Personal Enrichment / Visiting Students / Auditors

Thinking about dabbling a bit in the rare book / archives world? Or maybe you’d like to try something in preservation, new technologies, or the history of the book? Many of our courses, from the fields of rare books, archives, public librarianship and technology, are popular among auditors.

Palmer classes are open to students who wish to audit classes (no credit) for personal enrichment or take a class for credit. They may do so by completing the Graduate Personal Enrichment/Visiting Student form.

  • Auditors pay half tuition (approximately $1800) and although no credit is granted, the course is recorded on the official LIU transcript. Auditing students are not required to submit assignments or other materials.
  • Visiting or personal enrichment students who wish to earn credit for a class pay the standard LIU tuition and will receive a grade and three credits.

Check here for the full spring 2015 schedule of classes and a sampling follows. Almost all classes are open to personal enrichment/visiting students.

Maps Institute, LIS 901 (offered at The Lionel Pincus & Princess Firyal Map Division of the New York Public Library)
Maps are most efficient deliverers of information, dealing with the spatial dimension of events in time. Ecology, history, property, archaeology, events in the news all can be clarified by the cartographer’s artistic and/or scientific hand, on paper or on the web. This institute is an introduction to maps as information tools. The class examines maps, atlases and globes, and their collection in local and national libraries; and by private collectors and their impact on library map collections. this class will meet on Mondays from 5:30 – 7:30 during the spring 2015 semester.

Audio Preservation, LIS 716The purpose of this class is to explore the issues related to the preservation of audio materials, both in legacy formats and in current or future or digital forms. Taught by archivist Marcos Sueiro Bal, Senior Archivist at the WNYC Radio Archives in New York City and a mastering engineer at Masterdisk. He has worked at the Alan Lomax Archives, Emory University in Atlanta, the Center for Black Music Research in Chicago, and Columbia University Libraries, where he developed AVDb, an audio and moving image preservation survey tool. He recently mastered and restored the Jackie Kennedy interviews published by Hyperion. As a live and recording engineer, he has traveled throughout the United States, Japan and Taiwan, and worked with artists from Elvis Costello to Bjõrk and John Legend and was an audio consultant for the Grammy-winning set Jelly Roll Morton: The Complete Library of Congress Recordings. This class will meet over five Saturdays beginning on 3/21/15 at NYU’s Bobst Library.

Rare Books and Special Collections Librarianship, LIS 713, taught by Rare Books and Special Collections concentration coordinator, Fernando Peña. This course examines the characteristics, criteria, and appraisal of book materials. The course covers the historical background, principles and practice of rare book librarianship along with the organization, administration, collection building, maintenance, preservation, exhibition, publication, special problems, and use of rare books in all settings This class generally meets in the fall and spring at NYU’s Bobst Library. In the spring of 2015, one section will meet at LIU Post on Thursdays from 5 – 6:30 and another will meet at NYU’s Bobst Library on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:20.

Emerging Technologies, LIS 517. Dr. Qiping Zhang will cover all the latest trends and need-to-know technologies. will be offered at NYU’s Bobst Library, spring 2015 on Tuesdays from 6:30 – 8:20 p.m. 

Human-Computer Interaction, LIS 707. Dr. Qiping Zhang, whose area of interest is about people– not computers– in the context of designing websites and information systems from a user-centered perspective teaches this class. Instead of visiting the libraries physically, more and more library patrons rely on the library’s website to download journal articles, request books, CDs, find out about the library program, and check their library records. Librarians need to be able to discern whether or not the site is truly effective. Is it easy for users to find what they need? Or is it frustrating and confusing to them?  This is where HCI comes in. It is a discipline that studies the design and evaluation of interactive computing systems for human use. The class will meet at LIU Post on Wednesdays from 7 – 8:50 in the spring of 2015.

Building Digital Libraries, LIS 654.This class will be taught by Dr. Oliver Chen whose research interests center on the applications of information and communication technologies to assist users in accessing and using information in different environments. The class will focus on developing digital libraries. During the course, the class will consider the various definitions of digital libraries in theory and practice. Topics to be covered include: selection criteria, copyright, digitization, metadata, navigation, and project management. The main project will be the creation of a small digital library. Students will work together in teams to create fully functioning digital libraries.They will work together to appraise, select, digitize, describe, and make available digital materials. This class will meet at NYU’s Bobst Library on Thursdays at 6:30 in the spring 2015 semester.

