Once More Unto the Breach

I am sorry that I have not posted in so long. I promise that I will get on a more regular schedule now that I am settled into my new job and college football is almost over (a guy can have his guilty pleasures, right?) ~ed.

There has been a lot of talk lately about some of the challenges of our profession, this blog included. But it also got me wondering if the pendulum has now swung too far to the negative. I mean, why do we do it? Why do we go against the advice and become archivists? Why do most of the profession’s critics (me included) remain in the profession? The answer, for me, lies in two completely unrelated things that I came across over the past few weeks.

Badass Archivists: It was recently announced that NARA is investigating the destruction of the so-called CIA torture tapes. This announcement comes on the heels of the Justice Department concluding its own investigation and deciding it will not be taking any further action. The action by NARA prompted a Gawker blogger to declare “the Justice Department may fold like a cheap hooker, but NARA doesn’t fool around. You’ve fucked with the wrong archivists, CIA!”

I usually avoid discussing politics, and I know there certainly are politics at play here. But I am going to give the benefit of the doubt and say that there is also something more going on. Much like the embarrassing Sandy Berger incident, NARA tends to use investigations as a way to call out people or agencies out who are somehow abusing them or the archival record. I do not agree with NARA all the time, and I know it has its issues, but I love in this case they are fighting the good fight.

If I Don’t Do It, Who Will? I recently had a interesting conversation with a corporate archivist. First, a little context. I know the economy is difficult for everyone these days. But we here in Michigan have had it very bad, and the badness started a few years before the rest of the country. My relatively short commute each weekday brings me by shuttered factories, office parks, and homes. It is profoundly sad for a very proud Michigander like myself. The archivist was relating how challenging it is to work in such an environment. This company has fired (I hate the work laid-off) entire departments. Often, the archivist has to go to these departments to save records before they are all destroyed by people who do not see the value, people who view records and archives as just another needless cost that should be cut.

So why does the archivist continue to work here, to work in this environment of too many records and demands, and not nearly enough funding or staff? The answer: “If I don’t do it, who will? Who will save this history?” That statement actually gave me chills when I heard it. This archivist is fighting the good fight.

The Fight: The fight can take many forms. It might be a very public fight for justice and accountability. Or, it might be a private fight to follow one’s own professional standards. Either way that fight is based in principle and the passion for one’s work. It is based in the belief that often “the right thing,” whatever the hell that is, is worth the battle.

I think this passion and principle is at the heart of why we work in this profession and why we try to better it. I want to make things accessible, and this career feeds that passion. That is why I am an archivist rather than something that makes more money or earns more public respect. I think the profession as a whole is grounded, for the most part, in this same principled approach to our work. That is why I bothered to write my manifesto, why Rebbecca proposed her Howl-Up, and why the Justice League writes about crappy jobs, because deep down we believe a profession grounded in ethics and principle can change for the better. It is also why people, no matter how many times they are told not to become archivists, that library school is too crowded, and that they will not find a job, will continue to want to work in this field. It is why most people who complain about the archives profession have no intention of being anything other than archivists.

It is why people keep finding the motivation to fight the good fight. So Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; Or close the wall up with our Archivist dead.

OK, maybe not that last dead-wall part…

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Justice, Archives Style

I have only been in one fight. It was during the time of life where we as a people get the closest to the kind of violence driven societal breakdown depicted in Lord of the Flies: yep, I am talking about middle school gym class. Derek Something-or-other was making fun of my less than stellar volleyball skills. While his criticisms were spot on (I am not a strong volleyball player),  I found them to be a bit much. Now, at that time of my life I was pretty quiet and shy, like Simon (although others may have categorized me as more of a Piggy), but on the bus ride home (also close to a Lord of the Flies type situation) I decided I would channel my inner Jack if it happened again. The next day, it happened again and Derek Something-or-other got the pushing of his lifetime. I had had enough and felt as though I had to act.

I was reminded of this moment of my life when last week, a group of archivists on Twitter reached that point of action as well. There was a job posted on the A&A that, as I have talked about before, I thought was undervaluing our degrees and experience. I tweeted it. Others people, including @benuski, tweeted more terrible positions. Then @meau took the initiative and started the blog You Ought to be Ashamed at http://eatingouryoung.wordpress.com. A group of archivist will be using this blog as a forum to…, well, lets be honest here, we will be using it to call out crappy job postings. I really, really hope this blog wil not be around very long for lack of content, but I have my doubts…

I will be one of the people contributing, so please let me know if you see any bad postings out there. Maureen has dubbed us the Justice League (in case you are wondering which Super Friend I am, the answer is Gleek), and hopefully we will be able to at least point out some of the uninformed and misrepresented postings that appear out there,  some of which even make it to SAA’s job announcement page and the listserv. Professionals should not tolerate part time or intern positions that require degrees, extensive professional experience, or even certification! The people that post these jobs should feel shame.


