Category Archives: Advice

Our advice column on job hunting, publishing your work, and more for students and new professionals.

Apply for the Elmar W. Seibel Scholarship!

Are you a current MLIS student in New England and interested in art librarianship, visual resources, and/or cultural heritage? Now is the time to apply for the Elmar W. Seibel Scholarship!

The New England Chapter of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) is now accepting applications for the Elmar W. Seibel Scholarship. Applications are due Friday, September 27, 2019

PURPOSE
The purpose of this award is to support and encourage future art librarians by helping to defray student expenses (tuition, professional development, conference attendance, housing, materials, etc.) Additional information is available here.

QUALIFICATIONS
Applicants must be aspiring art information professionals currently enrolled or accepted into a fully accredited New England school of library and information science.

AWARD
$500 in award funding will be distributed to the selected applicant.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE
Applicants should send a letter describing themselves and their interest in art librarianship, visual resources, and/or cultural heritage with proof of enrollment (course schedule, transcript, etc.) in, or an acceptance letter from, an accredited New England school of library and information science.

Please note:
Award recipients are required to provide a written account of how they use the Seibel funds to help finance their education and/or professional growth. This account must be submitted to the ARLIS/NA New England Chapter Board no later than one month from the date of award disbursal.

Applications are due Friday, September 27, 2019

Please send applications or questions to:
John Schlinke, ARLIS/NA New England Chapter Past Chair
jschlinke@rwu.edu

Diary of an early career art librarian: Bullet journaling and the mediation of past, present, and future

Hi ArLiSNAPpers! I presented a poster at this year’s national ARLIS/NA conference titled “Diary of an early career art librarian: Bullet journaling and the mediation of past, present, and future”. Since the topic obviously has a lot to do with the conversations we’re having at ArLiSNAP, and because I know a lot of us can’t get to national conferences, I thought I’d adapt the poster for the blog! So to introduce the project I should mention that in the last year or so I’ve started bullet journaling (maybe obvious) and had a lot of colleagues ask me about it—how it works generally, how it works for me specifically, what kind of pens I like to use, etc.—and in the process of talking them through my bullet journal I ended up just talking about what my life has been like since making the leap from student to new professional. I proposed this poster with the intention of trying to understand (mostly for myself) why that kept happening, and to bridge my penchant for philosophizing with the desire to provide some practical pointers.

When I graduated from library school in 2017, I finished my last semester of part time student work and supplemented my income with on-call and part time “official” librarian work. And I felt lucky—I was lucky, in fact, to get great experience, to get any job in a competitive job market in one of the most expensive cities in North America, to work with librarians I admire, and to observe a variety of library settings.

But it was difficult, too—bussing across town sometimes five times a day posed difficulties for my health, it left little time to keep trying to find full time work, and maybe most importantly, even though it required the degree, it never really felt like Librarianship™. During those months, I carried my yellow legal pad with me because it held a cheat sheet to help me juggle the policy idiosyncrasies of my various workplaces, and because I could sit down for the day, create my to do list for the next 2-4 hours and feel satisfied when I could leave with each task, handed to me from a “Real Librarian”, off my list.

With the end of my temp positions looming, I was offered my current permanent, full time job. Six months later, I offered the following nugget of wisdom to twitter:

screenshot with a tweet from the author that reads “Would it be weird and unacademic to propose a poster with tips and suggested sections/chapters for a librarian’s bullet journal? Because, like, that has been my biggest breakthrough in the last six months #AskingForAFriend”

And unlike most things I write on twitter, I actually gave the second part of this some thought. Because it’s true, there had been a lot of milestones (and continue to be a lot), but in terms of my professional identity, my workload, my confidence level (while constantly in flux)—all of those changes were shaped a drastically altered relationship to and understanding of time.

What do I need to do in the next 30 minutes? That’s a nice idea, but it’ll take years of relationship building to realize it. How do I pace myself to teach a three hour Foundations class? What was that thing Acquisitions said about DDA six months ago? They’re replacing the furniture on that floor now, maybe in two years I can get new chairs… I should write that down, I don’t want to forget it in the next hour/month/year/5 years. 

This constant sense of juggling multiple timelines, of acting and reacting in the present, trying to plan while accepting an unpredictable future, considering the implications of the past organizationally and personally…that is the kernel of transitioning from “student” to “professional”.

So what does this have to do with bullet journaling?

Well, this evolution from precarious to permanent, from chronos to kairos, from student to new professional—it lies in the physical and intellectual distinction between a yellow legal pad to a bullet journal. Because bullet journaling requires you to take something abstract like time, and to then construct some of kind of organization system in a tangible space. Not the arbitrary way of organizing time that a pre-designed planner foists upon you, but a way that requires thought, reflection, and creativity. And that’s a good place to start.

Click here to download the zine I made to accompany the poster, or flip through it below!

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Voices from the Field: An Interview with Caitlin McGurk

Caitlin McGurk is the Associate Curator for Engagement & Outreach and Assistant Professor at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH. She recently curated the exhibition Tell Me a Story Where The Bad Girl Wins: The Life and Art of Barbara Shermund at the BICLM that closed on March 31. She also happens to be my colleague and new friend. Caitlin is a badass in the field and keeps it real with her colleagues, too. It is a delight and inspiration to work with her.

Photo of Caitlin McGurk standing next to case in exhibit "Koyama and Friends."

Caitlin poses next to a display case in “Koyama and Friends,” an exhibition curated by her at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum in 2018. Photo provided by Caitlin McGurk.

Hey Caitlin!!! So excited to have you on the ArLiSNAP Blog this week. What you do is a little different than your general art librarian position at an academic institution. Could you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got to where you are now?

