Art Libraries Society of
Sunday April 18,
Heather Ball, Art and Architecture Librarian, Virginia Tech
Heather Ball, Art and Architecture Librarian, Virginia Tech. Core Competencies for Art Information Professionals in the 21st Century
Betty Jo Irvine,
Fine Arts Librarian,
Bella Karr Gerlich,
Head, Arts and Special Collections, Hunt Library,
Mary Wassermann, Slide and Associate Librarian,
Allen, Director of Libraries,
In this session, the document Core Competencies for Art Library and Visual Resources Professionals and its applications were discussed. About 65 people were in attendance. The draft was distributed for later discussion and an announcement made about the online survey available for member's input. Heather Ball talked about the reasons for compiling the expert or core competencies and how this baseline can provide several benefits for members of our profession or those thinking of joining the profession. The descriptions provided therein can provide the framework from which to model educational/certification opportunities, articulate professional expertise or evaluate current performance. Heather noted that the more input provided by the membership, the better this document could serve our professions. The bibliography and competencies along with a description of the charge to the Professional Development Committee can be found at: http://www.uflib.ufl.edu/afa/pdc/core.htm
Betty Jo Irvine described the program that she has been teaching at
Bella Karr Gerlich discussed competencies from the management perspective and noted that it could also be referred to as the industry model. Senior management has the responsibility for strategic planning and integrating the core competencies with the organization's goals, structure and culture and can aid management in doing their jobs. She noted the characteristics of successful strategies include a clear understanding of the external environment and an appraisal of the organizations' strengths and weaknesses. She said that effective management maps the efforts and goals of employees to the vision, mission and goals of the organization or parent organization. Staff is most effective when they are shown how they fit into the big picture. She noted that staff could use the competencies document for self-evaluation and even advancement. For further details and to review Bella’s presentation go to: http://uldev.library.cmu.edu/Research/Arts/arlis_2004/slideshow/pdf/arlis_slideshow.pdf The SPEC Kit from ARL #270 also discusses core competencies. http://www.arl.org/pubscat/pr/2002/announce_sp270.html
Mary Wasserman gave members an overview of the curriculum of the upcoming Summer Educational Institute (SEI). She noted that the organizers were uncertain of how many members would enroll in the course and was pleased to say that the course was not only full, but that there is a long waiting list. This enthusiasm is evidence that the curriculum is desired by the members and will support future efforts of the ARLIS/NA-VRA Joint Education Task Force. The Task Force members will use the core competencies document to ensure that the most important issues are covered during the seven core curriculum modules. For details about the course see: http://www.vraweb.org/2004sei/
Discussion about the document and the presentations ensued.
Multiple members expressed an interest in attending this year’s SEI and asked more about the correlation between the developing core competencies and this and future SEI’s.
The success of the
There was a discussion about when the competencies need to be developed – before a job is started or while on the job. Heather noted that the committee is investigating that area and the language will be changed to specify how early how early in a career people might need to become competent in these areas.
Additional competencies mentioned were: knowledge of artist's rights, respect for art, artist's moral rights, intellectual policy and issues surrounding cultural artifacts. The point was also made that many of the competencies noted could be required by any library professional, and that we need to be specific about what makes it necessary to hire specialists for our positions instead of someone without the knowledge of art or art issues.
Maryly Snow had a question about the professional
philosophy section of the draft core competencies statement and noted it was
undeveloped. Heather noted reluctance of
the committee to force ethics on members; the
A discussion about the declining work ethics of support staff noted common problems that are being seen in several university settings. It was mentioned that ALA Reference Behavioral standards have been developed. http://www.ala.org/ala/rusa/rusaprotools/referenceguide/professional.htm
The Core Competencies Sub-committee will consider feedback gleaned from the forum and subsequent survey when drafting of the core competencies document continues.