Conversation with Erinn Paige and Laura Damon-Moore of The Library as Incubator Project (Part 2)

In this second part of my interview Erinn Paige and Laura Damon-Moore of The Library as Incubator Project we talk about makerspaces and more.

Tell me about your involvement with makerspaces and the class that you teach on the subject.

Laura: We came to the conversation about maker spaces pretty early on, and I would say that our main function was and continues to be as a clearinghouse for stories ABOUT maker spaces in libraries. We are by no means the only clearinghouse/info-sharing hub out there on that topic. I think the makerspace discussion fits really well with the LAIP’s focus on hands-on, self-directed, participatory learning, and we consider maker programs a key part of the “arts-incubating” library. Our online course, the Makerspace Mindset (which runs through University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies Continuing Ed), operates in a similar way that the LAIP does as a whole–it’s a place for story sharing, practical how-to’s, professional development, and lots of discussion about how to approach maker programs and resources in a way that makes sense for your library and your community. Scalabilty is a big thing that we talk about–how a small library can make meaningful maker programming happen without space, time, or extra money.

Erinn: I think the exciting thing about makerspaces in libraries is that it definitely fits into the basic mission of providing access to information, but there aren’t a lot of best practices set in stone yet.  Makerspaces are an exciting service model because they really push libraries toward that platonic ideal of information life cycle– people don’t just consume information in a makerspace, they create new information in the form of new stuff. They learn skills by applying them directly to a project.  I think Laura’s point about scalability speaks directly to the idea that this is new-ish territory for libraries (though the conversation about active learning models has been raging for awhile in education)– there are hundreds of ways to create a space for this kind of information exchange in a library setting.

Are maker programs finding their way into academic art libraries? Which should we take note of?

Laura: They definitely are happening. We’ve published some neat examples on our website. I LOVE the Hatchery, a web resource published by the Glasgow School of Art Library which documents the myriad ways that the GSA Art Library incubates the work of artists at GSA and beyond.  We also were lucky enough to visit the Rakow Research Library at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY this January. This amazing research library is doing a lot to support hands-on learning and making.

These examples said, I’d love to hear MORE from academic art libraries about maker programs that they’re hosting–I know there’s a lot happening and we’d love to share it, of course!

What do you think are the most important issues facing the arts in libraries today?

Erinn:  Communication.  Both libraries and arts organizations need a crash course in advocacy and PR.  Essentially, you take what you do, and you re-phrase it in the language that politicians speak.  This is a no-brainer, and it clearly works, and yet libraries and arts orgs seem to perpetually struggle with it.  If you’re only talking about what you believe in in terms that make sense to you, you’re preaching to the choir.  You have to communicate it to others in the context that means the most to them.

Just for fun – what is your favorite library? Work of art or artist?

Erinn: My favorite library is the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Main, which is in the Oakland neighborhood in Pittsburgh and is in this fabulous, monolithic building along with the Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History.  The windows in the upper level stacks look out onto the dinosaur exhibits. Plus, the people who work there are incredibly smart and are doing great things.

Laura: I will always have a soft spot for the library in my hometown, Mount Vernon, Iowa. It is a funky library; the Mount Vernon Public Library collection is housed in the basement of Russell D. Cole Library, the academic library on the Cornell College campus. Growing up I thought it was totally natural to be going to watch a puppet show or to check out picture books in the same library where college students were checking out their books and writing research papers.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

Erinn:  Follow us!  We have a small social media empire and we share great content and ideas from arts-incubating librarians all across the country and the world.  We’d love to talk to you and find out more about what you’re excited about at the intersection of art and libraries.

Laura: Definitely that we want to hear from you and work with you to tell your arts + library stories!


Conversation with Erinn Paige and Laura Damon-Moore of The Library as Incubator Project (Part 1)

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Erinn Paige (left) and Laura Damon-Moore (right) are at the helm of The Library as Incubator Project. I recently talked with them about LAIP and their other endeavors.

What is Library As Incubator Project and what motivated you to embark on this adventure?

Laura: At this point, the Library as Incubator Project is a multifaceted information sharing machine. We continue to exist online, through our primary website and in social media neighborhoods. We’ve been lucky enough to publish a book based on and extending the work we do online. We also exist in “real life” through public presentations, professional development workshops, and in-person programs that we do for libraries and other cultural institutions.