Absolutely! The full answer is a really, really long story, but I’ll do my best to summarize. I’ve had a passion for pop-culture and comics for most of my life, and started making my own mini-comics and zines in my late teens/early 20s as an undergraduate student at CW Post (Long Island University). I was getting my degree in English with a focus on Creative Writing, and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life after that. At the time, one of the many part-time jobs I was juggling was at a nostalgia auction house/record store called Just Kids (located at the time in Huntington Village, NY), and one of my duties while working there was to essentially document items/list them for auction (sort of like digitizing and cataloging them!) WELL, one of the first auctions I worked on was a major Underground Comix auction, and I was in my glory. I saw the light! I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “Damn, if only there was a way I could spend the rest of my life researching/organizing/cataloging comics…” After that, and while participating in the small press/zines community as a maker, I sought out to make myself an expert on comics. Especially comics outside of the mainstream. It became my whole life! Somewhere along the way, someone suggested library science to me as a career option. I knew I didn’t want to become a teacher and didn’t want to write for a living either (and wasn’t sure what else I qualified for as an English major!) so I started investigating the option of an MLIS, despite having never worked in a library.

When I decided to go for it, I went in hoping that I could find a way to bring comics into whatever kind of library job I could get, assuming that, at best, it might be a public librarian gig where I could cultivate a graphic novels section. Never in my life did I think I’d end up where I am, in my dream position at the largest collection of comics and cartoon art in the world! While getting my MLIS, I focused every school project possible on comics, and secured as many volunteer opportunities and internships related to comics and librarianship as I could (including at Marvel comics, Columbia University’s Bulliet Comics Collection, and the Center for Cartoon Studies). In 2009 just before finishing my degree, I was honored with The New York Library Club for efforts in helping to make comic books and graphic novels more widely available at libraries and universities. Throughout all of this I was working full time, usually at frame shops. So nearly all my comics related work was through internships and volunteer opportunities. And I did a LOT of them! I continued this hustle after graduating, and eventually was hired as the first full-time librarian at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT. Seven years ago I started at OSU as a “Visiting Curator” at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, and 4 years ago my role became a faculty position. My career trajectory has been very focused but also a bit of a gamble – I feel exceptionally fortunate that it all worked out, and that I was able to turn my passion into an extremely rewarding career.

How do feel your day to day differs from say, my job (Art & Design Librarian in The Fine Arts Library)? Do you feel more like a museum librarian or does curator really sum up more of what you do?

My position is pretty unique in special collections and academic libraries in general. I suppose I feel like curator sums up my position more than librarian does (I spend little to no time answering reference questions or doing any collection processing or acquisition), but even the curator title is a bit vague/inaccurate. The bulk of my day-to-day is spent working on outreach initiatives for our special collection (events, student programs, etc), curating exhibits, teaching classes, and engaging with collection donors. It’s not a job description that is particularly easy to pin down, but overall my role is to elevate the visibility of the Billy Ireland and the credibility of comics overall on a local, national, and international level. This ends up including everything from coordinating with media and public relations, to teaching Ohio State classes, to running comics making workshops for the Girl Scouts of America, to traveling to give talks about comics at other intuitions, to giving tours of our exhibitions to retirement communities, to conducting studio-visits with cartoonists who are considering donating their work to us. It’s all part of the broader outreach vision.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?

Yes – build on your strengths! I had no idea that a position in outreach (let alone in comics outreach) could even be possible in librarianship, but I am proud that I was able to make it so by nurturing my abilities as an event planner, people-person, and overall strong promoter of comics. I feel like one of the wonderful things about librarianship, and special collections/archives in particular, is that if there is a subject area you are particularly passionate about (like comics for me) you can totally find a way to bring it into the work that you do. There are archives for just about everything, and those places need people who have that added subject-expertise/passion. I also always stress with students that networking really is essential – I know it can be anxiety-inducing, but you truly have to push yourself and put yourself out there. Utilize your mentors and connections, and don’t be afraid to take chances and ask for what you want. I also think librarians can often be humble and quiet, and I think it’s important to learn how to promote yourself and your passions. Especially when you’re in the start of your career.

What do you feel are particularly difficult challenges in the field of art or specifically museum librarianship right now?

While this has ramifications way beyond art librarianship, I think born-digital material is still one of the biggest issues facing librarians, and one that we haven’t truly found a great solution for yet. In our library, what used to be a semi truck of material that showed up at our doors when an artist donated their life’s work to us, now it’s a hard drive. Great for space-saving, but really unnerving from a preservation and access standpoint. Something we’re trying to figure out is how to make born-digital work (like many webcomics) displayable in an appealing way in our museum.

What is your favorite part of your current position? What do you hope to do next?

It’s tough for me to pick one favorite part — I really love what I do in all ways. One of my favorite parts is working with a team of extremely skilled, hardworking, kind and inspiring women. The Billy Ireland crew is like family to me. Most of all though I love that I’ve been able to marry my passion to my career, and that there’s always new discoveries and more to learn. With a collection of over 3 million items, I don’t think I’ll ever see it all!

What do I hope to do next? I hope to get tenure and live happily ever after among the comics. Maybe write a book or two.

Do you have any other reflections you’d like to share for the newbies out there? Things you wish you had known or done differently?

Hmm. Some general thoughts, some of which I’ve mentioned but will reiterate:

  • Never be afraid to ask for what you want
  • Work on your public speaking and networking skills. If you can manage yourself confidently and let go of your shyness or anxiety for a bit, it will put you leagues above others on the job market. I know this is can be a real struggle for some people.
  • Even is you think there must be more qualified people out there than yourself, apply anyway. Don’t underestimate your abilities.
  • Always be on time and professional
  • Never burn bridges
  • Find as many varied volunteer opportunities and internships as you can handle. This is where/how you will meet the people you need to meet, and figure out what you want and what you don’t.
  • Don’t settle for a job that makes you miserable. Stay confident and driven.
  • Stay positive, don’t panic, it’s gonna be okay.

Thanks, Caitlin! We loved hearing from you. 

Voices from the Field: An Interview with Jamie Vander Broek

Color photograph depicting outdoor plaza. To the left is the school of art and design. The top and left are flanked by green trees.

