M-LEAD II and Next Generation Museum Librarians

  • Posted on May 29, 2014 by

It's that time of year again when we have to say goodbye to our excellent M-LEAD II students that have become part of the NYARC team. Building on an internship model established in a previous IMLS grant, M-LEAD II (Museum Library Education and Digitization) is another IMLS-funded initiative that provides graduate students from Pratt Institute's School of Information and Library Science learning experiences in the NYARC libraries.  Depending on individual library needs, interns work on a range of projects with the common goal of training new museum library professionals and increasing access to our shared collections.  Introduced in Fall 2012, by Spring 2015 fifteen talented interns will have contributed to these efforts with year-long internships, gaining valuable hands-on experience in an art library setting.  Here's a look at what they've been working on:

Brooklyn Museum Library

Interns to date: Mark Daly & Ronnette Hope (Fall 2012 – Spring 2013); Michelle Lee & Kim Loconto (Fall 2013 – Spring 2014)

brooklyn museum auction catalogs

Sampling of auction catalogs featuring Americana and Asian art, catalogued during the Spring 2014 internship period.

Project: Working primarily on reviewing the Library’s auction catalog collection, these interns contributed to cataloging and collection development efforts.  Previously uncatalogued auction catalogs, ranging from the mid-19th century to present day, were searched in WorldCat to determine rarity and duplication. After this review process, decisions were made as to whether to retain and catalog items, or weed them and offer to other libraries.  Interns received training in cataloging using OCLC and Millennium software, adding bibliographic records to Arcade for increased access.  Additionally, interns were given the opportunity to contribute to Library outreach by researching sales or auction houses of interest, and composing blog posts (see Special Collections Forever) based on their findings, which are then posted online via social media tools.

Frick Art Reference Library

Interns to date: Gretchen Nadasky & Alison Rhonemus (Fall 2012-Spring 2013); Walter Schlect & Janet Burka (Fall 2013-Spring 2014)

presentation at CRSA

Walter Schlect and Janet Burka presenting at “Digitizing Artists' and Scholar's Archives: New Initiatives in Preservation, Dissemination, and Art History Research”, hosted by the Catalogues Raisonnés Scholars Association.

Project: Continuing web archiving survey efforts which helped launch the new Mellon grant.  These interns participated in addressing permissions issues with Frick supervisors as part of ongoing policy discussions, evaluated websites candidates for archiving, and identified web archiving content capture problems.  They received training in web archiving and image copyright management, and have been wonderful representatives of the project in a variety of forums.  Gretchen Nadasky has written a paper on her experience helping preserve born-digital auction catalogs. Walter Schlect and Janet Burka have presented on the project at an event hosted by the Catalogues Raisonnés Scholars Association.  Additionally, Walter will be presenting on his work at the 2014 IFLA Art Libraries Satellite Meeting in Paris this summer.

NYARC and MoMA

Interns to date: Ralph Baylor (Fall 2012-Spring 2013); Aria Marco (Fall 2013-Spring 2014)

el techo de la ballena collection materials

El Techo de la Ballena collection materials, courtesy Sandy Sumano, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Bibliographer for Latin America, MoMA

Project: Based on-site at MoMA QNS, these interns work with the MoMA Library Latin American collections and have conducted site visits to each NYARC library to further evaluate their Latin American resources, assessing strengths and contributing to collection development discussions.  Day-to-day work includes sorting the Latin American backlog of gallery publications by country for increased access, searching incoming Latin American materials to limit duplication within the existing collection, and working to prepare a special donation, the El Techo de la Ballena collection, for digitization, by verifying authority names and recording condition notes.

We are so pleased to be a part of this important program that provides practical experience for new professionals, and we are very grateful for our interns' diligent work in providing improved access to our collections. Thank you! Best of luck to all of our interns and we are looking looking forward to the accomplishments to come in our final year (2014/2015) of the M-LEAD II program. 

Emily Atwater, Project Intern Coordinator for M-LEAD II

Banner image: M-LEAD II intern, Aria Marco, researching Latin American collection material in the Brooklyn Museum Library Reading Room.

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