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Next Steps

Thank you all for the great discussion on the last post. I am going to be writing about some other topics soon but I do not want you to think that I am going to stop using this blog as a forum for discussing the issues raised in the Howl discussion. And while individual efforts are important, I think those of us who are really interested should try our best to act in concert.

So, as a group, what should our next steps look like? Well, my suggestion is actually a modified version of what Rebecca called for in her Howl followup, namely that there should be a meeting of people that are interested in these issues.

I would like to put on the table the formation of such a group, to meet and organize online at first. This group can be inclusive, comprised of not only new professionals but of people interested in improving the job and educational aspect of our profession. We can make goals like getting these issues put before the profession and perhaps having a face to face meeting/forum at the 2011 Annual Meeting.

If people are interested, please leave a comment or drop me an email. If there is a good amount of interest I will make a call for an official sign up and let you all take the lead, with the vast resources of NewArchivist at your disposal.

Even if the group does not form, I encourage us all to keep discussing these issues and keep calling for change!

**UPDATE** Our ever vigilant and plugged-in readers noted in the comment section that Google and Facebook groups have already been formed on this topic. So, I encourage those interested to visit and join those. I will pass along any additional information when I get it. Thanks and sorry for the false group all call thing. ~ed. 9/27/2010


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My Little Manifesto

This post is my attempt to add to the already wonderful discussion sparked by Rebecca Goldman’s Howl. If you have not read it, I strongly urge you to, as well as her followup here on NewArchivist. We hope the contribution by NewArchivist to be one of suggested improvements that we can discuss and perhaps get on the table to address some of the issues Rebecca and her commentors bring up. I really hope we can continue this important discussion. Thanks to Rebecca and Emi Hastings for their invaluable help with this post.

It seems to me that the least we can do is attempt to create a baseline of what we expect from our profession. This post is an attempt to get that discussion off the ground. I am focusing on two areas here, education and employment. There have been other important points raised as well, such as the level of engagement and cost of the SAA conference. I have been working on a post about that and will try to get it up soon.

At the end of each section, I identify groups that I think can be agents of change in this area. This is not an issue for just educators, or new professionals, or students, or SAA, but the profession as a whole. It will take all of us to advocate for change.


Clearly, there is a feeling right now that master’s degree-granting institutions are contributing to the difficulty of finding employment, especially early in a person’s career, in two ways: by graduating more archivists than the current job market can support, and by not providing enough practical training. I propose that schools devoted to archival training do the following to address these concerns:

Give an Accurate Picture of the Archival Job Market Many schools tout their placement numbers. However, they do not qualify those numbers by telling people how many graduates will be looking for employment again in 1 or 2 years because they are in grant-funded or other short-term positions. Turning to my own experience and that of my graduate cohort, I would think that number would be quite high, perhaps well over half. Incoming students should have this information. While this may make it harder to recruit, it will create a more informed incoming class of students that will be aware of the challenges facing them. My alma mater puts out annual employment reports that have a lot of good information, but do not include the number or percentage of archives students receiving short-term employment. Lets give incoming students all the information they need to decide if the archives profession is indeed for them.

Address How Schools Factor the Job Market vs. Recruitment What is recruitment based on? Do people look at the positions available when determining incoming class size? These might be naive questions, but part of me does think that our schools are concerned with more than money, new buildings, and tenure. I believe most are very concerned with their students getting employment. I know my professors were. I just wonder what it will take to have a school actually reduce the number of students it enrolls due to the job market (you still think I am naive, don’t you).

Provide Managed Practical Experience This is an applied profession and we need more than theory. Most schools provide credit for and/or require some sort of experience in the “real world.” However, they should not stop at making students find internships. When I was in school I took a practicum, which was part internship and part class and discussion managed by working archivists. It was invaluable to me to be placed in a working archive and then have a chance to discuss issues that arose with my fellow students and other experienced archivists. This class is no longer offered in that format, which I think is a shame.  I know it takes a lot of resources to find local opportunities for your students. However, if you cannot provide this level of experience and education to your students, perhaps it is because you have too many students!