The University of Michigan Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

Can you tell us a little bit about your background and your current position? What drew you to this position and art librarianship in general?

I’m currently the Librarian for Art & Design and the Manager of the Arts Group at the University of Michigan Library. My role is a combination of a traditional subject specialist position with some supervisory responsibilities. I also started a Book Arts Studio a few years ago, and have been getting that off the ground.

My job involves curating the print and digital contemporary art and design collections for the Library (including artists’ books), working with students, faculty, staff, and the community to advance their research, and supporting the work of the other art subject specialist librarians.

My background all feeds perfectly into my work, but it took quite a while for it to coalesce this nicely. My parents worked as an industrial designer and an art educator, so I was always surrounded by artists and designers growing up. As an undergraduate at Wellesley College, I had intended to go the other direction and major in cognitive psychology. But I happened to stop by the Art Library’s booth at a job fair the fall of my first year. I started working there, and was immediately hooked. I became an art history major and was thoroughly devoted to the Art Library from the start. I also started taking book arts workshops and fell in love with those, too, eventually taking all the credit courses offered on book arts and doing an independent study in Special Collections.

I didn’t grow up wanting to be a librarian, so as much as it all looks natural to me now in retrospect, it took me a while to fully process the idea of librarianship as a career. And after I went back to school to get my master’s degree I learned how competitive and crowded the field can be. At first I focused on non-art librarian jobs, but always kept up my association with ARLIS/NA, going to conferences, presenting, and joining committees and SIGs.

Now I use a combination of my background and interests in my work every day, and that’s really satisfying. I’m actually less interested in artists’ books now, though, than I was in college. I’ve become much more into interiors and house design over the years. I think it’s good, though to not be buying what I’m personally obsessed with. It gives me some useful professional distance from what I’m supposed to be evaluating. And my colleague buys the house stuff, so I’m not so far from it that I can’t enjoy the fruits of her labor while I’m working down in our Special Collections.

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

Over my ten years with ARLIS/NA, I’ve watched my cohort gradually get settled. Things that seemed impossible or immovable at the start have, of course, changed. Things open up, people move around. But you have to be paying attention. I think that if you know you really want to be in this work, that staying involved with the society can be a really useful grounding tool. It gave me an art outlet when I wasn’t getting much of one in my day-to-day work, allowed me to continue to network with “my people,” and now that I’m finally working as a full-time art librarian, it feels like home.

Do you have any job-hunting advice for aspiring art librarians?

I think there are different strategies you can take. Definitely coming to conferences when possible is helpful, because it’s so helpful to be able to make face-to-face connections with people in the field. I personally think it’s a good idea to dig in and take on some responsibility within the organization, because that demonstrates your value to the community in a way that’s helpful when you’re looking for a job. It seems like some of my peers were really focused on getting an art librarian job specifically, regardless of where the position might be. I was a little more open to considering other positions at certain institutions, and I don’t regret that — I thought for sure that there would never be an opening at my institution in art, but eventually there was.

Color photograph of variety of letterpress type

Photo by Amador Loureiro on Unsplash

Can you talk a little about the Book Arts Studio at the UM and how this space came about? What is your role, and the library’s, in relation to this space?

There was (and is!) a Book Arts Studio in the Library at Wellesley, where I went to college. It actually wasn’t in the Art Library, but in the general collection’s building attached to Special Collections. When I became the Librarian for Art & Design at Michigan, I thought we should have one, too, because I had seen at Wellesley what a difference it makes to not just view something but to get to learn about it by making it as well. I wanted to be able to “do” artists’ books.

I started with a stack of green cutting mats and some bone folders. Then, coincidentally, another department of our Library purchased an entire letterpress studio and didn’t have a place to put it or a person dedicated to taking care of it. I put my hand up, and the studio arrived while I was away on vacation a few summers ago in enormous cardboard boxes that I could crawl into, they were so big! I hired a graduate student to help dig out of the mess, and then started working with local letterpress experts to offer an open studio program and workshops.

It’s been such a dream to have the ability to demonstrate and teach letterpress and to be able to give students a space to make book works of their own in the Library. Now, of course, the biggest problem is capacity. We have the equipment and a skeleton crew, but we need to figure out how to increase the Library’s investment in the endeavor so we can bring more support on board.

I feel that the Artists Books collection is a special and unique collection we have at the U-M Library. I’m wondering if you could talk some about how you’ve used this collection in your position, maybe in teaching, engagement, professional development, or any other kind of work. Do you have any particularly interesting stories regarding this collection or its works?

Only one person has cried while looking at the artists’ books collection with me, which surprises me. It tends to engender powerful reactions in people, though really the cheese book (American Cheese, 20 Slices) has taken the cake as far as strong feelings are concerned. Over the past few years, I’ve developed a better sense of whether I’d like to add something to the collection, and it’s essentially whether it makes me think to myself, “F–k yes, we have to have that.” I add things that don’t make me feel that way, for more logical reasons (it complements another item in the collection, it matches our overall collecting priorities, etc), but when I have the “f–k yes” feeling, I know people are going to dig into the object when they come to visit the collection with classes. Recently I bought a Hermès pop up book because I had that feeling, and it’s been rewarding watching people pour over the animated scarves that are inside the book.

I think the most rewarding part of the collection is getting to see what people make after they’ve seen items from it. You can really see the difference it makes to have experienced some artists’ books before attempting to create one — the student projects are so much more boundary-pushing and interesting.

Irregular purple shape in the center with darker purple text "greetings from Paris Kentucky." Brown and green marks accent the purple center piece.

Lessons from the South / text and design by Susan E. King

Tell us something fun about yourself! Do you have a favorite library? A favorite artist?

I just got back from Amsterdam, so I’m really into Dutch design and designers. Sigrid Calon is my current favorite. She works with risograph a lot, and in a few weeks I’m going to Mills College to learn more about how risograph works as part of their summer intensive workshops.

