Hack Your MLIS Program: Visual Resources Librarianship

Hi Arlisnappers! After a yearlong absence, I am back on the blog as a feature post writer and excited to be a part of the ArLiSNAP team once again. I recently graduated with my MLIS and I currently work as the Director of Visual Resources at the University of Georgia.

In April 2014, I shared my tips for hacking your MLIS program to focus on art librarianship. Now I’m back with a better-late-than-never follow-up on how I hacked my MLIS program to prepare for my career in visual resources librarianship. We have discussed how to plan your coursework so you are prepared to manage digital collections before, and this post will focus specifically on what you need to manage visual resources collections.

Visual Resources Center, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia. Image courtesy of Courtney Baron.

Visual Resources Center, Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia. Image courtesy of Courtney Baron.

What is visual resources librarianship?

Visual resources librarianship is a bit different from art librarianship, though the two fields require similar skills and educational backgrounds. I have worked as a full-time visual resources professional for one year now, so I have a good idea of what the profession involves and what is required to do the job successfully. That being said, each position is unique depending on the needs of the institution. Visual resources professionals historically functioned as slide librarians, usually in art/art history departments or libraries. Now, we primarily manage digital image collections, though slide collections still exist at many institutions, and assist faculty and students with their image needs. We may also manage public visual resources spaces that range from digital scanning and projects labs to libraries with circulating materials.

Become involved in VRA

The Visual Resources Association (VRA) is smaller than ARLIS, but equally as welcoming. Hands down, this is the best way to get – and stay – connected to the field, especially if you are one of the few people in your program interested in art and visual resources librarianship. Not only do you have access to a large network of art and visual resources professionals, but you can also follow news, concerns, and trends on the VRA listserv. I encourage you to be active on the listserv as well since name recognition can help you in your job search later on! Seriously – my predecessor was very active, and I get asked about him all the time. If you have been involved with ARLIS but haven’t yet ventured into VRA, there is a joint conference next year in Seattle, WA, so it will be an opportune time to check out both organizations and annual conferences. There is also a similar group to ArLiSNAP called vreps – visual resources association emerging professionals and students – that you should join. The VRA Bulletin is the journal of the association and each issue contains a wealth of information about current issues and practices in the field.

Focus coursework and projects on visual resources topics

As I said in part one, the best way to ensure you are getting a similar education to a MLIS program that does offer an art librarianship track is to see which courses they require and which electives they offer. I also recommend looking at similar tracks, such as digital content/asset management or archives. I recommend courses on the following topics, since they relate to visual resources: humanities information services, digital libraries, descriptive cataloging and metadata, database design, digital humanities, and digital archives. Basically, looks for classes that focus on metadata, technologies, databases, and managing or curating digital archives, libraries, and other collections. These classes will give you an overview of the information you need and you can focus your projects and papers specifically on arts and humanities topics.

Independent study

In part one, I discussed an independent study on art and visual resources librarianship that I designed as an elective in my MLIS program. If you would like more information on that, I’m happy to share my syllabus and course projects in a later post.

This time, I’m focusing on what you can do independently outside of coursework to build some of the skills you need to work in visual resources.

Photography, Photoshop, and Lightroom 

Knowledge of photography, especially editing software, is very helpful for managing image collections. I still have a lot to learn about photography, but I have heard that ShootFlyShoot has fantastic photography classes. Why is this important? So you understand how the images you work with are produced, and you can produce images if required. Some visual resources positions require original photography of works of art, either from works in museum or galleries, or from faculty and student work. I do not produce original photography in my current position, but I do a lot of scanning, and knowledge of photographic editing techniques is essential. I use Adobe Photoshop, and recommend Photoshop Classroom in a Book to learn the basics of using Photoshop. The book has a disc with tutorials and sample images to practice editing. Adobe Lightroom is a simpler and easier way to edit images and is preferred over Photoshop by some visual resources professionals.

Metadata

Just like a library book would be lost without a catalog record, images would be lost without good metadata. I believe that metadata is perhaps the most important part of managing image collections. After all, what’s the point of having a collection if your content cannot be easily found? Just as there are cataloging standards and formats for cataloging books, archival materials, etc., these also exist for visual resources collections. Cataloging Cultural Objects (CCO) is a content standard for visual resources collections (comparable to RDA) and VRA Core is a metadata schema used to describe images (comparable to MARC). If you have access to Adobe Bridge, you can download the VRA Core panel and practice creating metadata for images. It’s also essential to be familiar with the Getty vocabularies, which are now available as Linked Open Data. The vocabularies will give you the structured terminology for art, architecture, and other materials and are essential tools for the proper cataloging of images.

Image resources

Working in visual resources doesn’t just mean managing image collections. There is a reference and instruction component. You must be able to help others find and locate images using subscription databases, institutional image collections, and free resources on the web. The most popular subscription database for images is Artstor Digital Library. If the institution where you attend school or work does not have a subscription, you can still check out the website or YouTube videos to learn more about how the database works and how to use it. There is a section with free guides, including subject-specific guides, and studying these is an excellent way to increase your knowledge of this resource.

Visual resources professionals manage institutional image collections or archives. These collections can include images from faculty and student image requests, images from digitized slides, images purchased from vendors, and images related to institutional history. In order to properly manage these image collections, you need to know how digital asset management systems work. A broad knowledge of DAMs is important, because there are many different systems out there. The most popular DAMs for visual resources include Artstor’s Shared Shelf, Luna Imaging, and Madison Digital Image Database (MDID). These can be high cost for some institutions, so in-house solutions are also popular.

You also need to know how to locate high-quality and accurate images on the web. Libguides are an excellent way to compile these resources, and many institutions have great libguides on locating images for you to browse and study. My personal philosophy behind libguides, or curating image resources in general, is this: quality over quantity. Your job isn’t to know all instances of where to find images of the Mona Lisa. Your job is to know where to find the best images of the Mona Lisa.

