Summer Practicum in the Repository & Digital Curation Department

It is required that students in the MLS program at Indiana University fulfill one internship. Since I am specializing in Art Librarianship, I am required to complete two internships. This summer, I was a practicum student at Northwestern University's Library in Evanston, IL. I completed 187.5 hours of work for Digital Collections. I met my supervisor at the Midwestern Art Cataloging Discussion Group (MACDG) last fall, where she had mentioned a practicum position available. I immediately talked her after the meeting and stayed in contact with her till the Spring 2016. In March, we corresponded and finalized when I would be arriving to work and what projects I would be working on. I chose to stay in Evanston for five weeks and work 37.5 hours a week; it worked perfectly for my summer schedule and budget.What is the Repository & Digital Curation Department (R&DC)?!
The R&DC at NU supports the University’s teaching and research mission by providing digitization services and support for their faculty and graduate students. The department is responsible for the development and administration of the library’s digital repository. The repository provides the infrastructure for preserving and making accessible digital content on a wide variety of websites.

For my assigned project, I created item-level data for multiple volumes of images from
'La CaricatureLa Caricature was a satirical weekly published in Paris between 1830-1843 during the July Monarchy. Its cartoons repeatedly attacked King Louis-Philippe, whom it typically depicted as a pear. This collection resides in Northwestern University’s special collections. A professor of Art History and a professor in the Humanities asked the R&DC department to reformat and ingest the images into Hathi Trust (object level) and Repository | Images (item level). I entered the data through Metadata Editor Northwestern University (MENU), a locally developed web-based tool, which uses VRA Core.

With home-grown repositories comes bugs or errors. There were a few days where I would report to my supervisor about error messages on MENU or images disappearing off to who knows where. The upside to this is that I was able to see how my supervisor talked with the developers, using their language to communicate what was happening on the back-end of MENU. I was able to attend a Scrum meeting with stakeholders for the R&DC. The R&DC uses Scrum, an iterative and incremental agile software development framework for managing development. It defines “a flexible holistic product development strategy where a developmental team works as a unit to reach a common goal. Those who attended were either the Scrum Master, team members and/or the Scrum product owner. My supervisor was the product owner. She met with four other people to discuss their most recent two-week sprint on the development of Repository | Images.

While the developers fixed MENU, I inventoried photographs from a 1915 scrapbook of someone’s automobile trip to San Francisco. I also created an inventory of born-digital images and slides for another professor. Creating an inventory is vital when the department has several projects queued up to be digitized. The inventory lets the digitization team know what they are looking at and what steps or precautions they may need to take when digitizing. After completing several inventories, I have officially given myself the title, “Master of Google Sheets”.

My supervisor and I met every Friday to discuss projects, ask questions and to chat about how the practicum was going. In one of our meeting we were discussing my interest in Visual Resources and Digital libraries, and she encouraged me to expand my thinking to consider digital collections. By the end of my practicum, I came to the conclusion that the content that I interact with or manage does not always have to be ‘fine art’ related. I am now researching my new interest in repository librarians.

One major highlight of my practicum experience is that I was able to join IFLA’s Information Technology Section SC, The Women, Information, and Libraries SIG, and Northwestern University Libraries for their "UnConference, Women in Open Technology & Culture - Empowering Women’s Participation in Open Technology & Culture”. The unConference covered topics surrounding women and technology in the workplace, and featured keynote speaker, Amy Buckland. Amy Buckland is the Institutional Repository Manager at the University of Chicago and Vice-chair of the ACRL’s Research and Scholarly Environment Committee.

This unConference was amazing and inspiring! The sessions that I attended include:

  • Practical Project Management for Getting it All Done in 40 hours a Week or Less
  • Leading through Inclusion: Including Aspiring Leaders in the Conversation
  • HR Tactics for Dealing with Difficult Employees
  • Women & Open Digital Publishing Tools
  • Gendered Nouns at Work
  • Careers and Kids

Overall, I had a practicum experience that was very beneficial to my development as an emerging professional! I learned so much about the various paths that someone who is interested in art librarianship and visual resources can take. Similar to Lauren’s experience, you should interact with library staff and your environment as much as possible. My supervisor did a phenomenal job introducing me to several librarians and library staff. This lead to a diverse amount of conversations and discussions. I also attended meetings within the R&DC department and library-wide staff meetings. My supervisor also set up times for me to tour the Preservation Lab, the Transportation Library, the Art Library, Special Collections and the Africana Collection.

To read more about my practicum experience, click here.

SEI: Thoughts on Day One

This summer, I attended the Summer Educational Institute Workshop, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Below are some of my thoughts after the first day. 

I was nervous, again, as to being a student and placing myself into what I consider a professional opportunity. Of course, by the end of the day, I felt at home and inspired. I met fellow professionals and students from various places and backgrounds. I really enjoyed the size of the group in the workshop, about 40 people participated. 

