Sponsor: Professional Development Committee
Co-Moderators: Marilyn Russell-Bogle, Fine Arts Librarian, University of Minnesota-Duluth; Norma Mosby Johnson, Fine Arts Librarian, University of Arkansas
Abstract: Recent Professional Development Committee surveys on the education of art librarians are alarming. Survey results seem to indicate that few library schools are offering courses in art/visual resources librarianship and that no internships are being sponsored by other library groups.
Panelists: Lou Adrean, Assistant Librarian for Public Services, Cleveland Museum of Art; Carol Graney, Associate Director, University of the Arts Library, Philadelphia; Max Marmor, Director, Yale Art and Architecture Library; David Gracy, Professor, University of Texas at Austin Library School
The first two presenters are members of ARLIS/NA's Professional Development Committee and were reporting on projects undertaken in the last two years under the tenure of Marilyn Russell-Bogle's term as Chair.
Lou Adrean's presentation focused on the results of the ARLIS annual surveys of educational resources for art librarianship and visual resources librarianship available at library schools in the United States and Canada. The first of these surveys was complied by ARLIS/NA President Jack Robertson. Subsequent surveys were updated annually by Tim Troy through 1994. Lou and Margaret Webster compiled the 1995 survey, which was the basis for this presentation.
For the 1995 survey, letters requesting updated information, along with a photocopy of the school's 1994 entry were sent to each college/university that had been surveyed in 1994. 57 letters were mailed to deans and 32 responses were returned. Only ALA-accredited schools of library/information science were included in the survey--a total of 56 schools (49 in the US, 1 in Puerto Rico and 6 in Canada).
As Adrean and his committee began tabulating the results of the survey, there was concern about the apparent absence of course offerings in fine arts librarianship. Only 8 institutions noted that they offered such courses. These 8 schools are San Jose State University, the Catholic University of America, Indiana University at Bloomington, University of Maryland, Simmons College, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Queens College and the University of Toronto. The remaining 49 schools offered a humanities reference course which included a fine arts component.
Further investigation of the survey results revealed that the picture was not as grim as first perceive. Many institutions actually offer fine-arts-specific course work, but included their reposes in the "other" category. These Institutions offered courses in fine arts, book arts, special libraries and visual resources. In addition, 49 institutions offered internship programs or in-service training in art libraries or visual resources collections with 4 of the Canadian respondents requiring an internship as a graduation requirement. 31 institutions offered dual degree programs in Library and Information Science in combination with the MA or Ph.D. degree in art, art history or architectural history. In some cases, a university-coordinated joint degree program exists; in other cases, student must act independently to create a program of study combining subject areas. Some schools specify that a limited number of courses may be taken outside the department.
The conclusion drawn from the ARLIS survey was that, given the increasing number of library school students in general (numbers have increased by 47% between 1986 and 1996 despite an actual decline in the number of accredited library schools), students are finding programs which are geared to their needs or they are attending universities which will allow them to custom tailor a program to their specifications. To ensure that appropriate training/coursework continues to be offered for future generations of art/visual resources librarians, five factors should be considered.
Graney presented the Proposed Internship Award Guidelines, the result of her committee's work over the last two years. Each internship may be either project-based (to concentrate on one specific area such as reference or cataloging) or designed to provide overall experience in an art library or visual resource collection. Each intern may select from a list of host libraries that includes information on the projects/experiences offered at each. The internship program will be guided by the host library, the student, the student's academic advisor and a representative from the Internship Award Committee (to be established). Each candidate must be currently enrolled in a graduate program in library and information science, art history or museum studies and must have demonstrated academic skills and abilities in their current field of study and in the arts, and must indicate their commitment to make professional contributions in art information fields.
Each host library must provide a written description of the experience the intern will receive and a description of what the intern will accomplish in the duration of the internship. Each library must identify a professional on staff who will provide guidance and supervision to the intern. Evaluations of the internship experience will be completed by the intern, the internship supervisor and the student's academic advisor. The submission deadline will be December 1st. The award will be $1200 for a semester internship, payable in the following manner: $600 awarded upon notification of the award and $600 to be received upon completion of the internship. (The complete guidelines and application form will be available on the web site). The internship must begin by January 31st of the year after the award was received or by the beginning of the Spring semester at the student's academic institution (whichever comes first) and be completed within on academic semester. The internship program will begin this year (1997) in commemoration of ARLIS/NA's 25th anniversary.
Professor David Gracy from the University of Texas at Austin's Library School was the third presenter, speaking on the innovative programs offered at the the Library School. UT-Austin's graduate program in library science is one of the broadest and most diverse schools of its kind. It offers degrees in General Librarianship, School Librarianship, Information Science, Archives/Records Enterprise, and Preservation/Conservation Studies. Most programs require hands-on experience in addition to the standard classroom/laboratory methods of learning. The program requires 36 semester hours in twelve courses. Five courses must be taken in introductory areas, administration and research. Two courses are taken in specialized areas (this is where the hands-on component comes in). Another five courses may be taken as electives in the major area of the student's concentration. The School has a total of 470 students enrolled at the present time. Dr. Gracy offered syllabi of all course offerings in the Library School. Among the many courses offered, there were a number specifically devoted to visual resources management, archives/manuscript librarianship, photography and cinema archives and preservation and non-book materials management (photographic, sound and digital magnetic media). The syllabus is available on their web site at http://fiat.gslis.utexas.edu/start.html#courses.
The final speaker was Max Marmor, Director of the Yale Art and Architecture Library, who spoke on the internship program at Yale that is funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation (the Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship). The internship was first announced at the ARLIS Miami meeting in 1996. Yale received 45 applications for it--35 of them were "credible", according to Marmor. The fellowship/internship is for 6 months of study at Yale with the $15K stipend. Marmor stressed that this fellowship is a "one time experimental trial" which may be renewed by the foundation depending on the success of this first go-around. Requirements for the Kress Fellowship were that the applicant must be a recent MLS recipient with a demonstrated commitment to art/visual resources librarianship. The Kress Foundation traditionally funded art history fellowships; this is the first time they've extended their offerings into the field of art librarianship.
Marmor then introduced the recipient of the 1996 Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship: Lynn Underwood. Lynn is an image cataloger at University of California/San Diego. She has been at Yale under the Fellowship since January of 1997 and will complete her work by June. Marmor was very positive about Underwood's work and about the fellowship program in general. He recommended that ARLIS should endorse the fellowship to the Kress Foundation to help build a case for future support of the program.
Moore College of Art and Design