Libraries inspiring artists: Kiln Allegories

This past summer, seven emerging and established glass artists came to The Studio at The Corning Museum of Glass to participate in Mel George’s Kiln Allegories class. When teaching a class, George takes her surroundings into account. “[I] try to give the students special experiences that the individual places can offer,” she explained in a letter. For this class, she was influenced by the mission and collections of the Rakow Research Library. “I have always known the Rakow Research Library is the best for glass in the world, and did use this as the inspiration for the first project.”

Each week while Studio classes are in session, Library staff members give students an introduction to Library services and collections. The introduction includes a tour of the collections, which incorporates a look behind the scenes in the room where rare and special collections are stored. George and her students came to one of these tours, and were inspired by some of the books they saw. They arranged to come back a second time to look at the books in the Library’s collection which incorporate glass.

Lyndy Delian reads to the class during their second visit to the Rakow Library.

Lyndy Delian reads to the class during their second visit to the Rakow Library.

During their second visit, the class got a chance to examine books such as Michael Glancy’s Infinite Obsessions and Modernt svenskt glas (ed. Gregor Paulsson). The students discussed the different thoughts and emotions each book evoked, and reflected on their own projects. An impromptu reading rounded out the trip.

The students returned to The Studio, and, as George explains, “[the] tour of the library, the items and library philosophies, seeped into [their] books.” Her assignment for the students was to “make a book, made of glass, which speaks to their personal story as artists. Essentially, each book is an artist’s visual poem that utilizes surfaces, images, forms, textures and light to harmonize as well as personal palettes of colors to evoke feelings related to their ideas.”

At the end of the class, George and her students invited several members of the Library and Museum staff to an afternoon tea. George spoke about the project and how the Library’s collections inspired the assignment. Each student had a chance to talk about their book and the story behind it. No two books were alike in form or concept. The students pulled their inspiration from their families, Aboriginal culture, memories, and experiences, as well as how books shape their readers, the experience of reading to another person or being read to, the thought that there are no new ideas, and the spaces in between things.

Two of the glass books were directly inspired by the oldest item in the Library collection, the Mappae clavicula. The glass recalls the textures and colors of the 12th century manuscript.

The artists donated their glass books to the Museum, which, to George, was a fitting way to end the class. To her, the books represent the time the artists spent here, and the donation was a “beautiful, poetic, finale for my class.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Just as the Rakow Research Library inspired Mel George’s class, libraries everywhere have long been inspiring artists working in all types of mediums. This topic will be the focus of the January Behind the Glass Lecture, given by Erinn Batykefer and Laura Damon-Moore, co-creators of the Library as Incubator Project and co-authors of The Artist’s Library. Both are designed to bring together artists and libraries in creative partnerships. Be sure to join us at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 8, in the Auditorium, or live stream the lecture on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. EST. 


This blog post was originally posted on The Corning Museum of Glass’ blog, Behind the Glass.

Link roundup | May 21

Here are a few things I’ve been reading from around the web:

On my nightstand:

Murder in the First-Class Carriage

Murder in the First-Class Carriage: The First Victorian Railway Killing by Kate Colquhoun (find it on WorldCat, Goodreads)

Happy Wednesday!

Librarians and archivists in pop culture

These are some of the images I used in a slideshow last month for the National Library Week ice cream social at my library. Thanks to all the librarians and archivists who suggested characters/libraries on Twitter and tumblr! Here are some of their favorites:

(Sorry the text is tiny – click to zoom!)

Librarians and archivists in pop cultureWho is your favorite librarian/archivist in pop culture?

 

Link roundup | May 14

Here are a few things I’ve been reading and watching from around the web:

On my nightstand:

BiblioCraft

 BiblioCraft: The Modern Crafter’s Guide to Using Library Resources to Jumpstart Creative Projects by Jessica Pigza (find it on WorldCat, Goodreads)

Happy Wednesday!

Link roundup | May 7

Here are a few things I’ve been reading from around the web:

On my nightstand:

Consider the Fork

Consider the Fork: How Technology Transforms the Way We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson (find it on WorldCat, Goodreads)

Happy Wednesday!

Happy first day of spring!

Dance of the Stars, University of Maryland May Day, circa 1923-1931

Dance of the Stars, University of Maryland May Day, circa 1923-1931

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary and her Flowers. From the "Mother Gooseland" themed 1928 May Day celebrations. This image is also featured in the 1928 Reveille yearbook, page 273.

Mary, Mary Quite Contrary and her Flowers. From the “Mother Gooseland” themed 1928 May Day celebrations. This image is also featured in the 1928 Reveille yearbook, page 273.

It’s grey and gloomy in upstate New York, but I have hope that spring is on its way!

Check out more University of Maryland May Day images here.

What Did You Do Today?

rchopman:

Check out my post on Librarian Design Share!

