ICYMI: “Diverse and Inclusive Metadata: Developing Cultural Competencies in Descriptive Practices” sessions at the American Library Association Annual Conference

Our ICYMI series provide summaries of presentations, publications, webinars, and other educational opportunities that are of interest to I&A members. We keep a running list of upcoming events. If you’re interested in writing a post for ICYMI, please refer to our sign up sheet. In this post, Liz Woolcott and Anna Neatrour recap the “Diverse and Inclusive Metadata: Developing Cultural Competencies in Descriptive Practices” program, held during the American Library Association Annual Conference this past June.

The Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS) Metadata Interest Group met at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in June for the “Diverse and Inclusive Metadata: Developing Cultural Competencies in Descriptive Practices” program. The Metadata Interest Group sponsored two sessions featuring four speakers discussing diversity and inclusivity in metadata practices.

Hannah Buckland, from Leech Lake Tribal College, spoke first about the “Impacts and Limitations of Culturally Responsive Subject Headings in Tribal College Libraries.” (Her slides are available here: http://connect.ala.org/node/256170) Ms. Buckland first described the issues facing small, underfunded libraries and the reliance on established controlled vocabularies (like the Library of Congress Subject Headings or LCSH) to create records for collections. The Bezhigoogahbow Library, of which she is the director, serves both the college as well as the local community and relies on grant funding for all of its support. Ms. Buckland remarked that grant funding can be obtained for programs, but rarely covers metadata or cataloging, which are the “unseen” services. Therefore, there was a heavy reliance on established records, headings, and classifications. However, many of these cataloging elements are Eurocentric and do not recognize many Native American tribal designations, languages, or customs. For instance, they do not usually reflect Native American tribes that are not federally recognized, but view themselves as distinct from other tribes. She described the issues surrounding the use of subject headings and classification schemes for Native American topics. As an example, Ms. Buckland cited the classification of Ojibwe language material, which is prominent at the Leech Lake Tribal College, as being classified under PM, which is a Library of Congress call number category that is also used to describe “artificial languages.”

Rachel Wen-Paloutzian, from Loyola Marymount University, presented on “Hidden Stories, Inclusive Perspectives: Describing Photographs of Jewish Refugees in Shanghai.” (Her slides are available here: http://connect.ala.org/node/256171) Ms. Wen-Paloutzian spoke about a project to archive a collection of 600 photographs backlogged in the Department of Archives and Special Collections at Loyola Marymount that documented the Jewish refugee experience in Shanghai, China, between 1937 and 1949. The project can be viewed here: http://digitalcollections.lmu.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/sjrc She discussed the ethical challenges of assigning both descriptive metadata and controlled vocabularies to photographs based on the assumptions or interpretations of metadata specialists who may not have experience with the culture. For example, making the assumption that all subjects depicted in a photograph were, indeed, Jewish refugees or presuming relationships between subjects in a photograph. She discussed the use of crowdsourcing to both help identify images and counter misinterpretations in the metadata. Ms. Wen-Paloutzian emphasized that in order for diverse viewpoints to be reflected, professionals need to develop awareness of the cultural context and see metadata as not static, but responsive, adaptable, and dynamic.

Sharon Farnel, from the University of Alberta, started up the second session on Diverse and Inclusive Metadata with her presentation: “Digital Library North: Engaging with Communities to Develop Culturally-Appropriate-and-Aware Metadata.” (Slides are available here: http://connect.ala.org/node/256025) Ms. Farnel presented on Digital Library North (https://sites.ualberta.ca/~dln/), a site dedicated to providing increased information access in the Inuvialuit Settlement Region. Partnering with the Inuvialuit Cultural Resource Centre, the site is designed to serve six communities that are geographically dispersed. Farnel explored practices of gathering descriptive information about cultural heritage materials while partnering directly with a community. Issues of privacy and acknowledgement are deeply important. Existing frameworks for knowledge management are likely to contain hidden biases that don’t accurately represent the materials connected to the community.

Tiewei Liu, from California State University, Fresno, wrapped up the session with her presentation “Creating Inclusive and Discoverable Metadata: Practices at Fresno State.” (Slides are available here: http://connect.ala.org/node/256026 ) Ms. Liu described emerging practices in building an inclusive institutional repository at Fresno State, designed to reflect the diverse student and faculty body at the institution. Issues of disambiguating name authority records are dealt with by engaging directly with researchers. Liu also discussed future directions and needs for institutional repositories in developing inclusive metadata, including the need for a comprehensive authority tool, and interest in developing a multilingual search interface.

Inclusive metadata is an area of growing interest and concern for many people in technical services. The sessions sponsored at ALA sparked a great deal of discussion between the speakers and the attendees. One common theme that emerged was that through incorporating inclusive practices and partnering with the larger community, metadata becomes not just of higher quality and more comprehensive, but also more discoverable. The session planners are hopeful that this conversation will continue and will contribute to the development of a larger community-driven tradition of inclusivity and awareness in developing descriptive metadata.

You can see the Twitter conversation for these sessions at Storify: https://storify.com/LizWoolcott/diverse-and-inclusive-metadata-creating-c

Anna Neatrour is a metadata librarian at the University of Utah Marriott Library. She received a BA from Kalamazoo College and a MS in Library Science from the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign. She has worked on a variety of digital collections and initiatives in the mountain west region, including the Western Soundscape Archive, the Western Waters Digital Library, and the Mountain West Digital Library.

