ARLIS-STC – Students and Trainees News Jan/Feb 2007

In October the Student and Trainees Committee ran its regular event “An Introduction to Art and Design Reference Resources” which gave an introduction to online and print resources and answering enquiries in the subject.  The day was a great success and we’d like to thank the speakers and our host the National Art Library.

Events for 2007

It’s the start of a new year and a good time to get a run down on some of the other talks, conferences and events that students, trainees and library assistants could attend over the next 12 months.

Finding out about careers

The ARLIS Student and Trainees Committee will, of course, be holding its popular annual event “Taking the Plunge: Art Librarianship as a Career Option,” which provides insights and advice on starting out and working in the sector.  Past speakers have included representatives from a museum library, slide library, and the commercial sector, as well as a recently retired librarian, and a recent graduate.  The event will be held on Saturday 3rd March at the National Gallery, London.  Look out for more details coming soon on the ARLIS website and discussion list.

The Career Development Group of CILIP holds regular events around the country throughout the year.    Of particular relevance is their National Student Conference, which offers the chance to hear from information professionals working in various different sectors and to network with other students and recent graduates of LIS courses.  The one-day student conference was held last year in November, and the Group hopes to run the event again in 2007.

Another event that may crop up in 2007 is the open day held jointly by the Association of UK Media Librarians (AUKML) and the Industrial and Commercial Libraries Group (ICLG).  This day is aimed at graduate trainees, first jobbers and library students.  The day includes talks by information professionals from all parts of the workplace sector, offering tips on finding jobs in their area and talking about their working day.  Past speakers have included representatives from the BBC and the Guardian, as well as law firms and Government departments.

Conference Bursaries

ARLIS offers a student bursary each year to attend its annual conference, which this year will be held at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, from 4-6 July.  Other conferences of interest include the Digital Resources for the Arts and Humanities (DRHA) conference and the Computers and the History of Art (CHArt) conference, which have both offered student bursaries in recent years.  DRHA will be held on 9-12 September at the University of Sheffield and the CHArt conference is usually held each year in November.  The bursaries are offered by the AHRC ICT Methods Network and are available to UK-based postgraduate students who’ve had a paper or poster accepted at DRHA or would like to attend CHArt.

Finding out about LIS qualifications

If you’re considering applying to library and information courses, it’s worth looking out for a couple of events organised by CPD25.  The group usually holds an event each year which provides information on applying to study LIS, with speakers from CILIP, UK Library Schools, a LIS graduate, and a head of service.  The group also holds a development day for library assistants, aimed at those who are considering their options for obtaining qualifications whilst working.  CPD25 events are provided in the first instance for staff working in the member institutions of the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries, but non-members are normally able to attend at a slightly higher fee.

Resume Review Service Available at ALA Midwinter

Job hunting? Want a great resume?
The New Members Round Table offers its resume review service to all attendees of the Midwinter Conference in
Librarians from all types of libraries, with various specializations have volunteered to help you make your resume shine!

How does it work? Reviewers meet with a job seeker for 30 minutes and give constructive advice on how to improve your resume and/or cover letter. Reviewers comment on overall presentation, layout, organization, content and spelling/grammar issues. More information at

Visit the NMRT Resume Review Service Booth in Room 6A on Level 6 of the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle, Washington.

Friday (1/19): 12 noon - 5 pm
Saturday (1/20): 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday (1/21): 9 am - 5 pm

Monday (1/22): 9 am – 1 pm

New Member Roundtable Resume Review Service Committee

Kristina Keogh
Reference Librarian for the Arts
Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA

A day in the life of an art librarian

I think it’d be fun, and hopefully helpful, to share what we do on a day-to-day basis. If you have an art-library-related job — whether you’re a “librarian” or not, full time or part time — please give us a glimpse into your daily work life by leaving a comment below. It’d also be useful to read about jobs that aren’t necessarily in art libraries, but provide experience useful to art librarians, such as general reference, instruction, rare books, cataloging, or database/IT positions.

Is a watercooler forbidden or provided? Do you attend meetings? Do you spend more time with books, computers or people? Are you supervised closely? Do you boss people around? Do you commute? Do you work in library-like silence? Do you wear a boa to work or just gem-encrusted glasses? What’s the most repetitive task you do? Do you have any idea what the show The Office is about? What’s the most creative or theatrical role you play? And, of course, what are your favorite things about your job?

If you want to know something, please suggest questions! Be as creative you’d like; bullet points also accepted! No word min or max either. Just remember — your boss might read this! :)

Happy New Year!

Personal is the Professional is the Personal

Rachel at The Liminal Librarian wrote a post titled Think Personally, Act Professionally, which addresses the important issue of how what we write online in our personal lives may affect our professional lives. This is something that many of us will face as we begin our careers, especially in this age of freely available personal content on the internet.

She also points out that several other librarians have been considering issues of balance between the personal and professional commitments, which leads to the question, “How in the world do we avoid burnout?!”

These are great issues to address at the Backpack to Briefcase session in Atlanta.

Choosing a LIS Program

I’ve been reflecting lately on how I chose to enroll in my current LIS program. Making this decision was a really big challenge for me, but there were a few resources that made it easier. For one, the ARLIS/NA document Library Schools in Canada and the United States was a good starting point. For more current information on the LIS programs listed in document I’ve recently discovered Peterson’s search guide to be very useful.

Beyond print and online searches I did a lot of informational interviewing – I think that the professionals who shared their time and perspective with me were the most helpful resource of all.

What are other useful resources that prospective students should investigate before making their decisions?



With the fall semester underway, please note that the deadline for submitting papers or projects for the Art Libraries Society of North America’s Gerd Muesham Award for best student paper is approaching.  We want to encourage any student with an appropriate paper or project written in the last 18 months (back to spring 2005) to send their work to the address below, postmarked no later than November 17, 2006.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions concerning the award.

Sincerely yours,

Tony White
Gerd Muehsam Award Committee Chair

New on the Job: Rookie Flubs

SEPTEMBER 18, 2006

By Paula Lehman

The first year brings high expectations which can quickly deflate if you make some of these beginner’s mistakes
Few times in a young person’s life are as stressful as the first year out of college. If all goes well, you land a dream job in your chosen profession. But now everything hangs in the balance. Do well in your rookie job and it could put your career into overdrive. Your employer may shower you with promotions, pay raises, and increased responsibility, and you’ll be able to leapfrog ahead of the competition in your next position. Do poorly, and you may be sent down to the minors.

The good news: Barring any serious infractions, relatively few people get completely sidetracked in their first year on the job, as most employers allow for a learning curve. The bad news is the reputation you make for yourself will be yours for a good long time—the corporate equivalent of your permanent academic record—coloring the way people see you for many years.

Rookie mistakes are hard to avoid, but easy to learn from. Here’s some advice to keep you sailing straight.