OCAD U Archivist (5 Month Contract)

Position Summary:
Reporting to the Head, Visual Resources & Special Collections, the Archivist supports the university archives by providing archival research, reference, and digitization services within a collaborative service model, and working with the Head on digitization projects and archival research services, to meet the university’s information needs and strategic priorities.

Summary of Responsibilities :

  • Provide services in alignment with Archives policies and procedures to the university, external researchers, and the public
  • Collaborate with Visual Resources & Special Collections staff to provide digital reproduction services in accordance with institutional fair-dealing policies, archival rights management principles, and copyright legislation
  • Support the Head of Visual Resources & Special Collections, and other Library staff in related tasks that contribute to the successful operation of the department

Qualifications:

  • Graduate degree in Archival Studies, Information Management, or Library and Information Studies from an ALA-accredited institution, and a minimum of one (1) year of related experience in an academic library supporting teaching, learning and research
  • Knowledge of historical and contemporary art and design
  • Thorough understanding of principles, methods and techniques for managing archival records
  • Current knowledge of records and document management-related technologies, preservation technologies, in addition to digital imaging and digitization technologies
  • Strong service-orientation and problem-solving skills, including demonstrated creativity and initiative in responding to reference and research requests
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Exceptional time-management skills, with the ability to manage concurrent projects, while maintaining on-demand reference and research services
  • An advanced understanding of rights management principles and of applying copyright legislation within the context of diverse art and design practices at the university level
  • Demonstrated commitment to the principles of equity and diversity, and proven ability to deal effectively with a diverse
  • Population

Compensation: $37.57 to $49.20 per hour, plus 4% vacation pay and 6% in lieu of benefits.

Hours of Work: Monday to Friday, for a total of 35 hours per week. This contract is expected to begin immediately for five (5) months.

Application Deadline: Interested applicants are invited to submit an updated resume, with a cover letter by selecting “Apply for this Position” below, no later than Friday, April 13, 2018 by 4pm.

Click here for more details

A Success Story: An Interview with Jenny Ferretti, Digital Initiatives Librarian at the Maryland Institute College of Art

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

I’m a first-generation American Latina; both of my parents emigrated to the United States from Central America. I never considered librarianship as a career because I didn’t know what librarians did. I had no real connection to the library or librarians. Before becoming a librarian, I had never met a Latinx librarian, which may have contributed to why I didn’t see myself in this profession.

I went to Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and got my BFA in Photography. If it hadn’t been for MICA, I wouldn’t have gone to college and I probably wouldn’t be a librarian. I was a difficult, underachieving student in middle and high school because I didn’t learn like everyone else, and no one, including myself, had the patience to realize this. If my fine art practice hadn’t been something I wanted to pursue in college, I don’t know what would’ve become of me. MICA led me to a career in librarianship because in order to graduate, the Photography program requires students to complete an internship. I interned at a private, non-profit museum/library and it was there I realized digitizing museum and library collections was a job. After completing the internship, I got a part-time job there and after graduating I stayed there part-time and got a part-time paid internship position at Smithsonian Institution’s Anthropological Archives. I stayed at both part-time jobs for about a year, then pitched a full-time job at the museum/library (complete with budget projections and digitization program plans) and ended up getting it. I stayed there for about five years before applying to Pratt Institute’s School of Information.

At Pratt I concentrated on Digital Humanities (DH), getting as much digital tools experience as possible in the classroom and as much archives-related experience outside the classroom. While in NYC, I worked at a variety of institutions, including Pratt Institute, Columbia University, New York Public Library, and Barnard College. Pratt’s program was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted to be challenged, particularly in the area of technology and user experience work. After moving back to Baltimore in 2014, I worked in the Library & Archives department at Smithsonian Channel archiving their born-digital assets for about a year.

When I saw the opening for my position, Digital Initiatives Librarian, at MICA, I thought this would be the perfect job to engage two areas I absolutely love: tech and art/design. I had no connection to the library when I was an undergraduate student. This would be my opportunity to engage with a student like me when I was in college. I had what it takes to bridge the gap between artist and archivist/librarian. I wanted to share this knowledge and explore the ways in which DH work could be integrated in the fine art/design context.

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time? If you could take a trip to visit any library in the world, which would it be?
If I had to base my response on my instagram feed, my favorite things are baseball, sneakers, plants, working, music, being Latina, dogs, family and friends, and eating! Some of my favorite things to do are go to the movies, Bike Party, and dancing. I come from a family who likes to have fun, so we’re generally in a celebratory mood!

I’d love to visit the Stony Island Arts Bank, founded by artist Theaster Gates and I’d love to visit libraries or archives in Nicaragua or El Salvador to try to find any records about my family.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
This is a tough question because I don’t often have ‘typical’ days! One of the best things about my job is that my day-to-day can be unpredictable and varied. I could be doing a research consultation, in a meeting about something web-related (most recently I’ve been involved in researching a MICA-wide DAMS), creating social media posts for Decker Library, doing collection development for the Film and Video Collection or my liaison areas, less often teaching, etc. My team, the Digital Initiatives Unit, is in charge of the digital presence for the library (which includes the website and social media). Between that and being a liaison librarian, those are the things that take up most of my time.