Copyright and fair use

You also need to know how the images you manage, or how images available in subscription databases or on the web, can be used. This is why copyright and fair use comes into play. For general information on copyright law, look at Copyright Law for Librarians and Educators: Creative Strategies and Practical Solutions. For copyright information related to the visual arts, your best resources are from the College Art Association. Copyright, Permissions, and Fair Use among Visual Artists and the Academic and Museum Visual Arts Communities was released in 2014 and and the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts was released earlier this year. Study these documents and know them well.

Get experience – if you can

Some institutions don’t have a visual resources collection, but those that do usually need help. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a visual resources professional and ask if you can volunteer, intern, or even just visit the collection and learn more about what they do and what a typical day is like for them.

So this is what I recommend doing as a library science student if you are interested in visual resources. If other visual resources professionals are reading this, I’m curious to hear what you also recommend!


Considering SEI? Take a Look at What Others Have to Say

Registration for the ARLIS/NA & VRAF Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management closes at the end of the month. If you haven’t signed up already then hurry to reserve your spot! You can register here.  Not sure how this workshop will benefit you and your career? Then check out a post from Ashley Peterson about her experience at SEI last year. You can find even more testimonials on the SEI workshop website.

Here are just some of the comments:

The SEI coursework proved to be exactly what I needed: the perfect balance of theoretical framework, practical application, and open communication between like-minded individuals.”

I am looking forward to attending SEI again, in order to refresh my knowledge with the most up-to-date information about all the subjects covered by SEI: cataloguing, image editing, transitioning skills, project planning, strategic planning, new social media platforms and applications, and intellectual property concerns.”

If you are interested in attending this year (or in the future), check out the SEI Facebook page for more information.

We would love to hear from you about your own experiences. How has SEI has benefited you? Feel free to share your story in the comments below.


SEI Registration Reminder

Places are still available for the 2015 Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI ), to be held June 9-12 at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. http://seiworkshop.org/

This intensive workshop features a curriculum addressing the latest requirements of today’s visual resources and image management professionals. This year’s topics and experienced instructors include:

  • Intellectual property rights: Nancy Sims (Copyright Program Librarian, University of Minnesota)
  • Metadata overview: Gretchen Gueguen (Data Services Coordinator, Digital Public Library of America)
  • Embedded metadata: Greg Reser (Metadata Specialist, University of California, San Diego Library)
  • Digital life-cycle: Liz Gushee (Digital Collections Librarian, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, Austin)
  • Digital preservation: Nicole Finzer (Visual Resources Librarian, Digital Collections Dept, Northwestern University)
  • Project management: Angela Waarala (Digital Collections Project Manager, University of Illinois Library), Nicole Finzer, Liz Gushee
  • Digital humanities: Jeannine Keefer (Visual Resources Librarian, University of Richmond)

SEI is suited to information professionals new to the field and more experienced professionals eager to respond to fast-changing technological advancements and job requirements. Recent attendees said they definitely would recommend SEI to others: “Good experience and a great way to interact with others doing what I do.” Another wrote ”SEI showed me the range of roles in the field, including what I might encounter in a different position.”

Discounted registration for members of VRA or ARLIS/NA is $595.

Like SEI on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SummerEducationalInstitute?ref=hl


My Experience at SEI 2014

The following is an essay I completed about my experience at this year’s Summer Educational Institute (SEI), an annual joint venture by VRA and ARLIS/NA. This essay was a condition of my Kress Scholarship award, which made it possible for me to attend the event. Anyone with an interest in digital image management– from students to seasoned professionals– should seriously consider enrolling for the 2015 session!


It was a scene that could have happened anywhere: four people, drinking beers, talking about the Insane Clown Posse. More specifically, about the phenomenon of Juggalos and ICP fandom and the desire to know more about this fascinating subculture (the four people not being Juggalos, or even casual ICP fans, themselves).

Now, it so happens that this scene took place in Champaign, Illinois, at the 2014 Summer Educational Institute. The four people didn’t know each other very well, but were quickly bonding over their shared passion for goofy internet videos and preserving cultural heritage. We wondered: what are the authoritative sources on Juggalo culture? Are scholars or social scientists studying the socioeconomic underpinnings of ICP fandom? Is anyone saving the ephemera of that fandom, or documenting events like the annual Gathering of the Juggalos? “Where are all the Juggalo archivists?!,” we wondered.

This conversation happened in the midst of four rather fascinating and intense days. First off, the setting: for someone who’s always lived on a coast, the immense flatness of the midwest is always a bit jarring. It was a perfect frontier-like setting, though, for exploring relatively new-to-me topics. I found the sessions well-structured, as intellectual property flowed logically into metadata into digitization into preservation into advocacy– a nice framework for getting down & dirty with specifics while keeping sight of the larger visual resource landscape. The instructors were engaging, friendly, and scary knowledgeable about their fields. My favorite part, though (besides eating at Woorijib restaurant– seriously, the best Korean food i have EVER had) was the chance to meet colleagues from all over the U.S. Spending time with dozens of smart, passionate, and downright awesome people is high on my list of likes, and the fact that we all share a profession is pretty wonderful.

sei2014GroupPhoto

SEI 2014 attendees. Photo courtesy of the SEI 2014 website, http://sei2014.org/past-seis/pictures/.

The overall excellence of the week aside, it was still the Juggalo conversation that crystallized for me powerful shift in how I think about my work that was influenced by my SEI experience. When I began my current job, it was clear that one of my first orders of business was VR housekeeping. There were files to sort (both digital and physical), workflows to design, and a lot of baseline visual resource management principles to learn. While I was able to give myself a few crash courses on that last issue, it wasn’t until SEI that I was able to systematically, and holistically, think about the task at hand. Following my return I have improved our file organization practices, put some baseline preservation methods in place, began to think more carefully about the metadata I apply to image files when cataloging, and doubled down on my efforts to comply with digitization standards (an uphill task for someone without a photography or image editing background!).