Liz Woolcott serves as the Head of Cataloging and Metadata Services for Utah State University Libraries and has worked in cataloging and metadata coordination for 12 years.  She currently serves as Vice-Chair of the ALCTS Metadata Interest Group and is the co-founder of the Library Workflow Exchange.  Her research interests include workflow analysis, project management, and impact assessment.

A Celebration of Accomplishments, August 2015-August 2016

Hi everyone! I’m Wendy Hagenmaier, outgoing Chair of the SAA Issues and Advocacy Roundtable. As you know, our Roundtable is a forum for discussion of the critical issues facing the archival profession. We have over 640 members from SAA and beyond. Our group is committed to outreach and advocacy efforts that support the continued growth of the archival profession and nurture archivists and archives. Our Core Values are advocacy, awareness, diversity, education, and dialogue.

With SAA’s Annual Meeting taking place this week, I want to reflect on and celebrate the Roundtable’s accomplishments over the past year. Thank you all for your involvement, insights, and dedication over the last twelve months.

As Chair, my central goal for the past year has been to continue the discussion Past Chair Sarah Quigley started with leaders of SAA and allied advocacy groups to clarify the role of our Roundtable in light of SAA’s advocacy agenda, and to identify the concrete ways in which we can best “support the continued growth of the archival profession and nurture archivists and archives.” I believed like this was a crucial step towards mapping out how I&A could direct its efforts over the year, and into the future. I wanted to prototype some clear, sustainable models of taking concrete collaborative action, and to get as many members as possible involved.

Thanks to the stellar work of outgoing Vice Chair Christine George, an amazing steering committee (who met every month to share ideas and discuss progress), and to all of you, who generously volunteered your time to work on I&A projects, I think we’ve done a wonderful job of tackling that goal, and I’m very excited for everything this Roundtable will accomplish in the next year.

Speaking of which, do you have ideas about projects we could tackle next year or reflections on this year? We’d love to hear them. Please take a minute to share your ideas via this quick survey: http://bit.ly/IandAnextyear

And always feel welcome to get in touch with I&A leadership and our Council liaison throughout the year.

I wanted to share information about some of the Roundtable’s recent activities:

In January of this year, we launched 7 I&A Research Teams, which are groups of dedicated volunteers who monitor breaking news and delve into ongoing topics affecting archives and the archival profession.

Each Team is led by a member of the I&A Steering Committee, and their ultimate goal is to compile their findings into journalistic Research Posts for the I&A blog. Each Research Post offers a summary and coverage of an issue. Taken together, the Research Posts offer an important overview of issues affecting archives and the archival profession and serve as an informational resource for further research, advocacy action, and the historical record.

Research Posts and the work of Research Teams may inspire the following:

  • I&A Polls – to take the pulse of SAA members on a specific issue, in order to inform potential SAA action
  • Advocacy Overviews – detailed summaries of issues that provide SAA leadership with the information they need in order to determine whether (and how) SAA might be able to assist with an advocacy issue
  • Letters to the editor
  • Collaborations with SAA leadership, committees, sections, and roundtables

We had 87 volunteers for the Research Teams within a 48-hour period and were able to accommodate 42 volunteers. We’re treating the Research Teams as a pilot that will run through the SAA Annual Meeting in August, and we’re hopeful that the Research Team model will prove to be an effective way of mobilizing a large portion of our membership and beyond to engage in work that supports advocacy.

Three of the Research Teams did research on recent legislative activity in order to identify potential allies for archives in Congress. Two Teams were agile, on-call teams who could be mobilized to quickly investigate issues as they arise. One Team monitored the communications of other professional associations, for issues related to archives. And the final Team monitored news media for issues related to archives.

We also launched a WordPress site, to create a flexible online presence that provides a forum for dynamic content and discussion. Our Vice Chair Christine George has done amazing work organizing a very successful series of blog posts called Archivists on the Issues, which features personal reflections from individual archivists about issues facing the profession. The blog has also featured posts by the Research Teams and updates about advocacy talks and events.

Steering Committee member Jeremy Brett wrote a truly inspired nomination of Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and Ron Chernow for the 2016 Jameson Archival Advocacy Award, and they won!

In addition, we partnered with the Regional Archival Associations Consortium Advocacy Subcommittee to revise the I&A Toolkit, which is available on our site. We conducted a survey that provided useful feedback for improving the Toolkit, and will continue to revise it in the future, so it can be a resource for SAA and RAAC members.

We also welcomed nominations for “Great Advocates”–individuals in the archives profession whose advocacy efforts you admire. Thanks to your thoughtful nominations, we have an exciting panel session planned for this meeting!

Our overall goal this year has been to establish sustainable, productive models of advocacy practice that engage our membership broadly and support the advocacy mission of SAA through concrete projects that will make a difference to archivists and archives. To that end, we’ve been encouraging conversation and information-sharing among SAA leadership, various SAA groups engaged in advocacy (including the Committee on Public Policy and the Committee on Public Awareness), as well as the Regional Archival Associations Consortium.

Thank you all so much for your active participation in I&A activities throughout this past year. Archives change lives!

