• Arielle Cohen posted an article

     

     

    Name: Ross Day

    Title: Museum Librarian, Collection...

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    Name: Ross Day

    Title: Museum Librarian, Collection Development

    Organization: Thomas J. Watson Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art

    Years as an ARLIS/NA New York Member: 35

     

     
    What is your favorite part about being a librarian?

    You never have to apologize for what you are.


    Describe a memorable ARLIS/NA New York Event, and how it impacted you:

    While I’ve always enjoyed attending ARLIS/NA New York events, the most ‘impactful’ had to be my first. I was interviewing for a job at The Met. During my interview my future boss and mentor, Allan Chapman, mentioned there would be an ARLIS/New York event that evening in the Watson Library. Newly returned to New York and a stranger to the art library community, I attended. Frankly I no longer remember a thing about it, but I do know that I was hired by the end of the week. I’ve always been convinced my employment was in part on the strength of joining the New York chapter.

     

    As a long-time New York City resident, what do you like best about the city?

    I like how New York City attracts the most ambitiously creative people to live and work here. While I’m thinking mostly of the visual and performing arts, it extends to all kinds of human activity. It might be more relaxing to live and work elsewhere, but having native challenges and obstacles and then overcoming them offers one a rewarding if perverse satisfaction.

     

    Are you working on any interesting projects? Within the museum or independently.

    One of my responsibilities as collection development librarian is to identify underrepresented areas of the collection and create the means to address them. I’m currently working to expand our holdings in Arab and Persian modern and contemporary art by cultivating new vendors, establishing and evaluating approval plans, and learning more about the nature and subject matter of the literature. In the process it’s also honing my transliteration skills.

     

    Can you tell the ARLIS/NA New York community something about you that it may not know?

    I doubt there’s anyone left who doesn’t know of my abiding interest in automobile license plates: I’ll bend anyone’s ear about it at the drop of a hat. What they might not know is that I signed on last year to be the ‘archivist’ for the hobbyist association of collectors. In that capacity I oversee the expansion an online database of all known issues worldwide. It should keep me busy for quite some time.

     

    • Suzanna B. Simor Delightful, Ross, even if your automobile license plates passion was news to me & am not even sure what it may involve. May your online dbase grow & grow - cheers!
      2 months ago
  • Suz Massen posted an article

    Name: Alexandra Provo

    Title: Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship (2015-2016)

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    Name: Alexandra Provo

    Title: Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship (2015-2016)

    Institution: Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library, Yale University

    Information Science School: Pratt Institute

    Year Graduated: 2015

    Years as an ARLIS/NA New York Member: Since April 2014
     

    What are your primary responsibilities as the Kress Fellow in Art Librarianship at Yale University?

    The Kress fellowship is public-services focused, so a big part of my responsibility is to staff several reference/circulation desks. These are located at the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library (including Special Collections) and the Yale Center for British Art Reference Library and Archives. I also answer in-person and email reference questions from researchers at Yale and beyond. It is extremely useful to have these interactions on a daily basis, since it keeps me constantly thinking about the users of the library. I also help teach library orientations and class sessions with Arts Library colleagues. I have a background as a photograph cataloger, so I have been leading sections on image resources.

    When I am not teaching or interacting with library users, I work on projects. My main project for the year is to process a collection of book arts ephemera held in the Arts Library Special Collections. Materials include event postcards, keepsakes and memorabilia, and book prospectuses. I will be creating a finding aid, conducting user research, and writing a paper about issues in contemporary art and book art sources.

     

    What past experiences have informed your current work?

    I am one of those people who thinks that all of my past experience is relevant to my current job in some way, so my work as the Kress Fellow draws on everything from working at the circulation desk at the Gottesman Libraries at Teachers College, Columbia University, to the year I spent as an elementary school art teacher. I took a course on user experience at Pratt Institute and that also informs the way I approach my fellowship.

     

    What are some personal tips you can give recent graduates who are in the job market?

    Some helpful advice I received was to write a cover letter that directly addresses how your experience relates to the tasks described in the job description. In other words, do not just give a narrative history of your skills and experiences. Instead, explain how what you already know will relate to what you hope to do in the job. Also, if you get to the interview stage, make sure to have some questions to ask the interviewer! It will make the process more of a conversation. Plus, it will help you figure out if the place is a good fit for you. If you think about it, you are not the only one being interviewed. You are also interviewing the institution you might work for.