Originally posted on Librarian Design Share:

Often we create a single design to promote a library event, but every now and then an event is so important that it deserves an entire marketing campaign.  This was the case for Maryland Day.

Rebecca Hopman, Special Collections Coordinator and Instruction & Outreach Team Member at the University of Maryland, says:

Each year our university hosts Maryland Day, an annual open house for the community, prospective students, and current students, faculty, and staff. The event is a chance for academic departments, campus offices, and local community organizations to connect with visitors. The UMD Libraries ran several events, most of which were held in Hornbake Library and McKeldin Library. Our team created promotional materials to advertise the UMD Libraries’ events and our “What did you do today?” social media campaign, including posters, a library website ad, TV monitor slides, and postcards for people to take with them or mail to…

View original 201 more words

Archives on Facebook: A social media posting guide

This post expands on one of the guides I created for archivists and special collections librarians using social media.

Why Facebook?

Facebook, without question, is one of the most popular social media platforms today. People all over the world use Facebook to connect to friends, family, and people with similar interests. Because of this huge potential audience, many archivists and librarians consider it essential to have a Facebook page for their repository. Many worry not having a Facebook page marks them as outdated or out of touch with current technology. While I agree that Facebook is a good place to have an online presence, I strongly believe that repositories should make the decision to create a Facebook page based on their individual circumstances. Each repository should choose the platform(s) most compatible with their community of users and with the types of material they plan to post. So – as I say for every other social media platform – don’t feel like you have to have a Facebook page.

If you determine that Facebook is a good fit for your repository, it offers a number of options for sharing information and building an online community. You can post text, photos, links, and videos; share, comment on, and like other people’s posts; and host conversations on your own page. Currently you can’t customize your page much beyond your profile photo, cover photo, and “About” section, but this also puts everyone on an even footing regardless of time and technical know-how.

Using this Guide

The following posting guide is a quick, ready-reference guide for archivists and special collections librarians using Facebook at their repository. It is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things you can and should do as a repository, but it is a good basic guide for what to post and how to improve your Facebook presence. I created this guide with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License, so with that in mind feel free to share, post, and print it! If you do use this guide, please provide a link back to rebeccahopman.com/resources/socialmedia/

Archives on Facebook: Social Media Posting Guide

Click through to the PDF. Available at: rebeccahopman.com/resources/guide_facebook.pdf

For a detailed breakdown of the guide and additional resources, continue after the break. Continue reading

Computers in Libraries 2013 wrap-up

28th Annual Computers in Libraries conference 2013

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend the 2013 Computers in Libraries conference in Washington, D.C. I hadn’t planned on going, but at the last minute a member of our staff had a scheduling conflict and so his spot opened up. I am so glad I got to go – what an interesting conference! It was very different from the other library/archives conferences I’ve been to.

Most of the sessions I attended were about web design, UX (user experience), accessibility, and new web/technology trends. I learned about the seven deadly sins of library websites and how to ideally focus your site around your users. I found out about some cool new AR (augmented reality) projects, the Dane’s Digital Library, and a new app that Danish art museums are using.  By the end of the conference I had a whole new list of resources and websites to look at.

You can also read summaries of other sessions on the CIL 2013 blog. I’m already hoping I can go again next year!

Social media posting guides for archives & special collections

socialmediacollageThis past summer, I completed an independent study focused on how archives and special collections use, could use, and should use social media platforms. As part of that class, I put together a series of guides targeted towards archives and special collections (although they could be equally useful to libraries, museums, and other cultural institutions). The guides are intended to be one-page, ready reference sheets for archivists using social media. Each guide is focused on a single platform. Although much of the information could be transferred to any social media platform, each platform has its own uses and quirks. The guides include suggestions on what to post and when to post, tips for good content, a few projects to try, a few options for measuring social media “success,” and some repositories who I think use that platform to their advantage. They do not include information for how to work each social media platform (e.g. – uploading photos, adding tags, etc.). There are already a large number of resources on the web for individuals needing help with technical issues. My primary goal was to provide quick, useful resources to those people who wanted guidance on how to best use social media platforms for their repository.

I based each guide on my own experience managing a social media program for an archives, advising archivists on social media use, and as someone who follows archives and other cultural institutions on a number of social media platforms. I also took into account advice from other institutional users of social media (including the non-profit and corporate sectors), archives and library literature on the subject, and the results of my 2012 Social Media Use in Archives and Special Collections survey.

Because I wanted to keep the guides at one page each, there was a limit on how much information I could include. I intend to write a series of posts expanding on each guide – explaining them in more detail, offering more examples and advice, etc. Right now I have completed guides on using Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Flickr, tumblr, and YouTube. As I continue my research on social media use in archives and special collections, I plan to put together guides on additional platforms such as Pinterest and Historypin.

I created these guides with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. They are posted on my personal website, and with this license in mind, feel free to print, share, and repost them! All I ask is if you use them, please provide a link back to rebeccahopman.com/resources/socialmedia. You can find all of the guides here.