Mittwoch, 9. Mai 2018

The Librarians Who Moonlight as Artists: A Roundtable Discussion / Natalie Baur in: Lit Hub May 9, 2018

Because even (starving) artists need to eat, I ignored my creative instincts for a very long time in order to devote myself to building a career as a professional librarian and archivist. But when I moved to the creative oasis of Mexico City three years ago on a Fulbright grant to study digital preservation in Mexican libraries and archives, my desire to make art woke up with a vengeance. My reasons for staying in Mexico after my grant period ended were largely professional, but I also stayed for creative ones. Since finding my place amongst a community of artists in my new hometown, I’m beginning to feel comfortable calling myself a photographer and writer now in addition to a librarian; I focus mostly on historical and analog film processes, and I’m writing a mystery novel set in Mexico City.
As I embarked on my own journey, I discovered I was far from alone within my profession: many of my colleagues in library and archives were moonlighting as phenomenal artists and writers. My curiosity was piqued. I’ve interviewed six information professionals-slash-creatives whom I admire greatly to figure out what the secret is to balancing an artist practice and a day job in the library—and using that day job as a source of creative inspiration.
To begin, how did you find your way to a career in libraries and archives?
Alexandra Dolan-Mescal, UX Designer for Digital Archives and Lecturer in Archival Theory, Queens College: I graduated from college in 2008, when the recession hit, and I spent the next five years struggling to keep steady employment. I applied to the cheapest graduate program with a career prospect. My mom had attended the same program and gotten a good new career out of it when she was in her forties, so she was supportive of me. ... [mehr]

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