     

    Discovered anything fun in New Haven?

    New Haven has lots of great restaurants and bars. I really like Ordinary, a great bar located downtown in the old Taft Hotel (now an apartment building). I also love hanging out at East Rock Coffee, the coffee shop in my neighborhood.

     

    How did you become interested in library and information science?

    I majored in art history as an undergraduate, and I got really interested in how art historians organize information into collections, catalogs, and lists. During my junior year abroad in Florence I got to intern at the Villa I Tatti, the former home of Italian Renaissance art historian Bernard Berenson. Once I got back I wrote my undergraduate thesis on him. After graduating, I was fortunate enough to return to I Tatti to work as a photograph cataloger on a team describing and digitizing what Berenson called “homeless paintings.” I knew I wanted more formal training on cataloging and standards, so after a year and half in Florence I moved to New York to go to Pratt.

     

     

     

  • Suz Massen posted an article

    Name: Arielle Cohen

    Title: Librarian

    Institution: Gagosian Gallery

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    Name: Arielle Cohen

    Title: Librarian

    Institution: Gagosian Gallery

    Information Science School: Pratt Institute

    Year Graduated: 2014

    Years as an ARLIS/NA New York Member: Less than a year. I was late to the game, but I am so glad to be a part of this great community.

     

    What made you decide to pursue the field of information science?

    After completing my undergraduate degree, I took some time off, like so many people do, and I began to think about the role of the traditional book in the twenty-first century, particularly how changes in book culture might affect people’s access to information, and how that in turn might affect user experience. Hoping to gain further insight into these areas, I eventually came to the conclusion that pursuing a degree in information science would allow me the opportunity to not only learn more about such topics, but to also contribute to the discussion.

     

    What is one of you most enjoyable work-related activities?

    While I really do enjoy all aspects of my job, it is my role as reference librarian that I find particularly gratifying. From tracking down materials to performing in-depth research for staff members, I truly appreciate the opportunity to be the bridge that connects users with the information they seek.

     

    Can you tell the ARLIS/NA New York community something about you that it may not know?

    Hmm, probably that my formal academic background is not actually in art or art history. I hold a dual BA in English literature and history, and I have always been an art enthusiast, but it was not until I was pursuing my MLIS that I really began to engage with art in a more formal setting. Some might see this as a limitation, but I have found that my alternative background actually complements the work I do as an art information professional, allowing me to add an additional layer of interpretation to any research I do.

     

    Do you have any advice for current students and recent graduates interested in pursuing a career in art information?

    As art librarians, and as information professionals more generally, we are part of an incredibly active professional community, and I would encourage anyone and everyone to take full advantage of that fact. Sign up for all the newsletters and listservs you can to learn about seminars, networking events, and hot topics in the profession, and do not let the fact that you are new to the community affect your involvement in it. Aside from being a member of ARLIS/NA New York, I am also the feature post coordinator for ArLiSNAP, the ARLIS/NA group for students and new professionals, and while I might be biased, I think this is great way for newcomers to get involved in the art information community.

     

    What made you decide to join ARLIS/NA New York?

    Being in New York, we are not only surrounded by the amazing museums and galleries that make this city one of the great art centers of the world, but also the incredible information professionals that support these institutions. ARLIS/NA New York brings together these talented individuals who, already, have been so welcoming to this new member of the art information community, and I look forward to getting to know everyone.

  • Suz Massen posted an article

    Name: Janis Ekdahl

    Title: Part-time Acquisitions Librarian

    Institution: Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material...

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    Name: Janis Ekdahl

    Title: Part-time Acquisitions Librarian

    Institution: Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture

    ARLIS/NY Executive Board Position: 2015 Chair
     
    How long have you been involved and in what capacity with ARLIS/NA and ARLIS/NY?

