The Steering Shares series provides an opportunity to learn more about the I&A Steering Committee and the issues that committee members care about. This introduction post comes courtesy of committee member Alison Sankrauff, University Archivist at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
Hello, everyone, I’m Alison Stankrauff, the University Archivist at Wayne State University. I’ve been on the Issues and Advocacy Section’s Steering Committee since 2009 (a long time!) and I was Chair of I&A from 2010 to 2012.
Advocating for archival collections, the historical record, and the archival profession drives me as a professional. We are in an age that advocating for primary sources and access to them is all the more pressing. I am drawn to speaking for the collections, their repositories, and their caretakers (us – the archivists!).
What we do as archivists – acting as connectors for people to their historical memory – is such a critical role in the fabric of society at all levels – whether that’s at the community level, the state level, the regional level, national level, and international level.
I’ve been an archivist for fifteen plus years now. I’ve been in my current position as University Archivist at Wayne State University since September; previously, I was Archivist and a Reference Librarian at Indiana University South Bend for thirteen years. And prior to that, I was a Reference Archivist at the American Jewish Archives. At all three of my professional positions as an archivist, I’ve felt that this role as connector is key to what I do each day and as my identity as a professional on a deeply personal level.
As I go through this year serving on the Issues and Advocacy Section’s Steering Committee, I look very much forward to sharing this deep connection to advocating for our materials, our archives, and us as professionals. Thank you for the opportunity to serve!