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!

The Sunday Scoop: Makerspaces and Academic Libraries

Should the workshop materials for art and architecture students stay in the studio? Or should we make space in the library for collaborative and multidisciplinary creative work? What do you think, arlisnappers?

Makerspaces are popping up in many public and school libraries, and are changing the way people see the library. Also known as fablabs, hackerspaces, and techshops, these creative community workshops offer tools, materials, and technology such as 3D printing, video editing software, bookbinding machines, and more. This trend to include the creative arts in libraries is supported by programs such as the Library as Incubator Project, who encourage collaborations between libraries and artists.

So, how does this concept fit in with art and design institutions? In academic libraries, a makerspace can encourage an increase in cross-faculty collaboration, as these work spaces attract students from many disciplines. For art, architecture and design students, spaces such as these could provide them with new creative outlets and expose them to the work of students from other faculties. Technology such as 3D printers and laser cutters that may only be available in certain faculties could become useful resources for these students.

Though academic libraries have been slower to embrace makerspaces, this is starting to change. Campuswide 3D printing has often been the first step in this evolution. The first academic library in the US to offer 3D printing to all students was the DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library at the University of Nevada, which was installed in July of 2012(1). After finding that most library patrons accessed journal articles online, while print copies were taking up valuable space, it was decided that low-use items would be stored in a warehouse to make room for this creative space(2). With whiteboard-painted walls, the space attracts a larger crowd than it previously did: hourly head counts have gone from a maximum of 24 pre-renovations, to now averaging more than 200(2).

The 3D Printer at the DeLaMare Science and Technology Library, University of Nevada, Reno.
The 3D Printer at the DeLaMare Science and Technology Library, University of Nevada, Reno.
Creative Commons licensed image via DSTL UNR.

The University of Michigan’s 3D Lab is another prime example. Located in their Digital Media Commons, the 3D printers and scanners attract students from a range of disciplines. Some examples of its use by design students include making prototypes for shoe designs and iPhone cases with retractable headphones. John Marshall, an assistant professor at the School of Art & Design, regularly uses this technology to create parts for his art, such as THR_33 (Tea House for Robots).

Clearly, there is a great potential for innovation with this concept. My question for you is, how do you think areas such as makerspaces would be best implemented in relation to academic art and design libraries? Would you like to see a similar space in an art library, and which tools would you include? Or do you think makerspaces would be best located outside the library?

We would love to hear your experience with creative spaces in academic libraries. Share your story in the comments below, or on our facebook post.

Interested in learning more about makerspaces? Check out these links:

Libraries & Maker Culture: A Resource Guide: http://library-maker-culture.weebly.com/index.html

Listing of Maker Community Groups: http://archive.makezine.com/groups/

7 Things You Should Know About Makerspaces: http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7095.pdf

Cited Sources:

(1) Wolterbeek, M. “DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library first in nation to offer 3D printing campuswide.” Nevada Today. http://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/news/2012/3d-copier

(2) Good, Travis. (2013). Three Makerspace Models That Work. American Libraries Magazine, January/February. Retrieved from http://www.americanlibrariesmagazine.org/article/manufacturing-makerspaces

Job Posting: Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Art & Architecture, Harvard College Library

Visual Resources Librarian for Islamic Art and Architecture, Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture

Harvard College Library

Cambridge, MA

Reporting to the Public Services Librarian, this position is responsible for research support, collaboration, and outreach for visual materials in the field of Islamic art and architecture to faculty, students, and researchers. Visual materials collections include digital images and slides for teaching as well as other formats documenting all aspects of Islamic art and architecture in the Fine Arts Library including historic photographs, postcards, and ephemera. Additional responsibilities include implementation of appropriate and forward-looking image metadata schemes, digital access, and participation in collection development and management. Works closely with the Bibliographer in the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture and the Photographic Resources Librarian in the Fine Arts Library and the faculty and staff of the Aga Khan Program.

