Category Archives: Annual Meeting

My Presidential Address

As I finish my term I wanted to let you know that you can view my presidential address here. I hope you enjoy it and perhaps get some ideas you can use now and in the future.

I have tried to do my best to support the Society, its members, leaders and staff. I hope I have done some things that will help us move forward.

Now I turn Off the Record to Kathleen Roe, who has some amazing ideas for her year of advocacy and living dangerously with archives. She will be a spectacular leader and I look forward to seeing what she does with her 525,600 minutes.




Improving SAA’s Affinity Groups: Your Chance to Contribute to the Change

This post was written by the members of the Task Force on Member Affinity Groups. I hope you will attend their forum during the conference or respond to this post in the comments.

Since last year’s SAA Annual Meeting, a task force has been working to determine how the Society’s member affinity groups (that is, its Sections and Roundtables) can better serve the membership as a whole. While nothing has been finalized, the task force has been exploring several recommendations largely based on a survey completed this spring. The task force would like to take this opportunity to share some of these findings and to ask for general feedback on preliminary recommendations.

A large percentage of the costs to SAA to administer affinity groups go to providing meeting space and audiovisual support during annual meeting times. We wondered if rather than guarantee meeting space and technology for each group’s gathering at the annual meeting, could affinity groups be asked to demonstrate a need for physical space before each annual meeting? If groups are only holding elections and conducting a brief business meeting, perhaps those matters might be more efficiently resolved with online communications. Priority would then be given to groups planning official programs. Similarly, could priority for annual meeting space be given to groups that are collaborating with one another for a joint program? (We were delighted to see the Google Hangout event jointly held by the Records Management Roundtable and the Web Archiving Roundtable, and we wonder if SAA ought to explore ways to incentivize such collaboration.)

Another factor that emerged in the survey was what support can and should be provided to section and roundtable leaders. Overwhelmingly, members would like additional support for component group leaders; it was noted that groups are only as active as their leaders are engaged and activity can vary widely from year to year. Would additional leadership resources provide more consistency? Asking leaders themselves to help develop the training sessions at SAA is one idea under discussion, with the hope that by becoming more involved in the training, leaders can share their knowledge and strategies for effective leadership, as well as deepen their commitment to their respective component groups, enhancing the return on time and resource investment for all involved. Furthermore, remote training sessions, for those unable to attend SAA, are among the recommendations the task force’ is currently considering.

Initial ideas regarding the organization of sections and roundtables center on the idea that many members see little meaningful difference between sections and roundtables. Should groups be organized according to a common affinity—such as collection type, audience, or function? While many existing groups are already organized around specific purposes, feedback from surveys indicated that some groups are unclear about what work they should undertake. The task force is taking this feedback into account as it explores how important the section and roundtable distinctions remain.

While these ideas are preliminary, we hope that sharing them with you has allowed you a glimpse of what we think SAA’s member affinity groups can support the Society. Our involvement with SAA is often through the sections and roundtables. Member participation is often filtered through these smaller groups, making them a vital part of the organization and the primary way that SAA interacts with its members. Enhancing and enriching members’ experience within their affinity groups will result in a better membership experience for all. With that in mind, we welcome your comments about the ideas we’ve brought up and would like to hear any ideas you might have. Please post your feedback in the comments —we’d love to hear from you! We also invite you to share your thoughts in person with the task force during the SAA Annual Meeting. Pencil us in your calendar for Thursday, August 14th. We’ll be holding a discussion from 12PM-1:15PM in Suite 8228 of the conference hotel—hope to see you there!

-The Task Force on Member Affinity Groups

Shawn San Roman, Chair

Rachel Dreyer

Rebecca Goldman

Francine Snyder

Jordon Steele

Mark Duffy, ex-officio

William Landis, ex-officio

Planning for D.C.

It’s only two weeks to the joint CoSA/NAGARA/SAA meeting and we are thrilled to announce that this will be our largest meeting ever. My compliments to the Host and Program committees for creating excellent programs and activities for conference attendees.