Rare Book Cataloging and Descriptive BibliographyLIS 709. Taught by our Rare Books and Special Collections concentration coordinator, Fernando Peña, this very special class meets in New York’s Grolier Club where students are given the opportunity to work with a variety of rare and special materials. This class meets over seven Saturdays beginning on 1/31/15.

And keep an eye out for these other wonderful classes in upcoming semesters:

Preservation, LIS 657, taught by Emily Holmes from the preservation department of Columbia University Libraries. This class generally meets in the fall in NYU’s Bobst Library.

Archives and Manuscripts,LIS 714, taught by the head of the Archives and Records Management certificate program, Dr. Gregory Hunter. Please email for a syllabus. This class will meet online in the spring and in person in the fall in NYU’s Bobst Library.

History of the Book, LIS 658, taught by Rare Books and Special Collections coordinator, Fernando Peña. This class generally meets in the fall at NYU’s Bobst Library.

Readers’ Advisory, LIS 610, generally meets in the fall at the Post campus in Brookville. It is taught by librarian Susan Ketchum. Students will learn how to do readers’ advisory (RA) along with the various RA services and read books in a variety of genres such as historical, science fiction, mystery and romance. Bound to be a helpful and interesting course!

Great Collections of NYC: Intrepid rare bookies will have a chance to see some of the very special collections housed here in the city with an expert guide leading the way. Summers, based out of the NYU Bobst Library.

Contemporary Artists’ BooksThis fascinating class requires NO artistic ability and is a fun, intriguing and practical class. Students will investigate how to build and curate a collection of artists’ books. You’ll have the chance to explore the meaning of the book form and its various transformations as well as to design and execute your own book in a hands-on studio session–a truly unique experience. You’ll examine an academic library’s Special Collection of Artists’ Books in a laboratory session.  Activities may include a field trip to the only bookstore in the U.S. distributing artists’ books or to an alliance of book artists. The course will look at questions such as what the term “artists’ books” has come to mean, what are its historical precedents and relations to the art world, why it is a 20th-century phenomenon, and perhaps most importantly, what are the principles and criteria of selection, appraisal and care. Summers at the NYU Bobst Library.

Film and Media Collections: In today’s multi-media world, it is likely that libraries, public and academic, collect non-print formats. Organizations such as government agencies, non-profit organizations, law firms and companies have historically generated and maintained sound and moving image recordings. In addition, many organizations generate and need to store three-dimensional objects such as models and ephemera of all shapes and sizes. Librarians and archivists should have an understanding of the principles and practices related to acquiring and maintaining these collections. This class will focus on moving image and sound collections with a particular focus on film. The history of film and its preservation serves as an excellent model for understanding the issues related to maintaining these types of collections. The class is not necessarily intended for students wishing to become film or media librarians rather it is intended as an overview for any student expecting at some point in his/her career to be working with these formats in any capacity. This includes librarians working in public and academic institutions as well as archivists. This class counts as an Archives certificate elective. Summers at the NYU Bobst Library.

Music and Performing Arts Librarianship:  Dr. Kent Underwood, a music librarian and the head of the Avery Fisher Center for Music and Film right here in NYU’s Bobst Library, is offering a comprehensive and practical introduction to librarianship for music, dance, theater, and related performing genres. The course of study will be geared towards library generalists as well as those wishing to lay a foundation for specializations in those fields, which have the singular appeal of being both scholarly disciplines and creative enterprises.Summers at the NYU Bobst Library.

Managing Ephemera
The course provides an overview of ephemera collections and their management in libraries and archives. It consists of half-day lectures, exercises, and discussions, and half-day tours of ephemera collections at institutions around New York City. Summers, based out of the NYU Bobst Library.

Exhibitions and Catalogs
While this course considers theoretical issues of conceptualization and criticism, it essentially provides practical, hands-on, experience with the steps necessary to create a successful exhibition of rare book/special collections material. Major topics are planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation. Generally offered in the spring semester with meetings at the Grolier Club, NYC.

A number of online classes are also available!