Over the past three years, 30 talented interns from the Pratt Institute, School of Information & Library Science, have passed through our doors here at the Brooklyn Museum Libraries, Archives and Digital Lab, thanks to an IMLS-funded grant (Institute of Museum and Library Services). These M-LEAD (Museum Library Education and Digitization) interns have been instrumental in a variety of important contributions, from processing and describing archival materials, to digitizing images for online accessibility, to clearing copyright and cataloging library resources, just to name a few!
Many of these interns have gone on to engage in a variety of dynamic and challenging positions, and on March 17th we were pleased to welcome four of them back to the Library Reading Room to present on projects they have undertaken since their time as interns here at the Brooklyn Museum. To an audience of friends and Pratt students, including a number of fellow M-LEAD interns from past and present, our speakers took the stage with incredibly informative, interesting topics, from the librarian’s role in cultural heritage, to the tangled web of copyright law as it relates to library resources.
The first speaker of the night was Amber Billey. Now visiting faculty at Pratt, Amber is also a metadata specialist and content strategist for Whirl-i-gig, the software firm behind the design of Collective Access (an open-source collection management system for museums, archives and historical societies). In her presentation, “Three Approaches to Community-Based Archiving”, Amber describes her experiences as case-studies involved in bringing awareness and accessibility to the collections of under-represented communities by digital means.
Amber Billey. Photo: Daniel Tsai.
Our second speaker, Iris Finkel, a digital librarian and adjunct for libraries at Hunter College, gave us an in-depth look at “Art Through the Information Age”, explaining that the vision of the scholar sitting down at a reading room terminal and seeing images from around the world is no longer a far-fetched ideal, but an everyday reality. Iris provided a wealth of information, going over a timeline, from the 1960’s through today, of how the field of Art History and digital technology merge to provide enhanced opportunities in research and art historical scholarship.
Iris Finkel. Photo: Daniel Tsai.
Next we heard from Satoshi Tabuchi, the Project Librarian at Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a private art collection based in New York City and Caracas. In Satoshi’s talk, “You Are My Co-pilot (Yes, You): a librarian flying solo in a private art collection”, he described many of the difficulties that he has encountered being the only information professional in his workplace. From communication barriers in library lingo, to limited resources and guidelines, Satoshi explained some of the challenges and rewards of “flying solo”.
Satoshi Tabuchi. Photo: Daniel Tsai.
Our final speaker of the night was Arlene Yu, a Specialist in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division of New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, where she works on moving image collection management issues. Arlene outlined for us some of the major issues surrounding copyright as it relates to dance. A dancer in her own right, Arlene provided enlightening examples, from controversy surrounding Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” music video, to Ric Silver’s “Electric Slide”. She even went so far as to demonstrate the move!
Arlene Yu. Photo: Daniel Tsai.
Following the presentations we were able to chat with the speakers as well as fellow attendees. It was great to see past and present interns together again in one place, and very rewarding to learn about all of the work our former interns have gone on to accomplish in the time since their internships. Very inspiring!
Emily Atwater, IMLS M-LEAD Assistant Project Coordinator, Brooklyn Museum Libraries and Archives