Here are a couple of quick suggestions to insure that you have a great time in D.C. Continue reading

Our Continuing Experimentation to Improve Our Annual Meeting

This post was written by council member Michelle Light with assistance from council member Tim Pyatt. I thank them and the other members of Council made suggestions for this post and who have responded to questions and concerns from section and roundtable leaders about forthcoming changes for the 2015 annual meeting.

In 2013 the SAA Annual Meeting Task Force submitted a thoughtful and forward thinking report that gave the Society a number of recommendations for improving our annual meeting. If you haven’t read the report, you should! Continue reading

A Special Announcement from the Program Committee Co-Chairs for the 2014 Joint Conference

Hello all,

Your pleas have been heard!!! Here is a special announcement from the 2014 Program Committee as well as some answers to some of the more frequently asked questions about session proposals.

As the co-chairs of the 2014 Program Committee, we were asked to prepare a blog post before the session proposal due date. First: we need to let you know that the deadline has been extended to midnight, CDT, October 7! In pondering what we might write, it seemed that a promo piece asking people to submit sessions wouldn’t be all that useful (you know we want you to submit proposals, right?) so we decided to prepare a FAQ.  In no particular order, here are some of the questions we’ve been fielding—and answers we’ve been giving!—as proposals have started to come in. Many kudos to René Mueller of the SAA staff for doing most of the heavy lifting on the writing; we’ve stolen a lot of her answers.  If you have other questions that aren’t answered here, you can reach the three of us at –Jami (COSA), Rachel (NAGARA), and Arlene (SAA). Continue reading

Top Ten Reasons People Don’t Submit Session Proposals for the SAA Conference

10. They have an idea but think they can’t find others to be on the panel.

We can help you find potential speakers. Just ask for help.

9. They think no one will be interested in their topic.

You’ll never know unless you submit. And you might find a bunch of people are interested.

8. They think only SAA Fellows and big wigs can present.

Program Committees look at more than just the presenters. Continue reading

We Are SAA!

It’s been a very interesting transition becoming president of the Society of American Archivists. I joke about my second full time job and the joys of balancing my paid position with my unpaid one. I have people genuflecting and asking if they should call me “Madame President”. (I tell them to just call me “Danna”) I also hear from people who think that I am SAA and that they have no voice in the activities and plans of the Society. I am here to tell you that is absolutely incorrect. Continue reading

Internships, Privilege and SAA: A Council Member Responds

Michelle Light is the Director of Special Collections at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is also a second year member of SAA Council.  Though her comments in response to the discussion of Jackie Dooley’s presidential address are a bit long, they are thoughtful and detailed and compelling. I hope you will read and comment. Continue reading

Go ahead, let me have it!

My SAA presidential address, Feeding Our Young, has generated quite a firestorm on Twitter. My aim was to provoke discussion within the Society and the profession about these issues, and it looks like I succeeded! I also wanted to throw down the gauntlet to the SAA leadership (of which I’m no longer a formal member as of 3.5 hours ago, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be tuning out) to find a way to address the jobs issue, broadly raise the awareness of  members who may not know how tough things are out there, and various other things.

No doubt some of you out there have reactions but aren’t on Twitter. Or maybe you want to utter more than 140 characters’ worth of response. Anyway, if you’d like to say something to me, or to your colleagues, here’s a place to do it.

Fire away! — Jackie

P.S. I’ll be talking to the SAA office about getting the talk posted somewhere on the website.

Woo hoo! It’s NOLA time!

Greetings from beautiful New Orleans!! Archivists are beginning to gather, and soon we’ll outnumber the ever-presented inebriated throngs on Bourbon Street. :) I got here late last night after having a malfunctioning airplane grounded at DFW so am glad to have made it intact.

If you’re here already, welcome to the CoSA/SAA Joint Annual Meeting! And if you’re en route or not hitting the road quite yet, safe travels!