MARAC Mutual Aid Network

Dear MARAC Members,

Thank you for your ongoing support of MARAC in these difficult times. MARAC is aware that many of our members are currently facing “unprecedented” challenges in both our professional and personal lives as the entire world copes with the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, we acknowledge that this difficult reality disproportionately affects our must vulnerable members.

This is why we would like to invite our members to participate in launching a  MARAC Mutual Aid Network  that allows our community to come together and support one another. A form for members to either request or provide assistance is available here:  https://forms.gle/jGfkXaU9U7vLyMcR8 .

MARAC Mutual Aid Network
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The “Mutual Aid 101 Toolkit” explains that mutual aid is: “a practice and politics that emphasizes solidarity rather than charity” and that “recognize[s] that our well-being, health and dignity are all bound up in each other.” In an effort to engage our community and to strengthen our bonds at a time when we are all feeling the enormous pressures, MARAC would like to organize a way for community members to connect to one another. If you’re interested in reaching out to support colleagues in need or in offering your support for the greater community, please use the following form to let us know. We will follow up to put individuals in contact and coordinate a group effort to share resources, spread well-being, and support archivists in need.forms.gle

For those unfamiliar with Mutual Aid Networks (MANs), the Mutual Aid 101 Toolkit defines MANs as  grass-roots efforts that “emphasize solidarity rather than charity” and that allow community members to “plug in where we can make the most impact–locally.”  MANs are simple efforts that allow a community to connect individuals willing to share their resources (whatever they may be) to uplift those in need.This form is a first step in helping understand the needs of our local body of archivist and archival workers.  

It is important to note that all submissions will remain private and no respondent’s contact information will be used without express permission of the respondent (and for those who wish to remain anonymous that will always be an option). 

Thank you for considering participating! If you should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Caitlin Rizzo, the MARAC Secretary at cur585@psu.edu or 301-266-0202. 

Fall 2020 Conference Cancellation

Dear MARAC members,

Late last week, MARAC’s Executive Committee voted to cancel our fall 2020 meeting in Long Branch, NJ.  Again, this was not an easy decision but we were facing too many unknowns.  We could not risk the health of our attendees and canceling now limits the financial repercussions for our organization.

I want to thank everyone who worked to plan our Long Branch meeting and specifically our Local Arrangements Committee Co-Chairs Tara Maharjan and Melissa Ziobro as well as our Program Committee Co-Chairs Don Cornelius and Alan Delozier.  I have no doubt that Long Branch would have been a fantastic meeting, and I am sorry that you will not be able to bring it to fruition. 

I do hope to see everyone at our spring 2021 meeting in Saratoga Springs, NY, which will be held April 8-10, 2021.  Check out https://www.marac.info/spring-2021-conference for more information.  We are also planning to increase our online educational opportunities and publications for members in the coming months, so please stay tuned!

Thank you again for your understanding, and I hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Rachel M. Grove Rohrbaugh
MARAC Chair 2019-2020

Support for the Archival Workers Emergency Fund

Dear MARAC Members,

The Society of American Archivists Foundation recently announced the creation of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) to support archival workers experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis.  The fund will supply grants of up to $1,000 to financially vulnerable and at-risk workers.  All U.S.-based archival workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply, including archival workers who are not members of SAA.

Today the MARAC Steering Committee voted to donate our remaining FY20 advocacy funds, $1,370, to the AWEF.  We encourage you to also consider donating individually if you are able.  Donations are tax deductible.

To donate or to apply for a grant, please visit https://www2.archivists.org/groups/saa-foundation-board-of-directors/archival-workers-emergency-fund.

Sincerely,

Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh
MARAC Chair, 2019-2020

MARAC Mentoring Cohort 2020-2021 Accepting Applications

Dear MARAC colleagues,

The MARAC Mentoring Program is seeking participants for the 2020 cycle! The year long  program will begin in July 2020. All interested mentors and mentees are encouraged to sign up by the end of April. We also encourage folks interested in being mentors to consider self-selecting a co-mentor to work with. Is there a colleague you’d like to partner with? Encourage them to sign up with you!

Applications and more information about this exciting program are available here.

WHY PARTICIPATE?

