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Re: [BKARTS] how to become a book arts librarian

Thanks to everyone who has offered their perspectives on becoming a
librarian and the ways that book arts may/may not fit into it - I am just in
the initial stages of researching grad schools, so all of this information
on programs, and hearing all of your opinions, is really helpful.  I am
interested in some aspects of librarianship that are not necessarily
book-arts related; it's fascinating that there are so many avenues that
someone might take in the information sciences field.  But I may also look
at some of the options that include bookarts and/or conservation in the
curriculum - there are just so many ways to go.

I appreciate your thoughts on building a career too - that is something that
I didn't think about when choosing my undergrad courses and I am really
sorry I didn't.  Being a grownup (ugh!) with a family now, and seeing how
little I profit - in the literal sense - from my bachelor's, this is a
really important part of my grad school decision.  Becoming a librarian may
not make me rich, or even give me a salary comparable to my friends with
bachelor's degrees in marketing and accounting.  But, if my research is
reliable, I would be doing better than I am now as a receptionist, and I
think I would also be considerably happier with the work.

Please keep sending librarian-related thoughts and tips my way!

thanks, and happy new year,


From: KT Pardue <ktpardue@xxxxxxxx>
Reply-To: Book_Arts-L <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: how to become a book arts librarian
Date: Sun, 2 Jan 2005 15:54:03 -0700

Allison--I was a bookbinder for twenty years before personal circumstances
required my return to school. I took the "road" you mentioned. Following up
on my love of books, archives, preservation, etc., I did my undergrad work
in history at the University of Colorado, which oriented me into archives
because it required primary source research culminating in a thesis to
graduate. I decided on an MLIS at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, LEEP option (distance, same degree and instructors as on
campus students receive), which required only brief periods of study on
campus and the rest at home. It is currently the top-rated school for LIS,
at least until US News and World Report does another assessment. It will,
any case, continue to be one of the top schools for LIS in the on-campus
distance program degree. It offers, from time to time, workshops and short
courses in book history and book arts, but it is primarily geared toward
librarianship and information science. I graduate this May and I am now
working on my second masters in history at CU because I plan a career as an
academic librarian and I want a domain specialty. I couldn't be happier
my decision because I can practice bookbinding and be a librarian or
archivist, three things I love.

Unlike what Gerald mentions, I do not think about what the information
profession "allows" in terms of book arts because I pursue what I want in
book arts when I want. Staff is thrilled to know anyone who has an in-depth
knowledge of books and book arts that can lead to some nice opportunities
for you to take the lead in planning exhibitions and workshops for your
institution. I think, though, Gerald has a point in that you do not
generally do book binding as a part of the job description, unless you are
technical services librarian. Even then, you usually supervise technicians.
Choosing what kind of daily work you want to be doing is critical to the
education you should receive, obviously. If you want book arts as a daily
job, MLS or MLIS is probably not the way to go. You may, then, want to look
into the University of Texas at Austin's masters program for
difficult school to get into and graduate from, but one of the best for
keeping bookbinding, book arts, and preservation a part of the future job
description. There are also a number of other conservation programs
nationwide that turn out some fine graduates with the same bent.  I wish

Karen Terrell Pardue

T.A. Department of History, LAS

G.A., Project Excel Writing Center

PO Box 7150

University of Colorado

Colorado Springs, CO 80933-7150

(719) 262-4336

*********************************************** The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

             For all your subscription questions, go to the
                      Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

                  Both at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

*********************************************** The Bonefolder: an e-journal for the bookbinder and book artist

            For all your subscription questions, go to the
                     Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.

                 Both at: <http://www.philobiblon.com>

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