    ARLIS/NA has been my professional home since 1973 when I attended the society’s very first conference held in a classroom at Columbia University. As a fledging art librarian at Vassar College, I was delighted to finally meet colleagues who understood my unique problems and concerns, and also shared my passion for the visual arts. This sense of "belonging" explains and undergirds my long involvement with ARLIS/NA. I have served on the ARLIS/NA Executive Board twice—once as President in 1994 and a decade earlier as the East Coast Regional Representative.  I’ve participated in several groups and roundtables, and been fortunate to have attended every annual conference, except one. In 2004, I was the Exhibits Coordinator for the Annual Conference when it was last held in New York City. I became more active in the New York chapter after taking a position at The Museum of Modern Art Library in 1981, serving as chapter chair in 1993. I was amused to notice recently that my decades-old signature is still affixed to the chapter’s official New York State Tax Exempt Certification!    

     

    What makes ARLIS/NY so special to you?

    Quite simply, it is the people. ARLIS colleagues are among the best, brightest, and most creative individuals in our profession and the New York Chapter is fortunate that our community shares its time, talents, and resources so generously.

     

    As the Chair, what are your goals for the chapter in 2015?

    During 2015, the Executive Board and I are striving to offer a diverse schedule of programs and events that will foster professional development, increase awareness of local resources and promote meaningful networking. We also will soon be launching a chapter-based mentoring program to address the needs of our members on a more individual basis.  
     
    Can you give us a hint as to some of the exciting upcoming tours, events, and programs?

    We are collaborating with METRO to host a symposium at which New York’s National Digital Stewardship Residents will discuss the cutting-edge projects they have been involved with during 2014-15. Stephen Van Dyk has invited the chapter to visit the restored, expanded and radically reconsidered Copper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. The visit will include a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum’s Library. And, back by popular demand, will be a forum at which chapter members who have given papers at this year’s ARLIS/NA annual conference will be invited to re-present their papers to New York area colleagues who missed them in Fort Worth. Other events in the works are a Sunday afternoon tour of Lower East Side art galleries, and a day-long excursion to Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center and Herzog & de Meuron’s Parish Art Museum on Long Island. Additional programming ideas are always welcome; I hope members will not be shy about sending their ideas and suggestions to me or another board member.

     

    Why did you decide to run for Chair of the New York Chapter again?

    I had begun to feel a bit out-of-touch with the next generation of professionals, so I was happy to respond positively when approached by the chapter’s nominating committee. That turns out to have been a good decision since I now find myself working closely with a group of talented colleagues who are committed to fostering meaningful engagement with the challenges our profession faces in the twenty-first century.

  • Suz Massen posted an article
    Name: Karl-Rainer Blumenthal
    Title: National Digital Stewardship Resident (NDSR)
    Institution/Organization: New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC)
    School: Drexel University

    What made you decide to join ARLIS/NY?
    It’s the community of...
    see more Name: Karl-Rainer Blumenthal
    Title: National Digital Stewardship Resident (NDSR)
    Institution/Organization: New York Art Resources Consortium (NYARC)
    School: Drexel University

    What made you decide to join ARLIS/NY?
    It’s the community of practice, and above all its eagerness to support its members, that immediately drew me to ARLIS/NY. Coming to a new city, diploma barely in hand, and into an especially challenging new job, I was thrilled to find a network of professionals so accomplished and equally generous with their experience. 

    Can you describe your primary job responsibilities as the National Digital Stewardship Resident at NYARC?
    I’ll spend my residency designing and implementing best practices for quality assurance, preservation metadata, and archival storage in the web archiving program shared among the Frick Art Reference Library, and the libraries of the Brooklyn Museum and The Museum of Modern Art. This project has made incredible—and incredibly swift—strides already. My challenge is to make sure that the work can continue and even streamline in its next iteration, and that still further generations of stewards can access and share the that resources we capture today. NYARC is definitely blazing this trail for the field, so it’s equal parts exciting and scary to set the standards by which web-native art reference materials will be captured, preserved, and stored in general. I’ll work closely with the librarians, consultants, and interns at each institution to make sure I’m addressing their vital concerns all along the way. I’ll share updates from the project as well as other news from the world of digital preservation on the NDSR residents’ new blog at: http://ndsr.nycdigital.org.

    As someone who is new to New York, what has surprised you about the city?
    New York certainly moves at its own pace—I’ve noticed that I’m already about three times faster than the average pedestrian back home in Philadelphia! Still, there are more opportunities to slow down, quiet down, and enjoy the city, it’s places, and it’s people than I think I expected. New Yorkers really do seem to take advantage of all of the amazing cultural resources at their disposal, but if you know where to look, you can also still escape to a walkable, tree-lined neighborhood with small town charm. 

