Corporate Manager of Archives, SSM Health Care
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read his bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.
How did you get your start in the archives field?
I got started by accident when I was first in graduate school. I had gone into a Public History program with the intent of going into the museum field. I had mentioned to one of my professors I was looking for a part-time job and he mentioned that a former student had just started as the archivist and records manager for the city I was living in at the time and he was looking for some part-time student help. I ended up taking the job and that has led to over 25 years in the archives profession.
Should SAA focus its services more on archives professionals (archivists) or the
archives profession as a whole?
This is not an easy question to answer. By acting as an advocate for the archival profession SAA does help raise awareness and understanding of the value of archives and therefore promotes the value of archivists. I believe that a balance of working for the profession and supporting the professionals is the best roll for SAA at this point and time. Now there is always room for improvement and it is up to the membership to provide feedback to SAA on what they think the organization should do.
How do you see the SNAP Roundtable within the larger picture of SAA?
SNAP has a very important role within SAA. SNAP is not only an important bridge for new archivist coming into the profession but as an advocate for them within SAA. SNAP members are the future of not only SAA but the archival profession and SNAP is their voice.
What do you feel is the responsibility of SAA leadership, and your leadership role in
particular, to students and new archives professionals?
I believe it is the responsibility of SAA leadership to listen to archives students and new professionals and to help them feel welcome to SAA and the profession. Now the leadership may not be able to provide all the things that students and new archivists would like, but the leadership does need to truly listen to their suggestions and concerns and take them under consideration. As a possible member of the nominating committee I would advocate nominating newer archivists for positions in SAA where applicable.
What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?
The best advice I can give is to enjoy your chosen profession. You will not make a mint but you will get rich in the knowledge that you are preserving history and making it available to the current and future generations. We all get frustrated and discouraged at times but you have to remember why you choose this profession in the first place.