More vital, though, is that shift I mentioned. Now that I’ve been in my position for almost a year, I am beginning to feel more confident in work I’m doing and the decisions I’ve made regarding our VR collection. Essential to this is the way I learned to think about creating, managing, sharing, and preserving the collection. Rather than envisioning mythological figures with shovels and stables or boulders and hills, I am now able to see my work in VR as more elegantly integrated with the other half of my job: research assistance and information/visual literacy instruction. Managing an image collection isn’t a goal in itself. It’s a means of providing our students with tools to improve their practice and learn how to be successful consumers, users, and creators of information both textual and visual. And someday, when I do find that Juggalo archive, I’ll know that the reason those archivists work so hard to preserve the cultural artifacts of ICP fandom is for the users who will study them, and analyze them, and create information that will enlighten those who care to find it.

-Ashley Peterson, Librarian at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Of interest to Portland ArLiSNAPers: VRA Pacific Rim Chapter Meeting

The Visual Resources Association Pacific Rim Chapter is meeting in Portland, Aug. 6th. Even if you are not a member of VRA, this looks like a great chance to meet fellow colleagues in the area!

CHAPTER MEETING INFORMATION: REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

August 6, 2014
Portland, Oregon

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/17Yd5kcwuOPVjAKsAm1inGlLH2ZKgsfV50N45-AJq1kw/viewform?usp=send_form

Please complete the online form at the link above. Day-of payment will be accepted, but please register so we know to expect you!

Registration fees are below. This includes a light breakfast in the morning. It does not include lunch, as that will be self-catered.

VRA Chapter Members: $20
Students: $15
Non-members: $25

Brief Draft Schedule:

Our day begins at the beautiful Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), located in downtown Portland.http://pnca.edu/

Our day continues at the offsite photo, video, and archival repository of the Oregon Historical Society (OHS)http://www.ohs.org/ This includes a jaunt through Oregon history with PICA’s newest Artist-in-Residence Matthew Cowan.

Please read the attached pdf for detailed information about the schedule, agenda, OHS outing, maps, transportation/parking and more!

Cheers!
Your Lovely Local Planners,
Brooke Sansosti and Stephanie Beene

 

 


Scholarships and Grants!

Scholarship Opportunity

Once again California Rare Book School (CalRBS) is able to offer Kress Foundation-Dr. Frankllin Murphy Scholarships for Week 3 to those art librarians, art historians, and graduate students preparing to enter these fields.  The scholarships cover tuition for one course and provide $1,000 toward the travel expenses of attending.  They are competitive.  Apply by September 15, at www.calrbs.org.

CalRBS 2014 Course Schedule

Week 3 (November 3-7, 2014)
San Francisco/Berkeley

“Books of the Far West, with an Emphasis on California” taught by Gary Kurutz at the California Historical Society

“History of the Book in East Asia” taught by Peter Zhou & Deborah Rudolph at the Starr East Asian Library, UC Berkeley)

“History of Typography” taught by Paul Shaw at the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley

Questions???  www.calrbs.org

Reminder: VRAF Professional Development Grant

Application deadline for this grant is Wednesday, July 23, 2014

2014-2015 VRA Foundation Professional Development Grant: Call for Applications

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for two VRAF Professional Development Grants, one to support the advancement of an emerging professional and the other to support the work of an established career professional.  These grants can be used to support conference attendance, enrollment in a workshop, or participation in research activities.  More information, including the application form, is included below. For consideration, submit your application to Linda Callahan, lcallaha@mtholyoke.edu, by Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 11:59 Pacific Time. If you have any questions about the VRAF Professional Development Grant or the application process, you may also contact Linda Callahan, lcallaha@mtholyoke.edu. The recipients of the VRAF Professional Development grants will be announced by Wednesday, September 10, 2014.

Guidelines and Application Form: http://vrafoundation.org.s119319.gridserver.com/index.php/grants/professional_development_grant/

Application Form:
http://vrafoundation.org/downloads/VRAF_PDGrantCall_for_Applic2014.docx
http://vrafoundation.org/downloads/VRAF_PDGrantCall_for_Applic2014.pdf


Professional Development: the VRAF Internship Award

Similar to (but different from) the VRAF Professional Development Grant is the VRAF Internship Award, which is a fantastic way to fund or supplement an un- or underpaid internship in arts and visual resources work.

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) Internship Award provides financial support for graduate students preparing for a career in visual resources and image management. The award grants $4,000 to support a period of internship in archives, libraries, museums, visual resources collections in academic institutions, or other appropriate contexts.The recipient will receive a stipend of $3,000 for 200 hours completed at the host site. A professional development component of $1,000 supports conference attendance or attendance at the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management. The recipient will receive a one year complimentary student membership in the Visual Resources Association.

Who May Apply

Students currently enrolled in, or having completed within the last 12 months, a graduate program in library or information science, art history, architectural history, architecture, visual or studio art, museum studies, or another applicable field of study may apply for this award. Applicants must have completed at least 10 credits of their graduate coursework before the application deadline, or demonstrate an equivalent combination of coursework and relevant experience.

I would strongly consider applying even if your (planned or proposed) internship is only tangentially related to visual resources or arts librarianship: metadata, digitization, conservation, rights management, administration, or plain old cataloguing.

Only one VRAF Internship is awarded per year.  Once an award recipient has been selected, he or she will select an institution to act as host for the internship.  This Institution must be approved by the VRAF Internship Award Committee.  VRAF and VRA are not responsible for matching candidates with a host institution, but will gladly assist with the process.

