UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring John Bultena (University of California, Merced)

bultenaSAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature John Bultena.

Name: John Bultena
Graduation Year: 2012
MLIS Focus: Library Studies
Title and Site: Lecturer –
Merritt Writing Program | University of California, Merced

What do you do all day?
I lecture on and discuss writing with my students. The challenge comes in dealing with a widely diverse student population in terms of both background and fields of study. The Merritt Writing Program at UC Merced is built around the notion of developing the writing of students in such a way that they can explain their ideas to much wider audiences. This is crucial as interdisciplinary research is necessary in contemporary academics. Due to the background afforded to me while at UCLA, I can approach a wide range of topics with base level knowledge at the worse. This means I can help students bridge the gaps between their field and other fields that they may not even be aware of.

First personal item that you put on your desk:
Large cloth Blind Guardian poster.

Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring John Bultena (University of California, Merced)”

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UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Bo Doub (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)

SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature activist archivist extraordinaire Bo Doub from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.

Name:  Bo Doub
Graduation Year:  2012
MLIS Focus:  Informatics
Job Title and Site:  Co-Project Archivist at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG)

What do you do all day?
Doub_CSPGSorting
I was hired under a federal grant to (i) process and describe, on a basic folder-level, CSPG’s entire collection of over 80,000 social movement posters and (ii) catalogue on the item-level CSPG’s complete collection of Vietnam War Era posters. Since I am only two months into this job, and also because the archive is moving to Culver City this summer, the work so far has been in the “processing” phase. Processing, in this case, involves a lot of sorting of recent acquisitions and backlog to be put-away — sorting posters by geographical region, topic, and/or artist mainly. This sorting gives each poster a permanent location (in a folder in a big flat drawer in the archive) so that the drawers can be moved to the new building and the folders can later be described. Once the folder-level description is finalized, we will be able to generate an EAD collection finding aid for both in-house use and public use online and in the archive. I have also been cataloguing a lot of posters using MIMSY XG, the visual collections management software.

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:
I try to tell people what I do in more accessible terms than just: “I’m an archivist.” Most often I probably say something like: “I sort and describe cool political art all day!” or I just tell them about the archive itself and the more recognizable institutional partners it has (where CSPG exhibits and loans its collections). People respond with blank stares and comments like, “I never even thought that would exist!” Though most everyone thinks the work sounds “really cool!” (however implausible).

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:
I love the Cuban posters from artists and collectives like René Mederos and OSPAAAL (The Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America). A lot of these works came out of the 1960s and 70s advocating for the people of Vietnam against US imperialism and war. Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Bo Doub (Center for the Study of Political Graphics)”

UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Danielle Bass (NBCUniversal Archives and Collections)

SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature NBCUniversal Archives and Collections intern Danielle Bass.

Name: Danielle Bass
Graduation Year: 2013
MLIS Focus: Archives
Job Title and Site: Archival intern, NBCUniversal Archives and Collections*

*Note: Danielle is discussing her internship placement for winter quarter, 2013.

mrpres

What do you do all day?
My primary task at the archive is to complete a multi-year audit of the physical collection. This involves going down the storage aisles and opening every box to see what is inside and make sure that the contents match their locations in the collections management database. I get to handle props and costumes from movies and TV shows. I also have to put on my detective hat and engage in special research projects to identify what movie or TV show an object is from. In essence, this means that I get paid to watch DVDs! I’ve also had the opportunity to appraise assets from 30 Rock, set up exhibits, and do original cataloging for wardrobe from  Law and Order: Los Angeles.

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:
When I say that I’m an archivist, I most often receive a blank stare but when I mention that I work at NBCUniversal, people get very interested. “What do you do?” “What’s the weirdest thing you’ve seen?” “Meet anyone famous?” Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Danielle Bass (NBCUniversal Archives and Collections)”

UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Tammi Kim (University of Delaware)

tammikim_pictureSAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are excited to feature East Coast archivist, Tammi Kim.

