Affording $AA

As students and new professionals, we are among the hardest hit by the expenses associated with attending the SAA Annual Meeting in Washington DC. Some of us are lucky enough to get some organizational support while others of us are left to fend completely for ourselves. The question dealing with why it is so expensive and how we might be able to change that is the topic of a great discussion at Beaver Archivist and two posts at ArchivesNext (here and here). I am working on a post on this topic as well, but for now I thought I would share some tips that may help participants afford the conference. I know this is kind of late but hopefully it can help those that are still finalizing their plans.

The Hotel is the biggest expense of the conference. While the rate of $185 for participants at the conference hotel is a substantial discount from their normal rate of well over $300, in my book it still qualifies as friggin’ expensive and out of the question for many of us. Using Crash Space for Archivists or finding someone to share hotel space with is a great option (sorry for the shameless plug). For others finding much cheaper lodging is both the obvious choice and the clear challenge.

Using sites like Hotwire and Priceline provides a chance to save some serious dough.  I used Hotwire for the Midwest Archives Conference and stayed at a hotel for under $90 that was much nicer than the conference hotel, which had a similar rate to SAA’s. If you have never used these sites before, the drawback is that you have to pay your non-refundable rate before you know what hotel you are booking. You choose your hotels using areas of the city and level of hotel (two star, three star, etc.). For Chicago the areas are pretty compact but for DC they are pretty big and odd shaped, especially for the one the conference is located.

There are sites that use the information about each hotel to help you guess which one it might be. For my Chicago trip I used BetterBidding.com and it was right on. Also, if you do end up away from the conference hotel DC does have a great subway system.

Airfare is another expensive piece of the puzzle. Luckily DC has some airport choices. Generally speaking it is cheaper to fly into Baltimore (BWI) than DC. For my flight (from Detroit) a ticket to Baltimore is about 1/3 cheaper than one to either DC airport. BWI also has some good (and cheap) transportation options to DC. I know I plan on taking advantage of this, as well as use it as an opportunity to get some soft-shell crab. Mmmmmm, friend whole crustaceans…

The League of Broke Archivists I have already mentioned that I will have a post later dealing with how SAA may make the conference more affordable. If you have thoughts on that I highly encourage you to go to the links provided in the first paragraph. However, while reading Kate’s first post on this topic and the comments I thought that it might be a good idea to organize a group of people that can band together independent of SAA and create a pool of rooms at a more affordable hotel. I know this idea is too late for this year but I think it might work for the years to come. Do you think people would be interested in partaking in something like this? As you can see, I already have a sweet name for it.

Please leave any other tips you may have for ways to make the conference more affordable, especially if you are from the DC area and have any ideas on where a person may get some affordable eats and drinks. Hopefully in the future we will have more legitimate options allowing more and more of us to attend the conference, and posts like this will not be needed.

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What I Did for Spring Break

This week’s guest contribution is from Elizabeth Skene. Elizabeth is currently working at the American University in Cairo and will be starting her final year at the School of Information at Michigan this fall. She is also author of the blog Nerd Hugs. Alternative Spring Break is a great program, so we really appreciate her willingness to share her experiences. Thanks so much, Elizabeth! ~ ed

This March, I was able to spend a week at the National Library of Medicine as an volunteer through the School of Information’s Alternative Spring Break program at the University of Michigan. The National Library of Medicine [NLM] is the largest medical library in the world, located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD.

National Library of Medicine

A sunny March morning at the NLM

About Alternative Spring Break

The School of Information’s Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program places interested and motivated graduate students, during the week of Spring Break, in professional work environments in the public sector where they can…

  • provide a service to an organization, institution, or community
  • gain practical job experience
  • develop leadership skills as information professionals
  • learn new skills
  • create professional partnerships
  • pursue their fields of interest

School of Information students are placed in non-profit, cultural, governmental, and educational institutions in New York City, Chicago, and Washington D.C. (source)

This year, 112 students were placed with 48 host organizations in 4 cities. You can explore the ASB 2010 website to see the organizations, projects, blog posts and other information related to this year’s trip.