This Internship Award will be granted during the 2014 to 2015 academic year.  The intern is required to work on site at their chosen host institution for a minimum of 200 hours.  The intern will choose to initiate their internship in the fall of 2014 or the winter or spring of 2015.  The internship must begin within 30 days of the official beginning of the selected academic session of the participant’s home institution and be completed within one academic semester or two academic quarters.  Exceptions are allowed by agreement between the selected intern and the VRAF Internship Awards Committee. In all cases, the internship must be completed within twelve months of the recipient being notified of the award.

This language can be complicated: if you’re a recent graduate, why would you need to start the internship within the beginning of a semester? (What’s your “home institution” in that case?) Especially if the award isn’t necessarily going towards internships for graduate credit? Unfortunately, I hold no answers for you; you’ll have to work towards “agreement” with the awards committee.

To apply for the award, please submit the following:

  1. A current resume.
  2. A current transcript [this does not need to be issued directly from the institution].
  3. An essay of up to 300 words addressing the applicant’s professional goals, expectations of the internship experience, and any skills or background that might benefit visual resources. A brief description of the proposed project is desirable.
  4. The names of two professional or scholastic references with address, telephone numbers, and email addresses.
  5. Recommended, but not required: Host institution and contact information of internship supervisor.

Application materials in electronic form are preferred and should be submitted as a single PDF file to:
Margaret Webster
Visual Resources Consulted
Phone: 607-257-3365
Email: mnw3@cornell.edu

  • 7/31/2014; Deadline for submission of applications to the VRAF Internship Award Committee.
  • 9/12/2014; VRAF Internship Award Committee announces the award recipient for 2014 to 2015.

 


2014-2015 VRA Foundation Professional Development Grant: Call for Applications

Great opportunity for new professionals!

The Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF) is pleased to announce that

it is accepting applications for two VRAF Professional Development Grants, one to

support the advancement of an emerging professional and the other to support the work

of an established career professional. These grants can be used to support conference

attendance, enrollment in a workshop, or participation in research activities. More

information, including the application form, is included below. For consideration, please

submit your application by Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 11:59 Pacific Time. If you have

any questions about the VRAF Professional Development Grant or the application

process, please contact Linda Callahan, lcallaha@mtholyoke.edu. The recipients of the

VRAF Professional Development grants will be announced by Wednesday, September

10, 2014.

Award Amount: Each of the two 2014-2015 awards will provide a grant of $850. The

grant is for use between September 10, 2014 and September 9, 2015.

Eligibility: Applicants should be in the field of visual resources and image management,

and may include retirees, the currently unemployed, or students seeking educational and

training opportunities in support of broad access to cultural information. Membership in

the Visual Resources Association is not required. Statements of financial need will be

strongly considered.

Acceptable Uses of Award Money:

• Transportation costs to and from the event venue

• Registration fees or tuition

• Required course materials (e.g., work books, DVDs)

• Lodging

• Meals – including meals in transit to and from the educational event

• Research expenses

(Grant monies may not be used to cover indirect costs at institutions.)

Application Deadline and Decision Announcement:

Applications for the 2014-2015 are due Wednesday, July 23, 2014.

The award decisions will be publically announced on Wednesday, September 10, 2014.

Guidelines and Application Form: http://vrafoundation.org.s119319.gridserver.com/

index.php/grants/professional_development_grant/

Application Form:

http://vrafoundation.org/downloads/VRAF_PDGrantCall_for_Applic2014.docx

http://vrafoundation.org/downloads/VRAF_PDGrantCall_for_Applic2014.pdf


Visual Resources Curator– Lamar Dodd School of Art, University of Georgia

Athens, Georgia

The Lamar Dodd School of Art seeks a curator of visual resources who possesses a solid knowledge of technology and an acute interest in providing new proactive services and support to faculty and students. This position reports to the Director of the School of Art. The curator will be responsible for developing, managing, and delivering visual resources, and for managing and overseeing additional digital teaching materials. Essential functions of the Visual Resources Curator include administration of the collection and training student staff. The successful candidate will work within the Lamar Dodd School of Art with a community of over 900 undergraduate students in Studio, Art History, and Art Education, 100 art history undergraduate majors and minors, 100 graduate students, and more than 45 tenured faculty in these three disciplines.

It is anticipated that the future projects for this increasingly dynamic position will require multiple skills, including the ability to manage complex, multi-year projects, to work in close collaboration with the faculty, administration, and staff of the Lamar Dodd School of Art, and to build relationships with the UGA. Libraries and with faculty and students across campus who may be investigating the visual arts. Projects may include digitizing the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s significant historic art slide collections, and collaborating with the UGA Libraries to develop print and digital resources and services on site in the Lamar Dodd School of Art. This challenging and rewarding opportunity requires both creative flexibility and independent individual initiative.

Requirements:

M.A. or B.A. in art
 history, architecture, visual studies
 or a related field. Substantial experience working with visual resources collections with knowledge of the issues around the creation, maintenance, and access of a visual resources collection, including familiarity with standards for visual materials. Experience working with digital imaging technologies and library management. Reading knowledge of multiple languages, ideally including one Romance language and German. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and ability to work in a collaborative setting. Strong organizational and management skills, including the ability to initiate, track, and manage complex, multi-year projects successfully.

Desirable qualifications:

MLIS or course work leading to an MLIS degree. Experience
 with
 image collection
 management
 and presentation
 software. Knowledge of digital images best practices. Familiarity with Macintosh operating system and proficiency with PowerPoint, PhotoShop, and web content and learning management systems (eLC). Understanding of copyright issues related to image collection management. Previous supervisory experience or team leadership.

We will receive applications for this position through the University of Georgia employment website, under the position title “Program Coordinator II” (https://www.ugajobsearch.com ).

