Canadian Librarians Spotlight: An Interview with Daniel Payne

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

The Dorothy H. Hoover Library, OCAD University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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

I have a Bachelor of Education and a Master’s degree in musicology, but I never really felt fully comfortable in either environment. Teaching in a traditional classroom is rewarding; however, I always feel so confined in my ability to access knowledge-building tools. In a library, I am surrounded by informational learning resources—print, electronic, audio-visual, or through the knowledge of my peers—and this level of connectedness cannot be replicated in even the most high-tech, wired, “smart” classroom.

I started working at OCAD University in 2002 and moved from a contract position at a smaller Canadian university that likely was going to become a permanent, tenure track position. When the job at OCAD U was posted—even though the pay was not ideal and the faculty status situation not as secure, I took the risk as it offered an ideal opportunity to explore librarianship in a creative research environment, which for me is a perfect way to combine my artistic and academic interests.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? What is usually the highlight of your day?

One of the best things about working in libraries is that there really are no “typical days.” Although I do spend much time in my workweek covering reference desk services, I’m fairly consistently in the classroom offering information literacy sessions for courses, attending curriculum meetings, working on professional development activities, buying books, helping manage our database collections, developing our web site, preparing for conferences, researching and writing, and so on. I feel that, as a librarian, I’m able to define what my work day will look like and not be confined by the classroom, with its set class times, static textbooks, and limited office hours.

Perhaps—in all honesty—the highlight of my day is working at the reference desk. Although many academic librarians are moving away from this service node in favour of the classroom, I find it one of the most vital tools I have as a librarian for communicating collegially with students, staff, and faculty. I can’t count the number of information literacy sessions, collection development requests, and professional networking contacts I’ve made through the random, informal discussions I’ve had at the reference desk. It is a communications platform that is unique; educators such as Paulo Friere often advocate for reform in pedagogy through the use of active learning models which empower researchers to discover their own sense-making pathways to knowledge. I truly feel that the reference desk is one of the most powerful learning spaces we currently have in our educational system for fully embodying a more egalitarian, democratic approach to learning in what Friere calls the “practices of freedom.” It’s because the person asking the question initiates the research journey and, in a way, is in direct control over the educational experience. I work collegially with them to try to come to some resolution, but a reference inquiry is truly a patron-led mode of teaching and learning.

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

I find this a very difficult question to answer; mainly because we are currently in a very challenging work environment and it seems that many of the older established models for librarianship as a profession are changing. But I would encourage all new librarians to be patient, proactive, and passionate. Patience is required because those perfect jobs are rarely available immediately and realistically one has to build towards this ultimate goal. Sometimes—and this is difficult for me to say as I feel that I do have the perfect job!—these “dream” jobs simply don’t exist, so one is forced to put together a career piecemeal.

This is where the proactive component is important. Being flexible and adaptable; smiling through adversity; being willing to re-locate to begin building one’s career are all essential skills. Yet these diverse experiences, though frustrating at times, will offer a multi-modal knowledgebase to prepare you for the professional agility required in this new economy. Part of being proactive is also realizing that wherever you are working, you can find some way to use these skillsets to learn something and build your overall life experiences.  I remember hearing a comment by a rising young art gallery owner who worked at the OCAD U Library several years ago re-shelving books. He claimed that everything he knows about art theory was gleaned from putting books back on the shelf. It’s not that he learned about these aesthetic theories in depth—this is unquestionably the domain of the studio or classroom; but the library helped him to understand how these theories relate to other ones by their spatial relation to other books on the shelf. Likely all young aspiring librarians know, based on previous student work experiences, how repetitive re-shelving books can be and, perhaps even more tediously, shelf-reading; but this rising new voice in the art world realized that working in a library was a critical, once in a lifetime opportunity and used it for maximum benefit. So if one envisions this “pastiche” of careers as a collage, it does take on a new sense of unity. It may not be a gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) expressing one controlled and contained totality, but a collage has a vitality of its own that, in a way, is more dialogic.

Finally, the passion part ensures that—wherever you end up settling career-wise—the founding vision statements of librarianship stay with you. Whether it be the “Statement on Intellectual Freedom” by the Canadian Library Association or S.R. Ranganathan’s Five Laws of Library Science; these documents are revolutionary and, considering how market-driven, commodified, surveilled, and commercialized our lived spaces are becoming, we need to fight for this last bastion of information equity in our world.

