ULS Frick Fine Arts Library Graduate Student Assistant (GSA)


Frick Fine Arts Library Graduate Student Assistants are paid graduate student appointments within the University Library System. The Henry Clay Frick Fine Arts Library is devoted to the study of images, objects, and texts in all their material forms. We value creative discovery and center this in our work with students, faculty, staff, and members of local, regional, and international communities.

In this position, graduate students gain experience in the skills of contemporary librarianship, contribute to digital projects hosted by or affiliated with the library, and provide support to faculty and students as a part of the library’s collaborative teaching and outreach.


This position, open to Dietrich School graduate students in good standing currently registered at the University of Pittsburgh, requires a commitment of effort up to but not exceeding 20 hours a week for one academic year, over two consecutive terms (Fall and Spring.) Responsibilities are conducted on-site, at the Frick Fine Arts Library, to the extent permitted by general university guidance; if in-person operations are restricted due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, this appointment may be conducted partially or fully remote, as appropriate.

Tasks include assisting Frick Fine Arts staff and librarians with consultations, project, and daily operations. Graduate students are also expected to pursue mutually agreed-upon projects resulting in tangible deliverables. The nature of the responsibilities will vary, and it is intended to allow the graduate student to make a robust connection to the Frick Fine Arts Library team and develop an ongoing project. Tasks will often include working with members of other units within the ULS, which requires flexibility, collegiality, and excellent communication skills. 

The Frick Fine Arts Building is home to 3 distinct sites that share a commitment to experiential learning and define themselves as Situated Learning Environments: The Frick Fine Arts Library, the Visual Media Workshop (VMW), and the University Art Gallery (UAG).  Graduate students may have the opportunity to participate in collaborative work with faculty and students in the VMW and UAG.

The ULS is committed to proper credit and attribution for all who contribute to ULS projects. At a minimum, graduate students will receive public credit and recognition at their level of contribution. Where contributions are more specialized and/or independent, the graduate student will receive public credit and recognition as team-member and/or (co-)author.

Graduate students will receive individual and small-group training, and will conduct self-guided training on foundational skills, such as:

  • Strategies for collection engagement
  • Critical library pedagogy
  • Digital and physical exhibit creation
  • Digital project management and collaboration tools 
  • Basics of data formats and modeling (e.g. structured/unstructured; tabular/hierarchical)
  • Manipulating and managing collection datasets
  • Organizing data and/or digital materials for study
  • Website creation and personal portfolio development
  • Critical and ethical perspectives on librarianship, archives, and digital scholarship

Sample Projects

  • Developing materials to support creative discovery and teaching with unique and rare collections, such as 
    • Medieval manuscript facsimiles
    • Chinese and Japanese scroll facsimiles
    • 19th-century architectural texts
    • limited edition catalogues raisonnĂ©s
    • boxed-sets of artist-produced broadsides and posters
    • art comics and zines
    • artists’ books
  • Developing materials to teach specialized research skills in library and museum contexts, such as exhibition research, artist research, and/or provenance research.
  • Contributing to digital and physical exhibits at the Frick Fine Arts Library and at Hillman Library
  • Assist in managing the artists’ book collection, and working with the artists’ book collection dataset. 


  • Registered graduate student in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, currently in good standing
  • Has completed at least two full semesters of graduate coursework in the arts and/or humanities, or comparable professional experience.
  • Must be able to commit to work 20 hours a week 
  • May not hold any other university employment 
  • Prior experience working in libraries is preferred but not required.
  • Complete application, which consists of a letter of interest, a CV, as well as:
    • Other relevant materials, such as digital projects, work with humanities collections, etc.
    • Project ideas using the collections of the Frick Fine Arts Library, in the pattern of the sample projects mentioned in the job description.

The GSA stipend is at the current level of a Teaching Fellow (TF)

Application deadline

Priority will be given to applications received by Friday, March 31, 2023.
Please submit all application materials to Kate Joranson, Head Librarian, Frick Fine Arts Library, k.joranson@pitt.edu 

Further information

If you have any questions, please contact Kate Joranson, Head Librarian, Frick Fine Arts Library, k.joranson@pitt.edu