Agents of Change: Alumni Those of us that are alums of these schools should be able to leverage that status to at least open a dialog on these matters. Recently, a colleague and I had a very productive sit down with the dean of our alma mater. We were able to raise concerns about the job market, giving incoming students all the needed information, and designing a practical curriculum, among other things.  I urge you all to talk to your deans and alumni groups about the issues you feel they need to address. They need to hear from the front lines of the professional job hunt, and you are the best people to give them that information.

Agents of Change: Students Ask your prospective school how they are addressing these issues. If they do not tell you, demand it. If they still do not tell you, I would have serious doubts about going there. If you are a current student, ask the same questions and give them feedback as to the difficulty you are finding in the job market. Then tell them again.

Agents of Change: Hiring Archivists If you are a professional archivist who sees a huge number of applications for one position, or thinks that the applicants are not as strong as they should be, let the schools know. As the people who give graduates jobs, you have a lot of juice with the schools: use it!

Agents of Change: ALA/SAA Like it or not, ALA is the de facto accrediting body for graduate archival education programs. If you are like me, you will find it quite odd that the accreditation standards used to certify archival training programs do not contain the words archivist or archive. However, this is all we have, as currently SAA provides only Guidelines for Archival Continuing Education, not accreditation (there is a report out there as to why but the link was dead on the SAA site; if you know where it is please let me know in the comments). ALA can use its power as the accrediting body to force the schools to follow a set of community agreed upon recommendations. I think we will need to get a pretty good head of steam at the grass roots level before we can get the behemoth that is ALA to take this up. In the meantime, we can yell at SAA to get off the sidelines.


The job situation is the most difficult one facing us as a profession. The lack of positions, and the tenuous funding for existing positions, is at the core why so many archivists, new and established, are howling.

You will notice that in the following list I do not address the fact that we are underpaid as a profession. I believe that is very true. However, I think as far as employment goes, the lack of fairly paid professional positions with benefits far outweighs the overall underpayment issue. I also think it is a bit unfair to compare us with other professions, like technical or records management. People in the for-profit sector will make more than those of us in the non-profit cultural sector every time. I am not saying that is fair, but I knew that going in. We are among many professions that are underpaid, and in my book, social workers, teachers, people helping others combat addiction and sickness, are ahead of us in line. That is just my opinion, of course.

However, I think we can fight to make professional positions the default, while making “paraprofessional” positions or internships fairer and less of an economic burden. I propose we demand the following from our fellow archival professionals:

Professional Compensation for Professional Work We cannot tolerate, as a profession, positions that have all of the requirements and duties of professional positions without full-time pay and benefits. Positions that file papers all day but are called archivists devalue our profession. Non-professional and/or part-time positions that require a master’s degree or previous experience devalue those degrees and experiences. We all see these types of positions, like this recent gem, and we should pick today as the day we stop tolerating them, dammit!

Underpaid/Unpaid Interns/Volunteers Require Other Benefits Readers of my blog know that I have a difficult time working out my feelings on internships. I think that unpaid work of any kind severely limits the diversity and richness of our profession. However, I also do not see it going away as long as people love the work and want to gain experience. I think we can agree that an intern or volunteer should earn much more for their work than a line on their resume. Building on what Rebecca has already said in her post, institutions that hire or accept non-professional workers should provide some sort of combination of the following:

  • Formal mentoring programs
  • Resume reviews, mock interviews, and job search sessions
  • Chances for professional development (conferences, local workshops, etc.)
  • Opportunities to be exposed to other professional advice, training, or assistance
  • Other career preparation help

This list is just a starter. My point is that interns or volunteers should not be viewed as all the work with no or little pay. They are entering the profession, or are already in it, and should be treated as professionals. Just because you do not have funding does not mean that you can simply create a professional position minus the pay. If you are doing this, you are on the wrong side of ethics–and, in some cases, the law.

Agents of Change: Archive Professionals This one is a no-brainer. If you are creating professional positions without professional compensation, stop. To be fair, the vast majority of archives are not creating positions like these. But I also do not think enough of us are calling out the few that are. If you see an unfair position posted, contact the people posting the position and let them know your feelings. If they are breaking your local law by offered unpaid positions separate from a formal training or education program, let them know that as well. We need to create an atmosphere where it is embarrassing to put positions like these on the Internet.

Agents of Change: SAA SAA should make fair employment practice part of their Code of Ethics for Archivists. This should come as part of a complete reform of the Code in an effort to make it meaningful, with repercussions if it is not followed. I know this used to be the case, but then it was watered down. Perhaps this is something the SAA Issues and Advocacy Roundtable could address?

