This post is part of the 2017 Candidate Interview series, presented in preparation for the 2017 SAA Election (March 13-March 31). Candidate statements will be posted daily through March 13. Read more statements from 2017 candidates here or check out our previous election series.
Academic Services Librarian, University of South Florida Libraries
Candidate for Council
Read her bio and response to questions posed by the Nominating Committee here.
1. What role should SNAP Roundtable play in SAA?
An active one! We were all new or budding archivists at some point; SNAP members can help others remember that time by keeping SAA accountable of its leadership role, particularly as it pertains to archival education and professional standards.
2. How can SAA leaders, and your role in particular, better engage SNAP constituents?
SAA leaders can better engage SNAP constituents by meeting them where they are. Using SNAP’s established social media platforms is a great way to communicate with members, but it’s also important to encourage active involvement in other organizational activities that also are not dependent on funding, such as providing feedback on current initiatives or serving on committees with large virtual components.
3. How can SAA improve archival education?
As an organization, SAA can work to increase access to current courses by offering lower or tiered pricing structures, more online workshops and webinars, and classes for new and established professionals that speak to a wider range of experiences and expertise. As a partner/collaborator, SAA can work with related organizations to expand the types of courses offered, as many archivists and professionals working in archives (including those who may not self-identify as archivists), would benefit from cross-training. Lastly, as SAA and archival educators work together to enhance archival education, currently enrolled students should be included in these discussions to better understand the needs of new and continuing professionals.
4. What do you feel is the most pressing issue in the archival profession today?
Our world is changing, and the ways that we create, process, and distribute information have evolved significantly in a relatively short few years. Unfortunately, a wide range of entities—from the Federal government to social media app developers— have demonstrated that recordkeeping transparency, preservation of content, and access to information are muddied territories and that numerous challenges surround our ability to effectively document the human experience. Now, more than ever, we should be mindful of documentation strategies and how our approaches (or lack thereof) impact the cultural record.
5. What advice do you have for new professionals in our field?
Get involved. Be engaged. Volunteer! Learn as much as you can in the position(s) you hold currently, and strive to learn about the positions you aspire to. Work with a mentor. Accept challenges and opportunities. Be confident in your abilities as an archives professional.