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
My advice always includes do your research. Make a spreadsheet of all the places you’d like to work – I think my list had around 35 institutions – with links to their job opportunities and check them frequently. I would check them several times a week, especially when I was close to graduating. I looked at the job titles and anything else about people who already worked at these institutions. I would also research the institution, staff, and average salaries.

I would also suggest meeting with your advisor, a trusted faculty member, or using your school’s career development center. A career development center might also help with salary negotiations.

Also, keep in mind that your position might shift priorities. My position originally was not supposed to teach at all and I was not supposed to staff the reference desk regularly (granted I only do two hours per week). I was okay with these changes because I wanted to get instruction experience. But that meant that I had to start reading about pedagogy (which I wish I had done a lot more in school).

Finally, I’d say build up your peer network. Find people who will have your back and be honest about applying for jobs, read your resumes/cover letters, etc. Applying for jobs can involve intense, emotional labor. Find your people and support them as you would want to be supported.

What were/are some challenges for you as a librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship or the field in general?
On a personal level, balancing my time between being a manager of a unit and liaison librarian has been the most challenging. I’m lucky our library director gives me room to vent, express what I like or dislike, helps me prioritize my time if I’m feeling stressed, etc.

In terms of librarianship as a profession, I think the most challenging has been to have an open, honest dialogue about what librarianship, particularly art librarianship, is and what our values as a profession should be. Lately I’ve been writing and presenting about whiteness and neutrality in librarianship. Coming to terms with the overwhelming whiteness of this profession is the only way we can hope to change the profession’s demographics. As a woman of color, this has been challenging because many people try to derail the discussion because they view it as a personal attack. After being awarded a Library Journal 2018 Movers & Shakers award for my work with the library and archive workers of color group We Here, I know now is the time to have these difficult discussions and rethink/redesign inclusion and equity initiatives.

Job Posting / Archivist / Alabama State Archives / Montgomery AL

The Alabama Department of Archives and History is extending the deadline for applications on the following job announcement to April 20, 2018.

 Position: 30430 Archivist – Collections Archivist

Annual Salary Range:   $33,086.40 – $50,119.20

Deadline for applications: April 20, 2018

Anticipated start date: Early Summer 2018

 The Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) seeks an entry level archivist to arrange and describe government records and photograph collections held by the ADAH according to local and national best practices. Primary duties include processing and cataloging new acquisitions of government records and photographs, as well as revising legacy finding aids and catalog records, as required by current practices and user needs. The archivist will participate in committees to assist with the creation and implementation of departmental decisions, policies, and procedures and may also contribute to special projects such as exhibits and community outreach. As a member of the Archival Collections Section the Collections Archivist reports to the Section Coordinator.

 While this position is the only one currently approved for appointment, the state accepts applications to the archivist classification on a continuous basis and the ADAH anticipates at least one additional hire to work in the sphere of local and county records management and outreach activities. If you are interested in any archival position with the State of Alabama, we encourage you to submit an application to the Alabama State Personnel Department by April 20, 2018.

 To see the complete job announcement with application instructions, please open the attached job announcement or go to the department’s employment page at the following link:

 http://www.archives.alabama.gov/employ.html

Paid internship at Erie Art Museum

The Erie Art Museum offers one full-time, 12-week paid internship each year to a recent college graduate thanks to the generosity of Michael and Judy Cheteyan. The internship can start in August or September 2018. Cheteyan interns choose a focus of Exhibition Development, Museum Education, or Collections Management. Applications are due by May 1, 2018. The application and more can be found at https://erieartmuseum.org/internships/. Any questions can be directed to Carissa Brandt at edcoordinator@erieartmuseum.org or(814)459-5477.

Media Preservation Librarian, Michigan State University Libraries

Description
Reporting to the Head of Conservation and Preservation and working with staff in the Digital and Multimedia Center, G. Robert Vincent Voice Library, Special Collections and the Wallace Conservation Laboratory, as well as other library units and partners at other institutions, the Media Preservation Librarian will:

  • Plan, develop and provide leadership for a media preservation program for Library digital and analog collections, including the Vincent Voice Library, Rovi Media Collection and other special collections, by reviewing existing library practices and analyzing needs and establishing policies and best practices that promote long-term stewardship and access to audio visual and moving image materials.
  • Identify and work with vendors and complete RFPs for media conversion services; manage the inventory, shipping and quality control process.
  • Review and advise on media acquisitions and collaborate on conservation and survey efforts.
  • Identify and collaborate with technical and accessibility partners within the library, campus and consortial communities.
  • Provide support for the Libraries’ overall preservation program by assisting with environmental monitoring, the integrated pest management program, and the Libraries’ Disaster Response Committee and other preservation activities.