Review of applications will begin on May 19, and will continue until the position is filled.


Assistant Visual Resources Curator– School of Visual Arts

DATE AVAILABLE: May 2014
JOB TITLE: Assistant Visual Resources Curator
DEPARTMENT: Visual Arts Library
REPORTS TO: Visual Resources Curator
STATUS: Exempt

POSITION OVERVIEW: Assists Visual Resources Curator in the daily operation of the Visual Resources Collection.

DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop and provide access to digital image collection.
  • Provide support to faculty and student in the Visual Resources Collection.
  • Assist the curator in the daily operation of the Visual Resources Collection.
  • Maintain image database, organize and manage electronic images.
  • Oversee image processing (scanning of digital material, creation of metadata, and uploading of images and metadata to our local database).
  • Assist with ongoing digital image conversion projects; familiarizing faculty with MDID2, ARTstor, and other image resources.
  • Assist with inquires regarding scanning, Photoshop, PowerPoint and other VR related software and equipment as needed.
  • Troubleshoot image databases and working with Library Systems staff and campus IT to resolve technical issues.
  • Supervise and train student staff.
  • Occasional general maintenance of analog collection.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Art History, Fine Arts, Design, or other relevant field.
  • Knowledge of contemporary art–or be able to demonstrate an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Strong knowledge of digital imaging technologies, scanning, FileMaker Pro, PhotoShop, Excel, PowerPoint, PC and Mac Platforms
  • Mature and professional demeanor.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well with a diverse group of people.
  • High organizational aptitude and attention to detail.
  • Previous visual resources, library, art history, or gallery experience; working knowledge of data standards used for cataloging works of art and/or general office experience a plus.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers, and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum, and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 31 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit sva.edu.

Find out what it’s like to work at SVA visit: www.sva.edu/about-sva/working-at-sva .

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter and resume to working@sva.edu. No walk-ins please.

The School of Visual Arts is an equal opportunity employer.

Full post here.


Library Collections Technician– Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

For those of you who are interested in photographic archives…

 

Position Summary:

The department manages a circulating collection of slides, videos, 16mm films, and pictures/clippings and
an archival collection of bookplates, photographs, and design drawings. Under moderate supervision and
with moderate latitude for independent judgment, the employee holding this position participates in the
preservation, maintenance and acquisition of these collections.

Position Duties:

– Participate in the evaluation, scanning, inventory, and de-accessioning of the department’s circulating
slide, video, 16mm, and picture collections.
– Participate in maintenance of archival still and moving image collections including inventorying,
rehousing, and scanning projects.
– Assist Curator in maintaining digital image production work flow and tracking deadlines.
– Oversee filing, shelving, labeling, and repair of circulating departmental collections.
– Participate in acquisition of digital images and videos including entering and tracking orders and
preparing items for circulation.
– Oversee circulation statistics of departmental collections.
– Participate in providing public service as needed, including relaying policies, receiving image orders and
video purchase requests, assisting patrons locate images in ARTstor and the Picture Collection,
circulating slides, videos, and 16mm film.
– Participate in the hiring, scheduling, training, and supervising of student workers and graduate
assistants.
– Propose policies and procedures associated with department services
– Perform all other related duties as assigned

Education:
High school diploma or equivalent; and relevant associate’s degree or minimum 2 years related college
required. Bachelor’s degree or minor in film or photo-related field preferred.

Experience:
Must have experience handling rare or fragile materials, especially slides, photographs, and film.
Experience working with cataloguing and databases preferred.

Other:
Excellent organizational, interpersonal, communication, and customer service skills required.

To Apply: Please submit your cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three
professional references.

PRATT INSTITUTE IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER AND RECOGNIZES AND
VALUES THE BENEFITS OF A DIVERSE WORKFORCE.
Position Type – Full-Time/Regular
Salary – 39,400.50 USD
Tracking Code – 1386

 

From VRA Job Opportunities.


Guest Post: Alison Verplaetse on the Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management

Alison Verplaetse took part in the most recent Summer Educational Institute on June 18-21, 2013. Find out more about this program at http://sei.vrafoundation.org/index.html

The Summer Educational Institute (SEI) is an excellent learning and networking opportunity for anyone currently involved or interested in a career in image management. As a fairly recently degreed librarian, I found SEI incredibly valuable: it not only taught immediately applicable skills, but also provided me with insight into future avenues of the profession. I would recommend SEI to anyone considering pursuing a career in Visual Resources as it provided a perfect opportunity to gain a broad perspective on what people are accomplishing in this area of librarianship.

SEI provided a unique opportunity to learn about the core aspects of image management –namely, metadata, imaging, copyright, and outreach–from top experts in their respective fields. I am incredibly grateful to have been a participant at SEI, and I feel I gained knowledge and professional connections that will benefit me throughout my career. Here is a quick run-down of the workshop sessions and speakers:

Our first afternoon at the institute included a lecture on Intellectual Property Rights given by the University of Michigan’s Associate General Counsel Jack Bernard. Mr. Bernard’s presentation was thoroughly engaging and informative, providing compelling copyright case studies that illustrated the essential tenets of copyright law in an accessible and useful way for library professionals.

The second day of SEI was the Metadata Intensive part of the workshop. The first session began with a Metadata Overview by Jenn Riley, the Head of the Carolina Digital Library and Archives at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library. We discussed the most popular metadata schema currently used by cultural institutions and participated in completing sample metadata records in VRACore.  In the afternoon’s session, Greg Reser, the Metadata Specialist at University of California, San Diego, introduced the group to the concept and application of embedded metadata for image professionals.

The third day at SEI was an Imaging Intensive taught by Alex Nichols, the Academic Technology Coordinator at the Visual Resources Library at Michigan State University. His sessions spelled out the best practices and standards for digital imaging in terms of equipment, image quality, and workflow. In conjunction with the late afternoon session regarding the “Tools of the Trade,” in the Visual Resources field, this day introduced me to a number of relevant and useful applications for managing digital images.

