SAA Vice President Danna Bell-Russel’s call for volunteers for SAA committees was first issued in October, and the deadline is drawing nigh–Monday 14 January, my 61st!! birthday. Here’s what Danna has to say to you …
The deadline to apply for appointments is fast approaching. Wondering if you should apply? Are you concerned about the time commitment? Concerned that you must attend the annual meeting to participate? Concerned that you won’t be picked because you’re a student? Concerned because you aren’t one of the so-called popular people?
Let’s chat about appointments….
If you’ve read the information about the appointed groups and have questions, contact the chair. He or she can answer your questions. Unable to attend the annual meeting? Some groups do much of their work electronically. Are you a student or new professional? Not a problem!
One thing that makes me nuts is to hear that some think the appointments process is rigged. Nothing could be further from the truth. We publicize the names of the Appointments Committee members and provide ways to ask questions. Applicants know which positions are available. The application process requires applicants to supply background information so that selections are based on a person’s background.
In addition to reviewing the needs of groups, the number of available positions and the available applications, the committee considers diversity when making our selections. This means that we need to select appointees from throughout the country, who work in a variety of repositories, who have different kinds of skills and experience and represent a variety of cultures.
What if you don’t get appointed? Take a look at this article (see p. 18) published last summer. The Appointments Committee always gets more applications than there are available positions. For example, in 2012, 35 people volunteered for the one slot available on CALM! Want to know why you were not appointed? Ask us!!!! We’ll give you an honest answer.
Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get selected. There are many other ways to serve. Offer to present at a section or roundtable meeting. Volunteer to run for office. Write articles for your section or roundtable newsletter. Ask if you can be a reviewer for The American Archivist reviews portal or contribute an article to Archival Outlook.
Begin the process to apply again next year. Introduce yourself to the chair of the group you are interested in. Let them know you are interested and talk about the group. Attend group meetings. Unless otherwise announced, most meetings are open to members, and you can learn more about the group’s activities by attending.
Also be aware that occasionally openings occur unexpectedly, and an appointment must happen quickly. If a committee chair already knows a good candidate, that may help..
I am excited to work with my Appointments Committee to select new members for our appointed governance groups.