Year in the Life: Katie Rojas, Pt. 3

Katie Rojas is the newest participant in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Katie for a year. You can read the Katie’s previous posts here.

October is typically a busy time for me, and this year has been no exception. Last month I mentioned that it was budget season, and while my position is safe, we had our front desk receptionist position eliminated from our parent department. Don’t ask me why, because we really need one for our office to function! We also had two additional vacancies for records management so we have been very short staffed. The new archives assistant was promoted from within, and one of the empty positions was hers. She has been trying to train the new employee, help out with the reception desk to cover the position that got cut, and do her new job. Yep, we’re feeling the pinch.

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[Guest Post] Persistence and Perspicacity: Lessons I Learned on the Archival Job Hunt

Guest author: Lindsay Zaborowski, archivist at The Museum of Flight

In this post, guest author and SNAP member Lindsay Zaborowski shares about her experience transitioning from graduate student to new professional. To read more anecdotes and advice for job searching after graduation, check out Hack Library School, That elusive archives job, Hiring Librarians, and INALJ. Continue reading

Deadline Approaching for Steering Committee Nominations

Nominations close on Wednesday for SNAP Vice Chair/Chair-Elect and the appointed positions of Student Blog Editor, Social Media Coordinator, and Web Coordinator. So if you’re interested in becoming involved in the running of the roundtable, or know someone you think would be great for the position, submit a nomination by 9PM EST on October 15!

So far, we still need nominations for Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, Social Media Coordinator, and Web Coordinator.

Serving in a leadership role on the Roundtable is a wonderful way to become more involved with SNAP and SAA and get to know other archivists. Our proposed SNAP bylaws require, to ensure adequate student representation in SNAP leadership, that at least two candidates on the slate must be students at the time of the election.

In order to hold a position as an officer and/or member of the Steering Committee, you must be both a member of SAA and the SNAP Roundtable. The term for each office is one year, beginning at the close of the SAA annual meeting in 2014 and ending at the close of the SAA annual meeting in 2015.

If you wish to nominate yourself or someone else, please complete the following form. All nominations are due by 9 PM EST on October 15, 2014. If you are nominated by someone else, you will have an opportunity before the ballot goes live to write your own candidate statement. You will need to resubmit the form for each nomination.

The nomination form can be found at the following link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1FyMNAlOqzER0ZeEqaABl_bX61ArIqRB418AJx5Hjkw4/viewform?usp=send_form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact SNAP at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com.

Best,

Caitlin Wells
SNAP RT Chair, 2014-2015

Guest post: What Makes a Good Session Proposal?

To help SNAP members prepare for the 2015 annual meeting, the SNAP blog invited a former program committee member to share his advice on how to create a strong session proposal. Feeling inspired? Share your idea for a session on the SNAP roundtable coordinating spreadsheet to find collaborators and participants. 


“WHAT MAKES A GOOD SESSION PROPOSAL?”
Guest post by Arian Ravanbakhsh

The SAA deadline for the Call for Proposals for the 2015 meeting is next week. I’ve been asked to share some of my thoughts about how to write good session proposals. I am happy to do so. Of course, the big caveat is that these are my impressions. Others may and probably will disagree, but I hope this is helpful.

First, some background. I have served on SAA program committees for both the 2009 meeting in Austin and the recently concluded 2014 meeting in Washington. To be clear, I was appointed by NAGARA to represent their members on the 2014 program committee, partly because of my experiences in 2009. I have also co-chaired 2 program committees for MARAC.

Every program committee wants to build the best meeting. This means trying to include sessions that will be of interest to as many members as possible. While every member of the committee comes with a particular interest (mine are government and electronic records), my experience is that the Committee chairs and SAA work hard to seek the widest range of representation from all corners of the profession.

It is a numbers game on some level. Last year, every committee member reviewed and ranked nearly 150 session proposals for the 70 or so available slots. I am certain some potentially great sessions were left off the program. Just as I am certain that some sessions that looked great on paper may not have come off as well when they were presented. However, I am very proud of the work our committee completed.

Here are my tips for what makes good session proposals.

Be as complete as possible. Try to have all speakers for your session selected. While committees are willing to work to improve sessions that are partially filled, it helps to have a full slate of speakers and a clear description of what you are proposing.