The successful candidate must be broadly focused and adventurous enough to expand or shift their range of responsibilities to meet evolving campus needs, as well as participate approximately quarter-time in a secondary assignment based on the needs of the library and candidate interests and qualifications. Potential secondary assignments could, for example, include work with special collections, metadata services or collection development.

Librarians are appointed as regular faculty in a continuing appointment system and are engaged in professional development and scholarly activities related to their position. Additionally, librarians serve on library and university committees as elected or assigned.

Michigan State University Libraries serve more than 4,900 faculty, 36,000 undergraduates and 11,000 graduate and professional students on a park-like campus of over 5,000 acres. The MSU Libraries have combined holdings of over 6 million volumes with renowned collections in music, film, agriculture, Africana and comic art and cutting-edge services including a makerspace and digital scholarship lab. The Libraries are home to both the Rovi Media Collection, one of the largest publicly accessible media collections in the world, and the G. Robert Vincent Voice Library, a collection of over 40,000 hours of spoken word recordings dating back to 1888. East Lansing is a vibrant community of 50,000 located adjacent to Lansing, the State capital.


RequirementsMinimum Qualifications

Master’s degree in information or library science from a program accredited by the American Library Association. Knowledge of or experience with media and library preservation. Excellent oral and written communication skills; outstanding interpersonal communication skills including the ability to be flexible in a dynamic and changing environment; exceptional commitment to customer service; ability to work enthusiastically and effectively with diverse faculty, students and staff; ability to work collaboratively and independently; ability to prioritize and balance various unit needs; attention to detail; preparation and commitment to engage in scholarly activity consistent with a library faculty appointment; capacity and commitment to engage independently in continuing professional development.

Desired Qualifications

Familiarity with production, archiving or preserving complex digital objects; knowledge of current library preservation best practices for books, paper and photographic collections; knowledge of best practice for cleaning repair, migrating or rehousing audio visual and moving image materials; knowledge of disaster recovery techniques for media; broad understanding of current trends and tools for sustainability, integrity, authenticity and risk assessment; knowledge of standards-based metadata schema such as MODS, METS and PREMIS. File migration and media conversion practice; use of programming languages such as Python; understanding of the grant-writing process, knowledge of accessibility as it relates to media and media preservation.

Original posting: http://careers.msu.edu/cw/en-us/job/498817/librarian-icontinuing

A Success Story: An Interview with Margaret Huang, Digital Archivist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Can you tell us a little bit about your background, your current position, and how you got into the field of (art) librarianship?
I received an MLIS from the University Pittsburgh in the Archives, Preservation, and Records Management track. I am currently the Digital Archivist at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I have been interested in working with and around art ever since I got a job in high school in the gift shop of a museum. During undergrad, I was an art history minor and also happened to get a work study position in my college library’s digitization lab. This is when I started to piece together my career path. I considered pursuing a Masters in Museum Studies but ultimately decided that an MLIS could be a more flexible degree.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
My position recently pivoted to focus on one specific project so my typical work day right now involves a lot of noodling around in XML/JSON and Excel spreadsheets since I am deep into the metadata creation phase of the project. It is broken up by some of my other responsibilities as issues arise, such as maintaining our ArchivesSpace and Preservica instances, developing digital preservation policies and procedures, answering reference questions, participating in discussions surrounding our time-based media art (I am currently the mentor for our NDSR Art resident on our project: Planning for Time-Based Media Artwork Preservation), and whatever else may come up!

Do you have any advice for current students and/or those on the job market?
My advice to current students and/or those on the job market is to hustle. I was juggling freelance jobs, part-time jobs, and volunteering until I finally got a full time permanent library/archives job. Try to get as much hands on experience and technical skills as possible. Apply to as many jobs that interest you as possible, even if you feel unqualified. It never hurts to give it a shot. Meet and talk with people who have the jobs you want to see how they got there. Again and again, I have found that people tend to want to help and give advice. Also, your first job out of school doesn’t have to be your exact dream job but you can use what you learn to build towards it. At the same time, it’s also ok to not settle if you know what you want. I do honestly believe that hard work pays off so keep hustling.

What were/are some challenges for you as a librarian? Are these related to larger challenges in art librarianship or the field in general?
Currently, my biggest work related challenge is copyright issues. There are so many legal complications, risk tolerances, and stakeholders to consider. This is definitely a common challenge in the field, especially when embarking on digital projects and it becomes even more overwhelming if you’re dealing with entire archival collections, like me, that comprise of hundreds of possible copyright holders. Moving forward, I would like to see libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural heritage institutions collectively push Fair Use as far as possible.

My biggest personal challenge is feeling confident in my technical chops aka imposter syndrome. I think this is felt by many people and while I do not know the cure for these feelings, I can at least say: If you feel this way, you are not alone — let’s empower each other!

Tell us something fun about yourself! What do you do in your spare time? If you could take a trip to visit any library in the world, which would it be?
I love to ride my bike, hike, and travel when I can. Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of true crime books. I think I would be most curious to see the personal libraries of people I admire or am intrigued by – for example, what’s on Iggy Pop’s or Amy Goodman’s bookshelves?