Research Post: Personal Archiving and Empowerment

I&A Research Teams are groups of dedicated volunteers who monitor breaking news and delve into ongoing topics affecting archives and the archival profession. Under the leadership of the I&A Steering Committee, the Research Teams compile their findings into Research Posts for the I&A blog. Each Research Post offers a summary and coverage of an issue. This Research Post comes from the General News Media Research Team, which monitors news media for issues related to archives.

Please be aware that the sources cited have not been vetted and do not indicate an official stance of SAA or the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable.


Personal archiving has been an increasingly common topic among library and archives professionals. Digital preservation, defined broadly, has received fairly frequent coverage in mainstream media outlets recently as well. As personal records are created more frequently in digital environments, public concern for the preservation of born-digital personal archives becomes increasingly pervasive. (1) The term “personal archiving” is itself an interesting one, particularly when positioned within communities of professional archivists. It may gesture toward a shift in attention from working with collections at inactive stages in their lifecycles and providing access to researchers, to educating the public to be informed custodians of their own records, with intervention beginning much earlier in the record lifecycle. Librarians and archivists are increasingly relied upon to provide education and training to the public, empowering individuals to take control of the long-term maintenance and preservation of their own records, digital or otherwise.

Articles in popular media intended for a general audience reflect a widespread concern—and in some cases, panic—about the preservation of digital records, from personal documents or photographs stored on computer hard drives to blogs and files stored in the cloud. It has been noted that these articles rarely interview archivists or other professionals engaged in this very work. (2)

Of course, within professional literature and practice, much work has been devoted to exploring the roles that information professionals can (and do) play in working with the public on the organization and preservation of personal, family, and community records. (3)

At the same time, much has also been written recently on the (often lack of) diversity represented both in archival collections and in the profession itself. In addition to responding to concerns about digital preservation and the “digital black hole,” personal archiving outreach initiatives have the potential to address this scarcity of diverse representations in the historical record. (4)(5) But in order to do so, archivists and librarians must expand outreach efforts to include their complete communities. Who is included in personal archiving education and conversation? In the instance of a public program, archivists and librarians might treat this statistically and ask if those in attendance constitute a representative sample of the population of the community in which the hosting organization is situated.

This outreach may also potentially include pitching more articles to popular publications to counteract those in which archival work is largely invisible. It might also include cooperative efforts, both large- and small-scale, between members of the profession and personal archivists in sharing information, expertise, and resources. As community members themselves, archivists and librarians might consider how they are reaching their constituents, and how they are empowering their complete communities to work with them to preserve community histories, independently or as collaborators.

An additional key issue here involves differing uses of the term “archivist.” Who is included in the phrase “members of the archival community”? Does it include so-called “citizen archivists,” or is the title of “archivist” reserved for qualified and employed professionals? If the latter, are archivists and librarians denying themselves the value of experience provided by amateur collectors? These are questions archivists and librarians face when discussing the future of their professional identities and their relationships with their publics and community partners.


Sources cited:

(1) Weiner, Eric. “Will Future Historians Consider These Days the Digital Dark Ages?” On the Media (January 4, 2016). http://www.npr.org/2016/01/04/461878724/will-future-historians-consider-these-times-the-digital-dark-ages

(2) Lyons, Bertram. “There Will Be No Digital Dark Age.” Issues and Advocacy Blog (May 11, 2016). https://issuesandadvocacy.wordpress.com/2016/05/11/there-will-be-no-digital-dark-age

(3) Personal Digital Archiving 2016 conference schedule. http://www.lib.umich.edu/pda2016

(4) Mass Memories Road Show. http://openarchives.umb.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15774coll6

(5) The Memory Lab at DC Public Library. http://www.dclibrary.org/labs/memorylab

Additional sources:

Ashenfelder, Mike, “Personal Archiving in the Cloud,” in National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program, Library of Congress, Perspectives on Personal Digital Archiving (Library of Congress: Washington, D.C., 2013): 21. http://www.digitalpreservation.gov/documents/ebookpdf_march18.pdf

Becker, Devin and Collier Nogues, “Saving-Over, Over-Saving, and the Future Mess of Writers’ Digital Archives: A Survey Report on the Personal Digital Archiving Practices of Emerging Writers.” The American Archivist 75:2 (Fall/Winter 2012): 509. http://americanarchivist.org/doi/pdf/10.17723/aarc.75.2.t024180533382067

Brown, Nathan, “Helping Members of the Community Manage Their Digital Lives: Developing a Personal Digital Archiving Workshop.” D-Lib Magazine 21:5/6 (May/June 2015). http://www.dlib.org/dlib/may15/brown/05brown.html

Cushing, Amber L., “Highlighting the Archives Perspective in the Personal Digital Archiving Discussion,” Library Hi Tech 28:2 (2010): 305. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/07378831011047695

Drake, Jarrett. “Expanding #ArchivesForBlackLives to Traditional Archival Repositories” (June 27, 2016). https://medium.com/on-archivy/expanding-archivesforblacklives-to-traditional-archival-repositories-b88641e2daf6#.20feffxdh

LaFrance, Adrienne. “Raiders of the lost web.” The Atlantic (October 14, 2015). http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/10/raiders-of-the-lost-web/409210/

Marshall, Catherine, “Challenges and Opportunities for Personal Digital Archiving,” in I, Digital: Personal Collections in the Digital Era, Christopher Lee, ed., (Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2011): 97. http://saa.archivists.org/store/i-digital-personal-collections-in-the-digital-era/2217/

Marshall, Catherine C., “Rethinking Personal Digital Archiving: Part 1.” D-Lib Magazine 14 (March/April 2008). http://www.dlib.org/dlib/march08/marshall/03marshall-pt1.html

Marshall, Catherine, Sara Bly, and Francoise Brun-Cottan, “The Long-Term Fate of Our Personal Digital Belongings: Toward a Service Model for Personal Archives,” in Proceedings of Archiving (Ottawa: Society of Imaging Science and Technology, 2006): 25.

