Category Archives: Annual Meeting

2015 SAA Service Project: Shoes and Clothes for Kids

SAA kids schoolContributed by Nicole LaFlamme, Cleveland 2015 Annual Meeting Host Committee,  J.M. Smucker Corporate Archives

As we gear up for our annual conference, local Cleveland students will be gearing up with backpacks, sneakers, and clothes for their first day of school, August 17th. Many of us will be driving or flying into Cleveland at the same time kids are heading off to school, making for a hectic morning commute. Archivists will anticipate luggage arrival and remember all travel essentials. We’ll sort out travel-rumpled clothes while hoping conference rooms aren’t over-air-conditioned or that the Miami heat hasn’t followed LeBron to Cleveland. We’ll be finding our way around, reuniting with friends we’ve missed over the months, and figuring out our schedules.

It’ll be a similar situation for Cleveland-area kids. Back-to-school also means new schedules, finding friends, and pressures to appear presentable amongst peers. Many students can’t afford the items necessary to begin the school year, while others are unable to attend school at all due to financial restrictions. Poverty is an especially big deal for children in Cleveland, where 54.4 percent live in poverty – defined for a family of three as below $18,769 a year (Census Bureau, Sept, 2014). The cost for equipping a grade-schooler jumped 20 percent between 2013 and 2014. In 2014, parents estimated paying $642 per child for school supplies (Huntington Backpack Index, 2014). This does not include the price of clothing. Studies have shown that the inability to buy clothing can affect self-esteem and significantly affect social participation.

Luckily, there is an opportunity for us to help local kids while engaging in some social participation of our own. A group of volunteers is needed at the Shoes and Clothes for Kids (SC4K) warehouse in Cleveland to help count, sort, and pack items into boxes for distribution to area children. This Packing Day is a fun opportunity that involves some physical labor (making boxes, opening boxes, moving boxes). SC4K positively impacts the lives of over 25,000 children each year by giving them the self-esteem and confidence that comes from having brand new shoes and clothes.

A second chance to participate will be available during the conference. SC4K donation boxes will be set up within the Cleveland Convention Center for you to drop off new articles of clothing (in original packaging or with tags attached) and school supplies. Keep in mind the first things a child puts on in the morning are socks and underwear – essentials no one wants to be without.

If you are interested in giving back to the host-city, helping kids, doing some pro-bono organizational work, and meeting up and having lunch with peers, please contact me. To register for the Packing Day, please e-mail: or call 330-684-7629. While at the conference, keep an eye out for the SC4K donation boxes.

SCK image

To help out kids of the four-legged variety, SAA will be collecting wish list items for the Cleveland Animal Protective League ( The shelter’s needs range from items for the animals to office supplies…and many are “suitcase friendly.” For SAA’s novice and champion knitters, cat and dog blankets would be welcome as well! We’ll be sharing more about ways to help Cleveland’s pets-in-waiting as the meeting gets closer. To see the Cleveland APL’s wish list, visit

Animal protective league

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. Continue reading

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