At the most basic level, the LAIP began as a way to explore the connection between libraries and creative people. Erinn and I came to Library and Information services with backgrounds in the humanities and creative arts. So the LAIP started as a way to explore the connection of creativity, information, and community, to see how it happens formally and informally in the library setting, and then, because we were hearing so many great stories, we knew we had to share them with a wider audience.

What were/are some challenges and rewards in running Library As Incubator Project?

Erinn: It is a constant challenge to juggle a full time job and the LAIP, which could easily be a full time job in and of itself.  We’re both also artists in our own right (hence our interest in the library-arts connection), and supporting a creative life while sharing stories of other people’s creative lives can be a challenge too!

But the place that the whole project sprang from is an elegant support– it’s that egalitarian, helpful library space, AND it’s that hands-on creative space that you find in a studio environment.  We’re very project oriented, and so Laura and I and our team will take on individual LAIP projects that interest us, and when we hit obstacles, we have a whole team who can offer critique, just like you get in a studio:  what’s working, what isn’t, techniques that could help, skills and resources to apply. By the same token, we also really support one another in our creative pursuits.

Laura: I wish we had more time and more resources to do more, more, more! It was definitely a challenge to settle into a routine as we all graduated and juggled job stuff plus the LAIP. For a while it felt like there were a lot of balls up in the air and we were sort of scrambling to sort out who would catch which one as they fell.

Rewards have got to be the community that has developed around the LAIP. This ranges from our teammates, Katie and Holly, to our awesome site post contributors (cough cough, Rebecca, cough) to the people that we connect with on social media and in person at programs and conferences. When we go visit institutions and talk with people, people are generally excited to talk with us, but WE get so much MORE excited hearing about the amazing programs and partnerships people have going on. It’s the best and absolutely why I keep working on this.

What are your “day jobs” and how do they integrate with managing Library As Incubator Project?

Erinn: I’m the Programing Librarian at New Canaan Library in New Canaan Connecticut, which is a relatively new position for me– I just started in 2014.

Although the actual work of running the Library as Incubator Project ( web building, editing, writing, social media, presentations and conferences, etc etc) all happens on my own time, the philosophical underpinnings that guide our work on the LAIP transfer directly to programming librarianship– namely, that information isn’t always something that you can collect and slap a barcode on in order to provide access.  There’s a very real body of “creative information” (for lack of a better term) that can only be accessed in real-world connections: conversations with experts, hands-on learning opportunities, etc. Learning by doing.  Apprenticeship.

Working on the Library as Incubator Project has proven, again and again, that Libraries are central to not just an information exchange (resource –> person), but an information life cycle— people learn, people use what they learn to make something new; that new thing sparks conversation and more learning and more making and more sharing.  Through the Incubator, I’ve seen proof that we can be the alpha and omega of that life cycle, and I bring that ideal to work every day.  That’s what I want my library to be.

Laura: I am the Assistant Director at a small public library in Evansville, Wisconsin, just outside of Madison. My position focuses on Programming and Outreach, mainly with families and youth. I do everything from facilitating early literacy programs to running after school activities to planning and hosting special community programs on weekends, inside and outside of the library.

From a practical standpoint, I am able to integrate LAIP work into my routine pretty easily – I am 80% in my position at the library, so I have one weekday off where I can focus on other things, and luckily, at this point, the LAIP has become a natural part of my weekly rhythm and routine.

Like Erinn, the LAIP has done a lot in terms of directing the way that I approach my job philosophically. It’s about making a space where people feel welcome to explore, learn something new, experiment, fail, try it again, share their work, help others. From another practical standpoint, the LAIP means that we hear about a lot of awesome new initiatives and program ideas. It’s like a smorgasboard of creative arts programming that I get to pick and choose from, depending on what will work best for my community.

Be sure to catch part two of our conversation here tomorrow!