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

Be warned: I’m going to go on a bit of a tirade ;-) But perhaps my biggest challenge is the feeling that as a librarian, I’m going head-to-head with the massive multi-billion dollar commercial marketing machine of Google! I am only being slightly facetious though; recent statistics provided by OCLC in their Perceptions of Libraries survey indicate that, almost ubiquitously, people are using search engines such as Google as their sole portal for accessing information for all research needs from personal to academic to professional. Primarily my concern is that Google is a private company and the bottom line for all their services is profit. What’s the bottom line for a library that looks to the “Statement on Intellectual Freedom” for its operational mandate? Social justice, human rights, freedom of information, and the right to privacy!

Linked to the for-profit situation, Google searching has enforced a strange impulse in researchers to approach all topics in an almost myopically literal manner. Given the volume of information accessible on the open internet, generally whatever search topic is entered in Google always guarantees results that are precisely related to the initial search topic. Furthermore, almost ubiquitously, that first web link retrieved is a Wikipedia entry (I mean, really, is Wikipedia always the top source for all searches? Doesn’t this make anyone suspicious?). But for me, the essence of research, especially in the work of creativity, is finding something that you don’t expect and having to struggle to figure out why this new, unanticipated information has been retrieved. This scenario is further exacerbated by Google’s search features that start profiling us individually based on our previous search histories and starts feeding us sites that it thinks that we’d be interest in. This, of course, is the quintessential “filter bubble” scenario. So now in my work as a reference librarian, I find that year-by-year, my new mantra is to plead with researchers to stop thinking so literally and start finding pathways for thinking laterally. Our library search tools and collections are entirely built on this latter premise.

Finally, my third and inter-related concern is that the search engine has completely weaned people off of any other search strategies. Google is always Plan A and in the rare circumstances where it fails, people have no Plan B alternatives. Using library catalogues, abstracts and indexes, a library’s discovery layer, even knowing how to browse for books in a library, have all become so foreign to everyday researchers, that these bibliographic literacy practices have left people’s consciousness as viable alternatives for accessing information. Out of sight; out of mind.

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

As a reference librarian, I’ve found that there are two broad topics that have been essential for my work; one is related to theory (and I wish that this had been taught more consistently in my library sciences’ education) and the other, practice (which I sorely wished that I didn’t have to learn in school, but am now so grateful that I did!).

My first educational principle is a deep, reflective knowledge of the writings of former library science theorists. Much of my current work as a librarian is entirely shaped by Brenda Dervin’s concept of sense-making, Carole C. Kuhlthau’s ISP, and S.R. Ranganathan’s “Five Laws of Library Sciences.” I might have stumbled across these visionaries while researching for LIS essays, but I feel that a required course in library history is essential for all ALA accredited programs. Knowing how library workers throughout history have dealt with new technologies, changing research needs, and new modes of accessing knowledge is critical; now more than ever when the pace of change seems to be moving at lightning speed.

Secondly in regards to practice, while in library school I took a course titled “Thesaurus Construction” in which I received the worst mark on my LIS record and close to the lowest in my entire academic career. The curricular material was gruellingly dull; in one class I fell asleep while tipped back in my chair which was balanced on the back two legs. The clatter and ensuing thud was, I’m sure, deafening.  But since then, I have grown to appreciate how these ways of envisioning information in hierarchies, working from broad to narrow terms, has helped me inordinately in assisting others to make sense of how libraries are organized. I use these principles in all my information literacy sessions, when working on web pages, creating search guides, answering reference questions, even when writing emails. When one thinks about the basic organizational unit for libraries—the call number—this unique coding language embodies the hierarchy of subjects that libraries employ: from main classes to subclasses down to Cutter numbers. These unique identifiers—the URL address for the print book on the shelf—encode how libraries envision knowledge structures and convey our sense-making way of processing ideas in the world. The fact that these indexical symbols then become wayfinding devices makes for a perfect metaphor for the entire library endeavour.

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

I might use much of my earlier Google tirade to answer this question! But perhaps to emphasize this issue anecdotally: most often when I tell people I work as a librarian, after a brief quizzical pause then the inevitable “you must get to read a lot of books!” comment, people always tend to chime in: “I love libraries; I love the smell of books.” Much as I’m loathe to discourage any positive commendation for libraries in an age when the institution seems in such a precarious state, I have found the phrase too glib, almost dismissive. I think it’s because this colloquialism is so steeped in a romanticized sense of nostalgia that it seems to relegate libraries to the status of a charming old dusty antiquarian shoppe. I feel like I should carry a copy of the CLA Statement on Intellectual Freedom wherever I go and make people read it immediately after saying they love libraries. Libraries—and this is where I get to the part about the “most rewarding” part of my job—are radical institutions that are one of the last bastions for advocating for public empowerment with no strings attached.  In a recent interview, I was asked “What do librarians do all day anyway?” I answered that we create communities through fostering communication. The reason that librarians build collections, evaluate research methodologies, manage data, or teach our users how to become information literate is so that people can become active members of a knowledge community. Not only do we teach people how to ask questions, but—perhaps most importantly—we suggest pathways for answering them.  Again, with no strings attached. We’re not trying to sell products, ideas, or lifestyles. We’re here solely so that people can empower themselves with knowledge. So instead of people saying “I love libraries,” I wish they would be a little more specific and say something like, “I love how libraries are so subversively radical”!

