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' Archives. The 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
Developing and Delivering Digital Content
Getting a Digital Project Started
Making it Happen Bringing It All Together: Project, People and Budgets