Tag Archives: academic librarianship

An Internship Experience: Visual Resources

By A.M. LaVey

I spent 2020 in Belarus researching and writing my master’s dissertation on the topic of traditional textiles — specifically embroidery and ornament as codes of Belarusianness. I was in Belarus in August of that year, when protests began following the contested presidential elections. At the completion of my art history degree and my return to the states, I started a master’s in library and information studies at the University of Rhode Island, and am currently scheduled to graduate in December 2021.

This past summer, working with a Belarusian studies colleague, I was able to set up a professional field experience in visual information curation at the University of Michigan Fine Arts Library. I worked on a project that allowed me to use my combined subject librarianship skills in art and Slavic studies under the supervision of Jamie Lausch Vander Broek, Librarian for Art & Design. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, I conducted this internship remotely.

My internship project, in cooperation with the Stamps School of Art and Design at University of Michigan, was to help develop a digital exhibition for the library that focused on social media, protest art, and textiles in the context of the ongoing unrest in Belarus.

A protester wears the White-red-white flag on Independence Square in Minsk, Belarus, Aug. 20, 2020. (Photo by Jana Shnipelson)

I had several objectives for this experience: employing information representation and retrieval standards for visual information; evaluating, gathering and synthesizing information; and using technology to design an innovative resource to communicate this information to a wide range of audiences. I met these objectives through curatorial and digital exhibition design research, training with new technologies and digital platforms, writing descriptions and developing metadata systems for visual resources, serving as the exhibition cataloguer and bibliographer, and liaising between the library and the curator.

As the exhibition cataloguer, I researched a variety of textiles objects that had been collected by the curator within five major categories: flags, costumes, masks, embroidery, and digital ornaments. I researched, developed, and executed a visual resource metadata standard for the exhibit utilizing Omeka content management system, Dublin Core Metadata Element Set and the Getty Vocabularies. For each of the 73 items, I filled out the catalog record with the necessary metadata and wrote a description for it.

After completing the catalog, I developed five separate bibliographies corresponding to the five categories. Starting with the University of Michigan Library collection, I curated informational resources in Belarusian, English, Polish and Russian.

I am grateful to have had this experience. It gave me an entry point into academic/art librarianship and gave me a taste of what to expect. Because of the pandemic, I was unable to visit the library in person — in fact, my preceptor is still working from home —and therefore I feel I did not get a super authentic experience. Still, it should be a helpful stepping stone into future professional employment.

In regards to practical library skills, I learned a lot about the function of library exhibitions and all that goes into curating them. I also got to put my theoretical classroom knowledge of visual resource description as it relates to visual information representation and retrieval into action.

The project is ongoing.

Thanks to the ARLIS/NA Wolfgang M. Freitag Internship Award, I was equitably compensated for my labor.

A.M. LaVey is a bibliographer specializing in Slavic and East European spaces and an MLIS candidate at the University of Rhode Island. Research interests include the intersection of information and textiles and the creative function of visual archives.

Note: Experiences, thoughts, and feelings shared on the ArLiSNAP blog are solely those of the featured author(s) and interviewees and do not represent the views of any employer.

Job Opportunity: Cornell University Library Diversity Fellowship, Cornell University, Ithaca NY

Position Description: Cornell University Library is committed to diversity and is actively seeking to foster and support the growth and development of librarians from underrepresented groups through the Cornell University Library Diversity Fellowship. We value qualified candidates who can enrich our community with variety of backgrounds and experiences.

The Diversity Fellowship is designed for recent MLS graduates who want the opportunity to learn about academic libraries and acquire core competencies and skills in research, scholarship and instruction. The program allows the Library Fellow the unique opportunity to work in a variety of public services areas, explore new information technologies, collaborate on projects, and to participate in a challenging and rewarding work environment. A flexible program will be developed to balance the Fellow’s individual goals and interests with the Library’s needs. In addition, the Fellow’s professional interests will be supported with a mentoring program, specialized training, continuing education, and participation on library committees.

A final job description will be created in collaboration with the candidate. Duties could include a selection of the following or other options at the request of the selected candidate:

  • Teaching in Mann Library’s information literacy program
  • Developing online learning modules
  • Library space planning and assessment
  • Supporting systematic reviews
  • Providing research data management services
  • Providing consultation on advanced research strategies and citation management
  • Planning for emerging technologies
  • Multi-media and/or makerspace support services
  • Library outreach and communication
  • Collection development
  • Digitization of historical material
  • Supporting the Library’s international outreach initiatives, including TEEAL and Research4Life

This is a fully funded two-year appointment available starting August 15, 2017. The start date is negotiable.