Hack Your Art Librarianship Program: Pratt Institute

This post was contributed by Anna Holbert, Carissa Pfeiffer, and Karalyn Mark.

Anna, Carissa, and Karalyn will all soon be graduating from Pratt Institute in May 2018 with MS degrees in Library and Information Science, and Advanced Certificates in Archives & Special Collections. Additionally, Karalyn will also receive a second Advanced Certificate in Conservation & Digital Curation, and as a dual degree student, Anna will receive an MS in the History of Art & Design.

During their time at Pratt Institute, they have each had opportunities to hold fellowships and internships at several arts institutions.

Currently, Anna is a Pratt Fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Key projects and activities include gift comparison and cataloguing, as well as the creation of a reference database for decorated publishers’ bindings. Previous internship opportunities have also been completed at several other libraries within local New York arts institutions including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Carissa is currently employed as an Archives Support Aide at the New York Transit Museum, and she holds a fellowship in the Frick Art Reference Library, where she assists with web archiving efforts for the New York Art Resources Consortium. She has also interned with The Barnett Newman Foundation as a Pratt student.

Karalyn holds a fellowship in the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where she is overseeing a digitization project of early photography trade catalogs and technical manuals. Previously, she served as a Library & Archive Work Scholar at Aperture Foundation.

The Basics

Since its creation in 1890, the Pratt Institute School of Information is notably the oldest continuous Library and Information Science program in North America, surviving Columbia University’s program which existed from 1887 to 1992. Accredited by the American Library Association since 1924/1925, Pratt’s School of Information has also been an iSchools Associate Member institution since 2016.

(If you’re interested in finding out more about the school’s history, a finding aid and several digitized records have been made available online thanks to ongoing efforts by students in the Management of Archives class in recent semesters!)

The MSLIS degree requires the fulfillment of 36 credits, with 12 designated for foundation courses meant to offer knowledge necessary for all information professionals regardless of program focus. Those courses are

Information Professions, Information Technologies, Knowledge Organization, and Information Services & Resources. Students can test out of Information Technologies if they have pre-existing knowledge in web basics, markup languages, and databases, and those who test out may put those additional three credits toward an elective of their choosing.

One important point to address first is that it’s not an inexpensive school, and New York is not a cheap place to live. (Graduate tuition for the School of Information is less than the MFA, though.) The three of us have managed to balance working and interning throughout the course of our time at the Information School. Thankfully, class times made this possible: classes are Monday through Thursday, mostly 3-5:50 PM or 6:20-9:20 PM, with a couple sections of core classes offered earlier in the day, from 11:30 AM – 2:20 PM. The 6:20-9:20 classes are easiest for students who are also working full-time, but it’s difficult (though not impossible) to get through the entire program taking only evening classes. Another major practical benefit is that only a few classes require the purchase of textbooks. Most reading materials are made available through Pratt’s online subscription databases or on course reserve at the Manhattan Campus Library. We probably don’t need to remind any prospective librarians of this, but taking advantage of other area libraries, ConnectNY, MaRLI, and Interlibrary Loan is, y’know, a good idea.

Pratt’s main campus is located in Brooklyn, but most classes in the LIS program are taught at the Manhattan Campus on 14th Street. A few courses are taught off-site at libraries around New York City (more on this below!) We recommend checking in with the Pratt Institute SI Office regarding off-campus course meeting times and locations.

Generally speaking, courses at Pratt are small in size and typically consist of 11-12 students per class (according to a recent tweet). We’ve enrolled in classes with as few as 6-8 students, often in formats that emphasize discussions and project work. These smaller class sizes definitely allow for increased opportunities to ask questions, contribute, and get to know your professors as well as your classmates, who may well become lifelong mentors and colleagues. From what we’ve seen, alumni of Pratt tend to remain involved well past the time they graduate, and we’ve gotten the opportunity to know several through guest lectures and professional panels.

It’s possible to do plenty of research before selecting courses each semester. In our experiences, many professors don’t send out syllabi prior to the first day of class, which can be a little anxiety-inducing. (Or is it just me?) Between meeting with your advisor, talking to a librarian at the Manhattan Campus Library, and checking out the syllabus archive, you’ll be able to get a pretty good idea of what you’ll gain from specific classes and instructors before you sign up.

The facade of Pratt’s Manhattan campus building, where most LIS classes meet.

Tailoring the Program to Art Librarianship

Pratt School of Information doesn’t specifically offer a track designated as “art librarianship,’ but there are plenty of art librarians who have graduated from this program! This is thanks in part to being part of an art and design school, being located in New York, and having a few other specific tracks that are especially useful for anyone considering this route.