So there you have it. I hope that did not come off as a rant, although I was kinda ranty there at the end. If you think the posts at Derangement and Description, here, Twitter, and the like are true, if you think that our profession is in need of some reform, then I have a challenge for you. Keep the discussion going, try to work out a common set of reforms, and then act. It is clear that these issues have been around a while, and people were just as fired up about them as we are now, but nothing was done.

Part of our mission as archivists, after all, is to try to prevent repeating mistakes from the past, right?


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Deranging the Archives

I am once again very happy to have a contribution from Derangement and Description‘s Rebecca Goldman. This time, Rebecca is following up to her comic heard around the archival world, Post-SAA Howl. As DnD returns to the funnier side of archives, NewArchivist is excited to host this already rich conversation and begin the quest for some solutions. ~Lance

(Disclaimer: All views are my own and do not represent the positions of Drexel University, the Drexel University Libraries, or the Drexel iSchool.)

I used to worry that if I was known as a webcomic author, no one would take me seriously as an archivist. Now I worry that people will take me seriously as an archivist because I’m a webcomic author, and that’s no good either. You should listen to to me because I’ve been in archives long enough to speak from experience, but not so long that I don’t feel like an outsider sometimes. Because I have a MLS, but I’m still a student, and I’ll be starting archives classes in the fall. Because I work at a university that has an archives program, which is where most of the interns at my archives come from. And because I presented at SAA this year–as a last-minute addition to my panel, replacing an archivist who had to leave the field for financial reasons.

So! Some of you may have read a little photocomic last week about the plight of some of our new archivists. I really meant it only as a reflection of my own frustration, both with the difficult situation facing new archivists and my inability to do anything about it. And so I asked for ideas. To say that I was overwhelmed by the response would be an understatement. I expected some comments, and maybe even a little controversy; what I did not expect was a call to action.

Here is the primary reason for my surprise: I didn’t think I was saying anything new. Isn’t it obvious to anyone looking for a job, or looking for an employee, that the supply of applicants far exceeds the number of open positions? Isn’t it common for new archivists to start out in part-time or grant-funded jobs? Haven’t we argued about this on A&A already? (Regarding that last one–apparently not.)

The discussion surrounding the post-SAA Howl has been amazingly productive, and even in discussing issues that are highly emotional for many archivists, the conversations have remained polite and respectful. Gold star for everyone! I have some ideas that haven’t yet been mentioned by others, so I thought I’d share them here.

1. The problems facing entry-level archivists are not unique to the archives field. There’s a recession on, jobs are being cut across the board, and employers have many talented candidates to choose from. We should be concerned about what will happen when the recession ends. Companies and institutions will start hiring again when the economy improves, but will they replace the archives positions and funding that have been cut? Will organizations that have never had an archives see the value in starting one?

2. The state of the field hurts all archivists, not just the un(der)employed ones. Those of us who are employed, especially in entry-level positions, know that what separates us from the unemployed is often merely luck, or geographic flexibility, or knowing the right people. (And if you don’t know that–well, you do now.) There’s some survivor’s guilt there. And we can share our favorite food and music and hobbies with our friends, but we can’t so easily share our love of archives, knowing the challenges awaiting anyone entering the field.

3. Unpaid interns should be free as in kittens, not free as in beer. Archivists have used the expression “free as in kittens” to discuss the responsibilities that patrons should take on as part of the reference services they receive. (Chela Scott Weber provided great context in her SAA presentation–I’ll add a link here if it goes online.) Grad students may come to you with sad kitten eyes, begging you to take them on as interns, but you should only accept them if you are willing to take responsibility for training, mentoring, and supervising. (Whether or not archives should accept unpaid grad school interns at all is a separate issue, and certainly worthy of discussion.)

4. How can we be advocates for the profession? Many commenters have cited the need for increased advocacy. But do we know what effective advocacy for the archives looks like? Who is in a good position to advocate?

I’m glad that my post has inspired so many archivists to start asking what we can do for our profession, and that responses have come from archivists at various stages in their careers and with connections to a variety of institutions and professional associations. (Still no comments from professors or staff at library/archives schools. I hope some of you will weigh in soon at NewArchivist!) And it’s certainly flattering (not to mention a little intimidating) that a picture I made could become the basis for a movement. I’m not sure what such a movement should look like, and I’m certainly not the person to lead it, but I have a few thoughts on how it might stay true to the spirit of the original post and the commentary it generated.