About my project

This was the description of the project I received before the trip:

The Exhibition Program at the National Library of Medicine produces a wide variety of exhibitions and websites that use a diverse assortment of assets including print photographs, digital media, and analog media. Over the course of the last 10 years, hundreds of individual assets have been accumulated. The Rehousing plan for exhibition assets will organize, house, and label all materials for archival purposes. (source)

While I wasn’t sure what types of exhibitions they put together or what types of materials I would be working with, I knew that it would be good, hands-on experience.

My co-volunteer, Heather, & I were given large binders of materials that were used in past exhibitions. Our task was to take out all the photos, sort out duplicates, put the photos into acid-free sleeves, label the photo with its exhibition number and put them into new containers. Over the course of the week we were able to get through not only the materials for one exhibition, but also the binders for all the past exhibitions. Additionally, we updated the catalog records for the materials that had been moved and rehoused. By the end, we reduced the size of the assets from 8 cubic feet, down to 3 cubic feet.

At work at the National Library of Medicine

Sorting through a binder

National Library of Medicine

Images from the "Visible Proofs" exhibition

National Library of Medicine

Working with the "Changing the Face of Medicine" exhibition materials

Additionally, we sat in on a few meetings of the exhibition staff in the History of Medicine department. They work full time creating new exhibits, not only to be shown in the library, but as online or traveling exhibits. [If you work at an organization, make sure to check out the amazing, free traveling exhibits!!]

Everyone we met was so helpful, friendly and enthusiastic and it felt feel like we were really able to accomplish something for them – especially since they remarked a number of times that this was a project that had wanted to do for a while, but didn’t have the time or the resources.

With our mentor, Beth Mullen, at the National Library of Medicine

Heather, our project mentor Beth Mullen & myself

Becoming a participating organization

If your organization is located in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York City or Detroit & is interested in hosting an SI student next Spring Break, check out this organization FAQ page. You can also explore the types of projects offered by other organizations to get an idea of what has been done in the past.

Final thoughts on the experience

Joining an organization for just one week presents a lot of limitations – time being the biggest. It can be difficult to strike a balance between an interesting project and one that can be accomplished without spending too much time on training. While my project wasn’t the most challenging, the chance to experience a professional work environment, learn more about typical day-to-day tasks and explore future career options was invaluable.

Lastly, since you may not be able to take a similar Spring Break trip, check out the NLM’s Associate Fellows Program if you’re a recent grad interested in medical libraries and archives. It’s a year-long program and it provides a lot of fantastic experience and training.

Also, D.S. Apfelbaum’s guest post here on NewArchivist gives some good advice and perspective on the value of volunteering in his entry “Ask Not What Your Archives Can Do for You: A Volunteer’s Perspective.”

Thanks to Lance for allowing me to contribute! Please share any thoughts, questions or comments!

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Publishing by Fire

We are very pleased to have a guest contribution this week from Matt Schultz of the awesomely named Educopia Institute, who was kind enough to write this post at my request. Matt is a founding member of the FONA (Friends of NewArchivist) and we really appreciate his support from day one, and his willingness to share his insight. Thanks Matt! ~ ed.

Seeing your writing in a publication for the first time is elating. I think anyone reading this who has gotten their voice into print can recall that feeling.

As a 30-something just coming out of my Masters program from the University of Michigan’s School of Information, and re-inventing my career in automotive manufacturing to go to work in the field of cultural memory, I have a lot of catching up to do in the area of getting published. This is in comparison to several of the slightly younger folks I encountered during my program, who by their mid-to-late 20s were already working on their second Masters degree and had several articles under their belts (many of these folks were really bright HCI-ers who were ambitious in their computing and usability research). Diving into LIS, ARM and PI education, most of us were doing the grad thing for the first time, moving on from our BAs in the humanities. I think most of us did not write so much as listen, take copious notes, and work our little butts off in various internships to get as much practical experience as we could muster. I know I didn’t have the time nor credentials to get published.

