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Tuesday, March 23 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Solo VR Professionals

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Meghan Rubenstein will present “The Results Are in: What the Solo SIG Community Is Today.” In an effort to revive the VRA Solo SIG, Lael Ensor-Bennett and Meghan Rubenstein distributed a survey in the fall of 2020 to learn if there was still interest in this group. By definition, solo visual information professionals generally have no professional peers within their immediate department. They often serve as the head of the library or visual collection and may have temporary or part-time support staff such as assistants, interns, student workers, or volunteers. Solo professionals are found in all types of GLAM related organizations including special libraries, art and architecture school libraries, museum libraries, branch libraries, academic departments, and independent agencies.
In this short presentation, she will summarize the results of the survey, which gives us a good idea of what, and who, the solo community is today. Questions ranged from type of employment and job responsibilities to the main challenges of the solo professional. Since distributing the survey, the Solo SIG has started meeting bi-monthly and begun brainstorming how the group can best support each other. If you are unsure if this is your community, come learn more about its members. If you are already a member, come learn more about your community!

Lael Ensor-Bennett will present “Delegation, Efficiency, and Compassion during a Solo Covid-19: Recalibrating the Duties of Student Employees.” While continuing the transition to being the sole staff member of the Johns Hopkins University Visual Resources Collection, the immediate change to remote staff work in March of 2020 around the country and here in Maryland left the VRC undergraduate and graduate student employees without access to their usual projects or clear guidelines for whether they would be allowed to work and myself without the ability to delegate many of the usual tasks. After several weeks of university wide policy revisions, the VRC was able to begin assigning remote work to students. As the pandemic progressed, certain technological hurdles were overcome, allowing a wider range of remote work to be available to the students; however, this work also needed to continuously take into account the reduced bandwidth of both staff and students. During this time, Ensor-Bennett has aimed to strike a balance between new and traditional student work that is relevant and useful to the VRC without adding work to her own workload, act in compassion for herself and her student employees and still complete necessary work, and realign the possible student work activities with her changed tasks in light of Covid-19.

Malia Van Heukelem will present “Leveraging Collections Management and Student Learning in an Academic Archive.” Museum studies and Library Information Science students seek out hands-on experience in special collections and archives; this past year has seen many host institutions cease in-person work. Van Heukelem aims to create opportunities for students while making progress in collections stewardship, matching student interests with collection priorities.

Cindy Frank will present “Architects of Color: The challenges of finding images to document their work.” Frank’s image collection supports the teaching of Architecture to both undergraduates and graduates. In an effort to broaden the holdings of the image collection and to support a more in depth teaching of architectural history Frank went looking for images of works by architects of color in the journals University of Maryland subscribes to, and the books on library shelves. There have been challenges, both from the pandemic, and from available materials.

This Session will not be recorded.

avatar for Meghan Rubenstein

Meghan Rubenstein

Curator of Visual Resources, Colorado College

avatar for Malia Van Heukelem

Malia Van Heukelem

Art Archivist Librarian, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Library
Malia oversees the Jean Charlot Collection, a large collection of artist papers, plus the Archive of Hawaii Artists & Architects at Hamilton Library. Previously, she worked in the Library's Preservation Department, and has served as Collections Manager for the state's Art in Public... Read More →
avatar for Cindy Frank

Cindy Frank

Architecture Librarian, University of Maryland
Let's talk about: Images for Architecture, Historic Preservation, Urban Planning. Legacy Collections. Diversity in those collections. Shared Governance. Supporting students while in the online environment. The best places to find architecture drawings.I have been Diversity Co-Officer... Read More →

Session Organizers

Lael J Ensor-Bennett

Assistant Curator, Johns Hopkins University

Tuesday March 23, 2021 1:00pm - 2:00pm CDT