    Do you have any advice for students or recent graduates like yourself?
    The challenges we face as librarians and archivists are getting more complex all the time, so picking up brand new skills and competencies obviously can’t end with your degree. We all have to advocate publicly and enthusiastically for our profession and our professional development if we want to keep pace with radical technological change. Definitely take advantage of the network that ARLIS and other professional groups provide you, but try to give as much as you take. Meet-ups, workshops, hackathons and the like are great opportunities to both learn from and teach your peers while the resources for more formal educational programs are scarce.  

    What is your favorite aspect of being an information specialist?

    Without a doubt it’s the mandate that the profession gives me to constantly keep learning, and the opportunity to apply that learning in new, unexpected environments. Having good information acumen, curiosity, and a little bit of tact has enabled me to practice in settings with radically different needs, but similar power to change the way I see the world.

    Do you have a favorite museum or gallery?
    Coming from Philadelphia, I’ve been spoiled by some great landmark institutions like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Barnes Foundation, and the Rodin Museum. Still, whenever a friend makes the trip down to the city I always implore them to first visit the Mütter Museum—a fantastically quirky collection of medical oddities and specimens. Around Halloween they even host sleepover nights complete with flashlight tours, ghost stories, and séances!

    Image: Making timelapses of downtown Philly from the Cira Center tower in 2013 (photo by Sahar Coston-Hardy)

     
  • Suz Massen posted an article

    Name: Deirdre Donohue
    Title: Stephanie Shuman Librarian
    Institution: International Center of Photography
    Number of years you have been an ARLIS/NY member: On and off since 1995, mostly on since...

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    Name: Deirdre Donohue
    Title: Stephanie Shuman Librarian
    Institution: International Center of Photography
    Number of years you have been an ARLIS/NY member: On and off since 1995, mostly on since 2000.

    What is your favorite aspect about being a librarian?
    I love to see and learn new things every day, and facilitate others to, as well. I also love connecting people, and the library is a great forum, in that way...live human interaction...great to connect curators with teachers with students with critics, etc.. Best of all is to watch a spark of inspiration experienced in the library grow and connect to a channel of distribution and then become a new acquisition to inspire the next seeker.

    Describe a memorable ARLIS/NY event and how it impacted you.
    Oh wow, there are so many! The tour of the [new - outstanding] Barnes last summer on the day of a Philadelphia monsoon was really fantastic because Judy Donovan was so welcoming and informative and I think Barnes was SO avant-garde [enriched my perspective on the dance among museums, education and how research entities document it], a holiday party one year tucked away in a Weimar-feeling upper floor of the National Arts Club [really I learned art librarians are the most fun by being both smart and wild, necessarily, as one must be to make so much of so little], and a recent evening where Carole Ann Fabian answered 10 million questions about the collaborative acquisition of the Frank Lloyd Wright Archives by Columbia and MoMA AFTER leading a tremendous tour of the show at MoMA...I could go on. I love ARLIS/NA and ARLIS/NY for teaching me so much over the years.

    What are you currently reading?
    I'm finishing 24/7 by Jonathan Crary, starting No Medium by Craig Dworkin [I overlap because I cannot bear the sense of loss I have when a good book ends] and via audio am leaving The American by Henry James [always James in the Summer, when I cannot afford to travel] and entering Dickens' Barnaby Rudge [because a recent Mike Walker dramatization on the BBC reminded how relevant and modern it is]. I also picked up the catalog for the terrific Waterweavers show at Bard Graduate Center, and am eager to plunge in because the show was really really thought provoking.

    Share something new that you have learned recently.

    Last week Todd Carter, CEO of Tagasauris, mentioned that, in plotting words from Congress proceedings in terms of frequency of use, "metadata" [thank you for that Edward Snowdon] was tops, and "megadata" [the Congress misspeakings are now codified...hello Reverend William Archibald Spooner!] was also up there.

    Image: Portrait of me is an 8 X 10 tintype by the artist Keliy Anderson-Staley taken in July of 2008.