Required Qualifications:

  • MLS from ALA accredited institution.
  • Graduation should be within the last three years.
  • Strong service orientation; excellent written and oral communication and interpersonal skills; ability to work independently and function in a collegial, teamwork-oriented environment that emphasizes customer service and delivery of exemplary library research and instruction services.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Academic background or experience in science and/or social sciences.

Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

Benefits: Competitive in salary, rank, professional development support, and benefits. Comprehensive benefits package including 22 vacation days, 12 paid holidays, health insurance, life insurance, and university retirement contributions (TIAA-CREF and other options). Professional travel funding available.

Application Instructions: Please attach a cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three references to your application (preferred as one combined PDF document). Candidates should include in their cover letter a description of their knowledge and experience that demonstrates engagement in underrepresented communities and the ability to transfer this asset to a research, learning, and instructional context. Applications will be reviewed as received until the position is filled. For more information, contact Mary Ochs, Director of Mann Library, mao4@cornell.edu.

LINK: https://cornell.wd1.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/CornellCareerPage/job/Ithaca-Main-Campus/Cornell-University-Library-Diversity-Fellowship–Assistant-Librarian-_WDR-00010955

Job Posting: Humanities Librarian for the Fine Arts, UT Austin, TX


Provide strategic approaches to selection, teaching, discovery, and delivery of digital and print information resources and research lifecycle support for Department of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts’ various design centers, Bridging Disciplines Program in Digital Arts and Media, and other disciplines.

Essential Functions

Provide reference using appropriate media in all venues and channels, including individual and small group research consultation, and staffing of the Ask a Librarian virtual and in-person reference services. Manage collections in support of relevant curricula and research, with materials in any and all formats including streaming video. Develop content for subject-based web pages. Provide outreach to faculty and administration in subject departments to exchange information about research consultation, collections and research lifecycle support services. Collaborate with faculty to achieve information literacy learning outcomes in course-specific ways, including providing instruction sessions and assignments, research guides, and/or tutorials. Provide marketing and assessment of library services. Engage in fundraising, development and outreach programs, such as exhibits and events. Collaborate with major art collections on campus including the Benson Latin American Collection, the Blanton Museum, the Harry Ransom Center, Landmarks, the Warfield Center, and the Visual Arts Center. The position will work closely with FAL staff on departmental initiatives, take on additional subject areas as needed, actively participate in UT Libraries and other local committee and project team efforts, as well as pertinent professional organizations and staff development opportunities.

Marginal/Incidental functions

Other related functions as assigned.

Required qualifications

MLS from an ALA-accredited graduate program. Two years of relevant Subject Liaison Librarian experience in the Fine Arts. Demonstrated experience collaborating with faculty to achieve and assess information literacy learning outcomes in course-specific ways. Experience providing in-depth research consultation services in an academic environment. Experience with digital humanities tools and methodologies. Strong understanding of approaches to and trends in assessment of academic library resources and services. Knowledge of scholarly communication issues and trends within the arts and humanities. Evidence of a strong commitment to user-centered services. Experience using and teaching a range of academic electronic information resources. Demonstrated excellent analytical, organizational, and communication skills. Proven ability to work collaboratively and efficiently in a changing environment. Demonstrated willingness to respond to new opportunities with initiative, creative energy, and leadership. Evidence of active involvement in professional or scholarly associations. Equivalent combination of relevant education and experience may be substituted as appropriate.

Preferred Qualifications

Master’s degree in art or art history. Experience with modern European or Asian languages. Two to four years of successful professional library experience with responsibility for Fine Arts. Experience with alternative art practices such as zine culture or artist books. Two years of experience providing library instruction to college-level students, faculty, and staff. Experience collaborating with faculty on instruction or outreach projects. Experience using new and emerging technologies for public service and instruction in an academic library setting. Demonstrated potential for leadership in university, state, national, and international programs and initiatives. Experience in development. Experience grant writing. Supervisory experience. Evidence of problem solving skills. Experience related to the essential functions. Proven ability to be flexible in work assignments and environments.

More information and application: https://utdirect.utexas.edu/apps/hr/jobs/nlogon/160404010086

Job Posting: Visual Resources and Fine Arts Librarian, Lewis & Clark College, Portland OR

Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon invites applications for the Visual Resources and Fine Arts Librarian at the Aubrey R. Watzek Library. Lewis & Clark is a selective liberal arts college with graduate programs in Education, Counseling Psychology, and Law. The College is committed to preparing students for leadership in an increasingly interdependent world, and affirms the educational benefits of diversity. (See http://www.lclark.edu/dept/about/diversity.html).