1. Include everyone, everywhere, as much as possible. For in-person meetings, try to hold them in multiple cities, and help attendees find cheap housing and transportation. Also consider online meetings. They can become unwieldy very quickly as the number of attendees grows, but if you find a way to make it work, let SAA and the other associations know how you did it! And make the records of your meetings, wherever and however they happen, available online and accessible to all.

2. Some archivists want to take action. Some just need to vent. Both reactions are valid, but they’re best expressed in separate settings. Don’t let the ranters derail your business meetings, but do provide them with a space to rant.

3. Your enemies are potential partners. You can blame the archives programs, the professors, the employers, the professional associations, all of the above–or, you can work with them to improve the field for all archivists.

Derangement and Description would like to revert back to being a humor blog, but let’s keep the discussion and planning going here at NewArchivist.


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NewYear, NewArchivist

It has been over a year since NewArchivist was born. While a year is just a blip in human terms, it is like 37.4 years in Internet terms. I have made some slight changes and have some ideas in store for the future, and while I do not like the idea of this blog talking about this blog, I did want to give you all an update.

  • Contributers and Collaboration: We have consolidated our list of Regular Contributors and Guest Contributors into one Contributors list. This is due to the interest I have received from people wanting to write something for the blog, which has both surprised and made me very happy. The regulars were with me from the start and will continue to post, for which I am very grateful. Please know that I am interested in all ideas you have and would love to see more people contribute in the coming year, as it is my goal to have NewArchivist  remain a collaborative blog. Contact me if you have any questions or ideas.
  • Link-O-Rama: I occasionally would post a set of links that I found interesting. I will now be doing that through the Link-O-Rama widget in the right sidebar. This widget is populated by the last five entries of my delicious account. You can also subscribe to this list via rss feed. That way you can get all NewArchivist all the time (if for some reason you would want that)!!
  • From The Trenches: I received the most positive feedback regarding the From The Trenches series than anything I did here. I also learned that it is really hard to blog about your job hunting experiences, both through the participants and through personal experience (more on that later).  We will still be hearing from people in the trenches, but I am also expanding this series to include other reflections and expert advice focused on finding employment. We will be kicking that off in a few days, so keep your eyes peeled!
  • Other Stuff: I hope to continue to focus on topics facing new archivists, but I also want it to be made clear that we new professionals are contributing to the general knowledge and advancement of our profession as a whole. Any archive topic is fair game here and I hope to be writing and receiving contributions from others concerning general archive topics.
  • New Ideas: I have received some great ideas from readers in the past year that I have not had time to get moving on, but I am focusing energy on these initiatives, including a user contributed wiki where people can add resources for new professionals, and ideas to formalize a new archives professional group. Stay tuned!
  • New Look: I made some changes to the page structure and added a new header, I am a web design ninja!

Finally, thanks so much for your contributions, readership, and support. I will admit I am still surprised when someone tells me they are loyal readers. My first reaction is always like, “you read that?” Your loyalty makes it worth while, and I really hope I continue to deserve it in the coming year.

Thank you


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The Howling Continues

I am sure that most of you have seen the Post-SAA Howl on Derangement and Description, as well as the amazing discussion that has followed. If you have yet to see it, please check it out.

Rebecca suggested that I put out a call for contributions on this topic. The issues being raised in this discussion hit us new professionals the most, and NewArchivist would be happy to host anyone who would like to post their stories, reflections, or suggestions. I know these topics can be dicey, so I would be happy to facilitate an anonymous posting process. Contact me if you are interested.

I am also working out my personal response to the howling, and that post should be up next week. Most importantly, lets keep this conversation going, no matter the forum!

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So That Happened: SAA 2010

I am starting this post at the airport as I wait for the flight that will bring me home to Michigan from DC and the 2010 SAA Joint Conference. Part of this is because I want to get my thoughts down while they are fresh, and the other part is the couple next to me seems to be making out a lot for being in a public place. Anyway…

The Sessions: Overall I liked the sessions I attended. I thought they were informative and some were quite applicable. In my mind, sessions break down into three types: more theoretical discussions on archival practice, ongoing or recently concluded research or projects, and people sharing what they are doing at their institutions. All three can be interesting to me, but I again find myself really enjoying the third kind the most. I know there are some big grant funded projects going on right now that are important and a benefit to us all. But then there are the folks who are trying different things, in addition to their regular work, to better their archives. These projects are not grant funded or supported by anything but the institution and the staff’s hard work and willingness to take risk. Not only do they do these things, but then they go to a national conference and share their results, warts and all, with the community so we can implement and build upon their work. As you move though your career I hope that you consider presenting on topics like this, as they never fail to get me fired up.

