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The meeting of the Society of American Archivists in Atlanta marked the end of my three year term on SAA Council, the society’s governing body. It was also fitting that I celebrated my one year anniversary while at SAA. I first learned about the ZSR dean opening at the November 2014 Council meeting when Tanya Zanish-Belcher asked me if I would like to be her boss. Then I was offered the position while at the May 2015 Council meeting. And the Wake connection continues as Tanya starts her term as SAA Vice President/President-elect.
This was a very productive meeting for me and Society. Diversity and inclusion was a major theme of the meeting and we approved an updated statement for SAA. I was Council liaison to several SAA groups, including the Standards Committee. The Committee sponsors three joint ACRL/RBMS/SAA task forces; two focus on new metrics for holdings and public services while the third addresses teaching with primary sources. All three should have reports out this year.
I also talked with some of developers and board members of ArchivesSpace, which is a collections management and finding aid authoring and discovery system. While at Penn State, we implemented ArchivesSpace and I was a member of their board. The tool is maturing and two vendors now offer hosting options — Lyrasis and Atlas (parent company for Illiad). Both Yale and Penn State recently moved to Lyrasis hosting and are happy with the service. This may be an option for us as the Archivists Toolkit is no longer supported.
Mark Puente, who leads the diverity program for Association of Research Libraries was present at the meeting. ARL and SAA sponsor the Mosaic Scholarship program, which supports 15 students pursuing careers in archives and libraries. I vounteered Wake Forest to be a potential Mosaic internship site. I also invited Mark to visit us at ZSR as we launch our Diversity & Inclusion Committee. And while not attending SAA, I was able to meet with John Burger, director of the Association of Southeast Research Libraries, which is based in Atlanta.
Finally, Stephen Edwards organized a fun ZSR awareness event while I was in Atlanta. With help from Stephanie Bennett, we met with 50 local alumni at Monday Night Brewing, a microbrewery co-owned by a Wake alum.
It was a busy, educational, and fun week. I had the chance to see many of my former staff members from Penn State, Duke, and UNC as well as a number of my former students. I now feel recharged and ready to start the semester!