Archival Educators Section survey reminder

Dear Colleagues,

About a month ago, the Archival Educators Section (AES) Steering Committee, distributed a link to a survey so we could learn more about adjunct faculty in the archival profession. The response rate has been wonderful so far, but we are hoping for a few more participants. If you have already completed the survey, we greatly appreciate your help! If you know of friend or colleague who has taught archival courses in the past five years, please forward him/her this message.

 

As a reminder, the purpose of our project is to analyze the duties, obligations, and experiences that adjuncts have while teaching archival courses. We hope to further a conversation about the role of adjuncts and their value in higher education.

 

The outcomes will be reported at the AES meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 15 from 2:30-3:45 PM. The steering committee may also publish the report to inform the archival community of the findings of the survey.

 

The findings of this research will begin to provide directions for how archival educational programs may improve the working relationships with their adjuncts to enhance the experiences of the students within these programs.

 

To assist with our project, we are requesting that you complete the following survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J36YHXC

 

The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete.

 

At the end of the survey you may provide your contact information voluntarily for follow-up purposes. The confidentiality of all participant data will be maintained. Any information that may identify a participant will be removed prior to the data analysis process and not connected to your responses.

 

There will be no costs or direct payment for participating.

 

If you have any questions about the study or study procedures, please do not hesitate to contact one of us.

 

Thank you,

Donald Force (force@uwm.edu), Ph.D., Chair AES

Miriam Meislik (miriam@pitt.edu), Steering Committee Member, AES

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Archival Educators Section seeks adjunct survey participation

Dear Colleagues,

The Archival Educators Section (AES) Steering Committee is seeking to learn more about adjunct faculty in the archival profession. The purpose of our project is to analyze the duties, obligations, and experiences that adjuncts have while teaching archival courses. We hope to further a conversation about the role of adjuncts and their value in higher education.

If you are adjunct instructor who has taught at least one archival course within the past 5 years, we would greatly appreciate your participation in this survey.

For the purposes of our survey, adjuncts are defined as those hired on a part-time basis to teach one or more courses at an institution of higher learning. They may be referred to as adjunct professor, adjunct lecturer, adjunct instructor, or by other titles deemed appropriate by the institution. The positions are non-tenure track and are on a contractual basis with variable pay, resource availability, and access to benefits such as health insurance and retirement

The outcomes will be reported at the SAA AES meeting in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, August 15 from 2:30-3:45 PM. The steering committee may also publish the report to inform the archival community of the findings of the survey.

The findings of this research will begin to provide directions for how archival educational programs may improve the working relationships with their adjuncts to enhance the experiences of the students within these programs.

To assist with our project, we are requesting that you complete the survey found at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/J36YHXC

The survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete.

At the end of the survey you may provide your contact information voluntarily for follow-up purposes. The confidentiality of all participant data will be maintained. Any information that may identify a participant will be removed prior to the data analysis process and not connected to your responses.

There will be no costs or direct payment for participating.

If you have any questions about the study or study procedures, please do not hesitate to contact one of us. Please feel free to distribute this email if you know of adjunct instructors in your program who may not be subscribed to this list.

Thank you,

Donald Force (force@uwm.edu), Chair AES

Miriam Meislik (miriam@pitt.edu), Steering Committee Member, AES

 

SAA’S DESCRIPTIVE NOTES SEEKS SUBMISSIONS

Dear Colleagues,

The SAA Description Section seeks submissions for the Summer 2018 issue of Descriptive Notes, the newsletter for SAA’s Description Section.

Descriptive Notes comprises announcements, articles, progress and project reports, collection images, cartoons, illustrations, and other newsy content. Are you in the middle of a project and want to let your fellow archivists in on what you’ve accomplished? Let us know! Have you come across a unique descriptive challenge in a collection? We want to know about it!

This is your forum. Your colleagues want to hear from you!

For examples of previous issues of Descriptive Notes, check out http://www2.archivists.org/groups/description-section/description-section-newsletters#.VzIemmY0prs

Please send submissions to: cherijcrist@gmail.com.

