California, seeks a collaborative, organized, and enthusiastic Assistant Archivist to join our collections team. The Museum is home to an active Research Center that provides care and access to correspondence, periodicals, books, news clippings, and business records pertaining to the life and art of Charles M. Schulz.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Assistant Archivist reports directly to the Archivist, who is responsible for the overall administration of the Research Center of the Charles M. Schulz Museum. This position is focused on processing archival records related to the life and legacy of Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts, as well as institutional archives. The Archivist Assistant works to implement archival management of records in electronic formats, assists with the public service functions of the Research Center, and engages in active outreach. This position also has responsibility for encoding finding aids using Encoded Archival Description (EAD). In addition, the Assistant Archivist will work with processing assistants, including paraprofessional archival processors and interns. The successful candidate may also participate in digitization projects, acquisition of manuscript and archival collections, and donor relations.

Qualifications

Required

  •  A graduate degree in library science from an ALA-accredited institution, a graduate degree in archival studies, or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  •  Formal coursework or training in archival management and theory.
  •  Ability to work effectively as part of a team in a dynamically changing environment.
  •  Experience processing archival collections and preparing finding aids.
  •  Familiarity with concepts related to archival management of electronic records.
  •  Knowledge of basic records management principles and current trends.
  •  Ability to learn new technologies quickly and effectively.
  • Fluency with digitization concepts and best practices.
  •  Strong written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.

Preferred

  •  Proficiency with PastPerfect Museum Software.
  •  Reference service experience in a research or academic library.
  •  Expertise working with archival collections in non-textual formats, such as photographs, audio recordings, and video recordings.
  •  Experience working with electronic records.
  •  A comprehensive understanding of Adobe Creative Suites.
  •  Experience working with oral history programs.

About the Museum
The mission of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center is to preserve, display, and interpret the art of Charles M. Schulz. The Museum carries out this mission through exhibitions and programming that:

  •  Illustrate the scope of Charles M. Schulz’s multi-faceted career,
  •  Communicate the stories, inspirations, and influences of Charles M. Schulz,
  •  Celebrate the life of Charles M. Schulz and the Peanuts characters, and
  •  Build an understanding of cartoonists and cartoon art.

Apply

This is a regular part-time position including pro-rated benefits, requiring 24 hours per week. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and samples/links of finding aids to:
Cesar Gallegos, Archivist

Charles M. Schulz Museum

2301 Hardies Lane

Santa Rosa, California 95403 cesar@schulzmuseum.org