The first day started around 12:30 pm, participants checked in at the registration desk and found places to sit in a large room located in Dey (pronounced 'die') Hall. The first speaker of the day was JJ Bauer, University of North Carolina Visual Resources Curator. She spoke about her role as the Co-Investigator for the grant project Learning from Artists' Archives: Preparing Next Generation Art Information Professionals through Partnerships with North Carolina's Artists' ArchivesThe idea of teaming with professional Artists' and working with them to figure out and manage their studios and creating archives is so interesting. As an artist and information professional, I was inspired and instantly asking myself if there was some type of program in place in my hometown of Kansas City, MO that helped artist think about their studio and how it can be placed or made into an archive.

Working with artists' first hand and helping them navigate their materials and content is something I feel passionate about. I know first hand that documenting (photographing) my work was of utmost importance but there are several materials and learning objects that I did not document that I wish I had. One aspect that I love about the Artist' Studio Archive project is that there are six fellowship positions available for dual degree students at UNC's MSLS/MSIS & MAH SILS/Art History program. UNC's program definitely won my heart with this project. Talk about getting first-hand experience that seems to be very promising and supported.

After attending the ARLIS/NA + VRA joint conference and SEI, I really wish IU's MLS program had opportunities like the project mentioned above. To be completely honest, I feel gypped. I've learned so much more by attending conferences and workshops. The MLS program at IU is severely lacking and it feels as if it is only getting worse. I can't speak for the archives and rare books specializations but I have noticed frustration from other students in those programs. 

Specifically, the IU Art Museum, ahem I mean the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art (renamed), just received a donation of $15 million to undertake a complete renovation of the interior od the I.M. Pei Building  which was matched by the IU campus for another $20 million. Yes, this means that the museum has a total of $35 million. A condition of this gift was that the Fine Arts Library vacate in order to make room to expand gallery space and to create areas for teaching. THIS IS HORRIBLE! No one from the Fine Arts Library was consulted or even told about the gift and renovation plans until the public press release. From the perspective of, again, an artist, former art student and an information professional/student this is a terrible decision. Not only does IU have a studio art program but an art history and art librarianship program. Students, like myself, rely on this library to work not only on our studies but use the library as a way to gain experience. We are not located in Boston, New York or California where the  internships and local opportunities seem to be somewhat limitless. We are in Bloomington, IN and yes I did apply to IU and chose to attend but shouldn't the program have some dignity. There has been talk that there are preliminary plans to relocate the Fine Arts Library into Wells Library, our main library on campus, but honestly, how can you trust your institution. Like I told some of my peers, by closing the Fine Arts Library, IU has chosen to force an ecosystem of students, artists, workers and professionals to collapse. 

Going back to SEI, after the JJ spoke Nancy Sims discussed the basics of understanding copyright, fair use and licensing in regard to the educational use of images. I went in knowing nothing except what my rebellious artist side thought was fair as far as copyrights. Nancy did a phenomenal job updating everyone on Fair Use, new case laws that may impact the use of images for education, specific digital and web issues. She also discussed specific examples of how to deal with practical challenges relating to the cultural heritage and visual resource fields. I look forward to the rest of sessions this upcoming week which includes:

Metadata for Cultural Heritage Materials

Embedded Metadata Workshop

Digital Preservation

Developing and Delivering Digital Content

Getting a Digital Project Started

Making it Happen Bringing It All Together: Project, People and Budgets



Summer Ahead + Work Update

As I mentioned, this summer is going to be a busy one. Not only have I picked up hours at the Kinsey Institute Library, I will be visiting 4 different places this summer.

My first stop is Minnesota - I will be visiting a very good friend of mine from undergrad. I haven't seen her three years! I am definitely planning on going to the Walker Art Center, The Great Mall of America and a few other attractions. One exhibition I look forward to seeing at the Walker is the Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections

After Minnesota, I will be flying to Chapel Hill, North Carolina. I will be attending the Summer Educational Institute Workshop from June 7-10, which will take place at UNC. I am super excited to meet new people and to learn new things, especially how to develop and deliver digital content!

"The Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources and Image Management (SEI) is a joint project of the Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) and the Visual Resources Association Foundation (VRAF). SEI seeks to provide information professionals with a substantive educational and professional development opportunity focused on digital imaging, the information and experience needed to stay current in a rapidly changing field, and the opportunity to create and be part of a network of supportive colleagues."

One week after North Carolina, I will be headed off to ALA-AC in Orlando, Florida! I will be working at the ALA Store as a requirement of my Student-to-Staff Internship Program. After attending the ARLIS/NA + VRA conference, I feel pretty prepared, even though ALA is way bigger. I am looking forward to meeting some people I met through the DERAIL Forum and through the S2S Facebook page! 

