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Kress Fellowship in Art Librarianship: Thoughts and Advice from Kress Fellows

Thoughts and Advice from Kress Fellows

"Going into the fellowship I knew it was going to be an excellent opportunity, but I don't think I could anticipate just how rewarding it would be. At the beginning of my fellowship, I felt anxiety around my lack of library experiences. However, I quickly found the professional development focus of the position to provide the space I needed to gain confidence and valuable experience. I gained experience in the areas that interested me and fostered a deeper understanding of the similarities and differences in various parts of the field. Moreover, I knew the fellowship was known in the art library circles - but I didn't realize how much it would expand my network of colleagues. When I applied I knew generally it would be positive for my career; my impression after is that it is so much more than just 'gaining experience' to be marketable, but rather a deep and meaningful opportunity to grow, explore, and discover as a new professional." --Alex O'Keefe, 2018-19

"Part of my impression of the Kress Fellowship was that the role is essentially like another professional librarian position. However, now being in a professional position, I am realizing the fellowship is much more of an opportunity to delve into projects of interest and explore. It felt like art librarian boot camp in a good way. Having started my first art librarian role after the fellowship, the culmination of skills and experience gained during the 10 months prepared me well for my current position." --Allison Comrie, 2019-20

"I thought it was one of the most prestigious positions I could apply for because of the resources available at Yale and because of the high caliber of work produced by the artists/art historians. I was very intimidated by my first impression because of my impostor syndrome. I was concerned about not having enough experience as well as not having the right attitude to fit in at an Ivy League. After the fellowship, I felt so much more confident in applying for my next job because I clicked so well with the people I worked with. The fellowship gave me the chance to pursue a multitude of professional interests in a way that would be difficult to achieve in a permanent position. In addition to developing new skills, I felt like my work supported a lot of personal self-exploration and networking. Living just a train ride away from New York City also placed a huge wealth of resources at my fingertips. It reminded me often of living a train ride [away] from London. I will always be grateful that I had this unique opportunity to learn and grow at the beginning of my professional career." --Meredith Hale, 2017-18

"In many ways this fellowship helped lay an early foundation for my academic librarianship. Serving in an arts-focused library, wearing a few hats, and making a lot of connections in a short amount of time as a Kress Fellow have all greatly influenced the librarian I am today." --Adam Hess, 2011-12

"The fellowship helped fill in SO MANY GAPS from my MLS curriculum! Also the practical experience of learning to work in an academic setting in a professional capacity was so important. I feel like I could hit the ground running in my work since the fellowship because I got to work on such a range of projects with so many different people. Networking and mentorship around professional development activity also helped ease my anxiety." --Andrew Wang, 2016-17

"I cannot overstate how important the Kress Fellowship was in laying a foundation for my career. Through the mix of day-to-day work and time to do my own projects, the fellowship helped me build a truly rounded skillset, tailored to my needs and interests. Although I do not work in an arts library or do reference and instruction work now, I carry these techniques with me, applying them in peer training and in outreach. The other impactful element for me has been the network of colleagues, both those at Yale and in ARLIS/NA. Please apply--don't assume you will not be be selected! You do not need to be an expert or deeply experienced professional yet: the beauty of the fellowship is that it's designed as an opportunity for an early career professional to expand their skillset and prepare for their career." --Alexandra Provo, 2015-16