There is an Advanced Certificate in Museum Libraries, which emphasizes courses relating to museum collections and services. Students interested in museum librarianship can also take additional elective LIS courses from within the curriculum for the MS in Museums and Digital Culture; while those interested in being a librarian at an art & design school can pursue a program concentration in Academic/Research Contexts. Some classes are offered more frequently than others. Browsing Pratt’s online syllabus archive is a good way to see what typical semesters have looked like in the past and what each class entails.

For those interested in exploring the crossroads between art and information, or in pursuing careers ranging from curation to art librarianship in academic and museum contexts, the MSLIS/MA History of Art & Design dual degree may be a good fit. History of Art & Design courses are most typically held on the Brooklyn campus, with the exception of the occasional design class at the Manhattan campus. It is up to the student how course fulfilment will be divided, with the flexibility of taking LIS and Art History classes simultaneously.  

Although many full School of Information faculty members are not focused primarily on art librarianship, Pratt employs several excellent visiting professors who are practitioners in museum libraries and art and design school libraries. A major strength of the program for aspiring art librarians is the ability to learn from and work with people at world-class cultural heritage institutions. In Fall 2017, each of the writers of this blog post were enrolled in–and loved!–the Art Librarianship class (LIS 667), which is essential to any Pratt students seriously considering pursuing art librarianship as a career. This course is a survey of the practice of art librarianship from the perspective of a museum librarian, and is currently taught by Kenneth Soehner, Chief Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Topics covered in Art Librarianship include professional standards and competencies, collection development and organization, special collections, the art book trade, reference services, copyright, digital art history, and others. Through lectures and research projects, students develop a familiarity with the resources of an art library, including print and online reference sources: indexes, collection catalogs, databases, catalogues raisonnés, trade literature, and visual resources. Our class frequently met at the Met’s Watson Library, and throughout the course, students made use of the Watson Library’s collection, print, and digital resources. Members of the Library staff presented a series of guest lectures on the history of artists’ books, digitization initiatives, pest management, exhibitions, and development. We also visited the School of Visual Arts (SVA) Library for a tour!

The entrance of the Thomas J. Watson Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where the Art Librarianship class usually meets.

Other electives to check out include Art Collections: Research & Documentation (LIS 629, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Rare Books & Special Collections (LIS 689, held at the New York Public Library and Pratt Manhattan). Each of these involve hands-on interaction with materials in the context of their own collections. Other classes that are similarly haptic include Conservation Lab, which takes place at Brooklyn College, and Management of Archives & Special Collections, which has taken place at various locations over the past few semesters.

Whichever LIS classes you take, projects tend to be open-ended enough to pursue your specific interests within them, and professors truly encourage students to do creative things–apropos for an art & design school like Pratt. Even institutions that may not be specifically partnered with Pratt provide an excellent opportunity to compare libraries, interview practicing librarians, and discover paths to emulate. We’ve done cataloging projects focused on the collections of the Center for Book Arts, Data Librarianship projects using the Met’s open access collections data, and collaborated with the Brooklyn Public Library Special Collections on an audio digitization project (check out the online exhibition!)

Internships, Practicums, and Professional Development

Internships are not required for the general LIS program, but they’re the best way to truly take advantage of NYC’s status as an art hub and to get involved in the professional world of art librarianship as a student. At the end of the day, this is really where the program shines. There are so many opportunities for ensuring that you’re not leaving with only a degree but also with experience and connections.

Although not a requirement for the general program, internships are required to earn any of the Advanced Certificates. For a certificate, you must also enroll in a Practicum course, which meets only a few times throughout the semester, and mainly entails developing a paper or online publication about the work performed during your internship. Pratt offers several fellowships that provide funding which can be put toward tuition and to fulfill the work experience requirement for the practicum. Students also have the option of applying internships and fellowships found independently toward the Practicum course.

The student listserv is an excellent resource for finding out about opportunities, which in NYC are competitive and often temporary, but also abundant and in many cases (thank goodness) paid. Since Pratt is an art and design school, graduate assistantships in the libraries of either campus are also a good work option for aspiring art librarians, and these opportunities get posted to the listserv as well. (Recommendation: adjust your settings to receive messages as a daily digest, since the student listserv is really active!)

The listserv is also the best way to find out about meetings, workshops, and events led by student groups. Pratt has student chapters of ALA, SLA, ASIS&T, and SAA, all of which have been active during our time in the program. We’ve traveled to Washington, DC and taken bookbinding classes at the Center for Book Arts with Pratt ALA, attended a weekend workshop on the history of artists’ books, listened to panels of former students describe the paths they took after graduation, and attended a tour of The Mertz Library & Archives at the New York Botanical Garden with SAA @ Pratt. Upcoming this semester are workshops on Wikidata for culture data, digital privacy, mapping, and more.