Pardes, Arielle. “How digital storage is changing the way we preserve history.” Vice (February 19, 2016). http://www.vice.com/read/how-digital-storage-is-changing-the-way-we-preserve-history

Redwine, Gabriela, Personal Digital Archiving (Great Britain: Digital Preservation Coalition, 2015): 2. http://dx.doi.org/10.7207/twr15-01

Soleau, Teresa. “Preventing digital decay.” The Iris: Behind the Scenes at the Getty (October 20, 2014). http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/preventing-digital-decay/

Strausheim, Carl. “Preventing a digital dark age.” Inside Higher Ed (March 10, 2016). https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/03/10/researchers-build-preservation-ecosystem-avert-digital-dark-age

Winsborough, Dave; Lovric, Darko; Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas. “Personality, Privacy, and Our Digital Selves.” The Guardian (July 18, 2016). https://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2016/jul/18/personality-privacy-digital-selves

Wortham, Jenna. “How an archive of the internet could change history.” The New York Times (June 21, 2016). http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/26/magazine/how-an-archive-of-the-internet-could-change-history.html?_r=0

The I&A Steering Committee would like to thank the General News Media Research Team, and in particular, Chelsea Gunn, for writing this post.

The General News Media Research Team is:

Jeremy Brett, Leader
Anna Trammell
Daria Labinsky
Chelsea Gunn
Meghan Kennedy

If you are aware of an issue that might benefit from a Research Post, please get in touch with us: archivesissues@gmail.com.

Research Post: The Right to Be Forgotten

I&A Research Teams are groups of dedicated volunteers who monitor breaking news and delve into ongoing topics affecting archives and the archival profession. Under the leadership of the I&A Steering Committee, the Research Teams compile their findings into Research Posts for the I&A blog. Each Research Post offers a summary and coverage of an issue. This Research Post comes from the Other Professional Associations’ Communications Research Team, which monitors the communications of other associations, for issues related to archives.

Please be aware that the sources cited have not been vetted and do not indicate an official stance of SAA or the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable.

This is the first in a series of posts about the Right to Be Forgotten. Stay tuned for additional coverage.


The Right to be Forgotten (RTBF) is a 2014 legal ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) that gives individuals the right to have information found on the Internet regarding themselves delisted (be made difficult to find) in search engines and in other data providers (such as websites). The CJEU’s ruling stems from a 2010 legal case in Spain in which a Spanish citizen filed a complaint with Spain’s national data protection agency against a Spanish newspaper, which published a true fact about the person, and Google Spain/Google Inc., whose search engine results linked to the information about the person. The citizen argued that the information about him was no longer relevant and that the search engine results infringed upon his privacy rights. (3) In February 2016, the French Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), which chairs the Article 29 Working Group (European Union privacy regulators), extended the implementation of the RTBF law to all domains (extensions) of a search engine. (7) Previously, the delisting would only happen in the country of the individual who requested (and was approved) the delisting. In February 2015, the Guardian reported that Google said it had “received 386,038 ‘right to be forgotten’ removal requests since the ruling, and has accepted approximately 42% of them.” (4)  A year later, the Guardian further reported that Google had delisted 600,000 search results. (7)

Some main points of the RTBF ruling:

  1. Individuals have the right to request information about themselves found on the Internet be delisted if the “information is inaccurate, inadequate, irrelevant or excessive for the purposes of the data processing.” (3)
  2. According to the CJEU’s ruling the request for delisting needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis because neither the right to the protection of personal data nor the right to freedom of expression are absolute rights. Therefore each case needs to be assessed individually considering the personal privacy of the individual versus the freedom of expression and access to information. (3)
  3. The data providers (for example Google, Inc.) are tasked with the application of the RTBF ruling. Delisting of information on the Internet will be decided by the data providers, not legal or governmental bodies.
  4. Data providers cannot disclose internal processes, or what has been subject to delisting on the Internet. The original publisher or owner of a website cannot be notified when something is delisted.
  5. There are previous rulings in the European Union that prefigured the 2014 ruling, such as the European Union Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC of 1995. In Germany, an individual has the right to privacy and to rehabilitation after they have paid their debts to society (for example after completing a term of a prison sentence).
  6. Public figures are not (usually) subject to the RTBF ruling.
  7. The CJEU believes that the RTBF ruling “strikes the balance between the right to the protection of personal data and freedom of expression.” (3)

In February 2016, the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), issued an official statement regarding the 2014 RTBF ruling. In the statement, IFLA addressed the issues of the RTBF ruling and its implications for libraries and urged its members to participate in policy discussion regarding RTBF. (1)

IFLA’s list of issues for libraries concerning the RTBF ruling:

  1. Integrity of and access to the historical record.
  2. Freedom of access to information and freedom of expression. This is based upon Article 19 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” (6)
  3. Privacy of the individual.