I Enter The Fray: This is my second SAA conference. This year, like last, I helped organize the Research Forum. It gives me a chance to learn about all of the research going on in the community, as well as meet a lot of the participants. I also presented for the first time this year, giving a talk on disaster planning for digital assets at the Preservation Section, the slides for which are located here (that blatant bit of product placement just made me feel a bit dirty). I was pretty nervous, but I think it went well and received a lot of great feedback. There was actually a small line afterwards to talk to me. Now, I have been surrounded by groups that were pointing and laughing at me before, but never a line to discuss professional matters. Pretty cool.

The Declaration of Independence, Beer, and C-3PO The social events were a very good time this year. Last year, I did not know all that many people and I was way more intimidated. Mingling does not seem to be something that comes naturally to most archivists. This year, I knew more people and had a really good time at the after-hours events. The locations did not hurt. One reception was in the National Archives, and although the line for food was way too long and I was a touch disappointed in our profession to see how much line cutting was going on (I mean, we were like 20 yards away from the charters of freedom and you cut in line, come on people), it was still cool being at that location. The Friday reception was in the Smithsonian Museum of American History and I got to drink a beer while standing next to C-3PO. Meaning that I can cross “Have A Drink With An Actual Star Wars Character” off my bucket list, leaving only “See Michigan Beat Ohio State Again” and “Train A Small Monkey to Do My (Probably Evil) Bidding.”

Despite this, I still really did not meet many new people at the social events, but rather hung out with people I already knew from school. This may have been because I was spending an inordinate amount of time standing next to an empty costume from a science fiction movie, but I am finding that conferences in general are not really so much about meeting new people but reconnecting with the ones you kinda already know. Unless, of course, you are on Twitter (you were just foreshadowed, my friend).

The Archivist Twitterverse For The Win: I am biased here but I think the SAA conference was made so much richer by the folks from the profession who are on Twitter. I am not so good at the live tweeting, but there are several who are and it really helps add a lot to the experience, whether you are in the same room or a different state. Their hard work is located at http://twapperkeeper.com/hashtag/saa10 for your reading pleasure.

Also, the personal connections made through Twitter cannot be overstated. I met more people (and by met I mean the actual meet-in-person-hi-how-are-you kind of met) through the connections made on Twitter than those I met at sessions, mixers, reunions, receptions, and this blog combined. The Tweetup was a smashing success (I am REALLY biased here), with well over the 30 or so people who initially submitted an RSVP. I can’t wait to meet more fellow archivists as this group of engaged professionals gets larger. I feel as though the community being built on Twitter will, if not already, be a force to reckoned with in the profession, despite some continuing to not get it (I look in your general direction, certain haters on the A&A).

Last year, I found the conference in Austin to be very big, informative, tiring, and friggin’ hot. This year, I found the conference to be bigger, packed with more info, exhausting, and just as friggin’ hot. Can’t wait to see what Chicago 2011 brings.

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All Archivists Tweetup

Lat year at this time I would have been all “What the hell is a Tweetup?” Now, through a series of misinterpretations and me opening my big mouth one too many times, I am planning one. Luckily for me and all interested parties, @randomarchivist and @sheepeeh are helping me  (and by help I mean doing all the work) and @DerangeDescribe is providing some much needed encouragement.

So, we are planning The All Archivists Tweetup on Wednesday, August 11th at The Zoo Bar, which is about a ten minute walk north from the conference hotel. The festivities will begin around 9:00, or right after the NARA reception, and will go until they kick us out for being too rowdy, ’cause that is how we archivists roll. Please go here to RSVP (RSVP’s are not necessary but would really help us plan) and to see the already sweet guest list, or use the ugly embedded thingy below. For those who cant make it, use the Twitter hashtag #SAA10Tweetup to follow all the awkward awesomeness!
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Map Your Way… To Savings!

We had some great cost saving suggestions for SAA 2010 in the comments of our last post. @archivesnext noted on Twitter that finding grocery stores next to where you are staying is a great way to save money on meals. I agree, last year at SAA in Austin I walked into the conference hotel lobby with a CVS bag and had at least 5 people ask me where it was located. I charged each of those people $1.75 for the answer, but as a loyal NewArchivist reader, I am giving that information to you for only $1.50 free! So, if you are like me and your out-of-town diet will consist mostly of Snickers and Red Bull, please feel free to use these maps as starting points.

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