Typical Duties and Responsibilities:

Collection Management, Development, and Access

  • Identifies, evaluates , and acquires images, digital resources, historic photographs, and other visual materials for the library’s teaching and research collection
  • Assesses and selects historic photographs and other visual materials in the Fine Arts Library’s collection for digitization and preservation (in consultation with the AKPIA Bibliographer and FAL Photographic Resources Librarian)
  • Works with AKPIA and other faculty members, students, fellows, and visiting scholars to set collection priorities based on research and curricular needs
  • Coordinates and prioritizes production of different digital products (scanning, uploading, cataloging); tracks workflows and timely service to users
  • Provides intellectual control for Islamic visual materials in OLIVIA, ARTstor Shared Shelf project, and other catalogues including collaboration to establish best practices and authority control
  • Participates in planning and implementing projects involving visual materials
  • Develops long-range planning for Islamic visual images collection in consultation with AKPIA faculty and staff

Reference and Instructional Support

  • Provides research services for visual materials in Islamic art and architectural history for faculty, students, and researchers
  • Selects and provides teaching images in appropriate formats and other visual resources for classroom lectures and course websites
  • Provides individual and group research support including in-class workshops and personalized instruction
  • Assists faculty and students in integrating GIS, Prezi , and other visual tools in lectures, course websites
  • Prepares online research guides, reference tools, and finding aids for Islamic visual materials
  • Assists with image research and provides images, as needed, for Muqarnas and other Harvard and MIT AKPIA publications

Collaboration and Outreach

  • Collaborates with diverse Harvard colleagues including the Loeb Design Library, NELC, CMES, and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Islamic Studies Program
  • Collaborates with AKPIA Documentation Center at MIT, Archnet, and other external initiatives on the creation and sharing of metadata, content, and services for users of visual materials on Islamic art and architecture such as SAHARA
  • Works with other Harvard groups supporting interdisciplinary and digital scholarship such as academic departments and programs, DASH, CGA, and the Library Lab Initiative to develop content and research/teaching opportunities

Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Supervises year-round student employees and temporary/project staff (as needed) in the creation of item level and collection-level cataloging and indexing for Islamic visual materials in all formats
  • Working together with other stakeholders, develops special projects for access to and dissemination of Islamic visual culture

 

Basic Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in library and/or information science or equivalent experience
  • Advanced degree at the master’s level or higher in the history of art and architecture related to the study of the Islamic world, or the equivalent combination of education, experience and/or background etc.
  • 3-5 years related professional library experience required
  • Knowledge of at least one Middle Eastern language (Arabic, Persian, Turkish)
  • Expertise in image metadata standards and online data creation and access
  • Computer skills including databases and digital image file management, required
  • Excellent interpersonal, communication, and organizational skills required

Additional Qualifications:

  • Working knowledge of western European languages, especially French and German
  • Knowledge of the contemporary field of Islamic art and architecture historical study and its constituents
  • Knowledge of other archival collections projects related to visual culture and history of the Middle East
  • Ability to use a computer, monitor, keyboard, and mouse

 Please apply with a cover letter and resume at the Harvard Employment Site.  

Apply Here:  http://www.click2apply.net/wy6zy39

Job Posting: Art Librarian, Rutgers University

RESPONSIBILITIES: The Rutgers University Libraries seek an innovative art librarian committed to providing excellent services and programs in support of student learning, faculty research, and public engagement on a highly diverse campus. The position provides reference and instructional services, in a variety of modes, for both faculty and students; serves on a team acting as liaison to the Art History, Visual Arts, and Landscape Architecture departments; develops collections in print and digital formats; and creates and maintains web-based research guides, learning tools, and other digital resources. This is a tenure-track position within the New Brunswick Libraries Faculty, and will require development of a research agenda, scholarly publication, and participation and leadership within appropriate professional organizations. Fulfilling the position’s responsibilities will offer excellent opportunities for collaborating with other Rutgers librarians and with teaching faculty, in collection development and management, reference, instruction, technological innovation, and research. The Art Librarian reports to the Associate University Librarian for Research and Instructional Services.

QUALIFICATIONS: Master’s degree from an ALA-accredited library or information science program and an advanced degree in art history; knowledge of one or more European languages, preferably French, German, and/or Italian; professional experience in art reference and collection development. Candidates should possess excellent communication skills, familiarity with emerging technologies, individual initiative and creativity, and the ability to work well in a highly collaborative and diverse environment.

SALARY/STATUS: Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

BENEFITS: Faculty status, calendar year appointment, retirement plans, life/health insurance, prescription drug, dental and vision plans, tuition remission, one month vacation

LIBRARY PROFILE: The Rutgers University Libraries (RUL), comprising libraries on the University’s Camden, New Brunswick, and Newark campuses, all reporting to the Vice President for Information Services and University Librarian, operate as a unified library system with coordinated public services, technical services, and collection development. The Libraries have a staff of 304, a budget of $28 million, and holdings numbering more than 3.6 million volumes. Rutgers University Libraries are a member of ARL, CRL, Lyrasis, Metro, NERL, and VALE, and use Sirsi Dynix and OCLC as their primary bibliographic utilities. Rutgers University is a member of the Association of American Universities. The New Brunswick campus is the largest of the three regional campuses, supporting over 33,000 graduate and undergraduate students, in approximately 100 undergraduate programs, more than 80 graduate/professional programs, and 60 doctoral programs as a Carnegie classification Research University (very high research activity) campus. The Art Library supports research and instruction in art history as well as interdisciplinary research in the humanities and social sciences, and it is the key resource and service provider for the highly ranked Department of Art History and its doctoral program. In addition to its traditional strengths in Western European art and the art of the Americas, the Department of Art History is developing strengths in African, Asian, and Middle Eastern art, and the history of photography, with support from the Art Library.