The RTBF ruling strikes at some of our core values as archivists, librarians, and information professionals. We strive to protect privacy rights of the individual, yet we also strive to protect the integrity of our information sources, support the freedom of expression, and advocate for access to information. Further, the delisting of information, especially information that is truthful and accurate, goes against some of the core values and code of ethics outlined in the Society of American Archivists’ “Core Values Statement and Code of Ethics.” (8)

In 2015, a public debate was held in New York City on the RTBF ruling titled “The U.S. should adopt the Right to be Forgotten Online.” (5) [The video is available online.] One of the participants of the debate, Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said that the United States should not adopt the RTBF because he felt that the RTBF ruling was “a very bad solution to a very real problem.” He gave the following analogy that we as archivists, librarians, and information professionals can relate to regarding the delisting of information on the Internet: “It’s like saying the books can stay in the library, but you have to set fire to the card catalogs.” (5)

Some critiques of the RTBF ruling include:

  • The rules (of the RTBF ruling) are vague and unclear.
  • The decisions for delisting/erasure are left to corporations.
  • There is no transparency or accountability to the delisting of information.
  • Due to the vagueness of the ruling, the principle could expand beyond search engines.
  • RTBF is censorship (particularly when delisted information is true/factual/accurate).
  • The territorial scope of the RTBF ruling goes beyond the European Union.

As the IFLA statement on the RTBF ruling advised, we need to monitor how the RTBF ruling is being applied in Europe and around the world and how it affects the integrity of and access to the historical record on the Internet. Countries outside of Europe, including Japan, Colombia, Brazil, and the United States have implemented similar rulings or have delisted information on the Internet. (2) In 2018, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will supersede previous data protection laws In Europe. (9) Understanding the new 2018 regulations and how they may affect privacy rights of the individual, freedom of expression, access to information, and the integrity of the historical record on the Internet will be crucial.


Sources cited:

(1) “IFLA Statement on the Right to be Forgotten.” International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. Accessed 2016 April 26. http://www.ifla.org/node/10272?og=29

(2) “Background on the Right to be Forgotten in National and Regional Contexts.” International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions.  Accessed 2016 April 26. http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/clm/statements/rtbf_background.pdf

(3) Fact Sheet on the “Right to be Forgotten” ruling (c-131/12). European Commission. Accessed 2016 April 26. http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/files/factsheets/factsheet_data_protection_en.pdf

(4) Gibbs, Samuel. “Google to Extend ‘Right to be Forgotten’ to all its Domains Accessed in EU.” The Guardian. (February 11, 2016). Accessed 2016 April 26. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/11/google-extend-right-to-be-forgotten-googlecom

(5) “The U.S. should adopt the “Right to be Forgotten Online.” Intelligence Squared Debates. (March 17, 2015) Video accessed 2016 April 26. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvDzW-2q1ZQ

(6) United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nations. Accessed 2016 April 26. http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

(7) Hern, Alex. “Google takes right to be forgotten battle to France’s highest court.” The Guardian. (May 19, 2016). Accessed 2016 June 2. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/19/google-right-to-be-forgotten-fight-france-highest-court

(8) “SAA Statement of  Core Values and Code of Ethics.” Society of American Archivists. Accessed 2016 June 2. http://www2.archivists.org/statements/saa-core-values-statement-and-code-of-ethics#.V1GPnzUrKUm

(9) “Reform of EU Data Protection Rules.” European Commission. Accessed 2016 June 2. http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/index_en.htm

Other sources regarding the RTBF:

Toobin, Jeffrey. “The Solace of Oblivion.” The New Yorker. (September 24, 2014). Accessed 2016 April 26. http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/29/solace-oblivion

Scott, Mark. “Europe Tried to Reign in Google. It Backfired.” The New York Times. (April 18, 2016). Accessed 2016 April 26. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/technology/google-europe-privacy-watchdog.html

“Freedom: the right to be forgotten.” My Digital Rights. British Library. Accessed 2016 April 26. http://www.bl.uk/my-digital-rights/videos/freedom-the-right-to-be-forgotten

Google Transparency Report. “European privacy requests for search removals.” Google. Accessed 2016 June 2. https://www.google.com/transparencyreport/removals/europeprivacy/?hl=en

The I&A Steering Committee would like to thank Patricia Glowinski and Blake Relle for writing this post.

The Other Professional Associations’ Communications Research Team is:

Tara Kelley, Leader
Jamillah Gabriel
Patricia Glowinski
Jasmine Jones
Blake Relle

If you are aware of an issue that might benefit from a Research Post, please get in touch with us: archivesissues@gmail.com.

Research Post: Is the Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture a Federal or Congressional Record?

I&A Research Teams are groups of dedicated volunteers who monitor breaking news and delve into ongoing topics affecting archives and the archival profession. Under the leadership of the I&A Steering Committee, the Research Teams compile their findings into Research Posts for the I&A blog. Each Research Post offers a summary and coverage of an issue. This Research Post comes from On-Call Research Team #2, which is mobilized to investigate issues as they arise.

Please be aware that the sources cited have not been vetted and do not indicate an official stance of SAA or the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable.

Summary of the Issue

Report of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s detention and Interrogation Program (Senate Report 113-288), also referred to in the media as the “Senate Torture Report” was sent to President Obama, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the CIA, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the Director of the FBI, and the CIA Inspector General on December 10, 2014. This report was an extensive five year Senate investigation of the CIA’s secret interrogations of terrorism suspects. It lays bare the extreme violence, severe tactics, and brutality against the suspects as well as the government’s dishonesty to cover that up.

