Thomas J. Watson Library

The Libraries of The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Filed under: Announcements

Professional Training in Practical Librarianship

The Thomas J. Watson Library at the Metropolitan Museum of Art announces a new two-semester internship program for library school students. Drawing on years of hosting successful internships, we are beginning a new initiative for Professional Training in Practical Librarianship. Working with a limited number of interns for a longer period of time, our team will be able to cover more areas of librarianship in an in-depth manner, providing an excellent practical preparation for a career in librarianship.

The first semester will function as a survey of all the areas of operations in the library; this will take place in the context of hands-on work whenever possible, but also through meetings and demonstrations with staff members. Interns will: work hands-on with technical services workflows; copy catalog monographs and auction catalogs in Millennium; gain experience on the desk working opposite a trained reference librarian; learn how to perform basic book conservation procedures (making enclosures, plastic covers, etc.); carry out basic acquisitions functions such as placing orders, selecting and receiving; learn the basics of creating metadata in CONTENTdm and working with our cutting edge scanners on digitization projects; help with record loads and data transformation; become familiar with serials workflows; and participate with various circulation activities such as paging, shelf-reading, and searching for missing books. The second semester will be an opportunity to focus more deeply on several of these areas, based on interest and aptitude.

A successful participant in this program will be a self-motivated, hard-working individual, who can work well as part of a team. You will have a significant opportunity to shape the direction of your internship and the depth of your involvement in particular aspects of library work; your initiative is key in identifying your own goals for the internship, so we can help you achieve them.

• Commitment: two semesters, Fall and Spring, one day per week (three participants will work one day, three another)
• Applications for Fall are due June 1; applicants will be notified by July 1.
• Can often be used to fulfill practicum requirements of your program; check with your program administrator
• Specific skills and learning outcomes not mentioned above include: using Serials Solutions; familiarity with MarcEdit; ClassWeb vs. LOC Authorities; EDIFACT invoices; data manipulation using Excel; using Connexion Client for copy cataloging; familiarity with conservation vendors; conducting preservation needs assessments; identifying books with artifactual value; basic preservation theory, and preservation issues specific to art books; best practices in technical services, from a workflow level down to a personal level; compliance with technical services competencies already in place for Watson staff

• An interest in getting real-world experience in many aspects of librarianship in one of the great art research libraries
• Enrollment in a library science program; completion of the core courses is preferable, but not necessary

To apply, submit a cover letter and resume to by June 1st, with a subject line beginning with “internship application”. Please indicate what your goals are for the internship, and which weekdays you will be available this fall (if you already know).

The Thomas J. Watson Library is the central research library of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Reflecting the depth and scope of the Museum’s collection, the library collects scholarly material from the art of early antiquity to contemporary art. Like the Museum, the library’s holdings are encyclopedic and global in nature and provide a broad range of research materials on Ancient Near Eastern, Egyptian, Greek and Roman, Asian, Islamic, European and American art. In addition to its extensive collection of 700,000 monographs, exhibition catalogs, periodicals and rare books, the library includes 200,000 auction and sale catalogs dating from the eighteenth century to the present day.
The Museum’s library system includes The Robert Goldwater Library, covering the art of Africa, Oceania and the Americas; Nolen Library, providing materials for all ages on the history of art and also curriculum related material for teachers; The Lehman Collection Library, a collection on European painting and decorative arts; The Joyce F. Menschel Library in the Department of Photographs; The Onassis Library in the Department of Greek and Roman Art; The Irene Lewisohn Costume Reference Library; and the Cloisters Library for medieval art and related topics. The Museum’s departmental libraries contribute to combined holdings of more than one million volumes, a collection unrivaled in depth and coverage for the history of art on a global scale.
See to learn more about the Museum’s libraries, including access policies and hours, and to connect to the libraries’ catalog, Watsonline.