Author Archives: Sam Winn

SNAP Feedback Requested on Proposed Changes in Member Affinity Groups

This post is intended to provide an overview of the Council proposed changes to Member Affinity Group structures, which was officially announced August 13, 2015 and discussed during the SAA 2015 Annual Business Meeting. SNAP Roundtable members are encouraged to review these documents and submit comments to the Council as specified below. Additionally, the 2015-2016 Steering Committee intends to prepare formal recommendations on behalf of the roundtable. The Steering Committee will distribute a survey to the roundtable in the coming days to gather specific data and feedback to direct its recommendations, but SNAP participants are also invited to submit comments here.

This proposal was drafted by Mark Duffy, Lisa Mangiafico, and James Roth to revise the member affinity group structure of SAA in response to recommendations made by the Task Force on Member Affinity Groups. The Council will seek member comments through September 15, 2015 before proceeding.

Summary of proposed changes
From the SAA statement available at Continue reading

Write a session summary for the SNAP blog!

If you are attending the 2015 Annual Meeting next week, please consider signing up to write a session summary for folks who are not able to attend the conference. We have identified a few sessions of particular interest to SNAP members, but the blog team will consider summaries for any sessions, plenary events, roundtable and section meetings, and other formal conference events. Volunteer authors have 2-4 weeks after the conference to send in their summaries, depending on what kind of session you have signed up for. Feel free to partner up with another author to cover a session, as well.

For more information and to sign up for a session, visit the official sign up sheet:

Check out last year’s session summaries here: 2014 Session Summaries

Year in the Life: Katie Rojas, Pt. 12

Katie Rojas is the most recent participant in our Year in the Life series, which follows new archivists in their first professional position. We have followed Katie for 12 months – this represents her final post in the series.  You can read the Katie’s previous posts here. Thank you, Katie, for a great year!

This is my twelfth, and final, blog post for this series. Often, when we complete a project or a journey, it seems like we have somehow arrived at a new beginning. While I do feel like that’s partially true here, I also don’t feel like I’m back where I was a year ago. There has been definite growth and a LOT of learning in the past twelve months!

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Resources for the 2015 Annual Meeting

The Society of American Archivists’ Annual Meeting will take place in Cleveland, Ohio this year from August 16-22. If this will be your first annual meeting, check out the Official First-Timer’s Guide to the 2015 Annual MeetingProduced by SNAP Members, this guide has tons of advice to help you prepare, pack, network, and choose sessions. You can also browse the Program Committee’s general resources for New Members, First-Timers, and Students or see what SNAP members had to say in the 2014 Annual Meeting Advice Series.

Here are a few tips to help you prepare for SAA 2015.

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Transitions Series: Alex Berman

Guest author Alex Berman

Grad school is a bubble. While you’re there, grades, clubs, etc., are the hallmarks of success. I was a mediocre student (mostly self-inflicted) and participated in almost NO clubs, conferences, or anything like that while in school. In fact, graduating from Simmons GSLIS was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done because I felt profoundly unprepared. I had a good GPA and recommendations , but there are a LOT of GSLIS students with GREAT GPAs and recommendations. I knew I was moving to NYC, but nothing beyond that. My fiancée (now wife) and I had just gotten engaged and I was moderately employed with no immediate prospects for permanent employment. Continue reading

Transitions Series: Sara Seltzer

Guest author Sara Seltzer

Now that I’ve spent some time on the professional side of the proverbial student-professional fence, I can honestly say that life on the other side is both significantly more awesome and more challenging.  I’ve learned a few valuable lessons in my nearly 3 years of full-time work as a professional archivist, and I can tell you that while finally “making it” to the coveted League of Permanent Professionals is a huge weight off your shoulders, you don’t rest on your laurels for long.  I’ve chronicled the awesomeness and the challenges I’ve encountered from the beginning of my professional journey to now in the hopes that other effervescent new professionals will find something to relate to, either now or in the near future.

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Submit your nominations for 2015-2016 SNAP Election

The SNAP 2014-2015 Steering Committee is accepting nominations for the 2015-2016 SNAP Roundtable election through Tuesday, June 9 at 9pm EDT (6pm PDT). Serving on the SNAP RT steering committee is a great way to meet like-minded colleagues and become more involved in the work of the Society of American Archivists.

Positions currently open for nomination include:

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (1 position) (1 year term, followed by 1 year as chair)
The vice chair/chair-elect will assist the chair in the operation of the roundtable, serve as acting chair in the absence of the chair, and participate as a member of the steering committee. The chair directs and reports the activities of the roundtable, organizes and runs the annual meeting, leads the steering committee, and handles administrative duties, including, but not limited to submitting the roundtable’s annual report and serving as the roundtable’s liaison to SAA and Council. The chair, in consultation with the other members of the steering committee, may solicit and appoint roundtable volunteers to serve as the web coordinator, social media coordinator, student chapter coordinator and/or newsletter and blog coordinator and editor.

Secretary (1 position) (1 year term):
The secretary will serve as the official record keeper of the roundtable and be responsible for compiling and sharing minutes from steering committee and annual meetings.