And finally to conclude my summer, I will be interning at Northwestern University's Library. I will be working as a Metadata Aid to the staff in the Repository & Digital Curation and Special Collections. While I am there, I will be entering in data for reformatted slides from a selected artists' archive. It will be interesting to see how MENU (Metadata Editor Northwestern University), a locally developed tool which uses VRA Core to input data, will work. At the Fine Arts Library, I have been using VCAT and ARTstor Shared Shelf to catalog some of our reformatted slides. I will also be gaining experience in using Hydra. I should probably do some research of their collection and web/digital libraries before I start!!! 

Like I mentioned above, I will be working at the Kinsey Institute Library and Archives this summer. My GA position has also been renewed for the Fall. I do enjoy working at the Kinsey, it is such an interesting and important place. Sexual education and gender studies are such important topics, they should never be silenced or not embraced. One part of my job that I absolutely love is receiving donations or coming across artifacts from old gay pride parades, karma sutra books, and women's rights propaganda. Another part of my job that I love is accessioning all the new art  that is donated or purchased - I now have a new view on erotic art and photography. I feel like my views and knowledge on sex, gender, and reproduction were very shallow when I first started work but now I feel like I have a better grasp on these very, very important topics. 

This summer I will be reading:

  • Japan's Sex Trade: A Journey Through Japan's Erotic Subcultures by Peter Constantine (1994)
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson (1962)
  • Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks (1994)
  • The Sex Doll: A History by Anthony Ferguson (2010)
  • Early Modern Tragedy and the Cinema of Violence by Stevie Simkin (2006)
  • Feminist Pedagogy for Library Instruction by Maria T. Accardi (2013)
  • Sex and Power in History (How the difference between the sexes has shaped our destinies) by Amaury de Riencourt (1974)

First Year Over

Welp, my first year of library school is over! I finished strong and tired. I meant to update my blog after my conference travel but I got swamped with papers and final projects. 

Overall, I had a great semester, work and school wise. I had a wonderful time at the ARLIS/NA + VRA joint conference this past March and I had a great spring break. I became a contributing writer on the Hack Library School blog. 

So exciting!!! My first post discusses the importance of student groups and having active participation within them. I was really worried about my post, I tried to make it more objective than subjective. I was frustrated when I first started to write it - my first draft was just me bitchin' about the library science student groups at IU. Once I got that rant out, I went back edited all of it - which made it become more objective. I did want to place in personal and group experiences that have happened within SALS. Once I felt I had a solid piece, I sent it to my closest friends, my Hack Lib mentor and over course, the other writers. I received constructive criticism! It was so great. I am so glad that the other writers put in their two cents about what I wrote and a lot of them had strong suggestions for things to either eliminate or add. I look forward to writing more posts and reading new posts from the other contributors. 

When I returned from Seattle, I came home the Secretary and Treasurer of VRA's Midwest Chapter. I also returned with several ideas for my time during library school. I talked to several people who were supportive in the ideas that I was interested in. I pitched a couple paper topics to some people and they thought I was on to something. Who knows... I really did have an excellent time at ARLIS/NA + VRA conference. My favorite session was New Voices in the Professions. It was so inspiring to see emerging professionals discuss topics that they are committed to investigating and sharing. The variety in the presentations was exciting and held my attention. I will never forget walking into the Seattle Art Museum for the after hours Welcome Reception. So gorgeous and so beautiful - being able to walk around the galleries with a limited crowd - I was speechless. Also, Kehinde Wiley's  show A New Republic was being shown at SAM! The stained glass works were jaw dropping, as well as the works that featured women. I had never his work featuring women before, so gorgeous. 

I definitely learned that the next conference I attend I won't push myself to see all the sessions. Being inside all day is not fun, I learned to take breaks and to go outside occasionally and explore the city. The first night Andrew, Vaughan and I go to Seattle, we went to the 5-Point Cafe. This place was amazing! It was so grungy and Seattle! They were playing grunge, 90's music and were serving breakfast food midnight! What more could you ask for!!! On the last day, Andrew and I explored Pike Place Market and the surrounding area. 

As for my summer plans, I will be in going to Minnesota to visit an old friend, Chapel Hill for the Summer Educational Institute, Orlando for ALA and Illinois for my internship at Northwestern University. Busy, busy, busy!!!


SALS went St. Louis, MO this past weekend. I was so excited since I am from KC, MO and one of my good friends is from StL, MO - so I've been there a few times. I wanted to share this amazing city with my group of peers. 

