MLIS Electives Helped Student Gain Competitive Edge for Summer Fellowship


San José State University School of Information student Brittany Austin will spend her summer as one of eight fellows in the Dance Heritage Coalition fellowship program, which is funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Austin will receive training on dance-related librarianship and archival practices in Chicago before starting her first project at the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Archives in Becket, Mass. For six weeks, she will work with their online collections and exhibits.

As an assistant librarian at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in downtown San Francisco, Austin has experience cataloging library materials and works with the school’s historic costume collection. In order to gain more skills related to digital collections, Austin completed coursework in LIBR 284 Digitization and Digital Preservation taught by Alyce Scott. She scanned images, collected metadata, and created an online collection featuring science fiction cover art from the 1950s through 1980s using CONTENTdm digital collection management software. According to Austin, this course, coupled with LIBR 246 Information Technology Tools and Applications – Advanced, XML, helped to give a more competitive edge on her fellowship application.

“I found out about this fellowship from a recent SJSU SLIS grad at a local SLA meetup. She was a dancer and former DHC fellow. I had no idea that dance librarianship was a possibility! From that moment on, I’ve been determined to apply work with dance collections,” said Austin, who also takes adult modern dance classes at Lines Dance Center in San Francisco.

Like the 2012 and 2013 fellows, Austin will also create a blog about her experiences during the summer fellowship. The student blogs document the learning journey and highlight what libraries, archives, and museums can and are doing to advance dance and its cultural legacy.

Austin plans to graduate in December 2014, earning a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science from the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University.

More details at the Dance Heritage Coalition website:

Related Content: