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.
Last time, I mentioned that the summer interns and myself were working on a collection from a past elected official – inventorying and digitizing physical items, mostly. I’m still working on cleaning the metadata, off and on. However tedious this may be, I still believe that it’s better than starting from scratch. I also have several projects that I juggle in addition to this one. For example, I need to create my first exhibit soon, and I am planning for Archives Month! It’s difficult to see so many projects through to completion. I often see archives projects from prior employees, once important, now fallen by the wayside, sitting unfinished. As a young professional, I sorely feel the need for management skills. It’s not something that I anticipated needing much before entering the profession, but I’m learning, and hoping to attend some internally hosted professional development sessions to hone some skills.
Speaking of learning, even though I am working as an archivist, I am still working toward the completion of my MLIS. School has started again, and I’m back at it, balancing coursework, work, and my personal life. The positive side of school is that I get to see the practical application of what I’m studying every day. For example, this semester I am taking two classes – Metadata, and Records Management. I am hoping that the Metadata class will help me with the aforementioned project. I’m also considering attending the Open Refine workshop at the DCMI International Conference this year. The decision to take Records Management was directly influenced by my current position working in government archives. I’m very quickly seeing how this was an excellent decision! I already feel like I’m getting a better understanding of how others see Archives, through the lens of Records Management. I am interested to see what other revelations unfold!