We made it an overnight trip, reserving two Airbnb's for the eight of us. We took two cars and it took about four hours to get there from Bloomington. The drive really didn't feel that long but I did have a large coffee before we drove away from the sunrise. It was so amazing to see the Arch again, it is such a humbling site to see. I took my group to the (Richard) Serra Sculpture Park and Citygarden, a park dotted by lawns, pathways & seating, & notable for its water features, sculptures & video wall. We ate at Schlafly's Tap Room for lunch, so yummy and so not Bloomington food. Afterwards, we headed to Washington University to meet with Jennifer Akins and Rina Vecchiola at the Kranzberg Art & Architecture Library. The library is adjacent and below the Mildred Lane Kemper Museum. The library reminded me of my undergrad library at KCAI, it was small but enough. Rina and Jennifer gave SALS a tour of the library and then gave a little presentation with Q&A at the end. I love taking these trips to meet with "real" librarians, working in a professional setting that isn't IU. 

After our library meeting, some of us went to our Airbnb's and some went to the arboretum. Then we met up for dinner at The Block. Later that evening, I took some people who wanted to stay out to The City Museum, one the places to go while you are in St. Louis. Everyone was in awe it was great, seeing my peers faces' light up and they transformed into kids. We had a couple drinks before crawling through tubes and going down slides. It was a great night but it got even better! I took everyone to MY FAVORITE place - Steve's Hot Dogs in Tower Grove. I was able to fill my punch card and got a free hot dog. The next day we went and got crepes for breakfast from City Coffee & Creperie and then headed over to the St. Louis Art Museum. After a glorious hour at the museum and spending some $$ in the museum store, we headed back to Bloomington. 

ARLIS/NA + VRA Conference

This past October, I was honored to receive the William C. Bunce Travel Award, given by the ARLIS/NA Midstates and the VRA New Horizons Student Travel award in order to attend the ARLIS/NA + VRA Conference in Seattle, Washington.

Below is a very brief report of a few of my experiences. 

I attended the New Member’s reception where I was able to connect with several Art Librarian and Visual Resource professionals, some of which I had only known by name. At the Welcome Reception which took place at the Seattle Art Museum, I had the opportunity to meet new and long-standing members, ask questions, and discuss topics relevant to the field and my interests. I also had the chance to reconnect with past supervisors and advisors. At first, the thought of attending this conference as a student was overwhelming but after the first day that thought never came back into my head. I felt very welcomed and accepted by the other professionals and students who were in attendance.

The ArLiSNAP + VREPS Career Development Workshop was very enlightening and provided the opportunity for me meet with other students or recent graduates. I really appreciated listening to Marie Elia, Molly Schoen, and Marsha Taichman discuss their experiences of applying for jobs and living the post-graduate life. The presentations, demonstrations, and open discussions were very encouraging and provided some basic steps to take when a building a career.

The “New Voices in the Profession” was such an amazing session. Listening to the well-developed topics presented by emerging professionals was inspirational. From that session, I thoroughly enjoyed Judith Schwartz’ presentation Visual Literacy Meets Information Literacy: Academic Libraries Address the New Challenges of the 21st Century.

Another session that I am so glad I attended was the Diversity Forum. As a person of mixed race, this topic is very important to me, especially with the lack of diversity within my Masters program. The presenters had the attendees participate in an activity that opened up a personal conversation between about the perceptions of yourself and others. Listening to people from all different backgrounds and walks of life discuss how they have faced diversity and inclusion issues within the profession and the workplace was beyond words. After that session, I walked away with tips on how to move forward with these issues. Some of my fellow peers and I have had discussions on how to incorporate what we learned into the context of library school.

G & C

My favorite class this semester is Gender and Computerization. We are discussing the ways gender and technologies, particularly related to computerization, have been understood. Throughout the semester, we have examined technological studies, gender critiques of technology, and problematic imaginings and representations of gender and technology, as well as ways in which gender has shaped practice and technological developments over time.

One ironic thing that I have noticed is, that there are 5 people enrolled and 4 of us are female, while one person is male - who speaks over us quite frequently. This class has been very informative and I am very disappointed that this is not a required class among students in this program. If an institution is really looking to create a diverse environment in informatics and computing this would be the place to start. 

Below is a list of topics that we discuss as a class:

The association of computers with male interests and aptitudes. 
The IT climate in education and in the workplace. 
The nature versus nurture debate (e.g., is being good with computers an innate ability or the result of socialization?) 
The role stereotypes (many perpetuated by the media) play in IT. 
The number of males and females using Internet resources and what the closing of this gap means. 
The attraction to virtual worlds (including digital gaming), and how these carnivalesque environments may close the gender gap. 
Sex and sexuality in technologized environments. 
Gender, artificial intelligence, and robotics. 
The ways in which technology designed by women may serve to close the gender computing gap. 
The impact digital inequality has on males and females alike. 

I have always read about topics related to this course but have never looked at the hard numbers. It's upsetting to know that not too much has changed in regards to harassment in the workplace and online, I feel a lot, but not all of it has transitioned into microaggressions. I will see it is very empowering to know that there are going to be hurdles, as a woman, in this life. I also really enjoy this class because we engage in critical discussions unlike my other classes were the professor lectures us. 