The final day of the conference was organized in an “unconference” style, allowing us to interact and hear the ideas of our colleagues regarding collaboration, project management, keeping current in the field, and several other areas of visual resources management.  In a similar vein, the afternoon’s session, entitled “Expanding Your Role,” presented us with great ideas for reaching out to the community, both the people we serve in our profession and other professionals.

Whew! A lot happened in a just a few days at SEI. The best part, though, was getting to know my fellow participants. I met an excellent group of like-minded individuals whom I look forward to working with again in the future, and I was able to bring back a wealth of knowledge germane to both my current and aspirational professional endeavors.


Call for VREPS Participants, VRA Milwaukee 2014

Do you have an idea to present at a VREPS session during VRA 2014 Conference  in Milwaukee?

We’re looking for participants in two separate sessions, one about new directions for visual resource professionals and the other about transforming VRC into teaching and learning centers. Each of the sessions will have 3-4 speakers who will be expected to speak for about 15-20 minutes with time for questions and answers.

After we hear from you we’ll propose the sessions for Milwaukee 2014.

 The deadline is July 15th!! We want to hear from interested participants by the 12th so we can put it all together!!

What we need from you: Simply your name and the title/subject of your presentation 

Below are the descriptions of the two sessions:

Working Title: New Frontiers in Visual Resources Management

Abstract:

As the use of images to document and share becomes an increasingly vital component of many academic fields and professional arenas, new opportunities for professionals with visual resources skills are emerging in non-traditional environments. This session will explore the challenges, successes, and pitfalls of curating and managing images outside the traditional art history context. Case studies will discuss various image environments including commercial, academic, and non-profit environments.

Working Title: The Teaching Turn: From Static Collections to Dynamic Learning Centers

Abstract:

Much of the business of creating and disseminating images has moved away from individual academic departments and isolated image collections toward centralized cross-discipline departments. This has left many visual resource centers looking for new ways to engage users and support the educational goals of their institutions. One way centers are meeting these new challenges is by transforming from being a storage silo for physical slide collections to being a collaborative learning space where students and faculty alike can come to work on projects and refine imaging and videography skills. As many resource centers make this move toward more teaching and learning, the physical spaces and skill sets of employees have also shifted. This session will examine case studies of visual resource centers programming that is directed to teaching imaging skills and how this new role is shifting their profile within their institutions.

If you have questions or a proposal idea contact Anna Bernhard at anna.bernhard@colostate.edu or Heather Lowe at HLowe@csusb.edu


Free webinar, VRA travel award, & CFP

As always, you can also see what’s coming up through the Educational Opportunities Calendar. Keep reading for details about all the great webinars, CFPs, and scholarship opportunities below!

Webinar:

Title: Communicating Through Infographics

Presenter: Dawne Tortorella

Format: Webinar

Date: Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Start Time: 12 Noon Pacific

1PM Mountain

2PM Central

3PM Eastern

This webinar will last approximately one hour. Webinars are free of charge. Please note: we have changed hosting services fromWebEx to Adobe Connect, so we advise you to test your browser before the webinar: http://intesolv.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm

For more webinar tips, see: http://infopeople.org/webinar/tips.

For more information and to participate in the Wednesday, November 14, 2012 webinar, go to http://infopeople.org/training/communicating-through-infographics.

· Have you noticed the growing trend of communicating through infographics?

· Do you wonder where the data comes from and how to verify information displayed in visual form?

· Would you rather read a 100 page report or look at a visual presentation that conveys the story in less than one minute?

· Would you like to tell a compelling story about your library through the medium of infographics?

Visual representation of information has existed for hundreds of years in various forms and formats. Infographics (information graphics) represent the latest visual form to gain popularity. Telling an effective story through infographics requires accurate data, compelling design, and visualization tools.

During this one-hour webinar, we will discuss and demonstrate:

· blogs and infographic search resources to find examples and track trends

· differences between infographics, poster art, and data visualization

· common data sources used in infographics (big data and local sources)

· suggest library-specific data and statistics appropriate for visual presentation

· visualization tools for experimentation

This webinar will be of interest to library staff at all levels and in all types of libraries who need to present information to customers, stakeholders, and management. Senior staff and directors responsible for board reporting are especially encouraged to attend. If you are unable to attend the live event, you can access the archived version the day following the webinar. Check our archive listing at: http://infopeople.org/training/view/webinar/archived.

 VRA Travel Award:

VRA Travel Awards are available for attendance at the 2013 VRA conference “Capitalizing on Creativity” in Providence, Rhode Island April 3-6. The deadline for receipt of applications will be Monday, November 26, 10 am EST. The list of recipients will be announced on the VRA listserv the third week of December.

A preliminary conference schedule with a listing of workshops and sessions has already been posted at: http://vra2013annualconference.sched.org and information about costs is posted here:http://www.vraweb.org/conferences/vra31/?page_id=8 and here: http://www.vraweb.org/conferences/vra31/?page_id=11

Before you apply, PLEASE READ “Travel Award Rules and Guidelines”, “Tips for VRA Travel Awards Applicants”, and “Types of Travel Awards”, all linked here as PDFs: http://www.vraweb.org/about/awards/index.html#travel

HERE’S THE LINK TO THE APPLICATION:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEM1Zkdsdlo2dGZ1TEJRN3hGQWxjR2c6MQ#gid=0

The form is also linked from the What’s New on the VRA homepage.

You do not need to be a member of the VRA to apply for a travel award, but please note that upon winning an award an applicant who is not a member of VRA must purchase a membership, with the option to use funding from the travel award to do this. This year by removing the membership requirement for all applicants, we hope to draw more interest and expand membership.