The road for me to getting published came along much more serendipitiously, and only after I dipped my toes a little further into the real world of digital preservation and archiving.

The MetaArchive Cooperative hired me shortly after my graduation as an outside consultant. I was to put on several hats and not only guide them through the arduous process of a trusted repositories audit, but also perform some light planning, and help out with administrative work. Things went so well, that I soon found myself pulled suddenly into the thick of a final editing process for their long germinating work titled A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation. Not only was I given the benefit of the doubt to help sharpen the matured and well-articulated chapters written by various Cooperative members, I was charged with completely overhauling a couple of the technical chapters. My voice was actually getting into the publication.

The final work was a collaboration of 11 authors who were spread across the Cooperative’s membership, the central staff, and myself. The editing process was intense. Once we had rough final versions in from each of the chapter authors, the Program Manager, myself, and a librarian from GA Tech set hard to work bringing the volume together into final form. To streamline what was a highly disparate work, with multiple voices, we had to develop a unified nomenclature of terminology and phraseology that could be reinforced across all of the chapters. On a practical level we ended up implementing at least three different document versioning conventions over the course of 2-3 months, to reinforce orderliness and proper identification of exchanged edits, as all three of us as final editors were not co-located.

When it came time for me to overhaul the more technical chapters, I had to research heavily on the fly, a range of documentation on the MetaArchive’s technical organization and design (a process already somewhat informed from my TRAC auditing), as well as documentation on the underlying LOCKSS software. Interviews with the MetaArchive’s central technical staff, with whom I share authorship in my chapters, were essential as well. This required me to be able to dip into their pressured time schedules quickly, get clarification on terms, and return to the manuscript to transform difficult jargon into language that an unfamiliar audience could grasp. Talk about a crash course. Research. Write. Clarify. Refine.

We wrapped up final editing right before the Christmas holiday of this past year. By January, the whole collaborative process had gone so well, I found myself with a job offer and the awesome title of Collaborative Services Librarian. I am no expert as of yet in collaboration, but I have had my trial by fire through this incredible publication. From what I have gleaned of the state of publishing in my field of academia, both on a profession level as well as in research, any effort toward publication, even as a single author, is a collaborative one.

Since this first experience I have gone on to write two pending articles for iPres 2010, both of which are giving me the opportunity to put my voice forward a little earlier in the process, and go through the process of having my language and presentation heavily edited. It is an awesome process. Humbling and educational.

For other new archivists and cultural memory workers out there looking to get themselves published, my encouragement would be to look for ways of promoting your current work through your most immediate network of actively publishing peers. I cannot really speak to how easy or difficult this might be. I was blessed, and continue to be blessed, by an employer that believes in championing the expertise and ambition of their staff. Also, I would encourage new archivists and cultural memory workers to offer your services as an editor on a publication or the outcomes from a research process underway by your co-workers or peers. If it goes well, don’t be shy in requesting being credited or acknowledged on any such article or work. It’s all a stepping stone. In the meantime, practice the process of researching, writing, clarifying, and refining. Do your own thing, bring it forward to those who might have some capacity for promoting your effort and style. Who knows where it might go.

My employer and I are already scheming a potential new publication that should further benefit the field of distributed digital preservation. Which is really what it is all about – making a meaningful contribution.

Good luck all you NewArchivists in getting published!

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Blooms Among the LAMs: Early‐Career Professionals and Cross‐Pollination between Libraries, Archives, and Museums

This post was co-authored by Lance of NewArchivist and Audra Eagle, author of the Touchable Archives blog, on which this post also appears.