A copy of Otto Brunfels’ Contrafayt Kreüterbüch nach rechter vollkommener Art … on view in the Metz Library Rare Books Room. This is the first German ed. of Herbarum vivae eicones, and the imprint is Strasszburg, Hans Schotten, 1532-1537. (Call no. QK41 .B75 1532)
A recent two-hour Saturday workshop introducing students to the history of artists’ books, with John Vincler. (Original post: @PrattInfoSchool)

Beyond Pratt, if you can swing it, student memberships in regional professional organizations are also good opportunities for networking and workshops. ARLIS/NA is, of course, recommended! (Shoutout to all the alumni we met at the Pratt Happy Hour at the annual conference!) ARLIS/NA’s New York chapter hosts several tours and events throughout the year. The New York Metropolitan Library Council (METRO) also offers good options for supplementing your classes with workshops in specific topics and for networking within specific interest groups.

As seriously as you take your papers, projects, and internships, it’s important to leave some time to enjoy the plethora of incredible galleries, museums, libraries, archives, and historical societies throughout the city. Any aspiring art or architecture librarian will find plenty to inspire their mission. And feed your other interests! Whatever you feel passionately about, chances are NYC has an annual festival, a center, and a vibrant community for it. This city has a reputation for grinding people down, but it has equal potential to lift you up, if you keep your goals in sight and stay attentive to your needs.

Summary

Between the three of us, we’ve been quite pleased with Pratt’s MSLIS program. Whether our initial reasons for choosing the program were geography or a specific interest, we’ve found that there’s a solid breadth of course offerings and electives to round out our education. The Library Science program itself is small, and it’s very easy to become ‘at home.’ Pratt not only opened our eyes to our options, but also helped us gain practical experience and professional connections. We’ve particularly benefited from internship and fellowship experiences during our time as graduate students, and we’re grateful for how hands-on our experiences have been.

We would love to chat about our time at Pratt! Feel free to reach us via any of these platforms:

Welcome Our New ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator, Michele Jennings!

Please join me in welcoming our new Co-Moderator for 2018-2020, Michele Jennings!

Hi ArLiSNAP! My name is Michele Jennings and I’m excited to serve along Breanne Crumpton as your new ArLiSNAP Co-Moderator. I’m the Art Librarian at Ohio University (as of this January) where I act as a subject liaison for Art + Design, Art History, Interior Architecture, Interdisciplinary Arts, and Visual Communication. I completed my MLIS at the University of British Columbia in September 2017 and I have a BA in the History of Art and Visual Culture from UC Santa Cruz. 

I have been a follower and member of ArLiSNAP since 2015, and I’m thrilled to serve as your co-moderator now that I’m able to volunteer time to the organization! As someone who didn’t attend a library school with a dual-masters option or a specialization in art librarianship, ArLiSNAP has been a lifeline to me and an opportunity to be engaged (albeit virtually) with the broader community of students and new professionals in the field. I’m looking forward to offering more chances for new members to connect with each other, and to maintaining ArLiSNAP’s robust social media presence and invaluable job postings and career tips–another lifeline to many of us who follow ArLiSNAP!

Additionally, in the next two years I’d like to strengthen our engagement with critical librarianship and, as job seekers and students, to critically examine the ways that social justice and diversity and inclusion impact our studies, our work, and the field as a whole. This past year the ArLiSNAP/VREPS virtual conference was wonderfully thought provoking and has informed the way that I have personally approached my work as a new professional located at the nexus of art and information. There’s so much more work to be done in our communities, institutions, and organizations, and as new professionals and students it behooves us to bring this critical awareness and engagement into the future of the profession.

And of course, let’s have some fun while we’re at it! I’m so excited to get to work and to connect with all of you, and I hope you’ll share with me your thoughts, opinions, and experiences to make this an even better space for our community.

Thanks,
Michele

Job Posting: Assistant Librarian (Part-time, temporary), New York School of Interior Design, NYC

Assistant Librarian (Part-time)

Job Title:                            Assistant Librarian (Part-time)
                                           Part-time & temporary 3-month term only, with a possibility of renewal
Reports to:                         Director of the Library
Compensation:                  $18/hour
Date Revised:                    February 22, 2018
 
 
Overview: Reporting to the Director of the Library, the Assistant Librarian supports the day-to day operations of the Library’s public services and the two materials libraries. S/he is an integral part of the Library’s public services team for providing instructional, reference, and circulating services to library users. During the closing shifts and in the absence of the Librarian, s/he manages the Library’s circulation and reference desk and supervises student workers. The Assistant Librarian performs a variety of system maintenance tasks, such as updating the Library’s website and online subject guides and maintaining other electronic tools and platforms pertaining to public services. S/he may need to perform tasks and projects related to the NYSID Archives & Special Collections.
 
 
Job Responsibilities
·         Assist the Librarian with the operations of circulation and reference services and delivering library instruction sessions to NYSID students, faculty and staff; answer reference queries and help patrons locate items and resources in the library and archives, and through online databases.
·         Manage the day-to-day public services operations and supervise student workers during closing shifts and in the absence of the Librarian.
·         Assist the Librarian to manage the two materials libraries on the main campus and at the Graduate Center.
·         Assist the Librarian to coordinate the schedule and content of the Library’s instruction program; conduct any library instruction sessions assigned within his/her schedule.
·         Working with other librarians, update the Library’s website and online subject guidelines on a regular basis to ensure the accuracy and currency of the information and content represented on those online platforms.
·         Resolve technical issues related to the Library’s online resources.
·         Working with other librarians, actively explore and implement new library/information technologies pertaining to the Library’s public and instructional services.
·         Perform tasks and projects related to the NYSID Archives & Special Collections on an as-needed
·         Other duties, projects and activities as may become necessary.
 