Dianne Feinstein and Patrick Leahy wrote to the U.S. Attorney General and the Director of the FBI on November 5, 2015 and expressed disappointment that the Department of Justice (DOJ) was citing a still pending FOIA case (ACLU v. CIA) as justification for not allowing Executive Branch officials to read the full 6,700 page report. They were also concerned that personnel at NARA said they would not respond to inquiries on whether the report constitutes a record under the Federal Records Act because the FOIA case was pending, based on guidance from the DOJ. On April 28, 2016, members of various open government, human rights, civil liberties, and media organizations wrote a letter to the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero. This letter justified their stance that Ferriero should use his statutory authority to determine that the report is indeed a federal document. Many in the general public are concerned that the report could disappear if it is not deemed a federal document and that it may thus never be made available. Developments on this issue include Richard Burr, who replaced Feinstein as Committee Chair, writing to agencies who received the report and requesting they return all copies back to the Senate. He also wrote to the White House and instructed them not to enter the report into the Executive Branch system of records, which was contrary to Feinstein’s instructions when the report was released. The ACLU filed an emergency motion in their FOIA suit and all agencies have committed to retaining their copies of the full report during the pending litigation. However, the CIA acknowledged that it destroyed its only copy of the report, “by mistake.”

bibliography of coverage of the issue:

January 21 2016 (updated) “Senate Torture Report – FOIA” American Civil Liberties Union

February 18, 2016 article “The CIA torture report belongs to the public” Al Jazeera America

February 29, 2016 interview “Is the torture report a public record? An interview with the National Security Archive’s Lauren Harper” Melville House Books

April 28, 2016 Letter to Archivist on Executive Branch copies of Senate torture report

May 2, 2016 article “Will the Senate Torture Report Disappear?” Bill of Rights Defense Committee

May 3, 2016 article “Feds Urged to Preserve ‘Torture Report'” Courthouse News Service

May 5, 2016 article “National Archives’ Refusal to Ensure Preservation of CIA Torture Report Alarms Rights Groups” AllGov

May 6, 2016 post “Archivist won’t Call ‘Torture Report’ a Permanent Record” Federation of American Scientists blog

May 13, 2016 article “Appeals Court Declines to Release Full ‘Senate Torture Report,” ABC News

May 13, 2016 article “American Public Is Not Entitled to See Full Senate Torture Report, Court Rules” Huffington Post

May 16, 2016 article “CIA Watchdog Accidentally Deleted Lengthy Torture Report” Government Executive

May 17, 2016 article “Will the CIA Disappear the Senate Torture Report?” Bill of Rights Defense Committee

March 17, 2016 article “Judges Consider Release of Full CIA Torture Report” U.S. News & World Report

May 17, 2016 article “Senate Report on CIA Torture is One Step Closer to Disappearing” World News Daily Information Clearing House

May 20, 2016 article “‘Urgent’ action needed to preserve CIA torture documents, groups warn” Yahoo News

May 20, 2016 article “Why Federal Agencies Must Still Preserve (and Should Finally Read) the SSCI Torture Report” Just Security

June 3, 2016 post “FOIA Ombudsman’s Departure Worrisome, Archivist Will Not Call Torture Report a Federal Record and More: FRINFORMSUM 5/12/2016” National Security Archive blog

The I&A Steering Committee would like to thank Rachel Seale for writing this post, and Steven Duckworth, Dave McAllister, Rachel Seale, and Alison Stankrauff for doing key research on the issue.

I&A On-Call Research Team #2 is:

Alison Stankrauff, Leader
Katherine Barbera
Anna Chen
Steven Duckworth
David McAllister
Rachel Seale

If you are aware of an issue that might benefit from a Research Post, please get in touch with us: archivesissues@gmail.com.

Archives “in defiance of fear, ignorance and intolerance”

Archivists on the Issues is a forum for archivists to discuss the issues we are facing today. Below is a post from Jeremy Brett about the shooting in Orlando.  If you have an issue you would like to write about for this blog series or a previous post that you would like to respond to, please email archivesissues@gmail.com.

We as a nation and as a people are still deeply saddened and shocked by the horrific mass shooting/hate crime in Orlando, Florida on June 12th. We are grieved at the needless deaths of so many innocents at the hands of a man whose hate and fear was, sadly, fostered by some in our politics and our media. But there is always light and there is always hope. I, for one, was heartened to see the response from our fellow information professionals at the ALA, courtesy of President Sari Feldman:

“In defiance of fear, ignorance and intolerance, the library community will continue its profound commitment to transforming communities by lending its support.”

I also very much appreciate her comments that “Librarians and library workers are community leaders, motivators and social change agents” and that “like the libraries we represent, the profession’s commitment to supporting communities, social justice, and abolishing intolerance is unwavering.”

I also am glad to hear of our own President, Dennis Meissner, calling for us to “redouble our efforts to ensure that our repositories become places of inclusion that celebrate the diversity of our society and the historical record. Let us strive to promote free and equitable access to the primary historical record that promotes understanding of the truth and that fights against ignorance and misrepresentation of the American experience.”

Jeremy Brett is the Curator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at the Cushing Memorial Library & Archives at Texas A&M University. He is a past Chair and current Steering Committee member of the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable.