As the lines between libraries, archives, and museums continue to blur and professional identities become less and less concrete, a question arises on how to best foster collaboration and knowledge‐building between these sectors. In some regards, this question is even more profound for new professionals. In graduate school, there are opportunities to take classes in other disciplines or even specialize in multiple areas. Is this type of education actually bringing together the best of the theory and practice of these disciplines, or merely teaching library skills in one class and archives skills in another?

Furthermore, it can be difficult for new professionals to know which of these identities belong to them. For example, what if you are a graduate of an archives program, working in a library setting, and putting together a few online and physical object exhibits? What are you? What professional organizations do you belong to and what journals do you read? Being new (and most likely carrying a mountain of education debt), we probably have to choose between the SAA, ALA, or AAM annual meetings.

Where does one look to learn more about the issues and opportunities surrounding the convergence of libraries, archives, and museums? Is there something out there for new professionals interested in cross‐discipline topics and fostering collaboration? If not, what types of groups would suit our needs? The purpose of this post is to solicit answers to some of these questions.

A Little History
The Joint Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums (CALM) was established by the American Library Association (ALA) Executive Board in 1970 as a partnership between the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and ALA, with the American Association of Museums (AAM) joining in January 2003. An in‐depth history can be found on the ALA website. The committee consists of fifteen members, five from each organization, as well as three co‐chairs from each organization. There are also staff liaisons and sometimes interns (mostly from ALAbut the committee is largely made up of experienced and well‐known archivists, librarians, and museum professionals. It is clear from the official functions of CALM that it is an administrative, high‐level committee that fosters communication between these three large organizations.
CALM’s official function is to:

(1) foster and develop ways and means of effecting closer cooperation among the organizations; (2) encourage the establishment of common standards; (3) undertake such activities as are assigned to the committee by one or more of its parent bodies; (4) initiate programs of a relevant and timely nature at the annual meetings of one or more parent bodies either through direct Combined Committee sponsorship or by forwarding particular program plans to the appropriate unit or on or more parent bodies for action; and (5) refer matters of concern to appropriate units of one or more of the parent bodies.

Both of us had never heard of CALM as graduate students. It was not until Audra was selected to be a part of the 2009 class of ALA Emerging Leaders that she was introduced to the committee and its priorities. (In case you’re curious, the 2008 EL class created a wiki for LAM (libraries, archives, and museums)‐related issues, which the 2009 EL class updated and supplemented with a del.icio.us page, and the 2010 EL class is working on a podcast series for LAM‐related issues.) CALM was born as a policy‐based group of representatives from SAA, AAM, and ALA. Their willingness to work with ALA’s Emerging Leaders program seems to demonstrate an interest in the ideas of early‐career professionals.

There is potential for CALM to become a major vehicle for encouraging discussion and scholarship about LAM convergence. The OCLC‐related hangingtogether blog as well as the new IMLSUpNext wiki present opportunities for discussion and debate around LAM issues.

A Call for Ideas
So other than getting involved with the big OCLC working groups and the super‐committee known as CALM, what opportunities are there for early‐career librarians, archivists, and museum professionals to be a part of the convergence of libraries, archives, and museums? Where is the “Emerging Leaders” program for new/young professionals who think and work between the LAMs?

Convergence is an exciting thing. How does this generation of new professionals understand and interact with it? That is what we are asking you. When we were first discussing this idea, we thought that an informal type of group focusing on these issues would be a good start. Perhaps it could have an online access component to foster collaboration and not require travel. We need your help and ideas on filling out this idea and make it into something tangible and usable for us new information professionals. Please leave comments or email us at lam_ideas@newarchivist.com to let us know what you think!