Job Qualifications:
·         MLS from an ALA-accredited institution (candidates pursuing an MLS degree at an ALA-accredited institution will also be considered).
·         Bachelors in art history, fine arts, design, or architecture preferred.
·         Some circulation and reference experience in an academic and research library environment highly desirable
·         Experience using an integrated library system, particularly its circulation module, desirable.
·         Proficiency in WordPress, LibGuides, Omeka, and other library and information technologies pertaining to library public and instructional services.
·         Strong technical skills of evaluating and employing a variety of new Web tools, systems platforms, and social media channels to facilitate and promote library services and operations.
·         Proficiency in MS Office Suite, particularly Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
·         Excellent oral and written communication skills for lectures, presentations, and working with library/archives users and staff.
·         Professional committee memberships/activities in related organizations, such as ARLIS/NA, VRA, AASL, ALA, or ACRL, desirable.
 
Job Competencies:
 
·         Ability to work independently, be flexible, have high attention to detail; a proactive problem solver.
·         Friendly, with strong service orientation and good people skills.
·         Former teaching or library instruction experience highly desirable.
·         A commitment to user-oriented library services.
·         General knowledge of art, architecture, and design research resources preferred.
 
Working conditions:
 
·         Required to cover evening and/or weekend hours during the academic school year.
·         Ability to perform physical activities associated with library collections.
 
How to Apply
 
·         Please submit a resume and cover letter describing your interest and relevant experience to libraryinfo@nysid.edu with “Assistant Librarian (part-time)” in the subject line.

The Dual-Degree Art Librarian: Survey and Guide for Career Planning (by Autumn Wetli & Sarah Bilotta)

Whether or not a second Master’s, or perhaps even a PhD, is needed for the subject specialist librarian is an area of debate. We have decided to think about this conversation specifically in the terms of Art Librarianship. Gathered are some pros and cons to getting the advanced degree in art/art history, formulated from the thoughts of fellow ArLiSNAP followers and some scholarly articles on the subject.

For the purposes of informally ascertaining a consensus among early career art librarians or those interested in the field, we conducted some preliminary research with scholarly materials that address the educational requirements for professional art librarian jobs, as well as the opinions of more established art librarians. We then used this research as inspiration to formulate methods for engaging the perspectives of new and emerging art librarians. This culminated in circulating an open-ended question to evoke the thoughts and opinions of our colleagues, both via e-mail with librarians we have worked with and through the e-mail listserv of ArLiSNAP. In order to achieve varied and unrestricted opinions, we solicited feedback on the basis that we were curious to hear about colleagues’ experiences in the field in relation to this topic in a broad sense. All respondents were informed that this information would be used for an ArLiSNAP blog post (with the option to remain anonymous). For this survey and the resultant blog article, “subject Master’s degree” and “second Master’s degree” are intended to refer to a Master’s degree in a subject other than librarianship, obtained before, after, or in conjunction with a librarianship Master’s degree, and meant to bolster the scholarly research capabilities of a librarian in the field of the arts and design.

From the results of this survey, we have drawn conclusions not necessarily about the overarching value (or lack thereof) of the subject Master’s degree to the field of art librarianship, but about individual librarians’ experiences with or without a subject Master’s degree and patterns among this small sample of librarians, which may be indicative of trends warranting either further study or consideration for librarians who are considering a second Master’s degree.

From the nine responses we received from our call out for opinions, four individuals have a Master’s degree in a subject other than librarianship and five do not. Of the five respondents who do not have a second Master’s degree, two have completed partial coursework towards a second Master’s degree and one is currently applying to dual degree programs.

Responses from our survey

PROS

Research Experience
“[Getting a second Master’s degree] is a rewarding experience…something that has come in very handy as an academic librarian.”
-Librarian with a second Master’s

“I think I would consider pursuing a second Master’s degree to not only further my understanding of the field, but also have a better grasp on the type of research [that] is done at the graduate level by participating in it myself.”
-Librarian with a Master’s degree in librarianship, but without a subject Master’s

“…the [Master’s degree in Art History] provided me with appropriate knowledge of arts and art history subject areas; resources, tools, and methodologies; and vocabulary to meet the requirements of the co-op role, and that experience has been invaluable for shaping my readiness to enter the workforce in art librarianship.”
-Librarian with a Master’s degree in Art History, currently working on MLIS

“[Getting a subject Master’s degree] is a rewarding experience and really helped me learn how to sculpt a scholarly research project, something that has come in very handy as an academic librarian.”
-Librarian with an arts-related subject Master’s degree, currently working on MLIS