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

Keep up your membership with ARLIS/NA! The Society has been so remarkable in maintaining an open line of communication between countries. At the local level, the avenues that ARLIS/NA offers for students in administrative positions and providing special funding grants are commendable, so participating in regional chapters can open a host of professional opportunities and the capability of attending annual conferences which truly are international ventures.

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

I have an insatiable appetite for live music and seem to spend almost every weekend visiting Toronto’s Rex Hotel for a weekly dose of jazz. Also, I’ve been a cellist since high school and spent part of my early career as a professional musician.

Playing music has been an essential part of my life; even though I’m not as active now that I work as a full time reference librarian, I have a much more manageable musical schedule. Aside from ongoing annual performances of Handel’s Messiah with Arcady Choir and Orchestra (http://arcady.ca/), I am focused mainly on my role as the principal cellist for the Counterpoint Community Orchestra (http://www.ccorchestra.org/). I find this collegial music-making environment utterly fulfilling. In the past, I had to rely on making money through performing, but now I can relax and enjoy playing the classics of Beethoven, Brahms, Tchaikovsky and more purely for the sake of making music.

And my response for visiting a library? In all honesty, I would re-do the entire ARLIS/NA 2016 Study Tour to Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and Den Hague, in the Netherlands (https://www.arlisna.org/studytour2016-Netherlands/). I splurged and took part in this trip and found that every aspect of the trip was magical!

Acquisitions Librarian/Bibliothécaire, Acquisitions – Canadian Centre for Architecture/Centre Canadien d’Architecture, Montreal, Quebec

Job identification
Job Title: Acquisitions Librarian
Division: Collection
Immediate superior: Associate Director, Collection
Status: Permanent, full time (35hrs/week)
Posting period: September 29 to October 20, 2017
Job entry: November 2017

Job Summary
The key responsibilities of this job are to develop a coherent long term strategy for library acquisitions that relates to the curatorial direction and other Collection acquisitions. The incumbent plans, coordinates and manages all aspects of the acquisition of library collection materials. In doing so, the incumbent collaborates actively with the curatorial, editorial, collection and research divisions, as well as with the bookstore and Collection team.

Key responsibilities
Library acquisitions

  • In collaboration with the curatorial, editorial, collection and research divisions, coordinates, plans, develops and manages all aspects of the acquisition of the library collection, and proposes lines of investigation and acquisition
  • Manages and coordinates in collaboration with the Associate Director, Collection, the international exchange program of publications, in relation to curatorial projects and Collection acquisitions
  • Collaborates closely with the bookstore staff on ordering and on curatorial selections to be presented
  • Actively scouts for new publishers, distributors and vendors
  • Manages and monitors the library acquisition operations and budgets
  • Supervises the Acquisition, Assistant and works closely with the Head, Collection Access to improve access to the Collection
  • Prepares customs documentation and negotiate with brokers and delivery firms
  • Manages the standing order plan, selecting series titles for standing order, setting up standing orders and traces multi-volume sets and series to complete library holdings
  • Deals with donors who wish to donate material, providing or arranging evaluations as required

Collection development strategy

  • Works closely with curatorial, editorial and research staff in discussing their projects and develops a coherent collection development strategy that responds to CCA’s diverse and changing research needs
  • Collaborates with CCA Bookstore staff to maintain currency in recent publications and to exchange information on publications
  • Participates in the testing, evaluation, approval and implementation of new software and upgrades to the Library’s integrated online system

Required qualifications

  • Education: Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree from an ALA accredited institution and an (under) graduate degree in the history of architecture or art or a related discipline in the humanities
  • Number of years of relevant work experience: 3 to 5 years
  • Excellent knowledge of spoken and written French and English is essential
  • Good understanding of the contemporary debate in architecture
  • Excellent research skills
  • Familiarity with architectural bibliography
  • Facility in handling fragile and precious collection materials
  • Good understanding of electronic publishing and digital developments
  • Good understanding of the out of print book market
  • Good understanding of acquisition databases

Please submit your application before October 20, 2017 to the attention of Human Resources, Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1920 Baile Street, Montreal (Quebec) H3H 2S6, email: rh@cca.qc.ca. Only successful applicants will be contacted. Please do not call.

The CCA is an equal opportunity employer.

