Tag Archives: professional conferences

Student Experience: First-time Conference Presenter

This post is part of the Student Experience series, which features current and former archives students as they reflect on graduate school, internships, and early career issues. If you would like to contribute a post for this series, please email me

Guest poster Irina Sandler, Simmons College student and archivist at the Baker Library of Harvard Business School as well as the Cambridge Historical Society, discusses her experience as a first time presenter at the New England Archivists Spring 2017 meeting

There is almost nothing as nerve-wracking as public speaking.

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Personal Digital Archiving (PDA) 2016

Guest author: Colin Post
Ph.D. (Information Science) and M.A. (Art History) student, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and SNAP Roundtable Steering Committee Member

I had the pleasure of attending the recent Personal Digital Archiving conference, held this year at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from May 12 to May 14. As I was considering a venue to present on a project that I’ve been involved with, the IMLS-funded Learning from Artists’ Archives program at UNC, PDA 2016 seemed like a great fit. I wanted to talk about how the artists’ archives project has helped artists to create and sustain their own personal archives, specifically through a series of workshops where local North Carolina artists have been able to gain necessary skills for tackling both analog and digital archiving projects. As the focus of the artists’ archives project has been to help artists with archiving at the personal level, the PDA conference seemed to me a fantastic opportunity to both share the successes and challenges of our project, as well as to learn about other exciting personal archiving efforts taking place across the country.

As I dug in for the first day, looking over the program of sessions, I quickly realized that the PDA conference is unique in many ways. The conference brought together an eclectic mix of information professionals from a variety of institutions, academics and graduate students with diverse research interests, businesses and tech companies developing digital archiving tools, and (perhaps most importantly) individuals and community organizations hard at work sustaining vital archiving projects. Despite the broad mix of participants, the total number of attendees was not overwhelming, filling a single, smallish lecture hall. Between sessions and during breaks, participants engaged in friendly dialogue, quick to spark a conversation with a presenter to learn more about their research or project. This congenial atmosphere pervaded the conference, generating a collaborative environment with professionals, academics, developers, and citizen archivists alike exchanging ideas and learning from each others’ experiences. Continue reading

Prepping for Prepping for SAA 2016

Nope, the title of this post is not an accident!

It’s kind of hard to believe, but SAA’s annual conference is less than three months away. In the usual fashion of covering many angles of attending the conference leading up to the conference, we’re planning posts that will help you prepare for the conference, and the SNAP Roundtable Steering Committee has been working to put together some information (forthcoming) that will help you navigate the conference and the area. Another group working on this – from a different angle – is your wonderful host committee, which includes SNAPers JoyEllen Freeman and Cathy Miller! Here is the host committee’s blog, which already has lots of great information about what to do and how to get around.

As usual, SNAP has Lunch Buddy and Roommate/Rideshare signups, and we’ll also have a spreadsheet for you to sign up for session recaps before the conference – and this year we’re encouraging pictures! We’re also looking at different ways to cover the conference that go beyond the session recaps, with more information to come on that later. I want to go back to the two spreadsheets, though. SNAP tries very hard to think of ways to make SAA’s annual conference as welcoming and accessible for new members as it possibly can, and to that end, cutting costs is a big issue for us, but so is making certain new members have a support system. If you’re a more established SNAP member, please consider hosting a Lunch Buddy date, and if you’re someone who isn’t, don’t be scared to join us for breakfast/lunch/dinner/etc. We’ve each been the newbie, and we get how difficult it can be to “break into” a new place. Good news! We’re an easy bunch to “break into.”

Finally, I’d be remiss in not pointing to the excellent posts on conferences past, which includes tips for networking, session proposals, and more.

As a native Georgian, I’m really excited to have SAA come to my home state, and I hope y’all enjoy your time in the Capital of the South!