*The deadline for the Summer 2018 issue is July 21.*

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. I look forward to your submissions!

Cheri Crist
Description Section Newsletter Editor

Arline Custer Memorial Award

 

DEADLINE:  July 31, 2018

The Arline Custer Memorial Award is presented by the MARAC Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee.  This award honors the memory of Arline Custer (1909-1975), MARAC member and editor of the National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections.

Eligibility

The Arline Custer Memorial Award recognizes the best books and articles written or compiled by individuals and institutions in the MARAC region – the District of Columbia, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Works under consideration include, but are not limited to: monographs, popular narratives, reference works and exhibition catalogs using archival sources.

Individuals or institutions may submit up to two works published between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

Evaluation

Works must be relevant to the general public as well as the archival community. They also should be original and well researched using available sources. In addition, they should be clearly presented, well written and organized. Visual materials, if used, should be appropriate to the text.

Preference will be given to works by archivists.

Award

Up to two awards may be given, with a maximum value of $200.00 for books and $100.00 for articles. The 2018 award(s) will be announced at the Fall 2018 Conference in Wilmington, DE.

Submission Instructions

Please send two copies of each submission with a letter of nomination to the Senior Co-Chair of the Arline Custer Memorial Award Committee:

Tara Wink
Health Sciences and Human Services Library
University of Maryland, Baltimore
601 West Lombard Street Baltimore, MD 21214
Email: twink@hshsl.umaryland.edu

Entries must be received by July 31, 2018

For additional information about this award and a list of previous award winners, see the Arline Custer Memorial Award site.

S22 – Donor Relations 101

I did not know what I was getting in for when I sat down in Rachel Grove Rohrbaugh and Lynda Kachurek’s session, “Designing a Legacy: Collaborative Donor Relations with the Living Donor.” Like every archivist introvert’s nightmare, when Rachel and Lynda let us know that this would be a group participation type of a session, I fought the urge to flee. In part to hear from others in the field, and in part to improve my public speaking skills, I decided to stick it out. I’m glad I did, as the session turned out to be the most memorable one of the entire conference.

We broke up into small groups, and discussed several outlandish but realistic donor scenarios. The scenarios included a roller derby donation with processing expectations and a family dispute, a pesky volunteer with a lot of information about a large collection that needs description work, and a former madam with a collection riddled with privacy concerns. After discussing each scenario in small groups, we reported back to the session at large. This part was really interesting in that while there were some common themes in how the various small groups decided to handle the situation, some ideas were really unique. Everyone really brought their own personal experiences into the discussion, and it was really empowering to brainstorm in a room filled with archivists from many types of institutions.

Some themes that cut across all three scenarios included flipping negative aspects into positive ones, communicating openly, and educating non archivists in basic archival practice. The themes really resonated with me, and I think they apply to all public facing aspects of our field.

The session turned collaborative workshop was a great way to end a great weekend at MARAC. While this was a “bird of a feather” session this year, I hope we have more in the future.

By: Marci Bayer
National Archives and Records Administration
marci.bayer@nara.gov

S17: If You Plan It, They Will Come: Archives Month Event Incubator

Archives Month Philly (AMP) is a month-long city-wide festival. Yes, you read that right. Month-long and city-wide. (I only put up a Archives Month poster last year, does that count?) AMP focuses on educating the wider community about local archives through public programming and exhibitions. Since 2013, AMP has held over 100 events at more than 60 participating institutions in the Philadelphia area. In 2017, they had more than 500 event attendees throughout October.

AMP’s lead organizers gave an overview of planning individual events and coordinating multi-institutional partnerships. Such as Nerd Nite Philly, where archivists take over the popular bar-based monthly lecture series. Or the Philadelphia Lantern Slide Salon that showcased glass lantern slides from the special collections of several Philadelphia institutions projected from an historic lantern projector in the Wagner’s Victorian-era lecture hall. Speakers shared suggestions and words of caution. They shared their website, https://archivesmonthphilly.com, where you can further explore the different kinds of events they have done in the past.

