John A. Lowe III '73 Special Collections Fellowship

Applications for the 2021-2022 Fellowship are currently open. Resume review will begin on May 4, 2021 and continue until the position is filled. Due to the COVID-19 situation, interviews will be conducted remotely. We anticipate that the new Fellow will start work in mid-August.

With support from alumnus John A. Lowe III, Williams Libraries is launching a new Fellowship program. The John A. Lowe III ’73 Special Collections Fellowship is designed to promote diversity in the library profession by introducing recent Williams graduates from underrepresented groups to a career in Special Collections librarianship.

The Lowe Fellowship is a one-year position at Williams Libraries. During their year fellows are introduced to a wide variety of professional activities in archives and rare book libraries, to professional development opportunities, and (optionally) to developing a portfolio for application to a graduate program in Library Science or an allied profession.

Williams College has profoundly transformed its student body in terms of socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and nationality, among other areas. Our expectation is that the successful candidate will excel at working in a community that is broadly diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, nationality, sexual orientation, and religion.

Eligibility

Applicants must be a recent Williams graduate, having completed their bachelors degree within the previous five years. In their application, applicants are requested to address their interest in a career in Special Collections or Rare Book Librarianship, or Archives. Applicants are also requested to address how they will promote the fellowship’s goal of increasing diversity in the library profession, whether that be through race/ethnicity, first-generation college graduate status, disability status, or another underrepresented identity.

Terms

In addition to pay of $19/hour and benefits, the Library will provide professional support including career mentorship, and an annual allowance of $2,000 for professional development expenses.  This position is full-time at 37.5 hours per week.

Responsibilities

  • Performs outreach and serves as a liaison to Campus student groups.
  • Assists in the preparation of exhibitions using rare and special collections.
  • Assists Special Collections staff by researching complex reference queries.
  • Surveys Special Collections materials to provide a baseline level of intellectual and physical control. Rehouses material as appropriate. Rearranges material as appropriate. Creates records in ArchivesSpace and Alma that adhere to national standards.
  • Assists in the maintenance of order of collections by accurately and efficiently shelving and retrieving material from the stacks.  
  • With guidance from professional librarians and archivists, explores their interest in a career as a librarian or archivist.
  • Participate in committees, task forces, or other groups, to develop professionally and contribute to the management of Williams Libraries.

Past Fellows

Akhir Stewart ’17 (2020-2021 fellow)

Headshot of AkhirOver the course of her fellowship, Akhir has worked to increase the visibility of underrepresented voices in Williams’ archive by conducting interviews for the Oral History Project, assisting in the organization of the Sterling A. Brown collection, and highlighting the achievements of women and people of color related to the College on Wikipedia. She also collaborated with the Committee of Diversity and Community in (re)writing the history of Williams.

Jane Tekin ’19 (2019-2020 fellow)

Headshot of JaneDuring her fellowship, Jane has worked primarily on organizing a collection of several thousand stereoscope views, ranging in topic from life on plantations in the American south to the World Wars. She has additionally worked on social media posts, interlibrary loan services, and reference queries. She also contributed to processing the library’s new collection of zines, and participated in instruction sessions.

Aramis Sanchez ’17 (2018-2019 fellow)

Headshot of AramisDuring his time as a fellow, Aramis helped professor Rhon Manigault-Bryant curate an exhibit for the Africana Studies department’s 20th anniversary. He also got his hands on unprocessed collections, learning to describe materials using archival standards. In addition, he created an inventory of the audiovisual material held in Special Collections in preparation for its potential digitization.

Aramis is an ALA Spectrum Scholar currently studying Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and works in research and instruction at Wilson Library. Moving from his time as a fellow to a grad student working at a much larger special collections department, he really appreciates the experience and attention that he received as a Lowe Fellow.