Announcing…Candidates for Our 2016 Election!

Drumroll… announcing the fantastic candidates for Issues and Advocacy Roundtable leadership for 2016. A big round of applause to each of these individuals for running!

Voting will will start during the first week of July and will be open for two weeks. Descriptions of each position’s responsibilities can be found here, and in the I&A Bylaws.

Note: because we have so many (wonderful!) candidates, this post is lengthy. But oh so worth the scrolling!

Candidate Listing (scroll down for bios and statements)

Vice-Chair (Two-Year Term: first year as Vice-Chair and second year as Chair) (vote for one candidate)
Hope M. Dunbar
Rachel Mandell

Steering Committee Member (Two-Year Term) (vote for two candidates)
Stephanie Bennett
Samantha Dodd
Keith Phelan Gorman
Lucinda Manning
Alessandro Meregaglia
Megan Miller
Blake Relle
Alison Stankrauff

Steering Committee Member (One-Year Term) (vote for two candidates)
Megan M. Atkinson
Hilary Barlow
Laurel Bowen
Tara Kelley
Daria Labinsky
Rachel Seale

Candidate Bios and Statements: Vice-Chair (vote for one)

Hope M. Dunbar
I would like to nominate myself for the position of Vice-Chair for the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable. I am currently an Archivist at SUNY Buffalo State College in the Archives & Special Collections Department. Previously, I have had roles in the Special Collections & Rare Book Department of the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library; the Library & Archives of the John Felice Rome Center, Italy; and the Archives & Special Collections Department of the Newberry Library, Chicago. I participated in the I&A Legislator Research Team in early 2016.

Statement of Interest:
In addition, prior to my work in the archives field, I was an attorney in Illinois focusing on government and federal mediation. I have worked in Washington, D.C. and Chicago for federal offices, including the U.S. Dept. of Justice, the U.S. Dept. of State, and the U.S Dept. of Education, and understand the necessity of institutional advocacy. Based on my interdisciplinary background, I can offer additional perspectives and expertise. Archives, special collections, and the humanities as a whole must advocate just as fervently as other fields to maintain funding and support. Additionally, we know our profession best including its benefits and its challenges; it is our duty to actively represent these realities to those outside our field. I believe this committee is essential to this advocacy.

Rachel Mandell
Rachel Mandell graduated with her Master’s in Library and Information Science from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2012. She then pursued a personal goal to live abroad and also gained international experience as a visiting scholar at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, Germany.  Rachel continued her exploration of central Europe as she was awarded a 2013-2014 Fulbright grant in Vienna, Austria. In addition to developing an appreciation for Viennese coffee houses, Rachel concentrated on audiovisual archiving by working in the Austrian Academy of Sciences’ Phonogrammarchiv—the oldest sound archive in the world and the Austrian Film Museum, where she digitized and archived amateur films.  Since returning to her hometown of Los Angeles, Rachel began to transition into the next stage of her archival career by getting more involved with both the local archival community and also establish herself within the larger field of archivists. During her 12-month post as the LA as Subject Resident Archivist, Rachel completed short term archival projects at four member institutions of the LA as Subject organization—a network of institutions in Los Angeles that collect materials documenting the history of the city and its diverse population of residents. She was then offered the Digital Archivist position at California State University, Dominguez Hills, working on a large-scale collaboration called the California State University Japanese American Digitization Project. The goal of this project is to bring together disparate records, photographs, oral histories, and other archival materials relating to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in California during the World War II era. She is also the current Issues and Advocacy Intern. Together with the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable team, Rachel has contributed to the improvement of the Issues and Advocacy Toolkit and hopes to continue working with the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable in the future.

Statement of Interest:
I hope to be selected as the next Vice Chair of the Issues and Advocacy (I&A) Roundtable. This past March I became an active member of the Roundtable when I accepted the position of I&A Intern. I saw the internship as a unique opportunity to get involved with the Society of American Archivists (SAA) and expand my professional network beyond my local archival community. As I specified in my statement of interest, I hoped to contribute to the improvement of the Issues and Advocacy Toolkit by designing a survey that would target areas that need improvement. I believe I have accomplished this initial goal.  I designed and administered the nine question survey that we used to help identify layout and user interface issues as well as solicit advice from the community about how to improve the content of the toolkit. We received 31 responses total and nine of the respondents also agreed to participate in a future focus group. I am currently in the process of creating hypothetical scenarios for the focus group, which will hopefully exploit further weaknesses in the content of the toolkit.

Working with the I&A team has been a rewarding experience, which has inspired me to apply for the Vice Chair position.  If selected, I hope to continue working towards implementing changes to the toolkit. I would love to see the new and improved toolkit come to fruition! In addition to my experience as the I&A intern, I believe that my enthusiasm for collaboration and strong communication skills would make me an excellent candidate for this position. I look forward to the chance to serve the I&A Roundtable and to support fellow archivists advocate for our profession and increase dialogue and awareness of important archival issues.

Candidate Bios and Statements: Steering Committee Member (Two-Year Term) (vote for two)

Stephanie Bennett
Stephanie Bennett is the Collections Archivist for Wake Forest University, which is also her alma mater. She holds an MSLIS with an Archives Management concentration from Simmons College and is a member of the Academy of Certified Archivist. Bennett worked previously at Iowa State University, Boston College, and corporate research firms. She is an active member of the Society of American Archivists, the Society of North Carolina Archivists, where she was recently a Member at Large on the Executive Board, and the Midwest Archives Conference.