Being staff, student, & (aspiring) librarian

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Unsplash

I apologize in advance if this post is a bit rambling… it’s an attempt to to put pen to paper (or rather keyboard to computer) regarding thoughts that have been swirling in my head since graduating with my MLIS this past December. I finally have the time and space to reflect on this experiences and the path that led me to this point. In this reflection, I’ve specifically thought more deeply about my experience as a non-librarian staff member pursuing their MLIS, which has been the reality for many librarians/library science students I know. I wanted to share some of my experiences and feelings of being situated in this space between both staff, student, and aspiring librarian.

Some brief background about myself… I’ve been working, as non-librarian staff, in various positions at the University of Michigan Library since 2013. I graduated with my MLIS in December 2018, but am still currently employed in my non-librarian, staff position at the U-M Library. I have sort of been on the job market, looking some but not necessarily fervently, as I am fortunate enough to have the stability of my current job. It is a good paying, engaging, flexible job and honestly, after going to school continuously for two years while working full-time, I have really needed this moment to pause, give myself a break, and reflect.

Having completed my MLIS, I realize just how much stress being in graduate school caused for me. The past couple of years have been an emotional rollercoaster for me and I didn’t fully contribute this to the build-up of stress created between juggling my job and schoolwork. Now that I only have to dedicate myself to one of these things, it’s like a huge weight has been lifted off of me! This could just be part of my personality, too. I tend to put a lot of stress and pressure on myself and while most times my work stress can be left at the library at the end of the day, the stress of school felt omnipresent. When I wasn’t working, I constantly felt like I should be doing something related to my education- gotta get a head start on that paper, on the readings, on that project. If I was already ahead, what else could I be doing to making sure I didn’t fall behind or what could I do to build my resume. Looking back, I would have tried to not be so hard on myself and to trust myself more.

Photo by James Sutton on Unsplash

As part of my current job I’ve managed our library’s graduate student reference assistants, many of whom are School of Information students, pursuing a career in librarianship. I have to admit that there were times I’ve been envious of the flexibility my students have in pursuing a variety of internships and opportunities available to them which, having a full-time job, were not a possibility for myself. However, it’s easier to think the grass is greener on the other side. I vicariously experienced their trials and tribulations as they worked and stressed through job apps, interviews, presentations etc. after graduating, not having any idea what the immediate future was going to bring them, and in this way, I feel very fortunate for the security and stability of my current job.

I’ve worked in varying departments across my library, but I often worry about getting pigeon-holed into a specific aspect of librarianship when I still feel very unsure of exactly which path I want to continue on! This felt true when I was working in acquisitions, a department heavily reliant on non-librarian staff. While this position was certainly beneficial in introducing me to the work of technical services librarianship, when reading through job postings for technical services librarians, I don’t really feel like my experience has been enough to actually qualify me for these positions. During my technical services days I also worried about my lack of public service experience being a hindrance for future job prospects.

Now that my past few positions have been public service focused, I feel a bit like I’m stuck, where I must continue pursuing public service librarianship, even when I’ve actually been feeling myself drawn back to the more technical, collection-based aspects of library and archival work. The conundrum is how does one transition to other aspects of librarianship when you are already working a full-time job in an entirely different arena of the library? I’m curious to hear the experiences of others who have transitioned to different jobs within libraries or from library to archive work, vice versa, from non-librarian staff to librarian, and how they made this move and the similar or different challenges they experienced.

Photo by David Clarke on Unsplash

I believe there are unique challenges for non-librarian staff as they work towards a career in librarianship. I plan to keep thinking about this as I continue to navigate my own winding path in librarianship. My feelings of being cornered come and go. My feelings of contentment in my current position, both directly related to the specific work I do, and within the context of a larger, professional identity, also come and go. The variety of interests and experiences I’ve had in academic libraries is what drew me to pursue my advanced education, in the hopes that I could continue to pursue a variety of interests and experiences as a librarian. I’m still trying to figure out how best to achieve this reality.

I am hoping others will share and discuss their own experiences, challenges, joys, frustrations, etc. in the comments below. How have you navigated (or are navigating) your career in librarianship?

Reflections on Relocation: Insight From Personal Experience

Hello, ArLiSNAP blog readers! It has been a really interesting year in my personal career life, and I thought some of you may appreciate reflections on my journey to art librarianship.

Just about two weeks ago, I began working as the Art & Design Librarian at The Ohio State University Libraries. My family and I relocated to Columbus, OH after a short stint in Charleston, SC. As I mentioned in the interview fellow Feature Post Writer Sarah Bilotta and I conducted a few months ago, I’ve worked in libraries for about five years, as a staff member and then as a librarian. I also mentioned that I felt relocation is a privilege that many do not have access to. I have now relocated for academic library positions twice in basically the same calendar year, and I still feel that way, but I do feel it has been worth it (FOR ME). However, relocating for a job requires some knowledge of the way things work. I’m going to outline some of those in this post.

Photo by Dino Reichmuth on Unsplash.

First Stop: The On-Campus Interview

Many institutions will pay for travel expenses if you are offered an on-campus interview. This is not a rule, and smaller universities, colleges, and community colleges often just do not have the money to offer this. This obviously limits diversity in applicant pools who are actually interviewing and presenting at on-campus interviews, which is a big problem and harms the chances of real racial and socio-economic inclusion in our profession. Hopefully, when you get your on-campus interview, it will be somewhere that can (and will) pay for the costs of travel associated with it. I have had to turn down an on-campus interview because the school couldn’t pay for any expenses. And it is a huge bummer–you go through the Skype interview and get really excited for the opportunity, but then can’t make it on-campus because a) you don’t have much money in your bank account or b) you don’t have a credit card or c) you simply don’t want to put a ton of money on your credit card for a position you don’t know you’ll be offered.