Steering Committee Member (3 positions) (1 year term)
Members of the Steering Committee will provide leadership to and share information with roundtable members; identify and appoint ex officio members to the steering committee; solicit input from members; organize roundtable elections and voting; and appoint temporary and/or permanent committees as needed.

You may nominate yourself or someone else. All candidates must be a member of both SAA and the SNAP Roundtable.

For more information or to submit a nomination, visit:

Please feel free to contact the current roundtable leadership if you have any questions.

Year in the Life: Katie Rojas, Pt. 11

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.

I am many thousands of feet in the air right now, as I write this, traveling to Milwaukee for graduation with a few days tacked on as a mini vacation with my husband. My supervisor and coworkers put on an incredible graduation celebration for me at work, and even surprise-decorated my desk and gave me flowers! I’m very excited, but it also hasn’t quite “hit” me yet that I’m done. With my graduation trip out of state and the upcoming professional conference, I still feel like I’m in go-mode!

Decorations prepared by Katie's coworkers to celebrate her upcoming graduation.

Decorations prepared by Katie’s coworkers to celebrate her graduation.

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Transitions Series: Andrea Belair

Guest author Andrea Belair, Archivist at Yale University’s Office of the President

When I hear about how people became involved in archiving, they often start off with their love of history. For me it’s a little bit different. I went to a small liberal arts college set upon the sloping hills of Vermont, and my love was not history—at all, really. My love was music and the Arts. I did not become acquainted with archiving through working in archives, unfortunately; rather, I heard about archivists and what they did through friends, and I was definitely intrigued by the idea. Continue reading

Transitions Series: Stephanie Bennett

Guest author Stephanie Bennett

When I was approached to write about the transition from student to new professional, my first thought was “which transition?” In the not-quite three years since I graduated from Simmons College School of Library and Information Science, I have held three positions. That sounds more traumatic than the experiences have been, but at the same time – whew, y’all, I’m a little tired (of packing boxes).

A little bit of background on my transitions: when I graduated from Simmons, I was not ready to let go of Boston yet; still so many cannoli much to explore. I took a one-year position as an archives assistant at Boston College, processing personal manuscript and institutional collections related to Boston. As that position was ending, I took another project position – this time, as a two-year project archivist at Iowa State University. I was not on a specific project, per se, but helping to staff the department. It was a great opportunity to stretch my legs with tasks beyond processing. After nearly a year and a half in Ames, I accepted a full-time permanent position as Collections Archivist of Wake Forest University Special Collections and Archives. Continue reading

Year in the Life: Katie Rojas, Pt. 10

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.

Well, it seems that the heightened amount of researchers and research requests has waned this past month. It’s a shame because I was enjoying it so much, but there are other things I enjoy about archives just as well.  Last month, I wrote about how things have begun to “click” for me and how I’ve become much more comfortable in my position. Those feelings have generally continued and I’m happy to report that I think they’re here to stay!

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Transitions Series: South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Guest authors: Brian Thomas, Morgan Jones-King, Mark Sprang, Jessica Hills
Compiled by : Morgan Jones-King

Within the last eight months, it seems as if there has been an influx of new blood at the South Carolina Department of Archives and History (SCDAH). For several of us new employees, this is our first archives job post-graduate school.  Since we all came from different graduate programs, work experiences, and backgrounds, we decided to co-author a post about our transition from student to professional life in order to highlight the similarities and variances in our experiences. We answered questions about resources we used, challenges we’ve faced, organizations we relied on, and advice we would give. Continue reading

Transitions Series: Jarrett M. Drake

Guest author Jarrett M. Drake

Though I now work as a Digital Archivist with responsibilities for acquiring and enabling access to contemporary born-digital records at my institution’s University Archives, I initially embarked on a career as an archivist with the goal of working in a late 19th or early 20th century manuscript repository. Much of this passion derived from my academic interests as an undergraduate history major as well as the types of repositories in which I had landed paraprofessional employment. I expected, unequivocally, that I would earn my stripes as a processor of manuscript or personal collections before subsequently bolting for a doctoral program in history, thereby providing the perfect blend of academic and professional pedigree that would prepare me for the perfect position.


I completed my master’s degree in information science with a specialization in archives and records management from the University of Michigan School of Information (UMSI) in May of 2013, and it is to the credit of my graduate program that I am now doing something completely different than what I had initially imagined. I can attribute one part of the stark difference between my initial plan and my current role to the variety of coursework offered in my graduate program, from seminars on social memory and information policy to lectures on archival appraisal and managing electronic records.

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Transitions Series: Roxanne Dunn

What does it mean to be a “new professional?”

Guest author Roxanne Dunn

I still distinctly remember such a surreal feeling within a few weeks of starting my first professional archives gig. I was a very recent graduate from library school, where I had worked for 2 years as a graduate assistant at the university archives. Within a few weeks, I went from being the GA in an academic department to having to supervise and mentor my own GA. It was quite the trip! That was probably one of the biggest adjustments I remember making; I was now responsible for my own academic department and being a mentor to someone else.

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