TO APPLY: REVIEW OF APPLICATIONS AND INTERVIEWS WILL BEGIN IMMEDIATELY AND CONTINUE UNTIL THE POSITION IS FILLED. SUBMIT RESUME, COVER LETTER, AND NAMES OF THREE REFERENCES TO: Sandra Troy (APP. 195), University Libraries Human Resources Manager, Rutgers University Libraries, 169 College Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163, email: rulhr@rulmail.rutgers.edu, FAX: 732-932-7637

Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, is an equal-opportunity, affirmative-action employer. The Libraries are strongly and actively committed to diversity, and seek candidates who will contribute creatively to the University’s multicultural environment.

Job Posting: Senior Image Cataloger and Support Specialist, Princeton

Senior Image Cataloger and Support Specialist

Visual Resources Collection, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University

The Visual Resources Collection in the Department of Art and Archaeology Department seeks an energetic and detail-oriented individual.  This position is responsible for cataloging, collection development, public service, and maintenance of the image collection under the general supervision of the Director of Visual Resources, Department of Art and Archaeology.  The senior cataloger works closely with the faculty to determine and fulfill their image needs for teaching and research. This involves researching and acquiring new images, cataloging images, enhancing the cataloging system and the revision, correction, and reorganization of existing image metadata.  The senior cataloger works on all aspects of making images available including uploading digital images and data and supporting users of images in multiple software applications (Almagest, PowerPoint, ARTstor).  The position takes primary responsibility in offering support for scanning instruction and technical aspects of image use.

Qualifications:

  • BA in Art History or equivalent with significant Art History background
  • Experience in a Visual Resources Collection or Library or related facility.
  • Reading ability of at least one European language, knowledge of the history of art, and familiarity with literature in the field
  • Knowledge of image cataloging standards and practices
  • Research skills using print and electronic resources
  • Experience with technologies for digital imaging and presentation
  • Knowledge of photographic processes and ability to evaluate analog and digital image quality
  • Excellent communication, organization, interpersonal, and customer service skills
  • Attention to detail and accuracy
  • Ability to work in environment with frequent interuptions
  • Ability to take initiative, solve problems and prioritize work effectively
  • Demonstrated ability to work flexibly, independently and collaboratively with colleagues, faculty and students in a rapidly changing service-oriented environment

Prefer

  • Masters degree in Art History or library and information science preferred
  • Familiarity with databases, preferably image databases
  • Demonstrated skill with Microsoft Office applications
  • Knowledge of digital image technology

For further details or to apply for the position, please visit “Jobs at Princeton”

https://jobs.princeton.edu/applicants/jsp/shared/Welcome_css.jsp

(Requisition number 0110341)

Call for Proposals: 11th Annual Milka Bliznakov Prize

Call for Proposals: 11th Annual Milka Bliznakov Prize
IAWA (International Archive of Women in Architecture Center)

Deadline for receipt of proposals: May 31st, 2011

The IAWA invites architects, scholars, professionals, students, and researchers to honor IAWA founder Milka Bliznakov through research on women in architecture and related design fields. This research, in concert with the preservation efforts of the IAWA, will help fill the current void in historical knowledge about women’s professional achievements. The archive encourages such research in addition to the goal of preserving archival materials related to the work of women who shaped the designed environment, thus preserving for posterity a record of their achievements.

The Board of Advisors of the International Archive of Women in Architecture Center (IAWA) presents this Annual Prize of $1000 (with an additional $500 available for travel) following a two-stage process:

STAGE ONE: PROPOSAL SUBMISSION
In Stage One, applicants submit their proposal, which outlines the work they plan to complete at the Archive, and should include the following elements:

1. Outline of research to be completed
2. Proposed schedule for residency to include a talk open to the university community and the general public
3. Intended product of research, a copy of which is to be donated to the archive upon completion.