Identification de l’emploi

Titre de l’emploi: Bibliothécaire, Acquisitions
Division: Collection
Supérieur immédiat: Directeur Associé, Collection
Statut: Permanent à temps complet (35hrs/semaine)
Période d’affichage: Du 29 septembre au 20 octobre 2017
Entrée en poste: Novembre 2017

Sommaire de l’emploi
Les responsabilités principales de cet emploi consistent à développer une stratégie cohérente et à long terme pour les acquisitions de la bibliothèque relatives à la direction curatoriale et aux différentes acquisitions de la Collection. Le titulaire du poste planifie, coordonne et gère tous les aspects de l’acquisition des objets de collection de la bibliothèque. Par conséquent, il collabore activement avec les divisions curatoriale et éditoriale, les divisions de la collection et de la recherche ainsi que la librairie et l’équipe de la collection.

Principales responsabilités de l’emploi
Acquisitions de la bibliothèque

  • En collaboration avec les divisions curatoriale, éditoriale, de la collection et de la recherche, coordonner, planifier, développer et gérer tous les aspects de l’acquisition de la collection de la bibliothèque. Proposer des pistes de recherche et des perspectives d’acquisition
  • Gérer et coordonner le programme international d’échange des publications en collaboration avec le Directeur associé, Collection, en fonction des projets curatoriaux et des acquisitions de la Collection
  • Collaborer étroitement avec l’équipe de la librairie pour les commandes et pour la présentation des sélections curatoriales
  • Rechercher activement les nouveaux éditeurs, distributeurs et fournisseurs
  • Gérer et effectuer le suivi des opérations et des budgets des acquisitions de la bibliothèque
  • Superviser l’Assistant, Acquisition et travailler en étroite collaboration avec le Chef, Accès à la Collection pour améliorer l’accès à la Collection
  • Préparer les documents pour les douanes et négocier avec les courtiers et les compagnies de livraison
  • Gérer le plan des ordres permanents: sélectionner les titres de périodiques pour les ordres permanents, mettre en place les ordres permanents et effectuer le suivi des documents en plusieurs volumes et des périodiques pour compléter les fonds de la bibliothèque
  • Traiter avec les donateurs qui souhaitent faire un don d’objets, en fournissant et en organisant des évaluations au besoin

Stratégie de développement de la Collection

  • Travailler en étroite collaboration avec les équipes curatoriale, éditoriale et recherche en discutant de leurs projets. Développer une stratégie cohérente pour la collection qui répond aux besoins divers et changeants du CCA
  • Collaborer avec l’équipe de la librairie du CCA pour maintenir les publications récentes à jour et échanger les informations sur les publications
  • Participer aux tests, à l’évaluation, à l’approbation et à l’implantation de nouveaux logiciels ainsi qu’à la mise à jour du système intégré en ligne de la bibliothèque

Qualifications requises pour l’emploi

  • Niveau de scolarité: Maîtrise en Bibliothéconomie et en sciences de l’information (MBSI) obtenue dans une institution reconnue par l’ALA et un diplôme (de premier cycle) en histoire de l’architecture ou histoire de l’art ou autre discipline connexe en sciences humaines
  • Nombre d’années d’expérience pertinente: 3 à 5 ans
  • Excellentes connaissances du français et de l’anglais oral et écrit
  • Bonne compréhension du débat contemporain en architecture
  • Excellentes compétences de recherche
  • Connaissance en bibliographie architecturale
  • Aisance pour manipuler des objets de collection fragiles et précieux
  • Bonne compréhension de l’édition et des développements numériques
  • Bonne compréhension du marché des livres épuisés
  • Bonne compréhension des bases de données d’acquisition

Veuillez soumettre votre candidature, d’ici le 20 octobre 2017 à l’attention du Service des Ressources humaines, Centre Canadien d’Architecture, 1920, rue Baile, Montréal (Québec) H3H 2S6, courriel : rh@cca.qc.ca. Seuls les candidats retenus seront contactés. Veuillez ne pas téléphoner.

Le CCA a une politique d’équité en matière d’emploi.

http://www.cca.qc.ca/en/51699/acquisitions-librarian

Archives Practicum-Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

Overview

The Archives Practicum program is designed for new archivists with an interest in artistic, multimedia, and/or corporate records. This hands-on experience allows new professionals to work closely with Banff Centre’s Archivist. The Archivist will work with and mentor the participant in an area of interest such as digitization and digital archiving, arrangement and description, or reference and outreach. The participant will also receive a general overview of the activities of an Archives and Records Management Centre, with introductions to all key aspects of archival work.

What does the program offer?