Once you’re there, really use your time during the on-campus interview to ask questions about where you may relocate. Try to get to know your potential-new-place-of-work and what the city/town might be like to live in. This is your chance to take LESS of a gamble by digging into how people feel about the institution and locale. It can be difficult to read between the lines because people generally do not say bad things about their employer bluntly, but you can generally get a feeling about whether a place is going to be toxic or supportive. Basically, try to figure out IS the stress of relocation WORTH IT?

Research Research Research

Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash.

I also used this cost of living calculator to research what my current salary would feel like in the new city, which helped me understand how a bump or decrease would feel based on my constant costs (rent, phone bill, car payment, student loans, etc.). To get a feel for what might be an appropriate amount to ask for in terms of salary, I looked into public records (many state institutions publish at least some of their faculty salaries) for similar librarian positions to make sure I was being offered enough and that if I asked for more, I wasn’t asking for an undue amount more. The Library Salaries Inequity Resource List is a good source for anonymized information regarding librarian salaries across the country. It is a living document, and changes as people add their salaries to it, and it is a great resource for comparison.

On to…Negotiation

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash.

The first time I relocated, I was offered a small sum for relocation. About $1,000. This was fine with me, because I had never relocated for a job, and I thought that $1,000 was better than $0. This is true; however, that $1,000 is taxed, which makes it look closer to $800 or less. Thanks to the new tax plan passed last year by Congress, that cost is no longer deductible when you file your taxes. Therefore, instead of using that money to actually pay off the debt on my credit card, I had to use it to get by, because, well, moving is expensive.

When it came time to negotiate for my next position, I was better informed. I did actual research into moving costs (see above). For instance, I knew I would need a moving company, because we were moving for the second time in a year, with a toddler, and uHaul just wasn’t gonna cut it this time. When I received my offer, I was able to negotiate based on my research findings, and we settled on an amount that was not exorbitant but actually covered the costs I needed it to. Don’t be afraid to hold off on accepting a position you really want so that you can do the research on the costs of moving to a new place. They expect that. It is ok.

All of this hinges on the idea that your potential-new-place-of-work is able to offer relocation. You may not receive an offer for relocation, but you should always ask. You never know, and if they want you badly enough they will find out what they can do.

So…when do I get paid? 

The answer to this question, unfortunately, is that it depends. Reimbursement culture in academic jobs is a real pain. Especially as a newbie starting out, it can be difficult to front costs for things like conferences and travel, not to mention relocating for the actual job, when there’s a good chance you won’t get paid right away. Depending on where you are going and how quickly things operate there, it can take a LONG TIME to be reimbursed. If you can avoid putting things on a credit card that will accrue a lot of interest, it will be better in the end. Again, this reflects financial privilege, no matter which way you slice it.

Some colleges and universities offer several types of relocation allocation. Direct pay, cash advance, and reimbursement were all options at my current institution, for example. Finding out information on each type of payment is crucial, since ALL of this income is taxable and could affect your first paycheck. For instance, if you hire movers that are directly paid from the university, the taxable portion of that paid amount will come out of your paycheck. That could be a major hit to many people.  It is good to know your options and how they play out in reality.

Conclusions

These are only a few things related to relocating for a job, but I hope that they can offer some insight for you in your own job search. When I was getting my M.S.I.S., people said I would have less of a  problem finding a job in an academic library as long as I was willing to move for it. I feel like this reality puts an undue strain on new professionals (and librarians from less privileged backgrounds in general) who may not be able or want to move to a new place. However, if you are willing to do so, you really should know what it is within your rights to negotiate for, and then what relocation reimbursement can look like. Feel free to leave questions in the comments! Since I am fresh off the relocation train, I’m sure I can help answer some. Good luck on your job hunt!

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: Art Librarian Career Interview with Becca Pad

From artist to art librarian, Becca Pad shares her experiences and tips for embracing every opportunity in the field of art librarianship.

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

While getting my bachelors in studio art at the Maryland Institute College of Art, I spent a lot of time in the library browsing exhibition catalogs to learn about new artists. My original interest in pursuing art librarianship stemmed from a desire to surround myself with books and information on artists. After graduating from college, I completed internships at the National Museum of African Art and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Both of these experiences helped me decide to pursue a master’s in library science, with a focus on archival work in museums.

Working at the University of Texas Libraries as a graduate student in the iSchool showed me a different perspective on information science careers. I enjoyed the public services aspects of my job including working at the reference desk and staffing our chat service. I was fortunate enough to develop a mentoring relationship with the former art librarian at the Fine Arts Library and learning about her responsibilities and role solidified my decision to pursue academic art librarianship

What “keeps you busy” these days in the field? What projects are you working on?

This year I am the moderator for the Academic Division of ARLIS/NA. I am leading a project to create a report on the state of academic art libraries, which will be published in late January 2019. It is a great opportunity to help assess the current state of academic art librarianship and provide recommendations to help others at their institutions.

At UT Austin, one of my main projects this year includes refining my pilot program for integrating information and visual literacy into the freshman Art and Art history program. I am collaborating with the program coordinator and faculty members on this multiyear project. As a former studio art student, I am passionate about helping other studio artists use the library as a tool for creating new works of art.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?

It is important to have practical experience in the field. You can gain experience through internships or research assistant opportunities at your university or in your local arts community. There are many facets to art librarianship and field experience will help you determine what type of work is most rewarding to you.
My other advice is to be persistent in applying to jobs. The job market can be tough but continue to apply to opportunities as they present themselves; you never know where you could end up. During school, you can begin to review job applications and look at the requirements for different types of positions. This can help you select courses or internships that can prepare you for the position you really want.

What accomplishments in the field of art librarianship are you most proud of?

I am proud of my work on the UT Fine Arts Library Task Force committee. The Task Force consisted of UT librarians, College of Fine Arts faculty, and student representatives. Using feedback from the UT Austin community, interviewing peer institutions, and looking at metrics (such as circulation data) we created a report about possible outcomes for the Fine Arts Library collections and space. I am happy to report that the Fine Arts Library collections remain in the branch library and our spaces are now updated.

