Supporting Our Colleagues

November is an interesting month for me. It’s a time when I am reminded of what I have and when I also am reminded that it is just as important to share what I have as it is to receive.

I am grateful for all I have received this month including help with packing and moving to a new home, birthday greetings from far and wide, time with two of the newest members of the Bell family and two amazing birthday cakes from outstanding home bakers. I am always beyond overwhelmed by the support of family, friends and professional colleagues and thankful for all love and caring that surrounds me.

November is also a time when I reflect a bit on loss. I along with with the archival community lost a dear friend, Donna Wells, in November 2009. Her death led me to write a column for the Mid-Atlantic Archivist  (MAA) on the need to support new members and new archivists. When I reflect on that loss I am reminded of how Donna supported me and so many others and how I must continue to do the same.

In my column for MAA I made some suggestions on how to support our colleagues. Here I’ll mention a few more:

  • Volunteer to participate in the SAA Mentoring Program
  • When we ask you to comment on something please do. We currently have a call for comments on the Best Practices for Internships. Let us know if you think we are going in the right direction or suggest changes if they are needed.
  • Soon you will receive a survey from the Task Force on Member Affinity Groups that will ask you about your experience with SAA sections and roundtables and other activities within the Society. When it comes please respond.
  • Apply to be a member of a Council Appointed Group. I encourage you to read the article I wrote for Archival Outlook providing suggestions for successful applications. Following those guidelines will make life easier for Kathleen and her appointments committee.

Though the suggestions I supplied above are in support of SAA projects remember there are other ways to support your colleagues. The most important are just to be there to answer a question, celebrate a success or supply a shoulder to lean on or a back to carry boxes. Remember the greatest gifts we can provide to our profession and our colleagues don’t come in boxes.

2 responses to “Supporting Our Colleagues

  1. Donna Wells certainly did leave our world far too soon. What a beautiful, gracious, and talented woman she was and always will be. She did an internship with us while I was at the Library of Congress in 1983 and, in her trademark fashion, brought a bright ray of light to work with her everyday.

  2. Pingback: Celebrating National Mentoring Month | Off the Record

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