Job Posting: Cape Dorset Archives Collections Assistants (paid internship), McMichael Gallery, Kleinburg, Ontario

Cape Dorset Archives Collections Assistant (internship)
5-month contract, with possibility of extension

February – June 30, 2015

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection ranks among Canada’s top public galleries in size and significance…. Over 6,000 distinctively Canadian works of art comprise the permanent collection, and the gallery welcomes on average more than 110,000 visitors annually.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection also houses the Cape Dorset Archive of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, which forms an important visual record of Inuit life, including folklore, material culture, and personal accounts. The McMichael has housed the Archive since 1990, but it has been primarily accessible only through occasional exhibitions, loans, and on-site research.

As part of an ongoing Aboriginal Internship program, Making Culture Visible, the McMichael is recruiting for a 5-month Intern in our Collections departments, with the possibility of extension. The Intern will focus on  making the Cape Dorset Archives collection more accessible by undertaking research, and supervising the cataloguing, digitization and housing of works on paper according to museological standards.

The position of Cape Dorset Archives Collections Assistant is funded under an ongoing Museums Assistant Project (MAP) initiated in 2014.

Under the supervision of the McMichael Head of Collections/Registrar, the Cape Dorset Archives Collection Assistant will be responsible for the overall documentation, care and development of the Archive, including the following:
• ensuring individual artworks within the Archive are catalogued, digitized and housed according to standard museum practices, and supervising student workers assigned to execute these tasks;
• researching individual artworks in order to update existing records or create new ones;
• tracking individual works as they are used for exhibitions, loans, or publications;
• researching individual artists with the goal of creating a “family tree” that clearly demonstrates the artistic and familial relationships amongst various artists within and across generations in the Cape Dorset community;
• corresponding with the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative and other community stakeholders for the purposes of developing a program to make the Archive available remotely;
• organizing the addition to the Archive of print drawings and print proofs on an ongoing basis as they become available, and addressing existing gaps from recent decades so that the Archive can become a true reserve
• working with researchers and other content users accessing the Archive on site or remotely;
• with the McMichael Head of Collections, identifying other McMichael resources that would enrich—and in turn be enriched by—the Archive, and developing a program to access and link these resources and include them within the overall program of the planned Centre for Inuit Art at the McMichael.

Qualified candidates will have minimum three years experience in registration /collections management,  with the completion of post-secondary Education in museum studies and/or collections management.. As a condition of MAP funding for the position, applicants must be of aboriginal decent and possess a strong understanding of Aboriginal traditional knowledge.  Experience using collection databases, particularly The Museum System (TMS), and PhotoShop and other imaging software are an asset.

Application Process:
If you are interested in applying for this position, please email, mail or fax your resume along with a covering letter to Human Resources by January 31, 2015.
Fax: 905.893.2588

Job Posting: Programming Coordinator, InterAccess, Toronto

Organization Description


InterAccess is a public gallery, educational facility and production studio dedicated to the creative use of technology, electronic art and new media culture.

Our programs support art forms that integrate new technologies from conception and development to exhibition and discussion. We explore the impact of technology on the social, political and cultural aspects of contemporary life, and encourage audiences to see anew their relationships with interactive artworks.

Job Description

InterAccess seeks a motivated arts professional to step into the role of Programming Coordinator. This is a renewable 1-year contract.

The Programming Coordinator reports to the Manager, Education and Outreach and the GM. The Programming Coordinator is responsible for coordinating year-round exhibition programming, art events, and special projects. This is a full-time position.

Public Programs (50%)

  • Develop and communicate a dynamic vision for the annual exhibitions program to support and enhance InterAccess’ strategic priorities and goals
  • Implement all aspects of the art program, including but not limited to:
  • producing a schedule of exhibitions from local, national and international artists
  • conducting artist studio visits
  • facilitating annual and special calls for submissions
  • coordinating public events and receptions; talks, tours and screenings
  • coordinating installation and shipment of artworks
  • ensuring adherence to technical rider specifications and health and safety regulations
  • producing written materials for web and print related to art programs
  • Under GM direction, seek sponsorship opportunities for exhibitions and related programming, in-kind donations, and special programs
  • Contract artists, curators, writers, designers and technicians (with approval of GM)
  • Maintain communication with artists and programming partners

Publicity and Design (25%)

  • Develop and implement a web and social media strategy to promote exhibitions and related programming
  • Coordinate production of exhibition signage, didactic materials, and publications (web and print)
  • Coordinate seasonal calendar of activities for publication; generate copy and images, work with designer
  • Responsible for visual branding of organization (with GM approval)
  • Produce press releases and maintain up-to-date media list for exhibition promotion

Financial and Administration (20%)

  • Track exhibition and event attendance
  • Maintain up-to-date statistical records
  • Keep files on past programming and publicity
  • Assist with the programming portion of funding applications
  • Track and monitor budget components related to program expenditures

Facilities (5%)

  • Maintain gallery and office in good state of cleanliness and repair
  • Track gallery equipment and supply inventory

Other duties as assigned.