If you could go back in time and do part of your career or education over again, is there something you would have changed? A class you would have taken? A missed opportunity?

I wish I completed language courses in college. It was not a requirement for me and I was interested in pursuing other areas of study. However, having language skills are useful for many aspects of art librarianship including collection development and assisting scholars with research questions. I am planning to enroll in language classes at UT Austin through the staff educational benefit. I may apprendre le français, lerne Deutsch, impara l’italiano!

Meet an Art Librarian: Career Interview with Emilee Mathews

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

I went to Indiana University for an MA in Art History, starting in Fall 2008. Initially, I had only planned on getting the MA and to figure out what I wanted to do after that. But, in the meantime, I was in a class called Research Methods in Art History, and I met a bunch of people who were in the Art Librarianship specialization and others in the Dual Degree program, which offers masters in both Art History and in Library Science. I started considering this as a career path, never having realized before that this was an option. The clincher was that the ARLIS/NA conference was in Indianapolis the coming year (2009), and I got to meet local art librarians, and volunteered at the conference and met many, many more art information professionals from around the country. Everyone was so kind, helpful, and down to earth, I felt like I had found my “people.”

 

What “keeps you busy” these days in the field? What projects are you working on?

Just a few months ago I wrapped up teaching an online course in art librarianship for Indiana University, which I taught in Spring Semester 2018. It was a super intensive development process, as when you build an online course, you have to fully establish what you’ll cover, what the students will be exposed to, and how they’ll demonstrate proficiency in the topic way before the class actually starts, which means very deliberate content creation and development. A big part of it was recording around 30 interviews with art librarians in the profession, as well as art historians, curators, and artists. So now, I’m considering how to expose that content to reach a broader audience, since the interviews were so insightful and rich.

Spinning off of the knowledge I developed on designing online classes, I’m working [on] writing a monograph for Primary Research Group on this topic. I’ll be interviewing fellow practitioners to better understand best practices for developing online content. That is planned for publication in February 2019.

And one more project I’m hard at work on is participating in the State of Academic Art LIbraries Report Task Force, spearheaded by members of the Academic Libraries Division with help from the Museum Libraries Division and the Public Policy Committee. So far, we’ve scanned the literature for trends, created a survey to gather key information from fellow ARLIS members, and identified institutions that we want to feature as case studies. It’s been eye opening to see the trends I’ve experienced locally at the positions I’ve held, and see how widespread a lot of these developments are. I will say, the thing I’m most excited about in the report is gathering strategies for advocacy from colleagues. There are so many great stories that people have been telling, I think it’ll help everyone be more strategic in communicating their value once we publish the document and give people so many great examples to inspire them.

 

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?

Remember that what you bring to the table is unique and valuable, no matter where in your career you are. For those just starting out, you need to know that many libraries are more than willing to help foster an early career person, and see what you bring as useful. If you are getting phone interviews, it is likely that they are willing to help mentor you in the profession. However, as you progress through the interview process, watch for what types of training, orientation, and mentorship they have built into the onboarding process. Ask questions about how other early career people have been supported. Don’t be afraid to ask follow up questions even after the onsite interview. Make sure to establish relationships among your library school professors and any practicing librarians you can – whether working part time in the library, or in an internship, a formal mentorship program, or what have you – so that you can benefit from their perspective and their network of relationships. They likely will have information about the institution you’re interviewing with that you would not necessarily be able to determine from just a day’s worth of interacting with people – or, they’ll be able to pick up on cues that you might miss.

 

What accomplishments in the field of art librarianship are you most proud of?   

In addition to the things I talked about above, I’m proud of being on the Strategic Directions Committee for ARLIS the last three years. That committee works super hard and comes up with amazing ideas. Basically, our charge is to look for ideas for what the society should become, try, or do, and present these options to the Executive Board. Already several things we’ve recommended have started to be put into action. It’s really satisfying to give back and to make a positive difference.

 

If you could go back in time and do part of your career or education over again, is there something you would have changed? A class you would have taken? A missed opportunity?

So many things! In library school, I wish I had taken the seminar in Intellectual Freedom that Ron Day offered, or the Digital Humanities classes, or the hands-on conservation practica. But the cool thing about being a librarian is that there’s a real acknowledgment of the importance of continuing education, and there’s lots of support for that. I also think one of the most important aspects of this profession is learn how to be an autodidact. The only guaranteed thing about librarianship is that you’ll constantly need to adapt and grow along with the profession.

The “Art” of Job Hunting or How We Got From There to Here

ArLiSNAP Feature Post Writers Sarah and Courtney, both fresh from the job hunt process, describe their experience job searching as an art librarian and interview each other about the process in the hopes of starting a dialogue for all new job-seeking art librarians.

A white coffee mug with “begin” written on it on a wooden table

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Sarah’s Experience:

I decided to get my Master’s degree in Library Science while working in a paraprofessional position in an academic performing arts library, and I took on an archival studies concentration in order to broaden my post-graduation job possibilities. Leading up to graduation I began applying for local music librarian positions, but after graduation in May 2017 I broadened my job search to include research, instruction, and collections jobs outside of the arts and in other parts of the country (and abroad). I had a few job interviews but, in my first few months with my Master’s degree, did not succeed in finding a position that was a match for me.

In October 2017 I had the opportunity to interview for a librarian position in an art museum, and it showed me a new path that I could take in my job search, beyond academic work. This motivated me to learn more. I joined ArLiSNAP, began a volunteer position at an art museum, and began taking webinars to teach myself more about art museum library collections and cataloging. After seven months, my volunteer position turned into a part-time paid fellowship, and shortly after that I was offered a full-time position as a cataloger for a museum library.