Job Possibilities
“I have held two professional librarian positions since graduating from library school, and both asked for an Art History MA as a preferred requirement.”
-Librarian with MLIS and MA in Art History

“…feedback [from others in the art librarianship field] has consistently been a positive assertion that having the two degrees will help me have a competitive edge in the job search.”
-Librarian with a Master’s degree in Art History, currently working on MLIS

“My current job does not require the second masters, but other positions I might be interested in down the line do require it for promotion…”
-Librarian with MLIS and partial coursework towards MA in Art History

Enhanced Opportunities for Professional Development
“Though I have yet to determine if — or how — having a second, subject specific Master’s will help my career in art librarianship, I can say that it has had a strong influence in my professional development throughout the MLIS program.”
-Librarian with a Master’s degree in Art History, currently working on MLIS

“[Having a subject Master’s degree] has gone a long way to gaining acceptance and interest from members of professional organizations that cover the intersection of arts and librarianship.”
-Librarian with an arts-related subject Master’s degree, currently working on MLIS

Strengthened Relationships with Art Scholars

“…it’s always helpful for an academic librarian to have a second master’s degree or even PhD. It can go a long way in your ability to gain respect or trust from faculty and administration.”
-Librarian with MLIS, previously enrolled in MA program in Art History

“I definitely find it easier to be an art & design librarian without an extra Master’s than I think I might serving art history [faculty].”
-Librarian with MLIS but no subject Master’s degree

“Having an advanced degree helps when you are working with senior scholars, whether curators or university academics.”
-Librarian with MA in Art History and Master’s degree in Librarianship

CONS

Cost
“[Enrollment in Master’s degree program in Art History] was costing a fortune, and I knew my loan debt was already staggering.”
-Librarian with MLIS and partial coursework towards MA in Art History

“To me the biggest reason not to get a second master’s was the money. I wasn’t sure that the investment would be necessary or pay off sufficiently to warrant the debt.”
-Librarian with MLIS but no subject Master’s degree

“If I could go back and do it again, the only thing I would change is lowering the amount of student loans I took out…Luckily I qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program because I work for a university, but who knows what will happen with that program in the near future…”
-Librarian with MLIS and MA in Art History

A Degree is Only What You Make of It
“I do think it’s a challenge to find a good position in the field regardless of whether you pursue the second degree.”
-Librarian with MLIS but no subject Master’s degree

“I think the more you do and achieve, the higher your chances will be for potentially landing that ideal position you’ve got your sights set on…”
-Librarian currently applying to Master’s degree programs

“…having served on a few search committees now, I can say that it’s not necessarily the education that gets you the job, but rather the way you present yourself and articulate the ways in which you can/have applied that education to a practical position as a librarian.”
-Librarian with MLIS and MA in Art History

Not All Art Librarian Positions Require a Subject Master’s

“[A second Master’s degree] is not required for my current role where I lead the library’s instruction program and work with a variety of subject areas.”
-Librarian with MLIS, previously enrolled in MA program in Art History

“[In my current position] the second Master’s is less needed because I’m not being asked to help with graduate level research. So in general, I think it depends on your position and the level of research you are expected to help with.”
-Librarian with MLIS but no subject Master’s degree

Responses in the Literature
In addition to reaching out to our colleagues, we looked at a couple articles that performed studies on the MLIS and an advanced subject degree. This was not an exhaustive search into the literature on this topic, but rather, a very brief look into the results of a couple similar surveys. Much like the results of our own informal survey, the importance of a second advanced subject degree, really depends on the individual and should be evaluated on case-by-case scenarios.

Echoing responses we heard from ArLiSNAP followers, one of pros of an advanced-subject degree was found in its ability to make the librarian a better researcher than if they had just pursued the MLIS. This helps the librarian in two ways. First, it better prepares them for research and publication of their own, which can help with career advancement in regards to tenure and/or promotion (Mayer & Terrill, 2005, p. 68). Secondly, the librarian has first-hand research experience that many patrons, perhaps particularly graduate students and faculty, need (ibid.) One article made an interesting note, that from their research, the demand for second masters or advanced degrees was found to be most desirable for library administrators (Ferguson, 2016, p. 732).

Many School of Information programs offer dual degrees, which allow students to receive the a second, subject specialized Master, at less cost and time than pursuing the MA/MS solely on its own. Art History as a second Masters is commonly a part of these programs. A few programs that offer such are The University of North Carolina, Indiana University Bloomington, Pratt Institute, and Kent State University.

References

Ferguson, J. (2016). Additional degree required: advanced subject knowledge and academic librarianship. Libraries and the Academy, 16(4), 721-736. Retrieved from https://muse.jhu.edu/article/632342

Mayer, J. & Terrill, L. J. (2005). Academic librarians’ attitudes about advanced-subject degrees. College & Research Libraries, 66(1), 59-70. https://doi.org/10.5860/crl.66.1.59