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Link-O-Rama: Variety Pack Edition

  • SAA 2010 Election Results
    SAA has posted the results from the 2010 election. I am assuming that you all voted, right? Anyway, congrats to all the winners and thanks for everyone who ran for your willingness to make our profession better. A note, the above link goes to a page on SAA’s website, but you have to open the PDF on that page to actually get the results, for some reason.
  • Call for Nominations for Best Archives on the Web Awards
    Kate Theimer of ArchivesNext (and new SAA Council member!) has opened a call for nominations for the Best Archives on the Web awards, this year featuring all new categories designed to highlight innovation. We New Archivists are all over this archives on the web stuff, so go on over and make your nominations now!
  • Archives Gig
    Meredith Lowe has created a blog focusing on “careers, jobs, and internships in the world of Archives & Records Management.” Basically a reposing of positions from multiple sources, this is a great resource to add to your job searching arsenal. Nice job, Meredith!

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MAC Attack

First off, we are sorry for the lack of updating lately. We will be getting you some fresh new posts next week, scouts’ honor (full disclosure: I was never a scout, I am not really into “nature”).

In the meantime, please check out the blog MAC Deep Dish. Six archival students and professionals (including yours truly) will be providing session synopses from the Midwest Archives Conference, taking place in Chicago April 22-24. You can also follow along with the conference using the twitter tag #MAC10. I for one am really excited for my first regional conference, as I have heard really good things about the advantages of the smaller archives conferences. Not to mention Chicago + archives has to be off-the-hook. Yep, I am so excited I just wrote off-the-hook on the internet.

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Link-O-Rama: Rock the Vote Edition

  • SAA’s 2010 Election
    SAA is currently holding elections for Vice President/President-Elect, Council, and Nominating Committee positions. Members can vote until April 11th. While we here at NewArchivist are too chicken cautious to actually endorse any candidates, we can encourage all of you get out there and vote. But Lance, you say, I don’t know any of the candidates. Well:
  • 2010 Candidate Statements
    All candidates answer one question specific to each position. A great way to get a feel for where they stand on important things like vision, transparentcy, and how to identify a new generation of leaders (that last one sounds especially important to us New Archivists). Still need convincing?
  • Please vote in the SAA Elections at ArchivesNext
    Kate writes on SAA voting, including a discussion on student members and voting. The same issue facing students (knowledge of the candidates) is also faced by new professionals, but we already solved that problem with bullet two! Seriously, it is weak that only 21% of eligible members voted in 2009. We can do better than that. And after you are done voting, treat yourself to some comedy:
  • Holy archival quality, Batman at Satisfactory Comics (HT to our buddy D.A) and MPLP LOLcat (HT @anarchivist and @kitschqueen)
    Funny comics and pictures + archives = win!

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The Job Post

As followers of this blog know, getting a job in the archival field is something that we touch upon often, most notably in our From The Trenches series. However, to this point we have not had a post focused on getting an archives job. In my case, I have been hesitant to write such a post because I figured that people would say: thanks for the advice, Mr. Only-Had-A-Real-Job-For-Like-A-Year. However, my attitude changed last week. After reading a series of messages on the A&A listserv regarding the state of the job market, I asked the Twitter machine if others felt that the market was that bleak. Once again the archivists on Twitter did not disappoint and gave me some great insight and inspired this post.

As way of disclaimer, I am not saying that the things discussed here are guaranteed to get you a job. I am also not trying to blow sunshine up anyone’s petticoat. I was lucky in that I had an archives job lined up right after grad school. But in my previous career I endured an unemployment period that lasted over a year. It sucked… hard. If you are currently going through such a period, I hope that hearing some successful stories helps.

Grad School is Key, but not the School Part The job hunt should start from the first day of grad school. I don’t mean start looking the first day, but you should immediately start thinking about building a resume and carving an area of interest for yourself. As twitterer Jess M said: “I think we can make niches for ourselves.” School is great and you learn a lot. However, I found that the best way to carve those niches were the experiences I gained outside the classroom. Use the fact that you are going to grad school as a ticket into places that will help build your skills and allow you to meet people who will be helpful in your career. Four of the five NewArchivist regular contributors currently have jobs that are in, or connected to, places they had contact with while in school. In my case, I did an unpaid part-time internship between my first and second year at the organization where I am currently employed. Many of my classmates are currently placed where they did some sort of volunteering, internship, or part-time employment. If you want a job at a specific location or institution, then try your best to get some kind of experience there. You still have to be lucky in that a position will need to open at the right time, but being there to take advantage of that luck is half the battle.

