Professional consultant; Adjunct faculty San Jose State University (SJSU) School of Library and Information Science
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.
How did you get your start in the archives field?
I had been in the music business for a long time, as a performer and technician, eventually in music retailing. It was a low pay-long hours career and I was burnt out. Doing some soul searching, I decided to go back to school. I originally thought I was going to become a librarian. I spoke with a librarian who told me she thought my interests were more aligned with archives. She directed me to an archives and their staff. I spent time with an archivist, I saw what the work entailed and what the materials were. I was hooked. I went to grad school, gained as much internship experience as I could, got a job, learned all I could, got another job, learned even more, applied my previous job experience as a manager of people, processes and things and started my own consulting business. Started teaching in 2002 and have combined a career as an archival educator with a continuous and well-varied consulting practice ever since.
Should SAA focus its services more on archives professionals (archivists) or the archives profession as a whole?
I think both, for we cannot have one without the other.
How do you see the SNAP Roundtable within the larger picture of SAA?
A new voice, an open voice, a united voice to counter the fairly entrenched old guard (though they seem to be fading, thankfully). A way to transition into the superstructure of the Society and formally have issues and views documented and addressed through legitimate and not ad hoc channels.
What do you feel is the responsibility of SAA leadership, and your leadership role in particular, to students and new archives professionals?
To advocate for the profession and the people who work in it, to advocate for records and preservation of our historical, cultural and administrative heritage and laws protecting it. To partner with aligned professions, to advocate for minimal pay levels and educational expectations, to encourage research and employment, to ensure the profession reflects the levels of diversity necessary to preserve a record representative of and sensitive to all sectors of society.
What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?
Be realistic. Going to school and getting a graduate degree is no guarantee of a job. Be willing to move. Network all you can. Do not give up. You are the best advocate for the profession. Stay positive and put forth a professional and serious image of the profession, advocate for its importance. Show pride in your work and never stop fighting. Keep talking, strongly and sternly, but keep it constructive. Drive change through your numbers and personal strength. Never stop learning!