In order to allow funding to go further, Tansey awards will be distributed according to financial need i.e. full awards (up to $850) may be given to some, whilst lower amounts may be awarded to others with partial institutional/ other support.

For 2013, we are fortunate to have generous financial support from sponsors and funds provided by the membership:

* The Kathe Hicks Albrecht award of $850 for a first-time conference attendee

* Two New Horizons awards of $850 each. These awards are aimed at members in the following categories: solo VR professionals, part-time VR professionals, geographically isolated VR professionals, VR professionals in smaller institutions, and/or first-time attendees

* The Joseph C. Taormina Memorial award of $250 for an applicant with partial funding

* A New Horizons student award of $300, for a full-time student enrolled in an accredited degree program and considering a career in visual resources

* $4800 in Tansey fund awards ranging from $250 to $850 each

More awards may become available and will be announced on this listserv. Also, stay tuned and watch VRA-L and the VRA website for further details about the conference. Please email if you have any questions not answered by the documents noted above.

So don’t delay – apply today!

We look forward to receiving your applications,

Heidi Eyestone & Vicky Brown

Co-Chairs, VRA Travel Awards Committee

Heidi Eyestone

Visual Resources Collection

Art and Art History

Carleton College

One North College Street

Northfield, MN 55057

507 222-5399

507 222-7042 fax

Vicky Brown, Visual Resources Curator

History of Art Department, University of Oxford

Suite 9, Littlegate House

St Ebbes

Oxford OX1 1PT

UK

+44 (0)1865 286839

victoria.brown@hoa.ox.ac.uk

 

CFP:

Call for Book Chapters: Collecting the Contemporary (Book to be published by MuseumsEtc in 2013)

URL: http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0062/7112/files/CFP_CollectingTheContemporary.pdf?5

COLLECTING THE CONTEMPORARY

Edited by Owain Rhys and Zelda Baveystock

We invite international submissions to be included in this forthcoming book, to be published by MuseumsEtc in 2013.

The book will be edited by Owain Rhys, Curator of Contemporary Life at St Fagans: National History Museum, Wales and Zelda Baveystock, Lecturer in Arts Management and Museum Studies at Manchester University.

Why and how should social history museums engage with contemporary collecting? To fill gaps in the collection? To record modern urban life? To engage with minority communities? To link past and present? There are many possible responses… And many museums collect contemporary objects, stories, images and sounds – consciously or unconsciously. But reasoned policies and procedures are very often lacking. And – given the uniquely detailed record of contemporary life recorded by ubiquitous media – how best are museums to record and present contemporary life in their collections?

 

An overview of contemporary collecting in a social historical context is well overdue. Original source material, ideas, developments and research has never before been brought together in a single volume. This book will bring together practitioners from around the world to provide a contemporary and convenient reader which aims to lay the foundations for future initiatives.

We welcome submissions – of between 3000 and 5000 words – on the practice, theory and history of contemporary collecting in social history museums, based on – but not confined to – the following issues and themes. We are particularly interested in new and pioneering initiatives and innovative thinking in this field.

Practice

Projects (including community outreach, externally funded collection programmes, projects with specific goals)

Exhibitions (including popular culture, contemporary political issues, under-represented groups

Networks – including SAMDOK and other initiatives

Fieldwork and contemporary collecting

Adopting a scientific approach to contemporary collecting

Audio-visual recording

The influence of the internet, how to collect, and associated museological issues

Contemporary collecting and contemporary issues

Access, storage and conservation issues

Theory

What to collect?

How to collect?

Who should collect?

Community involvement – advantages and disadvantages

Contemporary collecting – key priority or passing fad?

Definitions of contemporary collecting

Should contemporary collecting be object or people based?

Alternatives to the accepted norms

The case for nationally or regionally co-ordinated policies

The impact of social and digital media for the future of contemporary collecting

History

Origins and development of contemporary collecting

Differences between institutions and countries (e.g. Sweden’s ethnological approach v. Britain’s social history approach)

The editors

Owain Rhys has recently published Contemporary Collecting: Theory and Practice with MuseumsEtc. This book gathered together disparate strands of contemporary collecting theory and history, and provided an insight into current practices at St Fagans: National History Museum. Owain is interested in formalising definitions and procedures, and in strengthening the bonds between those museums involved in contemporary collecting. Zelda Baveystock has a longstanding interest in contemporary collecting. As the first Keeper of Contemporary Collecting at Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, she established a subject specialist network of urban history museums actively involved in the field in 2004. She has lectured and taught on the subject in the UK, and in Sweden.

Submissions

If you are interested in being considered as a contributor, please send an abstract (up to 250 words) and a short biography to both the editors and the publishers at the following addresses: owain.rhys@museumwales.ac.uk,zelda.baveystock@manchester.ac.uk and books@museumsetc.com by 10 December 2012. Enquiries should also be sent to these addresses. Contributors will receive a complimentary copy of the publication and a discount on more.

The book will be published in print and digital editions by MuseumsEtc in 2013.

Deadlines

ABSTRACTS: 10 DECEMBER 2012

CONTRIBUTORS NOTIFIED: 11 JANUARY 2013

COMPLETED PAPERS: 2 APRIL 2013

 


Job Posting: Assistant Visual Resource Manager (AAOA), Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Assistant Visual Resource Manager, AAOA

General Description:

Under the direction of the Collections Manager, the Assistant Visual Resource Manager will be responsible for arranging, describing, and cataloging the collections of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas Visual Resource Archive (AAOA VRA). A successful candidate will work closely with the Museum Archivist and the Collections Management staff in the Digital Media Department to establish and maintain archival and cataloguing standards for the Museum. Incumbent will create processing plans, arrange, house, and describe the records; create detailed online finding aids and catalog records; assist patrons of the collections and respond to collections queries, and seek out additional methods for online presentation of the collections to the public. Background research on collections to be undertaken with the aid of departmental curators, when necessary.

