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.
SAA cannot function without its members and we listen to you. The Program and Host Committees for the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting are already hard at work preparing for next year. As their road map they are using the recommendations made by the Annual Meeting Task Force. Many of those recommendations came from SAA members and we hope that next year’s meeting is exciting, engaging and truly meets your needs. Don’t forget that the deadline for session proposals is September 30th!
Today I sat in on a conference call with the members of the Task Force on Member Affinity Groups and they are excited to determine the most effective ways to encourage opportunities for members to talk, share ideas, and collaborate. They will be approaching members to hear what you need and how you want to affiliate with your colleagues. Do you want more spaces in conference venues where there can be informal conversations? Do you prefer online forums where you can chat with colleagues virtually? In what other ways can members network and collaborate? Share your ideas with the Task Force and when they ask for your help, please share your opinions and your ideas.
There is so much going on. We need your help to make sure that the Society moves forward and meets the needs of all of its members. If you have questions about how the Society works please ask. If you are frustrated about something let us know but also provide some ideas on how we might make things better.
Remember: We cannot be SAA without YOU!
I only speak from extremely limited perspective: this was the first or second year of the lightning sessions and the one I participated in was the first experience I’ve had with one. The conversation we had among the audience and participants I found interesting and positive. I certainly benefited by meeting in person the other participants, though i had discussed the session with them via email. Being face to face–or side by side while we face the audience–was an important portion of the value of the meeting. Hearing good questions, points of discussion, etc., from the audience enriched the session as well.
So, I personally think that continuing the lightning sessions–having more meeting places and times for small casual inter-roundtable meetings would be a benefit. Online is nice, but it doesn’t supplant or equal the face to face.