Name: Tammi Kim
Graduation Year: 2011
MLIS Focus: Archives
Title and Site: Affiliate Assistant Librarian –
Manuscripts and Archives Department, University of Delaware | Newark, DE |

What do you do all day?
I am one of two project archivists hired to process the senatorial papers of Ted Kaufman and Joe Biden over the next two years. Ted Kaufman was Biden’s long-time chief of staff (1976-1995). He was specially appointed to the Senate when Biden became Vice President in 2009 and the papers from his office came to the University of Delaware after his term ended in 2011. Me and my co-archivist decided to start with his papers mainly because his collection is much, much smaller than Biden’s (pre-processing stats: 38 linear feet vs. around 2000 linear feet – congressional collections tend to get really hefty in terms of linear feet). I’ve been at this job for about two months now (and I previously worked at a political archives and research center in 2012), so most of my time right now is spent surveying every single box on the shelves to verify their contents and playing around with an Excel spreadsheet that lists box inventories for all the accessions that make up the collection. We’re also starting to sort all the data to determine potential subgroups, series, subseries, etc.

Right now we are definitely in the project planning and appraisal stage. At this point we are experimenting with various project management tools and creating lots of Gantt charts, timelines, and WBS (work breakdown structures), and estimating metrics for how long it should take us to complete specific steps of the project. Part of my job also includes working with the IT department in the library to build an electronic records workstation to accession and process the electronic records associated with the two collections. And we also know that we’re going to run into audiovisual materials from days of olde (VHS, audiocassettes, minicassettes, Umatic, etc.), so we’re also writing best practice policies and workflows for how to accession and process these formats.

Eventually someday (hopefully) we will also write the finding aid and maybe even come up with ideas on how the collection will be used for future exhibits and instruction sessions (the collection won’t be open for use until Biden has left public office for two years).  I’m also planning on coming up with a project that a graduate assistant from the Political Science department will work on and supervise him/her. And me and my co-archivist are already talking about future opportunities to potentially collaborate on a session proposal or paper about managing large hybrid collections. Right now I am just thankful that I have another peer archivist to bounce ideas off of and to manage this project. It can be easy to get overwhelmed by the volume of boxes we need to go through! Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Tammi Kim (University of Delaware)”

UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Roderic Crooks (UCLA)

dude_crooksSAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We are pleased to feature UCLA IS PhD candidate, Roderic Crooks.

Name: Roderic Crooks
Graduation Year: 2011
MLIS Focus: Informatics

PhD Anticipated Graduation Year: 2015
Area of Research: I study with Professor Blanchette. I’ve been working mainly on ideas around social media and mobile computing. I also look at privacy, participation, record-keeping  personal digital archiving, and community archives. Like most of the doctoral students in IS, I have a main focus that I’m working through and then a few other projects that may or may not turn out to be related.

What led you to pursue a  higher degree with the  UCLA IS Department?
I taught English for a few years, mostly in community colleges, mostly in New York City. I loved teaching, but being relatively low on the academic totem pole, I didn’t feel like I had much control over what I was teaching. I often felt I was being helpful to students in spite of the curriculum, when I was helpful at all. I met a few really active librarians who showed me ways to encourage intellectual independence and curiosity in students and I realized I wanted to put my efforts into research and into institutions like the library. The thing that drew me to UCLA was the explicit commitment to social justice.

Describe your daily schedule:
It varies wildly. The hardest part of being a doctoral student is that your time, energy, and concentration are pulled in many incommensurable directions at once. In a given week I go to classes, read, work on publications, prepare for qualifying exams (mostly by reading), work at my job on campus, maybe grade papers if I’m a reader that quarter, meet with my advisor, meet with other people for research projects, do desk research, and try to complete administrative work related to the department. Also, go back through that sentence and insert the word “read” in between each list item. We do a lot of reading in this program. Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Roderic Crooks (UCLA)”

UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring Katie Duvall (Getty Research Institute)

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SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We’re excited to present Archives and Records Assistant, Katie Duvall!

Name: Katie Duvall
Graduation Year: 2011
MLIS Focus: Archives
Job Title and Site: Archives and Records Assistant, Institutional Archives, The Getty Research Institute

What do you do all day?
Right now, my job encompasses records management and archives.  On the records management side my days can be anything from processing regular records management requests (basically sending and retrieving boxes from Iron Mountain storage) to meeting with departments and discussing their records needs, helping organize annual disposition logistics, and helping revise the records retention schedule.
On the archives side, I perform different levels of processing on institutional collections, from box listing to a complete finding aid. This can also include creating or updating MARC records and helping departments appraise and transfer material to the archives.