Primary Responsibilities and Duties:

• Responsible for the identification, arrangement, inventory, organization, and preservation of photographs and manuscript materials so they are accessible for reference
• Maintain national archival standards and utilize specific archival training to catalog archival collections
• Create finding aids for individual collections
• Provide reference assistance and answer research queries of museum staff and outside researchers
• Train and supervise volunteers and interns in the care, processing, and digitization of photograph collections
• Undertake collections surveys and identify possible funding to improve presentation and access of collections
• Other related duties

Requirements and Qualifications

Experience and Skills:

• 3-5 years of professional experience processing archives, personal papers, or manuscripts
• Successfully demonstrated experience applying processing and descriptive standards including DACS, EAD, and MARC-XML
• Must be proficient with Microsoft Office
• Proficiency with The Museum System (TMS) preferred
• Basic knowledge of the preservation and conservation practices for historical records
• Strong interpersonal skills, writing, and historical research skills

Knowledge and Education:

• Masters Degree from an ALA-accredited program in library and information science with a concentration in archives administration, special collections, or related discipline with coursework and experience in the care and management of historical photograph collections
• Demonstrated knowledge of Describing Archives: A Content Standard (DACS), Encoded Archival Description (EAD), and other professional standards
• Background in art history preferred

The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides equal opportunity to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, mental or physical disability, pregnancy, alienage or citizenship status, marital status or domestic partner status, genetic information, genetic predisposition or carrier status, gender identity, HIV status, military status and any other category protected by law in all employment decisions, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, compensation, training and apprenticeship, promotion, upgrading, demotion, downgrading, transfer, lay-off and termination, and all other terms and conditions of employment.

Please send cover letter, resume, and salary history to employoppty@metmuseum.org with the position title in the subject line.

CAVRACON at UCSB June 16-17th, 2011

THE NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CHAPTERS OF THE VISUAL RESOURCES ASSOCIATION cordially invite you to the California Visual Resources Association Conference, also known as CAVRACON, which will be held Thursday, June 16th and Friday, June 17th, 2011 at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Website: https://sites.google.com/site/cavraconference/

CaVraCon will provide workshops, presentations and demos dealing with the many aspects of creating, managing and maintaining digital image collections, as well as the opportunity to network with both emerging professionals and veterans of the field.

The conference will be open to any interested parties regardless of organizational or institutional affiliation.  Check the above site for registration information.

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE: 

Patricia Harpring (Managing Editor Getty Vocabulary Program)
Developing local authority files for the CCO/CDWA categories and a discussion of CONA

Megan Marler (ArtSTOR, Senior Analyst for Strategic Initiatives)
ArtSTOR?s Shared Shelf

George Helfand (Luna Imaging, Inc., Account Manager)
Expanding Your Scope: A Workflow for Adding Books to a Digital Image Collection

Greg Reser (UCSD, Metadata Specialist) and Sheryl Frisch (CalPoly, San Luis Obispo, Visual Resource Specialist)
The VRA Custom XMP Info Panel: How do I use it?

Jan Eklund (UC Berkeley, Business Systems Analyst, IST Data Services) and Chris Hoffman (UC Berkeley, Manager of Informatics Services, IST Data Services)
Deploying CollectionSpace for a VR Collection

Tom Moon (UCSB Library, Digitization Unit Manager)
Structuring Workflows: implementing new procedures without disruption

Lois McLean and Rick Tessman (McLean Media, Content Clips)
Content Clips, An Online Tool for Teaching with Digital Images

Dr. James Bartholomay Kiracofe (Director, Inter-American Institute for Advanced Studies in Cultural History)
Images for Education, On the road with an academic photographer

As well as a Plenary by the Visual Resources Association President, Maureen Burns (IMAGinED Consulting), Case Studies, tours and more!

Things to bring: flip-flops, laptops and business cards.
Please send questions to John Trendler <john.trendler@scrippscollege.edu>
We look forward to seeing you!


ARLIS/NA Travel Awards: Applications being Accepted!

The ARLIS/NA Travel Awards Committee is pleased to announce the following Travel Awards for attending the 2nd Joint Conference of ARLIS/NA and VRA, to be held March 24-28, 2011 in Minneapolis. Please note that the amount of several awards have increased this year, making them even more helpful to those of you wishing to travel in difficult economic times!

• Details about the conference can be found here: http://www.vra-arlis2011.org/
• For more information about the Travel Awards, and to access the application form, please visit: http://www.arlisna.org/about/awards/awards_index.html
• The application form can be found at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/arlisna2011awards

Several awards are available to students and non-ARLIS members. Please feel free to send this announcement to others who might benefit from attending our wonderful conference!

Application deadline: January 14th, 2011, 11:59pm EST.

Questions about the awards or the application process should be addressed to:
Rebecca Cooper, Travel Awards Chair


New Voices in the Profession 2011 Call for Papers

Paper proposals for the New Voices in the Profession session at the joint ARLIS-NA, VRA joint conference (2011, Minneapolis) are now being accepted.

New Voices showcases exceptional academic work by students and new professionals (under 5 years post MLS.) Paper topics should relate strongly to Art and/or Visual Resources Librarianship, but also digital library projects, archives, library instruction, reference and the changing nature of libraries, among other topics.

To see papers presented in past sessions, you can look at the Conference Proceedings from previous years on the ARLIS website (http://www.arlisna.org/news/conferences/conf_index.html).

If interested, please send a paper topic and explanation/abstract to me (mportis (at) nysid.edu) by December 20th. Please feel free to re-post.

Thanks!

Maggie Portis

Assistant Librarian, New York School of Interior Design