General Qualifications:

  • BA/BFA/BDes sought, MA/MFA/MDes an asset, commensurate experience considered
  • Understanding of contemporary art practices
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English (knowledge of a second language an asset)
  • Strong organizational skills; detail oriented
  • Brings a high level of self-direction and initiative with strong time-management abilities
  • Ability to provide direction and work with a diverse staff, board and membership
  • High capacity to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • A clear understanding of contemporary art practices, galleries, and the public and non-profit sector
  • Knowledge of managing publications and print projects
  • Basic graphic design abilities
  • Experience installing a variety of exhibitions
  • Experience making or presenting new media art

Technical Qualifications:

A technician will support activities. Professional development and on-site training is provided. An ability in at least some of the following is required:

  • Good working knowledge of web languages: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (PHP an asset)
  • Experience with MySQL and FTP programs
  • Knowledge of common CMS systems, Drupal, WordPress
  • Knowledge of Internet Protocols, setting up local networks, setting up Internet connections for artworks
  • Working knowledge of common programs such as Arduino, Processing, Pure Data, and Max/MSP
  • Basic understanding of electronics and electronic fabrication
  • Advanced experience in Mac OSX and Windows (Linux an asset)
  • Experience with Adobe CS
  • Understanding of video codecs, resolutions, and projector/monitor requirements
  • Knowledge of Final Cut Pro, FFMPEG (Other conversion and production programs an asset)
  • Experience installing and routing cabling
  • Basic construction and fabrication abilities
  • Experience working with sound and P.A. systems

Additional Info:

Hours of Work:
This position is based on a standard 35-hour work week, Tuesday – Saturday. Some evenings and overtime may be required.

This position is salaried. The salary range is $30,000-35,000 commensurate with experience. The Programming Coordinator may be requested to take on additional hours to support special projects and compensation for this work is to be negotiated separately from this contract.

Holidays and Benefits:
The Programming Coordinator is entitled to a basic health and dental package.

How to Apply:

Apply with cover letter, resume, and 3 references (as a single PDF) to with the job title as the subject heading.

Internship: Arts Administration Intern, Canadian Art Foundation, Toronto

Organization Description

Canadian Art Foundation

Established in 1991, the Canadian Art Foundation has grown to deliver numerous educational programs in addition to publishing Canadian Art magazine and This diversity now makes the Canadian Art Foundation the ultimate portal for the exposure of the visual arts in Canada. All our efforts are dedicated to providing a destination for artists and art enthusiasts to connect to and be inspired by art, in turn creating greater local, national and global visibility for the extraordinary artistic talent in Canada. Our mission is to promote the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts in Canada by providing an informative, provocative and lively forum for audiences to engage with artists and their works.

Job Description

The Canadian Art Foundation Internship Program this winter provides four months (from January to May) of mentorship and practical experience in arts administration to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students and beginning professionals. As a foundation intern, you will work closely with members of our foundation team on various long- and short-term projects, including public programming, event planning and communications and marketing. You will assist in research, coordinate event details, contribute to program brochures and marketing materials, liaise with program participants, maintain databases and spreadsheets, help develop programs and collaborate on future program development.

The foundation intern will predominantly assist with the development and administration of key foundation programs, including the Reel Artists Film Festival as well as the Gallery Hop events in Vancouver and Montreal, gaining experience and developing practical skills from within programming, communications and events.


The ideal candidate is organized, has the ability to multi-task, displays a high attention to detail and is able to successfully execute both administrative and research-oriented projects. The intern should be motivated, self-directed and able to collaborate. In addition, solid writing, research and computer skills are preferred.

Additional Info:

The internship will run for four months, with two full days per week. A $2,000 honorarium is provided.

