“A Rare Choice: Career Workshop for Special & Specialized Collections Librarianship”

Students and recent graduates interested in working in special collections librarianship are invited to attend the upcoming workshop, “A Rare Choice: Career Workshop for Special & Specialized Collections Librarianship,” at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) on Saturday, May 7. The workshop will be held at the Richard J. Daley Library, Room 1-470, from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

This event is sponsored by Special Collections and University Archives at UIC, GSLIS, and the Rare Book & Manuscript Library at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, with support from Richard Renner, whose generosity in honor of Jackie Vossler has made this event possible.

Register by May 4 for this free workshop. For more information, contact Linda C. Smith.


Schedule of sessions:

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: The State of the Professions with a Focus on Special Collections
What do you need to know? Tips on how to prepare yourself for a position, with speakers:

  • Anita Mechler, project manager and archivist at Black Metropolis Research Consortium
  • Douglas Litts, executive director, Ryerson & Burnham Libraries, Art Institute of Chicago
  • Leora Siegel, director, Lenhardt Library, Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Moderator: Valerie Harris, associate special collections librarian, University of Illinois at Chicago

12:15 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.: How to Network  
Snappy, useful advice before the networking lunch, with speaker Jackie Vossler, independent accounting professional and vice president, the Caxton Club.

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Networking lunch with professionals working in the field
Lunch provided.

1:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Interview Advice from the Search Committee
Four leaders who regularly hire in the field offer advice on how to make an impression when applying, during the interview, after the visit, and even before the position is available. Speakers include:

  • Carolyn Szylowicz, curator and Kolb-Proust Librarian, The Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Aaisha Haykal, university archivist, Chicago State University
  • Maureen Brunsdale, head of Special Collections and Rare Books and librarian of the Circus & Allied Arts Collection, Illinois State University
  • Moderator: Meg Miner, university archivist and special collections librarian, Illinois Wesleyan University

3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.: Are Internships Worth It?
Do they lead to jobs? What’s the best way to break into the profession? Speakers include:

  • Cheryl (Shores) Ziegler, director of library and archives, Union League Club of Chicago
  • Ashley Locke Gosselar, processing archivist, University of Chicago
  • Damon McGhee, librarian and archivist, South Suburban College

4:15 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.: Marketing Yourself, or, You Know More than You Think You Know   
Speakers include:

  • Kate McDowell, associate professor and assistant dean for student affair, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Alexis Sarkisian, coordinator of clinical placement and career services, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, Dominican University

5:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.: Networking Reception
Refreshments provided.


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