Featured Member: Jessica Shaykett

Meet Jessica Shaykett, librarian at the American Craft Council

What is your current position and how long have you been there?

I’m currently the librarian at the American Craft Council in Minneapolis. I’ve been at this position for a little over three years.

What interests you about your job?

I love my job because each day is different from the one before. I’m responsible for all aspects of librarianship, including acquisitions, cataloging, reference, database management and marketing. It’s an overwhelming job at times, but the challenges keep me engaged and I’m continuously learning new things about the profession. Working for a national organization, I also have the unique benefit of doing a little traveling to promote the collections.

Why did you join the ARLIS/NA Twin Cities chapter and why should others join?

I joined the ARLIS/NA-Twin Cities Chapter when the ACC relocated to Minneapolis as a way of learning about the art library resources available here. I was immediately overwhelmed by the support and inclusivity the group provides. I’ve toured many libraries throughout the Twin Cities I might not have otherwise known about. I’ve also developed a network to call on when questions come up in my day-to-day work. I think anyone interested in the arts, art libraries, or special collections stands to benefit from joining this group. Additionally, compared to the cost of joining other professional organizations, it’s a steal!

What are you currently reading?

In addition to the ARLIS/NA-Twin Cities Chapter book club selection The $12 Million Stuffed Shark by Don Thomson, I’m also reading Where the Heart Beats: John Cage, Zen Buddhism, and the Inner Life of Artists by Kay Larson. My undergraduate focus was in Buddhist studies, and this book has, so far, provided an amusing look at the intersection of art, music and Zen in the early-mid 20th century.

Featured Member: Kathy Heuer

Meet Kathy Heuer, former librarian at the College of Visual Arts

How long have you been a member of ARLIS?

I have been a member of ARLIS since 1992. At that time I started working as a Reference Librarian at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. I was at MCAD for over seven years.

What was your most current position and how long had you been there?

For over thirteen years I was the Library Director at the College of Visual Arts in Saint Paul. Unfortunately the college was forced to close at the end of this spring semester.

What interests you about your job?  What aspects of being an art librarian do you love?

I have always been a person who loves information. When I was about ten years old my parents bought a set of World Book Encyclopedia. I just loved reading each volume and absorbing more and more facts. When we got the set, I also got a little pin that read “We never guess. We look it up.” I still have that pin and it has been my mantra for library work. There is nothing more fun and rewarding than finding information for people or doing a research project. I really enjoy a job that is never boring and one where you are always learning something new. Most of the time I’d go to work having some idea of what I’d be doing that day. But when users came into my library and needed help, I would be off on a wonderful hunt for information. What better way to spend your work day. Of course working in an art library has the added bonus of spending your time working with art-related topics. It was especially rewarding to work with students and artists. I often would help them get information that they would use for researching a new art project. When I would see the finished work of art I was always in awe of their talent and dedication.

What are you currently reading?

I just finished Salman Rusdie’s  Midnight’s Children. I have a fondness for fiction set in India and also love Indian films.