We seek a librarian who is passionate about the arts and excited about integrating visual resources into an evolving liberal arts curriculum. The position is open to entry-level candidates including recent graduates.

The Visual Resources and Fine Arts Librarian: supports faculty and students in their use of visual resources in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School of Education and Counseling; works with faculty to integrate visual literacy into the curriculum; manages Watzek Library’s image collections; serves as a liaison to fine arts departments: Art, Theatre, and Music.

Lewis & Clark College will conduct background checks on the finalist(s). Lewis & Clark College is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to status as a protected veteran or a qualified individual with a disability, or other protected status, such as race, religion, color, national origin, sex or age. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or OCR.

Minimum Qualifications

1. Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science or related discipline.
2. One year of experience supporting visual resources and/or visual literacy (this requirement may be met with a combination of internships, practicums, and part-time employment).
3. Strong written and spoken communication skills, including experience in public speaking and instruction.
4. Ability to understand and communicate with students and faculty in a wide variety of academic disciplines from a wide variety of backgrounds.
5. Broad knowledge of visual culture across a wide spectrum of time periods, geographic areas, and cultures.
7. Ability to learn and employ current and emerging technologies for digital asset management, especially those that apply to visual resources.
8. Knowledge of metadata schemas and metadata management as applied to visual resources.
9. Knowledge of research resources for visual resources.
10. Knowledge of research tools and sources for library research inquiries, especially those in the arts.

Preferred Qualifications

1. Master’s Degree in art history or related discipline.
2. Three years of experience in visual resources librarianship.
3. Significant background in one or more of the fine arts.
4. In-depth knowledge of multiple fields of artistic expression such as music, dance or theatre.
5. Reading knowledge of a foreign language.
6. Knowledge of curatorial practices for digital collections.
7. Knowledge of current practices in image, multimedia and video editing and production for pedagogical use.
8. Knowledge of copyright and intellectual property rights as they relate to image production, management, and access.
9. Knowledge of library collection development principles.
10. Instruction and instructional design skills.
11. Training in art history.

More information and application: https://jobs.lclark.edu/postings/5820

Job Posting: Art Librarian, New York Studio School, NYC

The New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting & Sculpture is a private institution that offers a variety of programs concentrating on drawing, painting, and sculpture. Programs offered include a two-year MFA or a three-year Certificate program, with concentrations in painting and sculpture, as well as two-week intensive marathons, and a Summer Session. The Library houses a specialized collection designed to serve the needs of developing painters and sculptors in supporting the School’s programs.

The collection includes monographs, periodicals, exhibition catalogs and an archive of audio-visual materials that relate to the School’s renowned Evening Lecture Series, as well as various electronic resources for its students.

Job Description

The Librarian is solely responsible for managing the Library at the New York Studio School, providing reference services in art and art history to the School’s students, faculty, and staff. Duties include but are not limited to: acquisitions; cataloging; receiving and processing donations; reference services; readers’ advisory, and collection development. Preference will be given to candidates able to continue the management of a long-term project to digitize and post on the web the Studio School’s Lecture Series Archive, in collaboration with selected vendors. The librarian over sees a small staff of work-study students and works closely with Faculty and staff when necessary. Hours are Monday-Friday, 10:30am-4:30pm. August 15 through to May 31 of each year.

This is a hands-on position that works in conjunction with a variety of people on a daily basis. The ideal candidate will be a hardworking, self-starting, patient, level headed individual who will be able to prioritize work, be willing to work closely with students, faculty and staff when needed, manage a budget, and be a forward thinker who attends to detail. This position will be a great career opportunity for the right candidate!


  • ALA-accredited MLS/MLIS
  • Library or visual resources experience (art library preferable)
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills
  • Ability to work well both independently and collaboratively
  • Ability to write, form memoranda to grant applications
  • Computer skills including familiarity with web-based cataloging tools, MS Office & HTML/Web
  • MFA or MA in art/art history preferred
  • Should be able to lift weights up to 40 lbs.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Reference services
  • Cataloging and processing of new acquisitions
  • Offer support and guidance to students who require assistance
  • Maintain exhibition catalog listings
  • Plan acquisitions within collection development framework
  • Organize and preserve audio-visual archive
  • Oversee collection of donated materials
  • Research and display information relative to current and upcoming School programs
  • Supervise approved Library work-study positions
  • Carry out other duties as assigned

If interested, please send a current resume with cover letter and the names and contact details of at least two references, along with salary requirements, to:


More information: https://www.higheredjobs.com/admin/details.cfm?JobCode=176202625&Title=Art%20Librarian

Job Posting: Special Collections Librarian, University of Toronto Fisher Rare Books Library


The Opportunity
The University of Toronto Library seeks a highly organized, productive, innovative and flexible librarian to work in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Reporting to the department head, the incumbent will work closely with other senior Fisher librarians on assigned tasks. Principal responsibilities will be the arrangement and description of modern manuscripts, the preparation of finding aids and rare book cataloguing. The Special Collections Librarian will also work as a collegial member of the rare books and special collections team in the Fisher Library, assisting with reference, outreach, and digital projects. Some evening hours may be required.