Be flexible. Sometimes, the committee may come back to you asking for certain changes to be made. These are the result of careful deliberations by the committee and are designed to improve the quality of the proposal.

Think about audience. Proposals that have the potential to appeal to a wide audience across the profession will be well-received.

Session submissions are stronger when they include many different voices. Personally, I like sessions where there are a variety of collections or institutions represented. However, this does not mean that a drill-down session about how your institution was able to tackle one particular thorny archival challenge will be rejected.

Consider format, but do not presume that the committee is only looking for “non-traditional” formats. We are all familiar with the “three talking heads” session format. However, that might just be the best way to convey your particular idea. All of the professional organizations that I am associated with, down to my college Alumni Board, are thinking about new and creative ways to present session topics. If you have a creative idea, by all means go with it.

Even if you follow all of these, it is possible that your session will not be accepted. It is not personal. It does not mean that your idea does not have merit or value. In the end, it might just be numbers.

I’m happy to answer questions here or at @adravan. Good luck with your session proposals for Cleveland!

Nominations for SNAP Steering Committee election

The Students and New Archives Professionals (SNAP) Roundtable is seeking nominations for a special election for Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, and nominations for the appointed ex-officio positions of Student Blog Editor, Social Media Coordinator, and Web Coordinator.

Serving in a leadership role on the Roundtable is a wonderful way to become more involved with SNAP and SAA and get to know other archivists. Our proposed SNAP bylaws require, to ensure adequate student representation in SNAP leadership, that at least two candidates on the slate must be students at the time of the election.

In order to hold a position as an officer and/or member of the Steering Committee, you must be both a member of SAA and the SNAP Roundtable. The term for each office is one year, beginning at the close of the SAA annual meeting in 2014 and ending at the close of the SAA annual meeting in 2015.

If you wish to nominate yourself or someone else, please complete the following form. All nominations are due by 9 PM EST on October 15, 2014. If you are nominated by someone else, you will have an opportunity before the ballot goes live to write your own candidate statement. You will need to resubmit the form for each nomination.

The nomination form can be found at the following link:
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1FyMNAlOqzER0ZeEqaABl_bX61ArIqRB418AJx5Hjkw4/viewform?usp=send_form

If you have any questions, feel free to contact SNAP at newarchivistsrt@gmail.com.

Best,

Caitlin Wells
SNAP RT Chair, 2014-2015

SAA 2015 Session Proposals

The Program Committee for the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists is accepting session proposals through midnight on Wednesday, October 8, 2014. Although there is no specific theme for SAA 2015, the Program Committee notes that “proposals related to archival advocacy will be given added consideration, as will sessions that explore new ways to grow the profession.” You can read the full call for proposals here.

In its ongoing efforts to revise and improve our organization’s approach to annual meetings, the SAA Council has suspended section and roundtable endorsements for 2015. This year, the SNAP Roundtable Steering Committee hopes to support the development of excellent proposals from the ground up. Inspired by the work of the Electronic Records Section and other SAA groups, we have created a Google spreadsheet to help SNAP members coordinate proposals, brainstorm ideas, and find potential presenters.

Do you have a great idea for a session that highlights the unique contributions and experiences of students and new archives professional? Share your idea on the SNAP RT hosted spreadsheet, and stay tuned in the coming weeks for additional resources on drafting session proposals.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1FPk5bYoMEFTEwiiMXhGjDFMa7oBkjnxobhAjHUiIs1A/edit?usp=sharing 

Year in the Life: Katie Rojas, Pt. 3

Katie Rojas is the newest participant in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We will be following Katie for a year. You can read the Katie’s previous posts here.


 

This past month has been considerably slower than the last. I’m guessing it’s because it’s budget season for my organization, and most of the administrative focus has been there. While there are cuts being made in my parent department, I am happy to report that the Archives division is certainly not on the chopping block. Also, the vacancy we had for an assistant has now been filled, so I don’t feel quite so alone.

Since my last post, I also took a week long paid vacation in Mexico, scratching off some bucket list items like visiting Mayan temples. For many years I worked service industry jobs without a vacation – or I simply did not generate income if I took time off. For this and other reasons, I’m so very grateful to have a full time, non-grant funded archives job with benefits.

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