The First Conference: SCA AGM as a First Time Attendee

Guest author: Mary Priest
MLIS student at the University of California at Los Angeles and 2016 James V. Mink Scholarship Winner

IMG_8131I glanced down at my packing list one final time before pulling the door closed behind me. “Chargers, tooth brush, business cards, baby Yoda plushy (my travel buddy)…YEP!” I dashed to my car in the early morning light and eagerly began my road trip to Santa Rosa, California for my very first conference: The Society of California Archivists’ Annual General Meeting (SCA AGM).

I was introduced to SCA at the USC Archives Baazar in my first year of my MLIS program and by my second year, I became the Programs Chair for their first student chapter at UCLA. Because SCA board members were so supportive of our student group, I knew that their conference would likely be just as welcoming. The AGM was also alluring because it seemed a little more intimate than some of the nation-wide conferences and it was more affordable for this thrifty grad school student. When looking for more information about the conference on their website, I found details about James V. Mink Scholarship which would help support a student’s attendance at the meeting and a pre-conference workshop, so I applied. A couple months before the meeting, I received an email stating that I was selected as the 2016 Mink scholarship recipient. I squealed gleefully, shared the news with my grandma, danced around my room, and then registered for the conference.

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New England Archivists (NEA) Spring Meeting 2016

Guest author: Kristen Weischedel
MSLIS and MA Dual Degree Student at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science

NEA Spring 2016New England Archivists hosted their annual spring meeting in Portland, Maine from March 31-April 2. This year’s theme was “Uncharted Waters,” examined through a multidisciplinary lens. (You can find more discussion on twitter with #neasp16, each session marked with #sSessionNumber, for example 1.2 is #s102)

The pre-conference options on March 31 included a Day of Service at Maine Historical Society, or one of three workshops, emphasizing different approaches the preservation, description, engagement with different types of records (oral histories, paper records, and electronic records). More about each of these workshops can be found here.

The conference kicked off with a plenary talk by graffiti artist, Caleb Neelon, who talked about the evolution of graffiti in American culture and how he incorporates historical artifacts into his graffitti. Although not an archivist by training, Neelon spoke on how he resonated with the work of archivists and how his graffiti was his way of preserving moments. Continue reading

The Institute on Copyright in Higher Education

For many in the archives world copyright is seen as a formidable foil—a barrier and source of confusion harkening to a Kafka novelette, forever confounding and hindering efforts to increase access. Yet the principles and output of intellectual property are fundamental to the work of information professionals. In many nations, including the U.S., copyright was explicitly designed to promote scholarship and continued production of creative works, and ultimately societal betterment. Copyright concerns become even more prevalent in the digital age, considering the monumental impact networked technology has already had on information delivery, and potential for widespread open access.

In higher education, where academic libraries and archives also serve as information creators and facilitators, publishing their institution’s intellectual capital, curating digital exhibits, and managing data in institutional repositories, copyright knowledge is an integral component to daily work. On February 26, 2016, in honor of Fair Use Week, Florida State University hosted a free, one day conference, the Institute on Copyright in Higher Education, providing regional librarians, educators, administrators, and students, an opportunity to convene and discuss concerns surrounding copyright, open access, and other related intellectual property issues. Sponsored by the Panhandle Library Access Network, and funded in part via Institute of Museum and Library Services, the day’s sessions were spearheaded and organized by FSU’s Office of Digital Research and Scholarship, known for their strong scholarly communications work and open access advocacy. Continue reading

Hack Library School – 3 Lessons From My First Library Conference

Having just come back from my seventh conference in the GLAM field – one where I presented on a panel for the first time! – I tend to forget how intimidated I was at that first conference because now I know a lot of the attendees, whereas back then, I did not. There are a lot of first time conference attendees heading off to regional conferences in the next couple of months, and Atlanta will welcome many first timers to SAA/COPA in August. When I read Lauren Hester’s post on the Hack Library School blog earlier this week, I knew I wanted to give it a boost over here. Lauren has three really great tips for us to consider when attending that first conference. And you never know, old hats, we may end up needing to attend a conference in a different field – and you can bet I would be intimidated about that!