Below is a screen shot of two Google searches - Programmer and Librarian. Notice anything?


Yesterday, SALS members and I traveled to Indianapolis to visit the Children’s Museum, Indianapolis Museum Art and the Stout Reference Library

We first stopped at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. Their mission is to create extraordinary learning experiences, across the arts, sciences, and humanities. The museum houses over 120,000 artifacts and specimens of all spaces and sizes. After evaluating and experiencing accessibility, user services and experiences, we traveled to the Indy Art Museum.

We first met with Alba Fernandez-Keys, the Head of Libraries and Archives at the Stout Reference Library. The Stout Reference Library is a non-circulating research collection that is available to IMA staff, docents, students, collectors, researchers, and community members who conduct research on IMA collections and the visual arts in general. The collection of about 100,000 volumes includes books, magazines and journals, auction catalogs, ephemera files, and museum and gallery publications from around the world. The library also subscribes to a number of electronic databases that support art historical and market research. New books are regularly added to our collection.After she gave us a brief tour of the closed stacks, we sat and had a wonderful Q & A session. Alba was very informative and honest during our discussion. We talked about the Stout Library and who it serves, budget cuts, diversity in the workplace, and fair pay to those who intern. I loved meeting with Alba, SALS had yet to meet with a Librarian who works in a museum. We have only really met with librarians in academic settings. A couple of new SALS members joined us and were very please to have met with Alba and are looking forward to our next trip, which will be St. Louis, MO in April. After we met with Alba, we toured the galleries! The IMA has such a great African and Oceanic Collection.


Just wanted to share some work I have created over the past few months.

Here is the website that I created for the Society of Art Librarianship Student Group:

Business cards for conference season:

Button designs for Progressive Librarians Guild - IU Chapter for Ada Lovelace Day:

Business cards for a friend:

T-shirt designs for Women in Computing

Spring Semester

The classes I am enrolled in for the Spring semester include:

Database Design

Gender and Computerization


While working on a project with the Image Technologies and Visual Literacy librarian at the Fine Arts Library and talking with other professionals in the field, I have decided to joint specialize in Digital Libraries along with Art Librarianship.

Goals for next semester include:

  • Develop a poster to be presented at a future conference
  • Formulate a project to work on that is related to dig lib /art lib
  • Apply for the Kress Fellowship to attend the Summer Educational Institute in Chapel Hill this June
  • Learn and make new connections from the ARLIS/NA + VRA conference
  • Curate a show for the Fine Arts Library display case
  • Develop questions to be asked at a future panel discussion

Awards and a New Job

With this past semester, I was honored to receive a few awards and new position at the Kinsey Institute.

First, as I had mentioned before I was selected via essay contest to participate in the Student-to-Staff internship for the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL this upcoming June. 

I also received two travel awards to Seattle, WA to attend the 2016 ARLIS/NA + VRA joint conference, in March. I received the New Horizons Student Award from the Visual Resources Association Foundation and the William C. Bunce Award, which was given by the ARLIS/NA Midstates Chapter. I am so thankful that I was able to be honored with these awards! 

I won’t be going alone either! My peer, Andrew Wang, who is currently the president of the Society of Art Librarianship Students, was granted the Student Diversity Travel Award through ARLIS/NA. I am so glad that he was able to receive that award!

I am so stoked to travel with great people to an awesome function where I hope to learn new and amazing things.

As for the Kinsey Institute, I was recommended to the Head Librarian, Liana Zhou, to fulfill the role of the catalog specialist. So, I am currently a Graduate Assistant at the Kinsey Institute Library. I am responsible for managing the catalog of materials, performing original and copy cataloging. Inputing data about materials into electronic catalog to ensure users can locate books, serials, films, and other documents. 


End of Semester

Woohoo! First semester down, three to go! 

This past semester has been great and pretty successful if I don’t say so myself. I am glad that I was able to find a position at the Fine Arts Library and the Kinsey Institute. 

What I have done in my foundation classes this past semester:

User Services and Tools

I had a very thorough introduction to the fundamentals of user services and tools in the context of libraries. One of my favorite parts about the class was the final group project. We had to create and design a service for a specific scenario. 

Our scenario had to deal with a valuable art collection. We decided to create an app that could be accessed via mobile, tablet and desktop, that would allow users to browse and search through the institutions art collections. We figured this would be a great starting point for any institution that is looking to provide more access to their special collections. In a  broader sense institutions could use this app to provide more awareness to their community, students, and faculty, that there is so much in special collections to be seen. This app is based on the idea of digitization.

My group and I interpreted the project fair as a fair where there would be actual physical materials but we were the only ones who went that route, every other group made powerpoint presentations. We also provided a verbal presentation and app mock up.