The program offers an introduction to working in an archive, and particularly one with large artistic, multimedia, and digital holdings. Practical experience may involve working on accessioning and describing records of the Banff New Media Institute (BNMI) , or identifying and implementing best practices regarding preservation and digitization of audio-visual materials. These projects will provide practical experience in the main areas of archival work. Learning opportunities may also arise through attendance at lectures, workshops, and events related to arts programming at Banff Centre. Participants will also have the opportunity to work on personal research activities as outlined in their learning objectives and project proposal.

Who should apply?

Practicum placements are appropriate for recent graduates of Master of Archival studies programs or Master in Library and Information Science programs, with an interest in archival work. This is an opportunity for a new professional to gain experience and expand and develop their career and capabilities. This program requires a full-time commitment.

A Success Story: An Interview with Molly Schoen

Molly Schoen works as a Visual Resources Curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She was kind enough to answer a few questions and tell us more about her work and experience!

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

It all started in my undergrad years (at Michigan State University), when I got a part-time job working in the Government Documents library. I found that I really enjoyed getting things in order, like cleaning up messy catalog records. And I loved the tactile nature of the work, too: bone folders, label makers, tattle tape and date stamps! I was getting a Bachelor’s in English but didn’t know what to do with it, so I decided to go to library school. I ended up getting accepted in to Wayne State University’s Fine & Performing Arts Librarian program, which was great because I’ve always been interested in art and music.

After getting my MLIS, I worked part-time at a collection of modern and contemporary black art in Flint, MI. Three years later, I got a full-time position at the University of Michigan, in their Visual Resources Collections. The experience from that job helped me land my current position of Visual Resources Curator at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, NY. I’ve been working here for a year and a half now, and I love it!

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
A typical day for me depends on what time of year it is. Right now, in the middle of the summer semester, there’s hardly anyone around. So I use this time to really get in the zone and catch up on image orders, where our History of Art faculty request images they need for teaching. I also assist faculty on their projects, such as building databases and other online resources.

Things are busier during the academic year. Along with our department technician, we will make sure our HA classrooms are up-to-date and advocate for upgrades. I also present one-shot sessions on visual literacy to various classes throughout the university, showing students how to find and use visual media ethically and efficiently. Because FIT is full of artistic students, I’ll demonstrate strategies to safeguard their own work and answer copyright questions. I’ve also worked on securing publishing rights for images a professor wanted to include in a book she was writing.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
Volunteer and get a wide variety of experience under your belt. I finished grad school in 2009, which was not exactly the best time to be looking for a job. I was worried I wouldn’t find anything in the art libraries field, so I volunteered at the reference desk of a public library to get additional experience. I had volunteered at the Visual Resources Collections at U of M before I was hired there, and that really helped me land the full-time gig.

I would also say not to discount service industry jobs. I used to be really shy, and waiting tables and working in retail helped me get over that. These kinds of jobs may seem unrelated to library work, but they demonstrate to employers that you can handle conflict and think on your feet.

What were/are some challenges for you as a new art librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship?
I think staying on top of technology is always a challenge. As a librarian, I want to be able to recommend the best products and resources for our faculty and students to use. That also ties into a larger challenge faced by our profession: justifying our work to administrators looking to slash budgets. People have asked me, why do we need libraries now when there’s Google? That’s like saying why do we need doctors when there’s WebMD? Google will bring you a million results; a librarian will find you the right one.

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I like to oil paint and play guitar!

A peek inside the art inventory project at the Boston Public Library

At the Boston Public Library, we’re undertaking an item-level inventory of over 320,000 original art works. That’s a lot of art:

Item by item, we are developing descriptive metadata for each object in the Print Collection using content and vocabulary standards defined by the project. One of the ways we help to preserve the materials is to (carefully!) remove prints from old mats. Here’s a quick look at how we un-mat:

1. Observe the print trapped in its sad old mat.IMG_2152

 

2. Open the window mat and tell the print that you love it and it’s going to be okay.IMG_2153

 

3. With a very sharp knife, carefully cut along the adhesive hinges.IMG_2155

 

4. Set the print free! Well, actually, put it in an acid-free folder and label it. Include any ephemera that may have been lurking beneath.IMG_2157

Assistant Archivist at Glenstone

TITLE

Assistant Archivist

ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION Glenstone is an art museum located on more than 200 acres of rolling hills and unspoiled woodland in Potomac, Maryland. Conceived by founders Mitchell and Emily Rales on their deeply held belief that art is essential to life, it has already become one of the finest collections of modern and contemporary art in the world. In addition to the current museum, when its new museum building opens to the public in 2018, Glenstone will become the largest private museum in America welcoming 100,000 visitors every year free of charge. By thoughtfully integrating the power of art, the energy of architecture and the serenity of landscape, Glenstone is both a distinctive idea and a unique place.