The incumbent will:
• Arrange, describe and process modern manuscripts
• Create finding aids for manuscript collections
• Train in and perform rare book cataloguing
• Serve a regular shift on the Fisher Library reference desk
• Participate in outreach activities, seminars, and digital projects
• Other duties as required


Required Qualifications:
• An ALA-accredited Master of Library or Information Science degree, preferably with a concentration in archival practice, or an acceptable equivalent.
• Demonstrated interest and background in special collections.
• Familiarity with standard office, database and ILS software
• Experience with archival/manuscripts processing and cataloguing and/or metadata
• Ability to work both as part of a team and independently to accomplish assigned tasks within stated guidelines and to deadline.
• Proven communication and organizational skills.
• Discretion and good judgement.

Preferred Qualifications
• Experience in an academic library or special collections setting
• Experience in one or more of: reference service, outreach, teaching, digital projects


Salary and Terms of Appointment:
This is a 1-year contract position (limited term contract) to be filled at Librarian I level.

We offer a highly attractive compensation and benefits package, with salary and appointment level based upon experience and qualifications.

Job Posting: Director of Hamon Arts Library, SMU

Director of Hamon Arts Library – January 2012

Position open until filled

Central University Libraries of Southern Methodist University seeks an exceptional person to serve as Director of the Hamon Arts Library. The successful candidate will possess a vision for the Hamon as a 21st-century library of the fine and performing arts, and the qualities necessary to make that vision a reality.

The Hamon Arts Library is part of Central University Libraries (CUL) and reports to the Assistant Dean for Scholarly Resources and Research Services.  Located in the Owen Arts Center of the Meadows School of the Arts, Hamon has extensive online and print holdings relevant to the visual and performing arts, as well as the Jerry Bywaters Special Collections Wing and the G. William Jones Film and Video Collection.  The Hamon Arts Library primarily serves faculty, staff and students of the Meadows School of the Arts. Meadows majors and programs prepare students to excel as professionals in the arts, media and communications, and the Hamon staff works to align the library’s services and collections with the Meadows curricula.   Central University Libraries is committed to supporting SMU’s aspiration to become a leading research institution within a dynamic, engaged learning environment.

The Director of the Hamon Arts Library provides vision, energy and leadership for three subject librarians who offer collection development, reference and instructional services for Meadows departments, two curators of special collections, one curatorial assistant, and three library specialists in circulation.  Other responsibilities are administering the budget of the Hamon Arts Library, including university-allocated and restricted funds; creating and maintaining records, reports and statistics; and supervision of direct reports.  The Director also serves on committees, including service on CUL’s Leadership Team, which sets policies and provides strategic vision for the libraries, and is expected to take an active role within SMU libraries, the Meadows School, and the University. The successful candidate will be a collaborative leader who sets priorities and promotes positive change in support of the teaching, research and creative needs of Meadows students, faculty and staff.  The director will also work with staff in other areas of the library and university to advance technology and digital initiatives relevant to library services; cultivate faculty relationships; and make Hamon a visible and dynamic presence within Meadows, the University, and the greater Dallas arts community.

Requirements of the position include a Master’s degree in library science from an ALA-accredited institution; a graduate degree in the fine or performing arts; at least five years’ progressively responsible post-MLS experience in an arts library, preferably in an academic setting; supervisory experience; demonstrated experience with the use of technology in an arts setting; strong knowledge of and experience with reference, information literacy, instruction and collection development; evidence of scholarly engagement and participation in professional organizations; and excellent interpersonal, leadership and communication skills, including the ability to work collegially with faculty, staff and students. Preference will be given to candidates who have demonstrated project management skills, experience in grant writing, and experience in overseeing the physical operations of a library facility.

Please visit our website http://www.smu.jobs to apply.

Southern Methodist University will not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or veteran status. SMU’s commitment to equal opportunity includes non-discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Carolyn Keenon

CUL Human Resources Office / Facilities

Central University Libraries

Southern Methodist University

Office: 214-768-1850

Fax: 214-768-1502