Volunteering Often the type of experiences outlined above can only come in the form of free labor, be it volunteering or unpaid internships. During the listserv discussion, the importance of volunteering was mentioned several times. It has also been written about on this blog by Sophie and D.S. On Twitter, Megan summed it up: “Best advice I can give is to throw yourself out there. Volunteer, be involved with prof organizations, go back to school, etc. I wish I did more of this when I first started. [F]our years ago, but I was shy, nervous, etc. Once I started to put myself out there, my job prospects seem to be going up.” My advice is make sure you get something tangible out of volunteering, whether it be employment contacts, specific skills, or even a measure of confidence. In lieu of money, “employers” should be willing to give you their time and offer things like advice and resume reviews. If they are not willing to commit to this up front, I would probably not be willing to give them my labor.

The fact that unpaid experiences help in getting a job is, well, a fact something I am pretty sure of. However, I also think making unpaid experience a gateway to the profession is deeply troubling. Some of the comments on Sophie’s latest post summarize that view perfectly. The idea that we have to go to grad school and then serve a kind of apprenticeship is, in my opinion, outdated and elitist. Also, how can we say that we are concerned with diversifying our profession while at the same time saying mountains of educational debt and time served in non-professional positions are entry fees to a career? I dont have an answer to this paradox, but I do think that this will be up to our generation of professionals to solve. When we are in positions of power, will we continue to use volunteering as a litmus test? I hope we can come up with something better.

An archivist, you will be...

An archivist, you will be...

The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Lucasfilm

“Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny” While Yoda was talking about the ultimate battle between good and evil here, this advice can also be applied to career direction. Some on the listserv suggested diversifying your skills with things like records management to make yourself marketable in areas other than archives. Based on my limited experiences and talking to seasoned professionals, I strongly disagree with that advice. It is one thing if you genuinely want to explore different paths like librarianship or records management. But if you goal is ultimately getting a job in the archival field, it is hard to argue that a job in another area will give you skills to compete for those archival jobs, now or in the future. Yes, it would be employment and I know that we all have to do what we have to do to pay our bills. However, didn’t we all choose this low paying, low glamor career so we can follow our passion? I am not saying only take a perfect job out of school, none of us have that opportunity. But be certain that the job you do take will help get you where you want to go. If you want to be a records manager, be one, if you want to be a librarian, be one, and if you want to be an archivist, than be an archivist. Otherwise you may wake up one day shouting nooooooooooooooo!

Never Forget This might be a little out of place in this post, but I feel the need to say it anyway. As we move along in our profession, lets never forget what it is like to look for employment. So far my job hunting experiences in the archives field have been very good, but I have heard stories. In my previous period of unemployment, I was always shocked at how soon people forgot what it was like to look for a job. The stress, the limbo, the effort involved. I cringe when I hear people give weird or silly reasons to not consider an applicant. I am not saying consider people for employment that show up to interviews wearing a damn seagulls hat. I am asking that we remember that each application and resume represents a person that can add to our profession and deserves respect. And when we see others in our profession doing otherwise, we call them out.

This is just the tip of this iceberg and we at NewArchivist will be posting a lot more on this topic in the future. If you have other tips or opinions, please leave them in the comments or let me know and we would gladly welcome a guest post. You also should checkout the blog That elusive archives job, which focuses on getting an archives job. And most importantly, if you are currently looking, know that there are a lot of people in your corner, and good luck!

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From The Trenches: Dealing with Limbo…

This post is part of our ongoing series From the Trenches, which focuses on the hunt for first time archival employment. ~ed.

