Category Archives: Advocacy

Supporting NEH and IMLS

I came into work this morning expecting a quiet day when I saw an email with the subject line “NEH.” What I read made me cringe. It appears the House Budget committee, headed by former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan, has submitted a budget that eliminates both NEH and IMLS. Granted this is the first salvo in the budget battle but it is concerning. AHA has written about NEH and ALA President Barbara Stripling has written about IMLS.

Both NEH and IMLS have supported archives programs through grants. Most recently IMLS provided funding in support of the ARL/SAA Mosaic Program which provides financial support, practical work experience, mentoring, career placement assistance, and leadership development to emerging professionals from traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups. IMLS also supported A*CENSUS, the first study of the archival universe and its needs. Continue reading

Introducing the SAA Foundation

Did you know that SAA had a Foundation? We do and the Board had a lively and productive meeting in January.

Fynette Eaton, Foundation Board President provides information about the Foundation, its activities and goals. We hope you will consider contributing to the Foundation to help us continue the work to support the archival profession. Continue reading

The Jobs Thing…

Special thanks to Nancy Beaumont and Kathleen Roe for their input on this post.

When I came back from Chicago after the SAA Council and Foundation Board meetings I had planned to write a brief post noting some of the highlights of both meetings. I was excited that we got our strategic plan actions finished and that we have a living document that will help guide us for the next few years.   We also reviewed six issue briefs created by the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy that we hope to have available in May, did background work to inform SAA’s next budget and reviewed the annual reports of the sections, roundtables, committees and task forces of the Society.  The Foundation Board began discussing fund raising opportunities but also how the funds raised could support ongoing research projects and new educational programming.

But there is one issue that continues to be at the forefront for many of our members. It’s one we discussed several times during our Council meeting including spending one half day totally focused on this one issue. Before I could get unpacked and attack the massive piles on my desk, I felt it was important to share information on the topic of employment because it is of serious concern to our membership and to Council. Continue reading

A Time for Giving (and no this is not quite what you think)

Take a moment and look at these three images and answer the question provided below.

Which of these photographs are of the same person?

Which of these photographs are of the same person?

What did you see that helped you answer the question? What prior knowledge did you use? What questions did you ask yourself? What clues tipped you off?

These are all skills that students need to gain and use to survive in today’s classrooms and in our busy world. They need to know how to observe; how to question; how to incorporate what they already know; how to analyze and think critically. Continue reading

The Government Shutdown from an Archives Point of View

In upcoming Off the Record blog posts I will post about my speech and attendance at the Cultural Heritage Symposium that took place at the Library of Congress, my trip to Ohio including presentations at the Society of Ohio Archivists conference and at Miami University and my interactions with members of the Association of Research Librarians at their recent conference. Continue reading

Help New Orleans renew and rebuild!

Colleen McFarland, the indefatigable vice-chair/chair-elect of SAA’s Archivists of Religious Collections Section, has once again taken the lead on organizing not one, but FIVE, service projects so that archivists attending the Annual Meeting in NOLA can “give back” to the city. Can you fit one of the projects into your busy schedule on Tuesday August 13th or Wednesday the 14th? Here’s more information from Colleen. –Jackie

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Live webcast on the Boston College oral histories controversy

Today’s post is from Beth Kaplan, SAA Council liaison to the Oral History Section, about a special event they’re hosting  this Wednesday, July 17, 2013 @ 2pm Eastern time. I’ll be really interested in how this goes, since SAA’s Council has encouraged discussion across the archival community about the issues raised by the controversy surrounding the Boston College oral histories with former members of the Irish Republican Army. -Jackie

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Should a legal right to “archival privilege” be established?

Egad, it’s been way too long since the last OTR post! I’ll assign fault to the rather substantial work involved in prepping for and cleaning up after (so to speak) an SAA Council meeting and my final push to publish a major research report (forgive the plug for my terrific day job, but consider taking a look!).

You may have seen SAA’s discussion statement about the Belfast Project at Boston College that has drawn lots of concern from archivists and historians over the past two years. The Oral History Section also has posted a lot of useful information. Today we hear from Frank Boles, SAA past president and chair of our Government Affairs Working Group, who led the work to develop our statement. He and his merry band of GAWGers always do excellent research and thinking before they send a document to Council, and this one is no exception.

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Those amazing Georgia activists keep fighting!

It’s great to see that the historians, genealogists, archivists, librarians, and other citizens of Georgia who care about the Georgia Archives (i.e., the state archives) are continuing to fight for increased funding and a sane transfer of responsibility from the Secretary of State to the University System of Georgia. The Clayton News Daily has a good article today about the group of advocates who greeted legislators on the first day of their new session with placards and chants and energy. Continue reading

Hanging Together

A provocative new guest blogger joins the Off the Record roster today. The SAA Council was discussing last Friday’s tweetfest questioning whether the new SAA/NARA publication Resources for Volunteer Programs in Archives inappropriately advocates for the use of unpaid workers, and Terry Baxter leapt into the fray and answered my call for a blog post in response.

He expresses his opinion in typical unfettered Beaver Archivist fashion  (matching the level of passion used by last week’s tweeters). The faint of heart may be taken aback just a bit. Gird your loins, read on, and then build the comment thread.

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