Outreach at the 2016 Glass Art Society conference

Earlier this month, the Glass Art Society held their annual conference in town. The museum was one of the major spots for lectures, glassmaking demonstrations, and events, and we (the library) wanted to position ourselves as a key location for conference attendees. We decided to raise awareness of our space, services, and collections through a number of on- and offline outreach efforts, including film screenings, a giveaway for library donors, and advice to glass artists for preserving their legacy.

Conference attendees watch a demo by Raven Skyriver.

Conference attendees watch a demo by Raven Skyriver. (Photo via Karol Wight)

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#ColorOurCollections Week 2016

Last week the New York Academy of Medicine’s Center for the History of Medicine and Public Health invited libraries, archives, and museums to participate in #ColorOurCollections week, or, as they described it, “a week-long special collections coloring fest.”

We have a collection of cut glass pattern patents that make for perfect coloring pages! They remind me of the complicated designs popping up in adult coloring books.

We have a collection of cut glass pattern patents that make for perfect coloring pages. They remind me of the complicated designs popping up in adult coloring books.

My library has a wealth of materials that make for excellent coloring pages, so I jumped at the chance to participate. Thanks to a flood of suggestions from my colleagues, I put together a Pinterest board and a series of tweets sharing design drawings, stained glass cartoons, cut glass pattern patents, woodcuts, engravings, and more.

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15 ways to contribute to Wikipedia

By Outstandy (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Outstandy [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Happy birthday, Wikipedia! The project turns 15 today. I’m an active Wikipedian, and I encourage all gallery, library, archives, and museum professionals to join me in editing this free online encyclopedia.

If you’re asking “Why should we edit Wikipedia?” here are a few reasons. If you’re shouting “Wikipedia is evil!!!!” stop that! If you’d like to learn more about Wikipedia and how to get started, check out this beginner’s guide for information professionals. And if you want a few ideas of what to do on Wikipedia, read the rest of this post.

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Why archivists and librarians should edit Wikipedia

By Stefan Schlageter [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Wikipedia turns 15 today! With over 5,000,000 articles in its brain, Wikipedia is much smarter than I was at that age. But like any teenager, there’s still room for improvement. I’m an active Wikipedian, and I encourage all gallery, library, archives, and museum professionals to join me in editing this free online encyclopedia.

I expect some of you have questions (or possibly a very strong reaction) to that last statement. Why should we edit Wikipedia? What’s in it for us? Have you lost your mind? Let me answer the first two questions, and leave that last one up for interpretation.

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The case of the missing blog posts

Busy busy busyI wanted to post a quick note about where I’m doing most of my blogging these days. I currently manage and coordinate my library’s social media content, including our blog posts. My posts on the blog are mostly about library collections, acquisitions, and events.

This past January, Library as Incubator Project co-founders Laura Damon-Moore and Erinn Paige were nice enough to ask me to write a series of posts about my library as an arts incubator. This series is currently ongoing, with a focus on the benefits of a library-museum connection.

Look for more posts in both places, and the occasional post here as well!

Libraries inspiring artists: Kiln Allegories

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.

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.

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Librarians and archivists in pop culture

Buffy, Barbara Gordon, and Marian the Librarian, oh my! There are plenty of librarians and a fair number of archivists in pop culture, and I put together a bunch of examples for a National Library Week ice cream social at my job. Here are just a few of them:

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 culture

Who is your favorite librarian/archivist in pop culture?