The MARAC Mentoring Program offers members an opportunity to participate in Mentoring Circles, small groups that typically consist of four to five mentees and two mentors. Diverging from the traditional one-on-one mentoring model, the circle fosters mentoring relationships between mentors and mentees, but also peer mentoring relationships and can help you network with new colleagues gain new useful skills for your archives career.

Mentoring Circles are designed to:

-Encourage the exchange of experiences, challenges, and opportunities to facilitate goal-setting for career and personal development.

             -Build competence and character to reach those goals.

             -Foster self-confidence, communication skills, and collective growth.

Mentors and Mentees are matched to a circle depending on their interests, goals, availability, and geographic location. Circles typically meet in a combination of virtual and in-person meetings. The application process includes an initial survey to determine everyone’s interests and support the initial grouping. All participants should be current MARAC members, able to commit to a full cycle of the program, and be ready to actively participate in every meeting.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Please visit the MARAC Mentoring page to learn more about the program and to apply to join. Applications will be accepted through June 10, 2020. Applicants will receive placement information by July 1, 2020. If you have any questions about the program, please contact the MARAC Mentoring Subcommittee: mentoring@marac.info.

Resources for Archivists

As we continue to work around and deal with the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic, MARAC is dedicated to providing help to our profession. We’re compiling a list of resources for archival professionals to assist with those working from home, as well as those looking to document their community and/or institutional response to the pandemic. We are also open to sharing other resources not mentioned here. To submit ideas or suggestions, please contact us at marac.communications@gmail.com. We will also be able to share such ideas with other members via our social media platforms, as well as an updated blog post.

We are also looking to share ideas for practical responses already in place by archives professionals in the MARAC region. If you or your coworkers have a project related to COVID-19 response, please feel free to share it with us – we are happy to help promote your activities further. You can find us on Twitter (@MARACTweets) or on Facebook in the MARAC group.

A Workshop in American Visual Culture and Literacy

The MARAC Blog

The Graphic Arts Department at the Library Company of Philadelphia will host a Visual Literacy workshop generously supported in part by the Center for American Art in July 2020.

Title: Urban In-sights: A Workshop in American Visual Culture and Literacy from the Eighteenth through the Early Twentieth Century

Dates: July 27-29, 2020

Location: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Application Deadline: March 27, 2020Extended to April 3, 2020

This three-day workshop aims to enhance the skills of historians, art historians, archivists, curators, and other university, library and museum professionals, as well as graduate students who use images to interpret American art, history, and culture. We seek to augment and strengthen participants’ ability to identify, “read,” and analyze graphic material, including prints, photographs, watercolors, paintings, ephemera, and other two-dimensional objects. As the program uses Philadelphia as a focal point, priority will be given to applicants interested…

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Harrisonburg Meeting Update

Dear MARAC members,

After a week of careful consideration and planning, MARAC’s Executive Committee has come to the decision to cancel our spring 2020 meeting in Harrisonburg, Virginia. We wish we did not have to take this action, but the safety of our members and our community are more important, and we could not risk contributing to the spread of COVID-19. 

So many people worked hard over the past year and a half to develop our spring 2020 meeting, and I specifically want to thank our Local Arrangements Committee (chaired by Tiffany Cole, Kate Morris, and Sarah Roth-Mullet) and our Program Committee (chaired by Elizabeth Novara and Vincent Novara). We were all looking forward to coming together with colleagues and enjoying the meeting that you created, and please know that we did not come to this decision lightly.

Information moving forward:

  1. All registration fees, workshop fees, tours, and tickets will be refunded over the next few weeks, and you do not need to contact our Administrator to receive a refund. We appreciate your patience as she processes the refunds.
  2. The hotel is cancelling room reservations. Please contact the hotel directly if you have any questions.
  3. We have consulted with the Program Committee co-chairs, and we are exploring options for sharing the women’s suffrage centennial and civil rights content in the program but no specific plans have been made at this time. 
  4. In accordance with our by-laws, we will hold our spring Business Meeting, but it will take place remotely. More details will be forthcoming.

Thank you for your understanding, and I hope everyone stays safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Rachel M. Grove Rohrbaugh
MARAC Chair 2019-2020