News from the Off-Season: some conference cogitations

Happy February!

I’ve just gotten back to work after a five-day weekend. Three of those days were spent at the Ontario Library Association Super Conference, here in Toronto, so, not exactly a vacation, but definitely a change from the 9-5.

Besides a ton of useful tech sessions (including on OpenRefine for data cleaning, Koha [an open-source cataloguing system], and a review of the Google Art Project by some local ARLIS/NA student chapter members), this conference is basically the Canadian answer to ALA and draws 5,000 registrants.

Speaking of, ALA Midwinter happened this past weekend as well, with roughly the same numbers flocking to Chicago. They had Jason Segel as a keynote speaker, while we had Welcome to Night Vale. It’s a toss-up, really.

ALA, of course, being that body that accredits those programs we’re taking, has measurably more weight in the profession. They’re neck-deep in campaigns for governing positions, including someone that champions lowering the admission rates to MLIS/MI programs to compensate for the underemployment problem, and someone who thinks librarians are “the best profession in the world.” Sigh. (You can see the debate recording here.) If you’re an ALA member, I strongly suggest you vote in the elections.

A hot topic in both conferences was the new information literacy standards being passed by the ACRL — or, rather, the Framework, as the new concepts are being billed. I did some ranting about this subject a while ago, but I’ll remind you that the ACRL Visual Literacy Standards from 2011 were built upon those original IL standards, which means we should expect a VL-specific interpretation of the Framework in the near future. I have been trying to mull over what those will entail, but, it’s been a busy winter so far. I’d love to hear about your ideas, in the comments! (My first guess is going to be a threshold concept of “the realization that you’re committing copyright infringement basically every time you go online.”)

Meanwhile, back in Toronto, I was finding that quite a few of the conference sessions I attended were hard-pressed to name an audience: a curious newbie, or a field specialist? Even sessions with “current trends” in the titles spent the majority of their time rehashing the basics. I definitely valued the technology demonstrations, and the guides to cataloguing in certain metadata schemes, but I think I’m too niche in my interests to find the bulk of presentations at big library conferences to be worthwhile. And some of the most interesting sessions happened concurrently, so I couldn’t sit in on the session on 3D printing and copyright without missing that Google Art Project discussion down the hall.

But on the upside, I got these awesome socks:

“Due Date Card” Library Socks from Out of Print

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Please welcome Hilary Price to the ArLiSNAP team as our newest Job Postings Liaison / Feature Writer!

Hilary will be keeping us up-to-date on employment opportunities in the art librarianship field. Welcome! archivephoto Hi.  I’ve used ArLiSNAP since I began my MLS in 2013 and I’m so excited to be on the team.  Before I decided to pursue my MLS at Queens College, I studied art history at The New School, and fine art at Tyler School of Art.  While I still love making and looking at art, I’m excited about connecting people with resources as a librarian and archivist. In the spring semester I will graduate with my MLS, but in the meantime, I’ll be working part-time at three different libraries in New York.  I’ll continue my work as graduate fellow at Barnard Archives and Special Collections, begin a project assistant position at the Brooklyn Museum Library, and get a taste of the corporate archive world at the Citi Center for Culture (archive of Citibank).  My interests and studies are primarily directed toward archives, new technologies, and art librarianship. Thanks to Ellen and Rachel for all their work, and for giving me the opportunity to assist.  I look forward to posting.


A Bit of Holiday Reading

If you’re like me, you’re working over the holidays. Beyond my few in-office days this week, I’ve got a handful of volunteer projects to complete or plan before the new year, some conference presentations to start on (hello pie charts!), and multiple folders of PDFs to read on my desktop. I might even spend a few hours tweaking the ArLiSNAP redesign! (More about this later.)

If you’re not like me, you’re probably visiting with family and friends, flipping the channels on the TV, sleeping in, and otherwise loafing. Lucky you. But you might still want to catch up on your reading, do something professional-development-related, or polish off a personal project. With most regularly-publishing websites on a hiatus until the end of the year, allow me to recommend some media archives to check out if you want to keep your head in librarian-land:

Long-Forms

The Digitization Age: Mass Culture is Quality Culture. An overview of EU digitization initiatives and their impact on cultural access. (PDF)

A Season of Life in the LAC. A speech by the relatively new head of cultural heritage in Canada, Guy Berthiaume, discussing the pitiful state of our priorities challenges and opportunities we face.

An interview with Sarah Thornton, author of a new book of collected interviews with artists. Full disclosure: I got both of her books from the library and couldn’t get into either of them. But you might succeed where I have failed!

A history of the war between Amazon and the book industry.

Do we really need a Whole Foods of contemporary art? And does commercialization ever equate to democratization?

Listen/Watch

Circulating Ideas: A podcast series interviewing librarians, including a DAM expert and the director of the DPLA.

You can use your ARLIS/NA membership to access the webinar recording on library advocacy from a few weeks back.

Twitter!

Librarian Twitter Chats

VRA / ARLIS members on Twitter

I’ve only recently become a convert to Twitter, and have found it surprisingly great for networking. I didn’t take my LIS in Toronto, although I work here now, so it’s been pretty good for meeting colleagues and filling the support gap where my classmates might’ve been. I’ve been following public chats like #critlib, #SLAtalk, and #snapRT, and looking for good art-related conversations as well. (Feel free to suggest some if you know of any.) Most of these chats will be suspended over the holidays, but it’s a good time to go back and read older discussions on topics of interest (especially if someone was nice enough to storify them!).

