Supplement: Standards for Staffing Art Libraries || Supplement: Standards for Staffing Art Libraries

Embed Size (px)

Text of Supplement: Standards for Staffing Art Libraries || Supplement: Standards for Staffing Art Libraries

  • Supplement: Standards for Staffing Art LibrariesSource: ARLIS/NA Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 3, Supplement: Standards for Staffing Art Libraries(April 1977), pp. S1-S6Published by: The University of Chicago Press on behalf of the Art Libraries Society of NorthAmericaStable URL: .Accessed: 10/06/2014 01:18

    Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .

    .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact


    The University of Chicago Press and Art Libraries Society of North America are collaborating with JSTOR todigitize, preserve and extend access to ARLIS/NA Newsletter.

    This content downloaded from on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 01:18:52 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


    A library staff is the link between a community and a collec tion. It is necessary that the staff be highly qualified and of sufficient size to administer, develop, and support the collec tion and to guide the library's users. Whether an art library is

    part of a museum, public library, or of an academic institu

    tion, it is essential that the professional staff be equal in

    rank, status, and salary to the other professionals within the institution.

    Each type of art library-public, museum, academic (inclu ding the art school)?has its own distinct personality, based on the institution's objectives, the library collection, its

    staff, and clientele. In order for standards to be applicable, individual type-of-library staffs and levels of staffing, based on formulas offering a degree of comparability, have been es tablished within the framework of art librarianship. We are not considering here separately administered slide and non

    print libraries.


    The mandatory mark of an art librarian is a master's degree in library science from an American Library Association accredited school or a recognized equivalent graduate school. This degree equips the librarian with the technical and biblio

    graphical knowledge necessary to direct the basic functions of a library. An art librarian must have a knowledge of the basic litera

    ture, of the major reference sources, of the primary indexes and abstracting services thereof, of community resources, and of network systems-their capabilities and potential as

    applied to art libraries. It is required in many positions to have a working knowledge of at least two languages in addi tion to English. German, French and Italian are the most

    commonly required; however, other languages, such as the Slavic and the Oriental, may be of importance.

    It is advisable for the art librarian to hold a bachelor's

    degree in art history, fine arts, design, architecture, or the humanities and to demonstrate competence and interest in the subject An art librarian must have a knowledge of the

    periods, schools, styles, and movements of art history and

    Copyright ? 1977 by Art Libraries Society of North America

    a knowledge of the techniques of art forms and media. For certain careers in art librarianship it may be necessary for the librarian to hold a master of arts degree in art history or in the subject field covered by the library. A master's degree allows a specialization in which the individual develops an

    appropriate competence. It is understood that at this time

    many highly competent art librarians may not hold such a

    degree but have broad work experience. It is essential for the art librarian to participate actively in

    specialized professional organizations as a manifestation of career commitment and as a means of continuing education.

    In this participation, the librarian's institution is obligated to provide every feasible support. The librarian should be

    encouraged to take courses, attend lectures and do research to keep abreast of current trends in the subject areas as well as in library techniques. Where the possibilities of teaching, writing and publishing exist, the librarian is expected to make full use of these opportunities.


    The major function of the para-professional is to release the librarian from routine technical tasks. The para-professional ought to have a bachelor's degree, preferably with some hours of art history or studio art The para-professional acts as a general assistant and should have basic skills such as

    typing and filing. A reading knowledge of at least one lan

    guage other than English can be very helpful. It is important to encourage para-professionals in career development and

    to afford them the opportunity for continuing education.


    The art library should be an autonomous unit within the

    university library or art school system. The head of the

    library should report to the director of the library system (the administrator of all branch units) or the director of the art school. This relationship should be outlined in the insti tution's organization charts.

    The major responsibilities of the art librarian are adminis

    tration, collection development and maintenance, reference

    guidance, faculty liaison (which includes familiarity with

    This content downloaded from on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 01:18:52 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions

  • curriculum, teaching philosophy and research), orientation and instruction of clientele in library use, circulation con

    trol, and promotion of the thrust and the special needs of the collection.

    In executing these responsibilities, the art librarian must have, in addition to that knowledge enumerated above, knowledge of the major reference sources of the central

    library, the strengths of the academic collection as a whole, and the resources within the academic community; and

    knowledge of the administrative organization of the library and ancillary services offered in the central library.

    It should be emphasized that art school libraries are often not part of larger academic library systems and must provide their own technical services. In such situations the number of professional and support staff should follow the guidelines established for museum libraries. In situations where the art school library is part of a larger library system, it should follow the guidelines established below.

    A ratio of 25% professional staff to 75% support staff is recommended for a branch art library whose technical ser vices are provided for within the central library system. Mini mum per diem staff hours must equal the weekly sum of hours open. A collection of books on the visual arts which supports

    undergraduate academic courses should have at least one

    professional art librarian responsible for its development and maintenance. There should be sufficient support staff available to maintain an efficient level of service. The num ber of staff required by the art library should take into account the diversity of the collection, the rate of growth per year, and the intensity of use and services. Where there are doctoral programs, specialized programs, and active research by the broad academic community, additional staff must be provided beyond the 25%/15% ratio. A listing of staff according to size of institution and clientele follows.


    Total studio/art history faculty. Size of Library. Serials (Subscriptions, Exchange, Gift. Annual acquisitions (Purchase, Exchange, Gift) Hours open.


    Library Staffing (minimum).

    .up to 25 .up to 30,000 volumes

    .up to 200 titles .up to 2,000

    . up to 60 .up to 15,000

    ,4 to 8 full time, plus per diem students


    Professional Librarian(s) Para-professional Library Assistant (s) Other Support Staff Secretary/Assistant(s)

    Clerk/Page(s) Per diem Students Equal to hours open per week


    Total studio/art history faculty.20-60 Size of Library.30,000-60,000 volumes

    Serials (Subscriptions, Exchange, Gift). 20-600 titles Annual acquisitions (Purchase, Exchange, Gift). 2,000-4,000 items Hours open.60-70

    Circulation.15,000-60,000 volumes

    Library Staffing (minimum).8 to 12 full time, plus per diem students



    Para-professional Other Support Staff

    Per diem Students

    Head Librarian Assistant Librarian Reference Librarian

    Library Assistant(s) Secretary / Assistan t(s) CIerk/Page(s) Equal to hours open per week


    This content downloaded from on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 01:18:52 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions


    Total studio/art history faculty.over 60 Size of Library.over 60,000 volumes

    Serials (Subscriptions,Exchange, G