Representation and Organization

In this class, we focused on organizational and representational structures such as classification schemes, pre-coordinate and post-coordinate indexing systems, thesauri, and ontologies. This class definitely changed my perspective on lots of systems that I thought were organized in a successful way. But there is a difference in library land organization and ordering a pizza organization. I enjoyed this class because I had a more behind-the-scenes look at library catalogs and how they came to fruition. I am interested to see where BibFrame goes and social tagging, especially in the world of art. 

Evaluation of User Services and Tools

This may have been my most challenging class due to several variables. The class examined the applied evaluation of library resources and services, including collections, document delivery, technical services, reference services and so on. There was a large emphasis on methods and methodological issues. My final project for this class was a research proposal. I chose to propose a study on the information needs and behaviors of studio art students and practicing studio artists. I was really passionate about my paper but there was a requirement to have the paper be a minimum of 25 pages which definitely put a damper on the whole thing. If i were ever to submit this paper, I would cut out at least half of it. 



This past weekend the Society of Art Librarianship Students went to Louisville, Kentucky to visit the Margret Bridwell Art Library. The Margret Bridwell Art Library contains the University of Louisville's research collection in art, design and architecture.

We met with Sarah Carter, the Director of Bridwell Art Library and Janice Childers, the Art Database Editor at ProQuest, for a tour and a Q&A session. After our discussion, we had the pleasure of looking at some artist books and other special items that Sarah pulled for us. 

Afterward, we went to Dish on Market for lunch and walked around Downtown Louisville. We also explored NuLu, which is best known for its art galleries, specialty stores, antique shops and a growing number of local, upscale restaurants. The term "NuLu" is a portmanteau meaning "New Louisville". As home to the greenest commercial building in Kentucky, many historic restoration projects, as well as several restaurants offering organic and locally sourced ingredients, NuLu has emerged with a culture of sustainability.

One of my favorite parts about Louisville was the older architecture. We saw a very old firehouse which had been revamped, but it looked as though they kept the original facade. We also saw the Whiskey Row Buildings that had been in a fire earlier this year. So amazing how they are saving the facades! Cheer to the Engineers! 

At the end of the night, we ended up at a stellar restaurant called RYE. It was a great way to end the day with my fellow peers!


Dreams do come true

I am going to ORLANDO!

After applying via essay contest, I was selected to represent the Indiana University Department of Information and Library Science and the IU ALA Student Chapter the American Library Association 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. I will be taking part of the Student-to-Staff Internship Program, performing a range of duties. I will be meeting and working with library school students from other ALA-accredited schools across the US and Canada. 

The ALA is the oldest and largest library association in the world and holds its Annual Conference & Exhibition each summer. The largest such convention in the world is attended by more than 25,000 librarians, library supporters, educators, writers, publishers, Friends of Libraries, trustees and special guests. The conference includes more than 2,500 meetings, discussion groups and programs on various topics affecting libraries and librarians.
The ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition brings together newsmakers, innovators, thought leaders, and influencers in the library field and all over the world. News is made at these events, where important announcements are made, updates are shared, relevant legislation and policy are addressed, and discussions take place that have a major impact on libraries, their role, and their ongoing transformation. Annual Conference events trend nationally on Twitter (#alaac16) and are extensively covered in the media.
Approximately 900 exhibiting companies feature the latest in books, online services, automation software, furniture and other materials vital to today's libraries and librarians. ALA units display professional exhibits highlighting the various aspects of the profession.

Chicago Trip

This past Friday I attended the Midwestern Art Cataloging Discussion Group meeting at the Art Institute of Chicago.

The MACDG is a loosely organized group of librarians who meet at least once a year. Anyone interested in art and architecture or visual resources cataloging is welcome to attend. For more information or to add you name to the group's mailing list please contact the current chair, Karen Stafford, at

My peers, Andrew Wang and Julia Kilgore, left at 4 am to catch a 6:30 am Greyhound bus from Indianapolis to Chicago. We arrived in Chicago at 9:30 am which was perfect timing for the 10:30 am start time of the meeting. 

The meeting had two guest speakers: Sarah Guernsey, Executive Director of Publishing at the Art Institute of Chicago and Gary Strawn, Authorities Librarian from Northwestern Univeristy's Library. 

Sarah presented on the Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative (OSCI). Here is a Getty article about OSCI if you are unfamiliar. I highly suggest checking out the Chicago Art Institute's Scholarly Catalogs. Each digital catalogue contains in-depth curatorial and conservation research on the museum's collection, including high-resolution, zoomable images and other interactive elements. Gary spoke about preparing data for migration to a new ILS.  The agenda items that followed were checking out the new MACDG website, finding a volunteer to host the next meeting, reports of what was happening at attendees libraries and general questions for the group. Jasmine Burns and the Society of Art Librarianship Students volunteered to have the next meeting at IU Bloomington. When we broke for broke lunch my peers and I introduced ourselves to a few people who were also in attendance, a couple of them being students.