One of the things I think anyone who has ever been on a job hunt has to deal with is limbo. There’s the time between when you apply for a position and wait to hear back, hoping it is a request for an interview. If the stars are aligned and it is a call for an interview, then following the interview, you end up back in another limbo waiting to hear back. Very very rarely have I heard of anyone getting a job offer at the end of the interview (although it has been known to happen). Most times, whenever I have gone in for an interview, I’ve known they still have more people scheduled, so regardless of what they thought of me, the panel will see more people. Following the interview, one of two things will happen: a) you get a phone call or some communication indicating the institution wishes to make an offer or b) a nice and/or terse letter thanking you for your time and wishing you the best of luck in your further endeavors. Then with other positions, the process resumes until hopefully the cycle ends with the offer an acceptance of a new position.

Limbo on either side of the application process can last for a long time. Especially in a market like today’s where there are not as many job postings and quite a bit of competition for those postings, especially if you’re confined to a specific area. What’s been helping me is doing volunteer work. Besides what I have heard so many people say about it being good for adding to a resume and for offering something to potentially discuss at an interview (I have had earlier volunteer experience actually give me an edge the last time I was looking for jobs), I think what helps me the most is that it keeps me focused. Doing something in my chosen field, even if it’s not paying, helps give a purpose. It also helps to keep up to date with what’s happening in the field. One way I’ve found to that is using Twitter. There are several archivists who are active users and it’s a great way to keep up with what other archivists are doing and what might be happening at conferences and work shops. If you’re not already a member of SAA and your local state/regional society, join up. The local society’s listserv is how I found out about a few possible job openings the day they were posted. The world’s becoming a lot smaller thanks to social networking and the like, and my experience has been that the network is very welcoming to newcomers and if you post a question, within a short time you’ll have others happy to answer it for you. Most societies will also offer discounted rates if you’re unemployed and if you’re a student, there are deep discounts available. Conference meetings and workshops are a great way to meet others in the field, ranging from those who are new to those who have been working for years. Keeping up with the newest developments in the field and taking opportunities presented to meet and interact with other archivists can help make limbo a lot easier to deal with.

Right now, I’m on both sides of the limbo I mentioned earlier. I’m hopeful and right now what’s helping to keep me sane is the hours I’m volunteering. All the best.

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Link-O-Rama: Reports Edition

There have been a couple of publications that have hit the world recently and we wanted to make sure everyone was aware. Each link is followed by an excerpt from the corresponding announcement and my 2 cents.

Over, Under, Around, and Through: Getting Around Barriers to EAD Implementation by OCLC Research
From the announcement: “This report frames obstacles that archivists have experienced adopting Encoded Archival Description. It also suggests pathways to help you get out of the ruts, around the roadblocks, and on the road to success. The objective of the report is to communicate EAD’s value as a key element of successful archival information systems and help you overcome potential barriers to its implementation.”

I like how this report lays out potential roadblocks on both the organizational and technical sides. It seems too often that literature from the field ignores organizational issues, and the “Political and Logistical Issues” section of this report tackles this issue nicely. Nice job!

A Guide to Distributed Digital Preservation by the Educopia Institute
From the announcement: “This volume is devoted to the broad topic of distributed digital preservation, a still-emerging field of practice for the cultural memory arena. Replication and distribution hold out the promise of indefinite preservation of materials without degradation, but establishing effective organizational and technical processes to enable this form of digital preservation is daunting. Institutions need practical examples of how this task can be accomplished in manageable, low-cost ways.”

This is a big volume and I have not had a chance to completely delve into yet, but it looks like a very complete guide to Private LOCKSS Networks and Distributed Digital Preservation, including technical, organizational, and copyright considerations. Like the report above, I love the comprehensive vision. I have printed it and it now sits on my nighttime reading pile, further attesting my commitment to being the best nerd I can be.

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