Glenstone is proud to foster a professional environment in which people can do interesting, fulfilling and enjoyable work. Not only do its founders develop and oversee all acquisitions and exhibitions, but Emily Rales also serves as director of the Museum and curator of the collection. This provides all associates an unusually high degree of access and interaction with the spirit and vision of Glenstone. To work at Glenstone is to be a part of something bigger, something more meaningful, and something truly special. It is a chance to do a job to the highest standard, with the resources and support available to a founder-led and endowed organization. It is an invitation to be engaged, challenged and stimulated, to help fulfill a powerful mission, and to contribute to a noble purpose.

We are incredibly proud of what Glenstone offers to those who create, appreciate, study, and otherwise participate in the world of art; and we are equally proud of what Glenstone offers to those who choose to join us in doing so. There is no better time than now to become a part of Glenstone.

DESCRIPTION Position Overview

Reporting to the Chief Archivist/Librarian, the Assistant Archivist will serve as part of a dynamic team in managing and preserving Glenstone’s archival assets. The Assistant Archivist will work in collaboration with the Library and Archives team to ensure long-term access to the institutional records.

Desired Attributes & Characteristics

The ideal candidate will possess flexibility, excellent communication skills, will be a problem solver, and be personally and professionally motivated by collaborating with a variety of associates. Desired characteristics also include a strong work ethic, as well as an attention to detail, and focus on deadlines. In addition, we are looking for someone that can embrace Glenstone’s core value of ‘continuous improvement’ through an interest in professional development to advance their knowledge and expertise to surpass our previous best efforts.

POSITION REQUIREMENTS Key Responsibilities

  • Assist in the establishment, implementation, and regular evaluation of policies regarding the accessioning, processing, and preservation of archival content in accordance with best professional practices
  • Manage the ingestion, storage, and access of digital assets, including professional video and high-resolution photography
  • Coordinate the use of archival content through a variety of mission-critical workflows, such as rights and reproduction, video production, staff research, and communications
  • Maintain statistics on outreach activities, reference requests, project work, storage conditions, and the overall growth of the archives
  • Assist in the formulation and administration of an institution-wide records management program to encompass both physical and digital records
  • Supervise interns and project workers
  • Respond to reference requests from Glenstone associates

Required Skills & Experience

  • ALA-accredited master’s degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives and Records Management, Digital Curation, or related discipline.
  • Familiarity with professional metadata schema and content standards concerning the management of archival collections and digital assets, such as DACS, Dublin Core, PBCore, VRA Core, EXIF, IPTC, XMP, and PREMIS
  • Demonstrated experience writing, implementing, and assessing policies and workflows concerning the management of physical and digital collections
  • Strong technical ability to learn new software, evaluate information systems, and implement innovative strategies for preserving and cataloging archival content
  • Strong interpersonal and proactive ability to advocate archival policies, ensure compliance with best practices, and liaise with diverse stakeholders

Preferred Qualifications

  • Knowledge of modern art and architecture and/or background in museum archives
  • Experience with CollectiveAccess, or similar collections management system, for the management of archival collections and digital assets
  • Experience processing and cataloging specialized formats, including architectural records, audiovisual tapes, and ephemera
  • Experience supervising interns and/or student workers
  • Knowledge of professional video production and photography practices
  • Experience with the Adobe Creative Cloud, particularly Adobe Premiere, Adobe Bridge, and Adobe Photoshop

Salary & Benefits

Associates are crucial to achieving Glenstone’s mission and we offer a competitive salary commensurate with experience. We also provide a total benefits package that helps you manage your health, protect your income, and prepare for your future. To promote collaboration and show appreciation to associates, Glenstone provides a weekly staff lunch, on-site health and wellness classes and volunteer opportunities.

Benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; life, long-term and short-term disability and AD&D insurance, a Flexible Spending Account (FSA); a 401(k) retirement account with a matching contribution; an Employee Assistance Program (EAP); and tuition reimbursement.

FULL-TIME/PART-TIME Full-Time
SEASONAL
EXEMPT/NON-EXEMPT Non-Exempt
EOE STATEMENT We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Full Description (PDF): Assistant Archivist Postion Posting

To Apply: https://recruiting.myapps.paychex.com/appone/MainInfoReq.asp?R_ID=1576081

Art + Feminism + Wikipedia

In March I was invited to three different Art + Feminism Wikipedia Edit-A-Thons! I had a basic idea of what these were about, but I was eager to get involved and find out more. One was held at MIT Libraries, and one at the Institute of Contemporary Art, but I decided to attend the one held at my beloved alma mater, the Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt). It was hosted by librarians at MassArt, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts and the Tufts School of Arts and Sciences.