How to Apply:

Please submit a cover letter and resumé attached as a PDF by 12 noon on January 14, 2015, by email only to (Note: At this time, we do not accept submissions via cloud-hosting or file-sharing programs.)

Internship: Artist in Residence Intern, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), is one of the most distinguished art museums in North America. The AGO is a centre of exhibition production, art-based education, exhibitions, gallery tours, dining, and retail that is committed to delivering an incredible experience to our visitors. If you are seeking a dynamic, multi-faceted work environment and would like to contribute to the Gallery’s success then bring your skills and experience to the position of

Artist in Residence Intern
February 2, 2015 – April 17, 2015
10 hours per week

Under the direction of the Manager, Artist in Residence and Adult Programs this position will research art fairs, past and present feminist organizing strategies, alternative cultural economies, local and national feminist events taking place in 2015, and will identify potential collaborators, curators, spaces and artists to participate in a an event planned by Feminist Art Gallery late 2015.

Learning Objectives
* Provide a comprehensive research report that includes a timeline, mapping and summary of fairs and events and individuals in development of new artwork by the spring’s artists in residence;
* Draft a new model for an art fair informed by feminist practices;
* Attend relevant meetings to learn about the collaborative working processes of the AGO, and its institutional history of public programming.


Our Ideal Candidate:
* Currently enrolled in a post-secondary fine art studies, curatorial or museums program
* Demonstrated organizational skills
* Demonstrated knowledge of contemporary art practice and theory
* Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
* Attention to detail, research and writing skills
* Knowledge of MS Office, especially MS WORD and MS EXCEL.
* Experience using a CMS (Content Management System) an asset

* All applicants will be required to be enrolled in a post-secondary or graduate educational program in order to be considered;
* The successful applicant will be required to coordinate the approval of a completed Work / Education Agreement Form provided by the Ministry of Education from their educational institution.
* The learning objectives of this position relate to the school program you are currently registered for.
* You will not be paid for your time.

Application deadline:

Jan 14 2015

CFP: Smithsonian Archives of American Art Symposium on Mixed-media Archives and Contemporary Art History

Call for Proposals for Symposium on Mixed-media Archives and Contemporary Art History

Released: 12/17/14

The Archives of American Art announces an upcoming symposium, “The Multi-Media Archive: Stewardship and Use of Audiovisual Media Documenting Contemporary Art History,” to be held at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, in Washington D.C., on Friday, March 27.

This symposium is a culminating event for the Archives of American Art’s 3-year project Uncovering Hidden Audiovisual Media Documenting Postmodern Art. The project collections document a period of contemporary American art when ephemeral and dynamic new art forms and means for documenting art were emerging in art communities and spaces across the country. The audiovisual materials in these collections are rare archival resources that uniquely document this recent art history, but gaps in archival standards and best practices for documenting audiovisual media found in archival repositories have often left this material hidden and unavailable to Archives users.

The symposium will bring together the two sides of the archival repository’s community — archivists and people who use archives — to consider the complexities and possibilities of audiovisual recordings that form part of the archival record of contemporary American art history.

We seek proposals for participation in two roundtable discussions:

  • an archivists’ roundtable, discussing strategies for providing access to mixed-media archival collections
  • a researchers’ roundtable, featuring voices from a variety of disciplines – art or cultural history, fine art, journalism, conservation, or higher education, to name a few possibilities – on the significance of historical sound, video, and film to their work

Roundtable participants will present brief remarks individually to introduce their work and thinking on this subject, to be followed by a moderated discussion. How do the keepers of mixed-media archives ensure their obsolete audiovisual recordings are discoverable and accessible to those who want to use them? What is the potential impact of reliable access to these unique archival sound recordings and moving images for researchers?

The roundtables will be followed by a reception and a special screening of film and video works discovered in the project collections.

More details of the event will be announced on a forthcoming symposium website. See theproject website for more information about the Archives’ “Hidden Collections” project, including descriptions of project collections. A small stipend and travel reimbursement is available for accepted speakers.

Please send a proposal relating this subject matter to your own work in an abstract no longer than 250 words to The deadline for submissions is January 23, 2015. Questions can be sent via e-mail to project archivist Megan McShea

This symposium is generously funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Hidden Collections” grant program.