SAA Candidate Interview: Cristela Garcia-Spitz

Cristela Garcia-Spitz
Digital Library Development Program Project Manager, University of California, San Diego
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?

As an undergraduate, I worked in the library and archives at the Newcomb College Center for Research on Women at Tulane University. It was a work study position, where I got hands on experience processing collections and assisting with research. Through this experience, I also realized the importance of the role and work of Archivists. Being at a women’s college within a larger university, I saw the importance of documenting the history of the college and sharing the stories of women. After I graduated, I came back to work on an NHPRC grant, and I eventually decided to pursue the profession.

How do you see the SNAP Roundtable within the larger picture of SAA?

SNAP plays a critical role in engaging young professionals. It provides a way of bringing in new and fresh ideas to the community, and it is a good way for new Archivists to get involved with the organization. I have been impressed with the Roundtable’s development over the years, especially how active the group has been in bringing up issues and distributing information.

What do you feel is the responsibility of SAA leadership, and your leadership role in particular, to students and new archives professionals?

SAA Leaders find ways of addressing needs of the community. If elected to the Nominations Committee, I would look for opportunities for students and new archives professionals to get involved, and for candidates that are tuned in to issues relevant to SNAP.

How do you plan to engage new and young professionals in SAA?

I have been very fortunate to have had great mentors throughout my career. As I got my start as an undergraduate student, I keep that in mind. Mentoring plays a crucial role in our profession, and I am glad to be at a point in my career where I have been able to mentor through SAA’s mentoring program, as well as with the Association of Research Libraries Career Enhancement Program and at the UC San Diego Library. I have found it to be a great way to keep informed on the issues and challenges young professionals face as the profession evolves.

What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?

Follow your interest. Get involved with organizations and groups that interest you, such as roundtables and sections within SAA because opportunities arise out of engagement. It really is a small world within our community and so it is important to build a network.

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This entry was posted in Candidate Interviews 2014 and tagged , , on by .

About Lisa H

Lisa is the archivist/librarian at the Swenson Swedish Immigration Research Center at Augustana College. She stumbled into archival work by way of the museum world and is always seeking ways to break down the silos of these professions. Lisa has worked in museums, libraries, and archives in Illinois, New York, and Alaska. While not at work, Lisa spends her free time biking, working on art projects, and putting her useless knowledge to good use on bar trivia teams. You can find her on Twitter @lisahuntsha.

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