During our lunch break, Julia, Andrew, our new friends, and I stopped by the Chicago Public Library. We were interested in the Maker Lab  but wound--up getting an impromptu tour of the YOUmedia Library, an innovative, 21st-century teen digital learning space at 11 Chicago Public Library locations. 

With an emphasis on digital media and the maker movement, teens engage in projects across a variety of core content areas including graphic design, photography, video, music, 2D/3D design, STEM and hands-on making. YOUmedia connects young adults, books, media, mentors and institutions throughout Chicago in dynamic spaces designed to inspire collaboration and creativity.

The YOUmedia space was incredible!!! If I were a teen I would be there every day after school! Eric, our lovely tour guide, told us that Chance the Rapper is an alumnus of the YOUmedia program. And he often comes back to perform for the teens, Chance the Rapper loves the Chicago Public Library.

Quick snapshot of our impromptu tour given by Eric at YOUmedia

Quick snapshot of our impromptu tour given by Eric at YOUmedia

After lunch, we met back the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries to hear from Doug Litts, Autumn Mathers, and Nathaniel Parks about some highlights from the collection and the digital collection.  My favorite work that was placed on display for us was Marel Duchamp's published Rotoreliefs, a set of 6 double sided discs meant to be spun on a turntable at 40-60 rpm. You can see a video example here.

After viewing the collection that was pulled for the MACDG, we met outside the library for a tour of Dionysis Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints. This was led by Jeff Nigro, the Research Associate for Ancient and Byzantine Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

Statue of a Young Satyr Wearing a Theater Mask of Silenos, about 1st century A.D. Restorations by Alessandro Algardi, 1628. Roman. Anonymous loan.

Statue of a Young Satyr Wearing a Theater Mask of Silenos, about 1st century A.D. Restorations by Alessandro Algardi, 1628. Roman. Anonymous loan.

Overall I had an amazing time and the presentations were very informative on their corresponding topics! I hope to attend the next meeting that will hopefully be at IU! I give my thanks to Chicago and the MACDG, I had fun! 

Conference Dreams

As for being a newly minted library school student, I can now have dreams and aspirations of attending conferences and summer programs.

Currently, I am looking at these opportunities:

ARLIS/NA + VRA joint conference in Seattle, Washington, March 8 - 12

ALA Annual conference in Orlando, Florida, June 23 - 28 

Summer Educational Institute for Visual Resources & Image Management in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, June 7-10

In order to afford these amazing opportunities, I will need to apply for scholarships and travel grants. I know I may be shooting for the moon but why not. If I do not receive any funding there is always next year and hey, I got some practice in scholarship/travel grant writing. Every opportunity is a learning experience!

If I attend the SEI I would be able to visit my boyfriend, who is currently pursuing his MFA at UNC. <3  


Volunteer + Work Update

As you know I have started volunteering at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender and Reproduction. The Kinsey Institute was founded by Alfred Kinsey, a professor at Indiana University and an entomologist who turned into a sexuality researcher. The institute's mission is "to advance sexual health and knowledge worldwide." Research, graduate training, information services, and the collection and preservation of library, art, and archival materials are some of the main activities carried out by the Kinsey Institute. My official title is the Curatorial Assistant. Working with the curator, Catherine Johnson-Roehr, is extraordinary! She is an intelligent woman who knows her stuff. My duties at the moment include adding metadata to some recently acquired photographs. The work is not as monotonous as it sounds because the photographs are so interesting. 

As an artist, I find a lot of things in life to be beautiful and fascinating. The photographs are eerie to be me because I don't know who they are, they are anonymous. I catch myself thinking about the bigger picture - who are we and what are we doing here on Earth. There are many stories have been lost and scrambled over time; many of which are waiting to be told.

I start my second job as a Concierge in the Wells Library. I will be providing personalized assistance in the Learning Commons. I will be directing students to locations, services, and resources within the Learning Commons and libraries. The position has recently been developed by some administration of the Wells Library. I may act as a reference assistant, research consultant and/or the concierge. I will attend training session so that I may be able to teach students how to use the library properly - possibly in large class-sized groups. 

I am currently working on a project with the Image Technologies and Visual Literacy Librarian at the Fine Arts Library. We are evaluating and assessing the information details of the slide library. The work is just a precursor to another larger project.

Alongside my two jobs and volunteering, I have attended a few IT workshops and will be attending more in the future. This past week I went to an Endnote and a Zotero workshop. Endnote is my new love affair! Why hadn't anyone told me about it before! It takes so much weight off your shoulders when you are writing a paper. Adding citations to your paper, eazy peezy lemon squeezy Endnote can take care of that! So beautiful! I have also attended a UNIX, HTML & CSS, and Dreamweaver workshop! More details to come....!