Most frequent response when you tell people what you do:
If I say I’m an archivist, I usually get a blank stare. If I mention the Getty then it’s, “Oh, I love the Getty!”

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:
I just finished working on the Robert Mapplethorpe archive for the special collections department here, so I’ve come across quite a few interesting (and weird) things.  Some of the stranger items included a rodent foot (perhaps squirrel) that was painted blue and mixed in with jewelry making supplies and a card with human hair taped to it. One of my favorite parts of the collection were the “beefcake” photographs from about the 1940’s-1960’s. They were hilariously awesome.  Leopard printed loincloths, anyone?

Of course, there were also gorgeous photographs and other artworks.  If you’re so inclined, you can read a little more about the collection in general here: http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/treasures-from-the-vault-robert-mapplethorpe-papers-and-photographs/

What new skills have you developed through this experience?
I’m learning more and more everyday about appraisal and working with donors/ donor departments.

Recommendations for students who are interested in your career:
Work on your core. I wish I wasn’t serious, but archive boxes can be heavy! Get as much experience as possible processing collections before you graduate. Embrace technology and learn all you can about born digital materials; it’s a huge issue and there’s no one size fits all solution.

One archival commandment you would establish:
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty (literally, not metaphorically; stay away from shady backroom dealings, people).

Favorite archive to visit:
I could no sooner choose a star in the sky…  Although, I would love an excuse to spend hours combing through the archives, soaking up old Hollywood, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Margaret Herrick Library.

Favorite/Most memorable course from UCLA IS Department:
Preservation of Heritage Materials with Ellen Pearlstein. We worked with an LAUSD collection where we created housings for Roman and Etruscan objects. It was pretty cool.

Course you wish you had taken at UCLA IS Department:
Metadata with Murtha Baca.

UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring T-Kay Sangwand (University of Texas)

T-Kay

SAA @ UCLA presents “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor.” The Fields of Endeavor series introduces UCLA Library and Information Studies program graduates and current interns who are out in the field taking knowledge learned in the program and putting it to use! We’re excited to present Human Rights Archivist and Brazil Studies Librarian, T-Kay Sangwand!

Name: T-Kay Sangwand
Graduation Year: 2008
MLIS Focus: Archives, Latin American Studies (IS/LAS Dual Degree Program)
Job Title and Site: Human Rights Archivist | Brazil Studies Librarian,
Human Rights Documentation Initiative | Benson Latin American Collection,
University of Texas Libraries

What do you do all day?
This changes daily! My time is split between doing archival work for the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) and collection development work as the Brazil Studies Librarian. We receive digital material from our partner organizations in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the US on an ongoing basis so my job is to ensure that the material is safely stored, available for access (if there are no privacy restrictions), and described to the extent possible (creating finding aids, applying metadata). Additionally, this work entails liaising with our partner organizations, on email or in-person.  I also manage an archived web collection of human rights websites and am responsible for maintaining the Human Rights Documentation Initiative web presence. While the HRDI focuses primarily on digital materials, we do have some physical collections so I also work with donors and do some physical processing. Additionally, I have some public service duties like working a shift at the Benson Latin American Collection reference desk and leading instruction sessions related to human rights or Brazil Studies. I supervise one half-time graduate research assistant as well as the occasional volunteer or capstone project for iSchool students. Professional development/involvement – presenting at conferences, peer-reviewing articles – also takes up some time. Also, no one ever told me in grad school how much time is sometimes spent on meetings and various library and university committees!

Most interesting item, record, document, etc. you have come across:
The first collection I worked with when I started here at UT was the Kigali Genocide Memorial testimonies from genocide survivors. In order to familiarize myself with the collections, I read the translated testimonies and was completely floored by the horror, resilience, and hope that their testimonies conveyed. It’s hard to choose one that stood out because all the stories are so powerful, but the testimony of Josephine Murebwayire is one I keep on going back to. Continue reading “UCLA Information Studies: Fields of Endeavor || Featuring T-Kay Sangwand (University of Texas)”