Brought to you by the ARLIS/NA Membership Committee
Special Projects Librarian for Library IT, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
I have been a member of ARLIS/NA since 2008. Hard to believe it’s been that long!
Similar to other information professionals, I have been employed in libraries for most of my adult life. But I didn’t discover the field of art librarianship until embarrassingly late in the game. A profession that combines art and libraries? SIGN ME UP. I often joke that ARLIS/NA saved my professional life, but it’s true. The discovery of an organization that includes individuals with the same interests, challenges, and sense of humor as you is incredibly powerful to a new professional. The thought that others continue to have that same eureka moment brings me joy.
Associate Librarian, Christie's
During my last year of undergraduate school, I started seriously considering becoming a librarian. I loved doing research, but I also knew that pursuing academia wasn’t the right choice for me. At that point, I hadn’t yet realized that “art librarian” was a career option outside of academic libraries. I was fortunate enough to intern for a summer on an archeological dig in Greece, doing what was ultimately archives work (although since none of us had any archives or library training, we weren’t calling it that). I loved the work, and hoped that eventually I could do something similar as a career. After returning from Greece, I worked an office job and applied to library schools, thinking I’d probably end up working either as an archivist or in a university library.
Head of Library and Museum Archives, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brazil
I have always been passionate about fine arts. I attended an art history course at Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) just after earning my graduate degree in library science while I was working in a business school library. At that time I completed some drawing and engraving workshops as well. I finally had the opportunity to work in an art library at Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo in 2008, after years working in an academic library. At that time, I was looking for specialized information when I found the book Art Museum Libraries and Librarianship (edited by Joan M. Benedetti) published by ARLIS/NA. I was pretty excited when I got my book from the post office! It became my companion in this new and beautiful journey. I was very impressed by the quality of articles and the similarity in dealing with the various situations that I encountered in my museum library. The online publications about cataloging were very helpful too.