My experience showed me that art librarianship is an extremely competitive field in which one must be willing to learn and engage with other art librarians and researchers. The job hunting process is very involved and can be very discouraging (even causing anxiety and depression for which we should not be afraid to seek help). It was very helpful for me, personally, to relieve stress by speaking with other job-hunting librarians about their experience. I also made the most of the paraprofessional job I was in by asking my supervisor to teach me new things and taking on new and different responsibilities. Ultimately, my personal experience was one which taught me to “go with the flow” because your job search may take you in directions that you never would have considered as long as you are open to learning new things.

Courtney’s Experience:

I worked as a paraprofessional in a public library first, and then a community college library, as well as taught (adjunct) art history for 3-4 years prior to going back for my master’s in library science (technically mine is an M.S.I.S.). Currently, I’m not working as an art librarian, but as a collection development librarian, which I think has tons of potential for working in visual arts subject collections. There is a lot of overlap in collection work with art librarianship that I hope to use to my advantage later in my career.

I began applying for jobs in all academic libraries, some in art libraries, before I had conferred my degree. Honestly, I was living in a really expensive part of the country at the time, and I was really anxious to move up in the library world, as well as find a more fulfilling position in line with my interests.

The day after I earned by degree, I had the chance to interview in person at a large research university for an Art and Design Librarian position, which I did not get. It was a fantastic experience though. It really gave me a taste of what interviewing at academic libraries in general is like, and it also gave me insight into aspects of art librarianship that I hadn’t learned in school or at my job at the time.

Though I didn’t get that job, I realized that I could look for other jobs in academic libraries like the one I have now, and that I could interview with confidence because I had done it once. I realized that even though art library jobs are really competitive and hard to come by, I could develop skills I had less of (collection work in this case–I have a background in teaching, so reference and instruction are covered for me) and then look for art library jobs again in a few years.

I definitely agree with Sarah about going “with the flow,” because librarianship is so interdisciplinary. Even if you don’t get an art librarian job right away, the experience you gain doing other things will help you get there. AND, every position is tailorable! You can make relationships on campus that keep you in the loop in the arts world (some tips for which I wrote about here), which can be reflected in cover letters and CVs.

Photo by Evie Shaffer on Unsplash

Sarah Interviews Courtney:

What do you think is the hardest part of breaking into the art librarianship field?

So far for me, the hardest part is just not having worked in specifically an art library. I have a lot of experience in libraries at this point, but it is mostly paraprofessional. When I interviewed for an art and design position, I feel like I answered interview questions well and that my presentation was good (with great responses/questions!), but that to leadership, I probably didn’t have the level of experience on the job or serving on committees for national associations that they were looking for.

Do you think art librarians should be willing to apply for jobs in other parts of the country?

I think that it is a privilege to be able to do so. I moved for my current position (which is not an art librarian position) and would have moved for the position at the larger university. However, there are layers here: willingness/confidence/privilege to negotiate terms of a contract that would account for moving costs, a big enough bank account to cover the costs of moving whether or not your moving expenses are covered (reimbursement often takes forever), having a support system that can help you both mentally and physically with the act of moving, etc.

So, my answer here is: your job prospects will widen if you are open to moving, but many people would really be hard up to make a move prior to a “professional” librarian salary (which often isn’t even that high).

What has been your experience as an academic librarian preparing for a career in art libraries?

I am constantly trying to find new ways to stay connected with the visual arts. I go to galleries and museums and talk to the curators there. I’m lucky, because the Halsey Institute is right down the street, and one of their curators is a friend of mine from my first round of grad school! But I do a lot of reading articles and just generally trying to stay up to date with what is going on in art libraries.

Professionally, I think about research that relates to my job now and how it could be adapted specifically for art libraries. For instance, I’m currently working on assessments of our architecture and art history collections, and this has led to taking a deep look at the programs they support and the faculty who run them. I’m hoping that this work and the relationships I build will help develop any skills and knowledge I lack.

I think that volunteering for ArLiSNAP also counts as something I’m doing to prepare. Being a feature post writer is forcing me to think of issues in field and keep up with what other art librarians are doing.

Thinking back to your Master’s Degree program, is there anything you would have done differently to broaden your job possibilities?

I maybe would have tried harder to do a practicum in an art library. I did a practicum in collection development and instruction, the former of which helped me get my current position, but because I was a) pregnant and b) working full time, the convenience my practicum was key. One thing I did do was try to align what I was taking with library degrees at different schools that had a cultural heritage or art library “track” (mine didn’t specifically).

What has surprised you about the job searching process in this field?

I feel like I’ve been pretty prepared by colleagues and professors on the intricacies of applying for jobs in academic libraries, which includes subject specialist and art librarian positions, so I haven’t been surprised by much. However, for those reading this who haven’t been through it, in person interviews in academic libraries are like running a marathon. All day, grueling, but invigorating (sometimes) processes that require you to be “on” all day. I actually loved interviewing at that big university library even though I didn’t get that position, because I was able to engage with members of the campus community who came out to meet me at the various meetings. We talked a lot about issues in the field, and I genuinely felt like there was no “right” answer. I already knew I wanted to be an art librarian before interviewing, but I left realizing that it really is my career goal. Not every job interview is like that (maybe most aren’t?), but I guess it surprised me how at ease I felt with it. Probably because I am a subject specialist (M.A. in Art History), so I had a lot of feelings about fine arts collections, as well as their applications in teaching and research.

Do you have any words of wisdom for those interested in working in academic libraries?

Get experience, somehow. Any way you can. Volunteer if you can afford it, try to get a part-time job as a paraprofessional if you haven’t finished your degree…but just try to get that experience. It sucks, because I feel like academic libraries should give new professionals more of a shot. At my last job, I was on a hiring committee where we really tried to keep that in mind and look at those who had related experience + their MLS (which was required by HR), but unfortunately at most places, they are really looking for that library experience. Also, I think experience counts for more than the degree in a lot of cases. We interviewed super new “professional” librarians who had lots of library experience in staff positions over people who just had their MLS.