As the invitation promised, we were led through basic Wikipedia editing skills by accomplished Wikipedia editor Amanda Rust, the Digital Humanities Librarian and Assistant Director of the Digital Scholarship Group at Northeastern University.

Publish!
Wikipedia editor Eve Kahn on the left, Digital Humanities Librarian Amanda Rust on the right.

After teaching us the basics of Wikipedia editing, Amanda and MassArt librarian Gabrielle Reed talked about the purpose of the project. Gabrielle’s event invitation sums it up well:

Wikimedia’s gender trouble is well-documented. While the reasons for the gender gap are up for debate, the practical effect of this disparity, however, is not. Content is skewed by the lack of female participation. This represents an alarming absence in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge.

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Choosing female artists to represent on Wikipedia.

We were given a list of female artists associated with MassArt who did not yet have a page on Wikipedia, but of course we could also choose any female artist who was not represented. I choose from the list and began doing research on Frances Euphemia Thompson. MassArt librarians helped me find primary research materials on Ms. Thompson. She was an artist and educator, and one of the first African American women to graduate from Massachusetts Normal Art School (the precursor to MassArt).

              

I found some good biographical information on Thompson in this book by Mary Ann Stankiewicz.

          

MassArt librarian Katie Riel at the left, ready to help and/or display our efforts on social media. On the right, MassArt librarian Danielle Sangalang helps me find more information on Ms. Thompson for my very first Wikipedia article, which you can see below and find at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Euphemia_Thompson!

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Talking with MassArt librarian Gabrielle Reed, I was happy to find out that this series of edit-a-thons started at ARLIS! It grow out of the ARLIS/NA Women’s SIG, and was led by Sîan Evans together with Michael Mandiberg, Jacqueline Mabey and Laurel Ptak. From small beginnings, it has grown into an international movement, complete with an online guide to help anyone start an event: http://www.artandfeminism.org/organizing-kit/.  As Gabrielle told me, “They make it so easy for us, there’s not excuse not to do it.”  She added, 

“It’s a concrete way to contribute something – the world is so crazy right now, I feel like it’s important to do things that make a difference.” 

I think we all felt the same way, and we had a great time working together, using our voices to add more diversity to Wikipedia.

happyeditors
Happy Wikipedians!

Conference travel: Gerd Muehsam Award

The Gerd Muehsam Award recognizes excellence in a graduate student paper or project on a topic relevant to art librarianship. The deadline for submission isn’t until mid-November. Next year’s winning paper, however, will most likely be written this spring or summer, which means now is the time to think about the award. By gearing your graduate student project toward a topic in art librarianship, you will have a submission ready to go in the fall, and gain experience and insight into issues critical to our profession.

In addition to a cash award and assistance with conference travel, the winner of the GMA is invited to present at the New Voices panel, and if accepted by the editorial staff, often publishes their paper in Art Documentation. I have served on the GMA sub-committee for several years and have learned so much from the submissions. Not only do you benefit from the exposure, but the Society and the profession benefit from your intelligent and creative contributions.

To learn more about the GMA and see past recipients visit https://www.arlisna.org/about/awards-honors/69-gerd-muehsam-award.

Call for Proposals: ArLiSNAP/VREPS Virtual Conference

ARLISNAP Conference 2016

Proposal deadline has been extended, please submit via this link by Friday, April 8th

ArLiSNAP (Art Library Students and New ARLIS Professionals) and VREPS (Visual Resources Emerging Professionals and Students) are joining forces to host a virtual conference this May! The conference, Future Perspectives in Art Librarianship: Digital Projects and Initiatives, will take place at 12pm CST May 21, 2016. The conference will consist of a keynote speaker followed by 1.5 to 2 hours of presentations by students and new professionals. This is an excellent opportunity for those who cannot be physically present at our annual conferences to share projects and ideas.

 

Our keynote speaker will be Sara Rubinow. Sara is a Metadata Specialist in the Metadata Services Unit of NYPL Labs, The New York Public Library’s digital innovation unit. Prior to NYPL, Sara worked on projects involving the collections database, digital initiatives, and printed matter at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. Sara will discuss her role at NYPL Labs and showcase initiatives intended to engage developers, scholars, artists, and the general public in exploring—and transforming—NYPL’s digital resources and open data sets.

 

We are looking for students and new professionals with an interest in art librarianship or visual resources management to present their work. The theme for this year’s conference is focused on digital projects and initiatives. Have you been working on a project using technology in a new way? Do you have thoughts to share on topics such as metadata and visual resources, copyright and the arts, digital collections, or visual literacy? Would you like to share your work with the ARLIS and VRA communities? Submit your proposal, and add your voice to our discussion on the future of the field!

