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  Rebecca Fitzsimmons 2015 | | 352.224.5885  


2011 MLIS: Library and Information Science, University of South Florida
2004 MFA: Art Photography, University of Illinois
2000 BFA: Art Photography, Syracuse University (magna cum laude)

Professional Experience
Collection Coordinator, Panama Canal Museum Collection
George A. Smathers Libraries, Gainesville, FL

11/12 – present: I work with the Panama Canal Museum Collection to accession, organize, describe, digitize, promote, and expand the collection. Responsibilities include updating inventory database records using a number of metadata schema in a system built on SobekCM digital library software; coordinating and offering educational outreach activities; communicating with faculty and staff about the content of the collections, educational initiatives, collection development, and reference service; and developing workflows for processing. I also digitize materials that require a fast turnaround time and have worked in the Digital Library Center using a variety of scanners, camera equipment, and software for image capture and processing.

I also served as the temporary Exhibits Coordinator from March through August 2013. During that time I worked with curators and oversaw exhibit planning related to the collection. In August 2014 there was a weekend-long Centennial Celebration event on campus for which I curated or co-curated several exhibitions in addition to planning and participating in a number of large-scale community outreach activities.

Designer, Web and Print
Taste the World, Oswego, NY

9/11 – 9/13: I worked on freelance projects including the design of a website, print promotional materials, blog site, and social media outreach strategy. I was responsible for all of the product and store photography, graphics creation, research, and most of the written content on the website, blog, and Twitter accounts. The website can be viewed at I also completed a number of smaller design projects for additional store owners in the downtown area shopping center, including brochures, service menu signs, and product label designs.

Volunteer, Archivist I
Division of Plant Services Library, Gainesville, FL

4/12 – 11/12: I worked with the archival holdings in order to arrange, describe, and create finding aids and other resources for the collection. These discovery tools will be utilized to provide access to institutional documents related to invasive species eradication programs. This work was a special project and completed on a part-time, volunteer basis.

Digitization Volunteer
Matheson Museum and Library, Gainesville, FL

8/10 – present: I work as a volunteer in the library scanning a collection of historic stereo view cards, entering original metadata, and creating a finding aid for the collection. This is a project of my own design, including the plans for a digital library to make the collection accessible online. The mock-up of this digital library project, called Florida Views: Development and Vision, is available on the web at

Coordinator for Adult and Docent Programs
Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL

6/08 – 1/10: Planned and oversaw all public programs including lectures, films, symposia, and gallery talks, which required extensive partnership and outreach to the university and broader community. Created programming for college student focused museum nights events, leading a team of university students in planning and implementing innovative gallery activities to engage patrons. Additionally, managed all aspects of the 67-member docent program including training, research, evaluation, and appreciation.

Education Fellow
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, FL

8/07 – 6/08: Designed a series of lesson plans integrating art and academics and created gallery worksheets to accompany school tours. Planned and assisted with multiple events and teacher programming. Responsibilities included original tour creation and presentation for the Suburban School Superintendent conference and Board Program Day and planning and oversight of the Community to Classroom event for teachers.

Art Instructor
Escambia County Public School District, Pensacola, FL

7/05 - 8/07: Taught art courses to elementary and middle school students. Served as yearbook advisor for the '06-07 school year. Additionally, presented student works in various district art shows throughout the year and coordinated special programs with teachers from other teaching areas.

Substitute Teacher
Oswego and Fulton City School Districts, Oswego/Fulton, NY

9/04 - 6/05: Substitute taught a variety of grades and subjects.

Teaching Assistant in Photography
University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, IL

8/02 - 5/04: Instructor of record. Taught photography courses that incorporated a mixture of lecture, critique, demonstration, and studio work.

Darkroom Attendant/Manager
University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, IL

8/02 - 10/03: Monitored usage of Art and Design darkroom as part of a research assistantship. Served as interim darkroom manager from 1/03-5/03 pending a new full-time hire. Responsibilities included chemistry mixing, equipment repair, and maintenance of a Colex color processor.

Adjunct Instructor in Photography/Contemporary Art
Oswego State University, Oswego, NY

6/03 - 8/03: Classes were held as part of an academically integrated summer orientation program for incoming freshmen. The program was designed from scratch by the instructors. Co-taught various classes with instructors in computer science, English, and science, in addition to a dedicated art course.

Lab Consultant/Monitor
University of Illinois, Urbana/Champaign, IL

8/01 - 1/03: Monitored usage of Art and Design computer facility and provided troubleshooting support to students and faculty on computers stocked with specialized design software. Performed some maintenance on computer and peripheral machinery.

Licenses and Certificates
2009 Copyediting Certificate, University of California, San Diego
2006 Florida Professional Teaching Certificate, Art K-12 (current coverage)
2004 Graduate Teaching Certificate, University of Illinois

Lectures and Publications
Forthcoming: Association of Research Libraries Spec Kit: Community-based Collections

2/15: Paper Title: Collective Visions of Triumph and Tourism: Portrayals of Panama and the Panama Canal in Stereographs, which was part of the session Visions, Versions, and Voices: Collective and Divergent Histories in the Panama Canal Museum Collection, Florida Conference of Historians, Florida Southern College, Lakeland, FL

11/14: Beyond the Archive: Engaging in Creative Production and Interpretation for Education and Outreach, Art Libraries Society of North America Southeast Chapter Conference, Birmingham, AL

11/13: Community Building Around Digital Collections: The Panama Canal Museum Collection at the University of Florida, Art Libraries Society of North America Southeast Chapter Conference, New Orleans, LA

4/13: Basic Research for Art History Students, Baltimore City Community College, History of Art I (webinar series), View the Prezi here

10/09 Beyond These Walls (4D), Florida Association of Museums conference, Sarasota, FL

4/09: The Art of Integrating Academics, National Art Education Association conference,
Minneapolis, MN

11/07: Mathematics and Art, Suburban School Superintendents conference, Sarasota, FL

3/07: "King Can" hat design, Novelis Corporation, Oswego, NY

10/03: Visual Catalogue 2001-2003, Midwest Society for Photographic Education conference,
Chicago, IL

2000: Environmental Policy Brochure cover photo, Alcan Aluminum Corporation, Oswego, NY

1/99, 3/00, 4/04: Artist in Residence, Baytrail Middle School, Penfield, NY

Awards and Honors
4/14: Public Humanities Program Grant, UF Center for the Humanities in the Public Sphere: Addressing Issues of Race, Class, and Gender Through Theatrical Literature Production and Community Discourse

2/13: Strategic Opportunities Grant, George A. Smathers Libraries: Panama Canal Museum Collection: Digitization, Metadata Capture, Outreach, and Educational Tool Creation for a Set of Panama and Canal-Focused Stereographs

4/06: 1st Place Award, Focus on Art Educators Show, Pensacola Museum of Art

5/04: Creative Arts Fellowship, University of Illinois

8/01: Brodie Fellowship, University of Illinois

Professional Affiliations
American Library Association
Florida Library Association
Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA)
American Alliance of Museums
Florida Association of Museums