Guest author: Casey Seyb
Science Data Archivist at Raytheon IIS
The Society of California Archivists (SCA) Annual General Meeting was my first conference attendance as a recently employed archivist and volunteer with a local historical preservation society, the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society. It was difficult to limit myself to just one day and even more difficult to decide which sessions to attend, as I felt I could learn a lot from any number of them.
One memorable moment was a group that presented for the community engagement talk. They had collaborated with other department students at their university to create a way for people to virtually interact with archives. I had been thinking about that since I had attended a tech talk at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) during my internship. At the time, I thought virtual engagement of archives would be a good next step in getting people interested in what archives have to offer for everyone. And they succeeded in creating a way to do that!
There were a few people in attendance who I already knew: two fellow interns from a previous gig at JPL in the summer of 2015 (one of them was presenting on a panel). A third was an archivist at a local university, someone who had given me great advice and insight into the field, before and during my MLIS (which I completed in August 2016).
Even without that, the event had a communal sense–people in the SCA are supportive, hard-working and engage with collaborative pride. And I gained many tips and resources, especially how to provide more outreach for my local society through photo-sharing and social media.
This was inspiring as I was due to receive a great job offer in a somewhat-related field, but one that doesn’t provide the opportunity for more archival training or skill development. Being at the conference reminded me how passionate I feel about archives and how many roles one can play in the field, traditional or niche. It also demonstrated how much potential there is for networking, professional growth and recognizing my own potential. That was a critical, valuable and timely experience for me.
Casey Seyb is a Science Data Archivist with Raytheon IIS in Pasadena, CA. As a JPL affiliate with Raytheon, she assists several NASA earth missions with technical document preservation. She also represents the Sierra Madre Historical Preservation Society as their Archives Chair and volunteers in the archives, co-owned by the City of Sierra Madre, CA. She completed her MLIS at San Jose State University in August 2016.