Also, when you interview, remember that you are also interviewing THEM. Try not to be scared to advocate for yourself and ask hard questions. When I interviewed, both for the art and design position as well as my current place work, I was a pumping mother of a baby under a year old. I had to request facilities in which to do that. They were accommodating, but if they hadn’t been, I would have known that I didn’t want to work there immediately. You want to be comfortable and happy where you work, so ask the hard questions.

What advice can you give to those trying to cope with the disappointment that inevitably comes with job hunting (and which for new professionals may be especially unexpected)?

Ugh, it’s hard. Try not to be discouraged! When I didn’t get the job in that fine arts library, I was crushed. I didn’t think I’d get a second interview, so when I was invited on campus, I was elated–how could I, as a new professional, get a job like THAT? I tried to just be proud of myself for getting there, but after my interview I was convinced I had a good shot. Later on, when I found out who did the job, I was seriously even prouder of myself, because that person had years of experience and also was involved in national associations (which I didn’t have the chance to do). I felt so happy I got as far as I did — you need to celebrate those victories, because they’re all learning experiences. So chin up and move on! It’s 100% their loss!

Photo by Erol Ahmed on Unsplash

Courtney Interviews Sarah:

I’m repeating your question, because I’m curious: What do you think is the hardest part of breaking into the art librarianship field?

I think the hardest part(s) is(are) a combination of having the right skillset, finding the institution willing to take a chance on you, and not getting too discouraged by rejection. When combined, I think these things indicate (correctly) that the job search can be a long and challenging process for any new professional. But, it is worth it for anyone who truly loves art scholarship and collections.

How was your interview process different at an art museum library versus an academic art library?

It was completely different! Just as you mentioned, all of my academic library interviews were day-long affairs which typically involved a presentation that I had spent weeks preparing in advance. However, the art museum library interviews were typically only a couple of hours long and did not involve presentations. I interviewed for one position in an art museum library that was affiliated with a college, and that interview was structured more like an academic library interview. Another significant difference is that academic jobs typically involved multiple interviews with several members of the institution’s library staff, faculty, and administration, whereas museum library interviews were typically one-on-one or smaller groups.

Did you interview anywhere for a position you would not have accepted after you interviewed? What would the factors leading you to that conclusion?

Within weeks of finishing my MLIS, I interviewed for a position that I knew was not right for me. It was a step in the right direction (a professional title, a higher salary), but it involved responsibilities that were outside of my interests. I had initially applied for this job because it had a performing arts element, but when I learned more about the position, I realized that it did not have enough of an arts element to compensate for the other responsibilities that I was much less interested in. I was able to say “no” to this position because at the time I had a full-time paraprofessional job and a financial support network. However, if I had been in a financial or career position where I felt I was struggling, I would have definitely pursued that job. I think there is something to learn from any job you take, and even if it’s not your dream job, you can use it as an opportunity to learn and apply skills to your next position.

What are some of the things you feel are most important to do for someone trying to break into the field?

Relating back to your first question, I think that there are a few things art library students and new professionals can do to prepare themselves. This field is so competitive that students in art librarianship-focused MLS programs should be willing to cater the program to the skills they will need (i.e. taking the opportunity to do research in art librarianship or classes on visual resources or choose a concentration in digital media). I would encourage students to check out the ArLiSNAP “Hack Your Art Librarianship Program” blog posts for more advice on this.

For MLS graduates, one must be willing to continue learning through webinars, volunteer work, professional organizations, and networking. Once you have a good-looking resume (full of relevant volunteer work and continuing education), it’s all about applying to positions where you think the institution would be willing to hire a newbie. If you think you’re a good fit, apply. Use your cover letter to tell them why you’re a good fit even though you’re new-ish to the field! Lastly, you may find yourself applying to dozens (and dozens) of jobs without any offers. Keep pushing on. If you can, use your joblessness as an opportunity to take on more activities to boost your professional development, and take advantage of services like mentorship and resume reviews at ARLIS/NA and ArLiSNAP conferences! As long as you are able to push on, try not to give up because the next opportunity could be right around the corner at any time, and you don’t want to miss it!

Do you feel your master’s degree aptly prepared you for your position? For the job hunting process?

My program took around 2.5 years mostly part-time, and I think even if it had taken 3.5 years it would not have been long enough to prepare me for all the different facets of librarianship and art librarianship that I am interested in. Fortunately, it was a very career-minded program (in the online SOIS at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee – highly recommend!) which taught me practical things like how to analyze job descriptions and plan for a future in rapidly digitizing library environments. I also did not know when I was in this program that I would eventually become a cataloger. I have always preferred working with the public to sitting behind a computer screen. If I had known then that cataloging is much more than staring at a computer, I probably would have taken more cataloging courses, which might have prepared me to apply to cataloging positions right out of grad school. But, in the end, I feel that my program was well-rounded and did the best possible job of preparing me for job hunting.

Do you have any words of wisdom for those working in other types of libraries (school, public) hoping to get into academic or art libraries?

Yes! Any job in the library field (or art or museums) is a step towards working in art librarianship. The best possible thing you can do is make opportunities for yourself. Whenever you see a job posting for a position you are interested in but don’t think you are qualified for, save it and use it to help brainstorm ways to learn the skills you would need to be qualified for it. If you are working in a school library, try to include art books and topics in your library lessons. If you are working in a public library, ask your supervisor if you can curate a display of books about local art/artists. Start (and hopefully finish) projects that will look good on your resume, and don’t be afraid to get involved with professional communities of art librarians (ArLiSNAP is the perfect place to start!) and to ask questions about breaking into the field. You might start by posting your questions here, in this thread :)

Conclusions

Job hunting is so stressful! There’s no getting around that. And added to the stress is the passion that many art librarians feel for their subject specialty and profession. It can feel alienating to be in a position that is separate from what you’d rather be doing. But, as with most things in the library world, every experience leads to another.

If you have any questions for Sarah or Courtney, or would just like to share your own experience, please feel free to post in the comments section here!

Photo by Anna Sullivan on Unsplash