This post is part of the 2015 Candidate Interview series, presented in preparation for the 2015 SAA Election (March 13-April 13). Candidate statements will be posted daily through Friday, March 13. Read more statements from 2015 candidates here or check out our previous election series.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Records Manager & FOIA Specialist
Candidate for Treasurer
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.
1. What role should SNAP Roundtable play in SAA?
Sections and roundtables are an essential part of SAA. They are a lifeline to Council. SNAP leaders should have the pulse of the SNAP membership and be prepared to advocate for that membership with their liaison and other SAA officials. Like all component groups, SNAP can also initiate and foster discussions—in person or online—that raise important issues for the Society as a whole.
Sections and roundtables are also critical for engaging members. It is the responsibility of SNAP to provide relevant programming at the annual meeting as well as to provide an opportunity for networking. SNAP didn’t exist when I was a new archivist, but my membership in sections and roundtables was and remains one of the most valuable aspects of my SAA experience. Through these, I was able to meet like-minded archivists and discuss technical aspects of our work. I met many people who became informal mentors to me and who continue to be valued colleagues. SNAP serves as welcoming presence for students and new professionals and helps to connect with other groups within SAA.
2. How can SAA leaders, and your role in particular, better engage SNAP constituents?
If I am elected treasurer, my primary duty will be to manage the financial well-being of SAA. As I indicated in my candidate statement, part of that role is aligning strategic priorities with financial resources. If a constituent group, such as the SNAP, is concerned about SAA’s priorities and how SAA is supporting them, then as a leader I will listen and respond. I also will focus on communicating with members, including SNAP constituents, about SAA’s finances and how they relate to implementing SAA’s strategic priorities.
3. How can SAA improve public understanding of the archives profession?
I think President Kathleen Roe has provided a great service this year by focusing SAA’s attention on advocacy. I think SAA needs to continue her initiatives as well as to seek other avenues for advocacy.
4. How can SAA improve archival education?
SAA’s education program strives to provide a strong and diverse array of offerings to meet the needs of both new and long-standing SAA members. The director of the education program monitors the environment to determine what classes and offerings are needed. One example of this is the DACS program. SAA continues to need feedback from its members to improve its current set of resources as well as to determine what other programs may be needed.
5. What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?
My best advice is “get involved.” There are a lot of opportunities and a lot of challenges in our profession. Find an aspect or two that you feel passionate about and work on it. Join other roundtables and sections. Apply to serve on a committee (the Awards committee often has openings). Find a like-minded colleague and propose a session. Go to regional archives or records management meetings. Take advantage of on-the-job training opportunities, even the ones that are not directly archives-related. Learn a new skill. I started my career as a project archivist and then moved into the federal arena, where I’ve had 5 different positions. I’ve never quite known where my career is going next, but staying involved with SAA and keeping current on my jobs skills have kept me prepared.