 

Requirements:

  1. Presenters must be MLIS students or new professionals with fewer than five years of experience in the field.
  2. Presentations will be between ten and fifteen minutes in length.
  3. Presenters need to be available for a live presentation and brief Q&A session on the afternoon of Saturday, May 21, 2016. Presenters need to be available for a practice session the week before to test equipment. A date and time for the practice session will be determined at a later date.

 

Submit your proposal via this link by Friday, April 1st.

 

If you have any questions about this event, please don’t hesitate to contact Breanne Crumpton, ArLiSNAP Conference Planning Liaison, at becrumpton [at] gmail [dot] com.

The Artist/Librarian: An interview with Kylie Schmitt

Kylie Schmitt, Digital Technician at the Frick Art Reference Library, at her computer workstation.

As art librarians we obviously have an affinity for the visual and creative arts.  In fact many of us found our field by starting originally as artists.  Kylie Schmitt, an early professional at the Frick Art Reference Library, is both librarian and artist.  She shares more information about her work as an information professional and as a practicing artist.

What is your current position? 

Digital Technician

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?

On a day-to-day basis I perform quality assurance (QA) on our digitization projects’ TIF and PDF files; I create workflows for our digitization and QA processes; manage our digitization and QA team; maintain, organize, & backup files within our DAMS and local drives; officiate digitization requests; and report on progress of digitization projects numerically.

Tell us about what a typical work day looks like for you.

On a typical day I’ll start with some QA. Throughout the day I’ll manage others doing QA, answer questions, and troubleshoot issues that we have come across. I also will monitor if we have any digitization requests and by the end of the day I’ll have probably done some organization of files either on our DAMS or on a local drive.

What does quality assurance mean in your field?

Quality assurance is a process that all digital materials go through before they can be approved to go public. The process entails putting another set of eyes on digitized items to make sure all of our digital file standards are met. Our standards range from file size/resolution standards based on Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative (FADGI), to making sure nothing foreign accidentally made it into the frame.

Can you describe one of your favorite digitization projects that you have worked on?

Each project takes quite a while to complete, however, I think I like our American School Digitization project best because as someone working on it you get to look at American art all day.

What is your educational background? How did you come into librarianship as a field?

I received my Bachelor’s in Studio art, concentrating in photography. After working in the fine art and advertising worlds, I realized it wasn’t for me, but I still wanted to stay in the arts. I worked at the Marymount Manhattan library while attended as an undergrad student and thought I should combine my enjoyment of the library with my passion for the arts so I went back to school and received my Master’s in Library Science.

What type of artwork do you primarily do?

Photography and ceramics.

How did you get into photography and ceramics?

When I was 10 years old my dad gave me my first camera. It was his manual film camera and he taught me how to use the aperture and shutter settings. I’ve been taking pictures ever since then but didn’t develop and print my own work until I went to Maine Media Workshops after high school. I took ceramics in grade school and was in pottery club, but then it wasn’t available in high school so I didn’t go back to it until I was in college where I fell in love with it again.

Does the your library work influence your artwork? What about vice-versa?

I don’t use a digital camera in my artwork which probably has to do with the fact that I work on a computer all day at the library. I do gain inspiration from seeing so many pieces of art at work on a daily basis.

So can you describe the medium of the image you are sharing?

This piece is a cyanotype, a form of photographic process. No camera, or negative was used; instead I used organic materials directly on paper, coated with a light sensitive cyan medium, as a contact print.

Photograph of a plant negative
Meristem, 2015
Cyanotype
Kylie Schmitt

Who are your artistic influences?

The f/64 group for sure, and Georgia O’Keeffe

Tell us more about the f/64 group?

The f/64 group was formed in the 1930s. They are a group of San Francisco photographers including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and Imogen Cunningham, to name a few. At the time the popular photographic style was pictorial, so this group of photographers formed based on their modern aesthetic. The term f/64 is a small aperture size that allows for a clearer focus throughout the image and greater depth of field. The aperture setting f/64 is used in the straight photography that the group was known for.

Who is your favorite artist?

Edward Weston

Do you have art on your walls? What kind?

I do. Mostly photographs – old prints found at thrift stores, and some nature photography (one being an Ansel Adams of course), but no original pieces by artists themselves. I hope to one day invest in some original works after I save up.

As a new professional in the field what is one thing you wish you had known before you graduated?

I wish I knew how digital and technical the library world is becoming.

What advice can you give to someone in library school who wants to do the kind of work you are doing?

I think for my work, experience is everything. I would say my best advice would be to do as many internships as you can, to build up experience and to network.