This summer I read Curating a Twitter Presence as a Library Student on HackLib and I am so glad I did! I don't tweet too often, I mainly retweet articles, events, or other twitter profiles that I find interesting. It has come in handy when I want to read about what's going on in library land while waiting for my bus. I use it to monitor trends in library science and to follow certain chats, conference information or hashtags like #critlib, #saturdaylibrarian, #librarianproblems or #alaac16. There is so much information on Twitter it is almost overwhelming but also amazing. I love watching the participation that happens during Twitter chats, it just reinforces my love for the librarianship community. The Progressive Librarians Guild Student Chapter here at Indiana University held a meetup at the Wells Library to take part in the #critlib discussion. I was not able to attend but it was great to know that there are other students who are willing to participate and inform others about critical librarianship. 

Critlib is short for “critical librarianship”, a movement of library workers dedicated to bringing social justice principles into our work in libraries. We aim to engage in discussion about critical perspectives on library practice. Recognizing that we all work under regimes of white supremacy, capitalism, and a range of structural inequalities, how can our work as librarians intervene in and disrupt those systems?

Acknowledging Twitter and being a novice did come in handy when I was appointed the Social Media Coordinator for the Society of Art Librarianship Students here at Indiana University. I have found various ways to keep their twitter feed active without having to tend to it every day. You can follow them @sals_iub. As for my twitter handle, I did not make some clever librarian related name because I just wasn't feelin' it. I ended up going with @werstgerl - it's a play on my last name which I thought was cool. One twitter profile that I have been diggin' recently is Nicole Pagowsky's - here is a link her blog.

If you would like to learn more or join the discussion on critical librarianship check out their website here.


 It's been a whole two weeks since I started classes and it has been about three weeks since I moved here from Kansas City, Missouri. During my first week here I had orientation. I met several of my peers and faculty through ice breakers and social gatherings. I finally met some other art librarianship students bar hopping with some student groups. 

So in my first post there were some hints of self-confidence problems or concerns, and now those thoughts have dissipated. One of my teachers mentioned on the first day that if you were here because you like reading, you are in the wrong place. When he said those words a weight was lifted from my shoulders. I had been feeling like an oddity because I have a studio art background from a four year private institution...

I have enjoyed my classes thoroughly and am getting adjusted to my schedule. I attended a Society of Art Librarianship Students meeting this past week and took on the role as their Social Media Coordinator. So you should follow us on Twitter & Instagram! Soon enough I will be running their Facebook page and blog. I am looking forward to writing their blog because it will not only help my writing skills and research practices but it will remind me to write my blog! Below are some logos I designed for SALS.

Logo designs for SALS

Logo designs for SALS

I also plan on joining the Progressive Librarians Guild, Society of American Archivists - Student Chapter, and the ALA - Student Chapter

This last week I met the amazing Kristina Keogh, the Head of the Fine Arts Library here at Indiana University - Bloomington. I also met with Jasmine Burns the Image Technologies and Visual Literacy Librarian at the Fine Arts Library. I had a great conversation with her about visual literacy, design, and the versatility of having an art librarianship/MLS degree. After talking to her I felt more confident in going down the path of digital libraries or visual resources and technology. I still don't know how to apply all of the terms I have learned about to categorize the various jobs librarians can have. 

I did receive a job at the Fine Arts Library as a Library Assistant II. I will be helping around the library and hopefully working very closely with Jasmine on special projects. I also am a volunteer at the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction. I will be adding metadata to a database of recently scanned photographs. My goal this semester is to volunteer at one place and to have two jobs. So 2 down 1 to go! Every day something clicks and every day I become more and more stoked to be a part of this community. 

Orientation over

Orientation week is now over and I am all settled into my apartment. I didn't realize how amazing Indiana University's School of Informatics and Computing really was. After listening to most of the faculty talk, I am so stoked to be a part of this program. I wasn't as anti-social as I thought I would be.

One point the faculty really stressed to us was to be very, very involved with the technology.

Since orientation is over I have signed up for multiple technology workshops. I figured I would take ones like Photoshop and Excel to brush up on some skills. But I also signed up to learn the basics of Zotero, EndNotes, UNIX and HTML. I am looking forward to attending all of these workshops. Learning the technology will be a saving grace in some instances.

During orientation, there was one topic that was constantly spoken about and that was - your future career. The faculty were very repetitious about building your resume, researching job ads and taking note of the job trends. The constant reassurance about finding a job was overbearing at times. It is nice to know that for once in my academic career I will most likely be successful in my endeavors.

It was nice to see people from all different walks of life and we all have different skill levels. I am a little concerned about finding a part-time job that is relevant to my interests. I might have missed the boat on fall semester jobs. This afternoon I filled out some applications to volunteer at the IU Art Museum. I also went and spoke with someone at the Black Film Archive about a potential job, but was told that they weren't looking for anyone till Spring.