SAA 2016 Candidate Interview: Lori Lindberg

This post is part of the 2016 Candidate Interview series, presented in preparation for the 2016 SAA Election (March 14-April 3). Candidate statements will be posted daily through Friday, March 11. Read more statements from 2016 candidates here or check out our previous election series.

Lori Lindberg
Archivist, Professional Consultancy, and Retired Faculty, San Jose State University School of Information
Candidate for Vice-President/President-Elect
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.

  1. What role should SNAP Roundtable play in SAA?

SNAP RT should continue to serve as a voice for the concerns of students and new professionals within the Society. I believe it serves this role already quite well. You have a large, diverse, and bright leadership. Develop a strong relationship with your Council liaison. Continue to communicate with them to get your issues to Council. Stay aware and communicate to leadership (through your leadership) the environments in which you are learning and working. Keep them informed of changes, challenges and opportunities in a regular, timely manner so that we are better informed from YOUR perspective. Your role is to keep your interests front and center so that your leaders can do what is possible to them. This requires some research and reporting! Your role is also to support SAA, and to know how it works in order to support the Society most effectively. The organization is only as quality engaged as its members.

  1. How can SAA leaders, and your role in particular, better engage SNAP constituents?

The Vice-President appoints all of the many leadership positions within the Society. Many of you are eager to serve, but maybe you don’t understand just exactly how it all works or how much time to commit. How about a primer? A Twitter Q&A? Many of you may feel ignored or underserved. Talk to your President! Being open to interact with SNAP RT in as many ways as possible is essential to any successful SAA VP/President. Being an active archivist but also an educator, I see the world out there. I know it’s a tough one. We can better engage you by giving you a voice, putting you in positions of leadership, being available to you, keeping you grounded and helping you accomplish some incremental objectives. Over time, these incremental efforts become big ones!

  1. What current policy issue do you feel is the most imperative to the archival profession?
First, let me say I subscribe to Frank Boles’ view on our positions with respect to public policy, if that is the focus of this question. Within our profession we’ve made great strides in diversity within the practice and in encouraging new blood in our ranks, which translates to more diverse archives that better represent all voices in our society. We should continue this effort.
The most pressing public policy issue I see that would impact an association of people interested in archives is professionalism – elevating ourselves as records and information professionals, and driving to be recognized as those professionals uniquely qualified to address contemporary challenges in records issues. We should address those parts of issues that affect archives first, and from our unique position.
  1. How can SAA improve public understanding of the archives profession?

SAA has made great strides in this area through outlets such as social media. Where we are lacking is in real activism on the ground. I have a few ideas on how to do this, and we have all of the many clever localized events during Archives Month and May Day to use as models, but we really need to investigate taking archives ‘On the Road.’ I’m not above soliciting television networks for a reality show…

  1. How can SAA improve archival education?
From a Higher Ed perspective, it’s pretty tough. Education oversight is a many-layered mess of federal, state and even local regulation and politics, complicated by learning philosophy, special interests (like ours!), and money. SAA should continue to utilize experienced educators and working archivists to help maintain the basic educational guidelines for graduate programs, but should definitely expand data gathering and reporting regarding the educational experience, employment preparation and job seeking processes/results. This can inform future initiatives. SAA’s role is really an advisory one here.
SAA’s primary role is in Continuing Education. SAA should continue to build on lessons from DAS that can be carried to the entire CE program by adopting quality standards and assessing against them based on delivery methods (there are established quality standards for all modes of instruction, including webinars and online courses), be responsive as possible with respect to developments in the field by offering timely courses with content that provide actionable, measurable skills, continue to listen to groups like SNAP RT and fill gaps in/supplement the graduate education experience. Strategic technology investments will help with ALL of this!
  1. What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?

Be realistic about the job market. Prepare yourself for work in a variety of environments. Be creative and entrepreneurial. Be willing to relocate!


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