Thursday, September 22, 2011

Florida Association of Museums conference 2011

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of leading a panel of presenters at the annual Florida Association of Museums (FAM) conference over in Tampa. The four of us shared about the unique situations in which museum libraries find themselves, smashed between the two similar but disparate worlds of museums and libraries. It was so much fun. I love conferences, and I remembered that I really love to share with others. I love talking about libraries with other librarians, but I love even more talking about libraries with people that are not librarians. I love sharing ideas and hearing ideas and re-energizing myself and others for the banal tasks we have to do every day. It was great. I only wish that I could have stayed for the whole conference, but budgets are what they are. I was able to get in to the lunch yesterday and hear the keynote speaker. He challenged the listeners to push limits, look for audiences outside the norm, and take risks. Great advice for any business.

For part of the take-away of our presentation, I compiled a list of library resources. During the conversations our panel had, I discovered that many museum professionals that find themselves working in a museum library are not aware of the wealth of information available for training, grants, and general reference. I decided to include my list here. It is in no way complete. I tried to keep it to one page, front and back, so there were many resources that I was unable to include.

We're not all librarians, but what are some of your favorite go-to resources for what you do?

Library Resources for the Museum Professional

Compiled by: Joy M. Banks, Librarian, Anton Brees Carillon Library, Bok Tower Gardens
for Florida Association of Museums, Sept. 20, 2011

General Websites
Florida State Library Resources for Librarians – A source for resources too numerous to list including state wide job postings, a registry of libraries in the state (be sure to register yours!), information about grants, contact information for regional library consortia, and general resources to improve library services.

Library of Congress – The LOC website is filled with rich information for libraries and archives. Check out the sites dedicated to preservation (, building digital collections (, and their general librarians and archivists resource page (

LISNews – A great source for the latest in news and blogs related to libraries and library services. Sign up for their email digest to get summaries of stories sent straight to you.

IMLS Museums, Libraries and 21st Century Skills – While this initiative took place during 2010-2011, the resources on this website include self-assessment tools to see how an institution rates with 21st century skills and a report that includes case reports and the vision for libraries and museums in the future. Check out the rest of the IMLS website for grant opportunities.

Online Dictionary of Library and Information Science – One stop dictionary for defining all of those acronyms that fill library and information science vocabulary. A great way to help you help others understand the value of what you do.

Resources for Museum and Curatorial Librarians – a general listing of both electronic and print resource for librarians. Many of the resources are geared towards art institutions.

Special Libraries Association – For best library practice, networking, and finding colleagues in similar library situations. Of particular interest may be the Florida & Caribbean Chapter (, the Museum, Art, and Humanities Division (, and the Solo Division (

Library of Congress Catalog – a great reference to find MARC records and call number.

Library of Congress Authority file – a definitive reference for finding authorized subject headings, name authority headings, and uniform titles.

OCLC – One of the largest consortia of library in the world with over 72,000 member libraries. Their website includes great resources for bibliographic standards, training (many of them free), and a long list of helpful listservs to which you can subscribe. – This is the open version of OCLC’s extensive, international WorldCat database. It’s a great resource to see who else has books you have or who has books your patrons may need.

Library of Congress guide to Library Discussion Lists:
IFLA guide to Library Discussion Lists:

The following list is in no way complete but includes lists of general interest.
Fl-lib Listserv - This list is devoted to messages and discussions relating to the library community in Florida. Participation in the list is open to anyone, anywhere.

AutoCat – For all your cataloging questions. If they can’t answer you, they know someone who can.

Circplus – Library circulation and related issues.

LIBJobs – A mailing list for librarians and information professionals seeking employment and employers wishing to advertise their jobs.

Libref-L – Discussion of library reference issues.

DigLib – A discussion list for digital library researchers and librarians.

Wateren, Jan van der. The importance of museum libraries. INSPEL 33 (1994)4, pp. 190-198.

Continuing Education
Lifelong Education at Desktop (LE@D) – Offerings from the University of North Texas for professional development of librarians. Some are offered for free (sign up for their e-newsletter) and some are more in-depth for a fee. All are online.

Other sources for free and low cost library training include OCLC, regional consortia (, professional organizations, and schools with LS programs

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