Some of the main organizing principles takeaways shared were to plan events for the general public. In order to expose new people to the archives, you have to meet them where they are at, such as a bar for Nerd Nite Philly. Even if your institution cannot host an event, you can partner up with one that can. This multi-institutional events has the potential to lead to partnerships. It helps to build relationships with other archivists in your area.

Some tips for success:

Start planning early: Planning early is especially important if you are part of a large institution and you need to go through the bureaucracy to get things approved. Or if you need buy-in to do something your institution had never done before. One presenter mentioned, how she had to explain that this wasn’t an event for other archivists but for the general public and selling that idea took sometime.

You’re only as strong as your planning team: Since AMP is completely volunteer based, having an active engaged team is important. Holding team members accountable to assigned tasks helps to get things done. But also keeping it light and informal helps to keep people engaged.

Mobilize your community: Outreach is the key to planning an event. It’s important to get the word out via social media. Reaching out to colleagues, who in turn reach out to their connections helps to spread the word of your event. Getting your event on local event calendars and blogs is also helpful.

Keep it fun: When it comes down to it, have fun and keep it fun. Planning for a month long festival can be stressful but it should be fun.

Session attendees broke into small groups to brainstorm creative ideas and planning their own events for Archives Month this October. I was super pumped and excited to hear about all the cool things AMP had accomplished and it was great to break out into the sessions and to brainstorm. I walked away with a lot of great ideas and Monday morning I will be sending an email to the powers that be to get the ball rolling on some of them.

Karolina Lewandowska, M.A., M.L.I.S.
Processing Archivist
Naval History & Heritage Command

S12 – “Sing Out, Louise! Sing Out!”: The Archivist and Effective Communication

Panel speakers Bob Clark (Rockefeller Archive Center), Kerri Anne Burke (Citigroup), Celia Hartmann (Metropolitan Museum of Art), and Nicole Milano (Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs) discussed the importance of communicating effectively about our work as archivists. Surprisingly, the speakers stressed that successful communication has little to do with personality traits (i.e. your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator result) and more to do with thoughtful, learned, and practiced communication. Before attending the panel, I felt that a person’s disposition can positively or negatively impact advocating for themselves and their archives. However, as the panel emphasized, speaking to a large audience or having a one-on-one meeting and advocating for archives is learned and takes strategizing beyond pitching your ‘elevator speech’. Effective communication is not something we are automatically gifted with! Here are the panel’s key takeaways to become a better communicator in our profession and in turn, become better advocates for ourselves and archives.

What’s in it for them? Know your audience.
An archivist speaking with a potential donor is a different conversation from an archivist speaking to a large audience at a MARAC Session, which is different than speaking with a supervisor about securing more project funding. Understanding the audience’s knowledge of archives and archival terms (not by assuming what they know, but by asking them what they know or what they want to accomplish) will help better guide the conversation. By using less archival jargon for those less familiar with archives to speaking frankly with a full room of archivists at a conference, it shifts a conversation’s tone and context.

Authenticity
To ‘break the ice’ in conversation, it’s helpful to be friendly, informative, and to show your authentic self. It not only eases tensions between the audience and archivist, but it eases the speaker’s nerves. When I speak to a large group, I tend to have the physical signs of nervousness like my face turning bright red. Using relaxed breathing, coming to the presentation with confidence in my archival knowledge and ability, and connecting by using my personal communication style, should help my nerves, and allow the audience to open up and respond to the information to create more of a dialogue, and less of a lecture.

“Give the presentation you want to go to.”
Think about your most successful meetings. Why did you feel good about the outcome? Think about the presenters at conferences. What information did you take away and why was that particular presenter so informative or persuasive? Learning from your experiences and taking notes of what catches your attention is crucial and takes self-reflection and practice. By focusing on the needs of the audience and opening up to be your authentic self, any archivist can customize the conversation to be more informative and successful.

 

Laura Donahue
MARAC Member
University Archivist
American Public University System
ldonahue@apus.edu
twitter: ladonahue89