Eye Candy

The Tate put a ton of artists’ archival content online.

The Public Domain Class of 2015. Several artists entering the public domain, including Kandinsky, Mondrian, and Munch.

And, when you’re in the midst of holiday-related stress, don’t forget you can punch a Monet.


New Chapter Name: ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic Chapter

*please excuse cross-postings*

Many of you are already aware of this but the ARLIS/NA DC-MD-VA Chapter is now the ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic Chapter! Our name change was approved earlier this year.  This puts us into alignment with chapters from other professional organizations and allows us to strongly welcome those from the now defunct Delaware Valley Chapter. We look forward to holding a meeting north of Maryland in the near future.

We were a little busy with the DC conference this year, but we have now switched our names in the appropriate places and have a redesigned website: http://arlisnamidatlantic.org/ . Many thanks to Chapter Officers Tessa Brawley-Barker, Roger Lawson, and Nick Curotto on completing all these detailed tasks.

I would also like to remind ARLIS/NA members that you can purchase ARLIS/NA related items on our Cafe Press site: http://www.cafepress.com/arlis . All proceeds from the shop go towards the Chapter’s Caroline Backlund Professional Development Travel Award.

Finally, if anyone is near DC later this month, you are welcome to attend our holiday party at Past President Gregg Most’s house. Details here: http://arlisnamidatlantic.org/meetings/upcoming-meetings/chapter-fundraising-party-december-18-2014/

It’s been a wonderful 2014! Looking forward to seeing you all in Fort Worth in 2015!

Heather Slania

Director of the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center

ARLIS/NA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Chair

National Museum of Women in the Arts

1250 New York Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20005

(202) 266-2807


ArLiSNAP is excited to welcome Rebecca Rubenstein as our new Social Media Liaison!

Rebecca will extend our discussions on Facebook and Twitter. Welcome to the group, Rebecca!

Rebecca

I am a painter and a librarian currently working with ebooks and multimedia research collections at an educational software company. I received an MFA from Pratt Institute and recently completed my MSLIS at the Palmer School of Library and Information Science, Long Island University. While at the Palmer School I interned with the Librarian for Fine Art at New York University’s Bobst Library. I also interned at a branch of the New York Public Library with a strong arts and exhibition program. This position led me to become a features writer for Library as Incubator Project where I continue to write about creative happenings in libraries.


A warm welcome to Hannah Marshall, our new Feature Writer/Discussion Liaison!

Hannah is joining us from VREPS to keep us up-to-date on special interests in art librarianship.

Marshall_photo

Hello, ArLiSNAPers – I am the Metadata Librarian for Image Collections at Cornell University. I started at Cornell as the art history image cataloger in April 2013 and, in January 2014, moved into my current role. In the past, I have worked in UC Irvine’s University Art Gallery, the San Diego Museum of Art Library, the Ricker Library of Architecture and Art, and the UIUC’s Visual Resource Center. I have additional experience working in an artist’s studio and in digital publishing. I have a B.A. in art history and completed my MLIS at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Spring 2012. My professional experience and interests include a mixture of art librarianship, visual resource management, and image cataloging. I’m also very interested in research design and digitization projects. I look forward to writing for the blog and hopefully hearing from you all – thanks to Ellen and Rachel for the opportunity!


Survey Says

The Library Journal 2014 salary survey results are out.

There are several parts to the article, including a generic presentation of the data. There’s no breakdown by the type of materials the respondents work with, but there is categorization by position type (reference, instruction, metadata, etc.) and by institution type (public, academic, etc.). Personally, I fit into the “archives” and “other organization” slots (not to mention the “Canada / International” category) and there isn’t a ton of data to compare myself to. I seem to have the exact average salary. I guess that’s okay.

salary

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of that discussion on the ARLIS-L listserv a few months back, about whether or not the art-librarianship niche has enough specific data to work from. Still hoping someone will take up this torch ….

(If you’re hurting for a research project for a class, this is something you should seriously consider.)

Meanwhile, there is a variety of advice offered in the LJ articles for new graduates, or the soon-to-graduate:

The graduating class of 2013 offered similar reactions to the job search as their colleagues from previous classes. Those who landed a job just prior to or shortly after graduation felt “fortunate”; others found it necessary to compromise in the type of job they sought. Graduates cited another year of “not enough experience for an entry-level position” and “a competitive pool of applicants.” Some advised those following in their footsteps to consider “second choice” options and “to be flexible” in approaching the range of jobs. One graduate suggested the second choice option might turn out to be the most fun.

I am curious to know, in the opinion of our illustrious audience, whether we at ArLiSNAP should post more jobs that are “second-choice”-style: graphic design / web development, project management, or other jobs in libraries and cultural institutions that aren’t specifically about visual resource management (take, for example, the job posts I put up this morning – lots of research and curation, which might be good experience, but aren’t specifically in this field).

I would also take this opportunity to link to the American Alliance of Museums’ salary survey results, but the link to the 2012 survey on this page seems to be broken. If you have useful salary resources, please share them with us in the comments!