SAA 2016 Candidate Interview: Claire Galloway Jenkins

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.

Claire Galloway Jenkins
Director of Archives & Records, The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Read their bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.

  1. What role should SNAP Roundtable play in SAA?

The SNAP Roundtable should continue to play a vital role, helping new archivists transition into SAA.  Archives is a growing field, and part of SAA’s evolution as an organization should encompass its new members, who often have new ideas.  New ideas and different ways of doing things should be welcomed and encouraged, as should the passage of knowledge from long-time SAA members to new archivists.  Both groups are necessary for SAA to be a healthy, flourishing organization.  To give a more specific example, I encourage allSNAP members to sign up for service in some capacity in SAA during the annual call for volunteers – this action gets new archivists directly involved with committees and leadership.

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

 If I am elected to serve on the Nominating Committee, I will help identify a diverse group of candidates from which SAA’s elected leadership will be determined.  My hope is that SNAP members will see that SAA values diversity in its members, motivating them to sign up for the annual call for volunteers, which will put them on track to be future candidates for elected leadership.

3. What current policy issue do you feel is the most imperative to the archival profession?

Education!  So much incorrect information exists about how to “do archives” or “archive things.”  Many organizations believe that they need to scan everything so they can keep it all permanently, and there are plenty of vendors willing to help in this process.  What they do not understand, though, is that they need an official archives department to manage that process.  Archives professionals can help determine what is archival (and thus permanent), as well as outline other key factors in such a project – specs, storage, longevity of the records, etc.  Issues like these need to be handled by professionals, and the voices of professional archivists can make a major, long-term impact on the organization as a whole just on this one example.

4. How can SAA improve public understanding of the archives profession?

First, continued regular promotion of archives as a profession through the annual Archives Month.  Second,SAA should issue public statements, or at least article, about current topics relevant to archives.  Only when the public at large sees a correlation between news stories and archives’ impact on that news can progress begin to be made.

5. How can SAA improve archival education?

SAA can improve its education by offering alternative means of continuing education.  Many people cannot afford to attend the annual meeting or an onsite workshop, and a webinar is their only option.  By increasing the number of webinars (or other alternative options), SAA will reach a much broader, diverse audience.

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

Soak up as much information as possible!  Attend your local or regional meetings; they are a wonderful avenue for learning practical, tested approaches to issues, and the networking cannot be underestimated!

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