Examples of the product of research may include, but is not limited to, the following:
• Research paper
• Self-published book documenting the activities and work of the residency
• Notebook or sketchbook produced during the residency
• Visual or physical original work that references or utilizes research from the Archive

A 500-word proposal with curriculum vitae must be received or postmarked by May 31st, 2011. The proposal should be submitted both electronically as a PDF, and as a hardcopy by mail.

Proposals may include an original project, research, or scholarly work that contributes to and advances the recognition of women’s contributions in design.

The proposal shall draw upon and expand the IAWA collections to reflect upon the broader context of women’s contributions in the field of design. The product of the work should be specified in the proposal.

STAGE TWO:
The IAWA Jury awards the Bliznakov Prize for the research proposal that best demonstrates an important advancement to the recognition of women’s contributions to architecture and the related design fields while encouraging the use and growth of the International Archive of Women in Architecture. The winner will be announced by June 15th. The final project must be completed by Dec. 15th, 2011. The final project will become a part of the Archive to contribute to the historical record.

The prize money will be awarded in two installments: the first $500 will be made available to the recipient upon arrival at the IAWA for the residency period, and the second $500 will be paid upon receipt of the final product. Up to $500 will be
available to support travel and residency expenses.

If further information is required, please contact Helene Renard, helene@vt.edu.

Proposals should be sent to:

IAWA Center Executive Committee
ATTN: Helene Renard, RA
Chair, Milka Bliznakov Prize
School of Architecture + Design
201 Cowgill Hall (0205)
College of Architecture + Urban Studies
Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, VA 24061
helene@vt.edu

CALL FOR PRESENTERS: ACRL ARTS SECTION’S DISCUSSION FORUM

Are you doing research in the arts that you would like to share with fellow librarians? Is there something you’re doing at your library dealing with the arts that you think others should know about? Do you have a presentation you’d like to float by a group of friendly colleagues for some benevolent critique?

If so, the ACRL Arts section invites you to submit a presentation proposal for our Discussion Forum held on Saturday, June 25th from 10:30-12noon during the ACRL Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA.

Details:

–Proposals can be about any topic dealing with the visual or performing arts and design (see list of possible topics below).
–Everyone is welcome to submit a proposal. Students are also encouraged to make a submission.
–Each presentation will have 15-20 minutes with a 5 minute Q&A. We anticipate being able to accept 4-5 proposals for presentation.
–Proposals will be reviewed by a committee drawn from the Arts Section Executive Board and Publications & Research Committee.

Deadline: Please submit your proposals to Yen Tran (nttran@callutheran.edu), chair of the Arts Section’s Publications & Research Committee no later than May 27th. Those submitting proposals will be notified by June 3rd, as to whether or not your proposal was accepted for presentation.

Possible topics:

–Research of any topic related to the arts
–Developments in the display and/or preservation of arts materials
 –Innovative information literacy or visual literacy techniques with arts students
–Emerging technologies in arts libraries
–Inventive collection management and development in the arts
–Strategies for reaching out to arts users (students and faculty)
–Copyright and fair use in the arts environment
–Evaluating the needs of arts users
–Use of images in information literacy instruction
–Creative physical or online/virtual exhibits

The possibilities are endless; please consider submitting a proposal.

Defining the Digital Humanities event at Columbia University

What do digital humanities scholars see as the potential of this interdisciplinary field?

Find out.

Defining the Digital Humanities
Wednesday, April 6, 2011, 12:00-2:00 PM
555 Lerner Hall, Morningside

Guests who do not have a Columbia University ID must RSVP to kp2002@columbia.edu by Tuesday, April 5.

Panelists include Dan Cohen, Director of the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University; Federica Frabetti, Senior Lecturer in the Communication, Media and Culture Program at Oxford Brookes University, UK; and Dino Buzzetti, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Bologna. More information.

RESEARCH WITHOUT BORDERS EVENT SERIES

The Scholarly Communication Program at CU Libraries/Information Services presents a speaker series for the 2010-11 academic year on today’s pivotal issues in scholarly communication.

Join us for the third year of events exploring changes in how scholars and researchers create, share, reuse, and preserve new knowledge. The series is free and open to the public.

For more info, email Kathryn Pope at kp2002@columbia.edu, or visit http://scholcomm.columbia.edu.

Follow the events remotely on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ScholarlyComm.

Anne Haas, Art Librarian of 25 Years

Interesting profile of Anne Haas, art librarian at Bowdoin’s Pierce Art Library.  In particular, her jump from public to academic.  It is sometimes difficult to make that transition.  However, doing so early in her career and being able to capitalize on an open position that became permanent seems to have worked for her.

http://orient.bowdoin.edu/orient/article.php?date=2010-12-03&section=4&id=1