Statement of Interest:
Archivists often are affected by the reverberations of societal or political happenings. Gun laws affect reading room environments and policies, for example; activism causes us to rethink the nature of our work; environmental changes affect our storage conditions or the records we collect; this list could go on. I respect the work that I&ART does to help archivists think through political and personal issues and advocate for policies and changes that will benefit us, our communities, dare I even say humankind? And the recent changes to the website have been great! I would be thrilled to continue I&A’s good work and contribute to helping archivists navigate contentious issues, find allies, and ultimately act on our concerns.

Samantha Dodd
Samantha Dodd is an archivist in Special Collections at the UT Arlington Library. Prior to joining UTA, she served as the archivist for the Dallas Historical Society. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in history with a minor in education from UT Arlington in 2009, a Master of Arts degree in History at UT Dallas in 2012, an Archival Administration Certificate from UT Arlington in 2013, and became a certified archivist in 2013. Fueled by a passion for higher education, and wanting to develop her skills and abilities as an archivist, Samantha attended the University of North Texas from 2013-2014 and earned her Master of Library and Information Science degree. In 2014 she was one of twenty-one candidates selected to participate in the American Association for State and Local History’s Seminar for Historical Administration.

Statement of Interest:
I would like to take a more active role in the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists. My passion in this profession is advocacy, whether it is advocating for awareness,  relevancy, rights, or any number of issues facing archivists. As SAA recently endorsed the History Relevancy Campaign, I would like to help continue the discussion and promote the efforts of this campaign as this issue of history’s relevancy can directly impact archives and archivists.  Furthermore, by joining the leadership of the roundtable, I hope to encourage increased participation by members, and to instill in our membership a passion for perspective. By looking ahead, and looking around us, we can see the issues and problems coming down the line, and formulate our responses before facing the issues head on.

Keith Phelan Gorman
Keith Gorman is the Assistant Dean of Special Collections and University Archives at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).  During his past six years at UNCG, he has actively promoted the value of the department’s unique collections, instructional services, and digital projects to faculty, students, administrators, donors, and the general public.  As a result of Keith’s advocacy, his department has been able to acquire new positions, grow donations, and quintuple the number of class sessions being taught.  In addition, Keith has identified and cultivated local stakeholders through the development of off-campus programs that emphasize life-long learning.

Trained as a historian, Gorman received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  After a decade of teaching history at Simmons College, Keith decided to pursue a new career that brought together his deep interest in how individuals access information and his passion for empowering communities to understand and craft their own history.  He received a MLS (archives concentration) from Simmons College and has held positions at the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

Throughout his fourteen year career in archives, Gorman has actively engaged educators, service organizations, librarians, local businesses, elected officials, and funders to promote the social and cultural value of rare and unique collections.  For example, over the past academic year, Keith initiated a community engagement program that focused on digital information literacy and teaching with primary sources.  Teaching thirty-five class sessions at area middle school and high school students, Keith was able to stress the impact an academic library at a public university can have on a community.

Statement of Interest:
With my diverse professional background in archives, museums, and academia, I believe that I would be an effective and innovative contributor to the Issues and Advocacy (I &A) Roundtable.  In this challenging economic and political climate, it is critical for archivists to be able to effectively “tell their story” and forcefully address the issue of return on investment.  Drawing on my own experience of promoting archives as a cultural hub, I believe I could help contribute to the reframing of how archives are being represented in a community’s collective imagination and political discourse.

If elected to the position, one of my goals would be to consider new ways to broaden dialog between archivists and K-12 educators.  For archivists, local teachers and students have always had the potential to be collaborators and vocal supporters.  With rapid shifts in pedagogy, teaching standards, and learning tools, teachers are seeking new ways to effectively incorporate primary sources into curriculum design. Through targeted outreach to area educators, archivists could develop and scale programs to meet teacher needs and at the same time demonstrate their educational/cultural value to community leaders.

Lucinda Manning
I (Lucinda Manning) have worked as both a professional archivist and librarian since 1980 in various historical societies, and in college and university libraries, including URI, NYU, Barnard, and Teachers College at Columbia University. For twelve years, I directed the UFT Archives & Records Center for the United Federation of Teachers labor union in NYC. More recently, I have worked on consulting projects, was the Curator of Archives for the Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich and was also a Consulting Archivist for the National Office of the ACLU in NYC. I am also currently serving on three committees for the ALA United for Libraries division including their Newsletter Committee and their Intellectual Freedom Committee.

Statement of Interest:
My academic background includes an undergraduate degree in print journalism/graphic design; graduate study in U.S. history (with an emphasis on 19th and 20th C. social change movements, including civil rights, women’s studies & labor history); and an MLS in academic libraries and special collections from the University of Rhode Island. She has recently served on the NYC Archivist Round Table’s Advocacy Committee and on the SAA Diversity Committee, as well as participating in many local, activist, community and political activities in New York.

Our profession’s role in helping to preserve our cultural and historical history (and the many related and critically important archival/information issues – including privacy, records security, intellectual freedom, records management concerns, long-term preservation of our multi-cultural US history – that are shared, of course, with other similar professions such as librarianship, the historical profession and cultural museums) have all been a major focus throughout my archival and library career.  I would very much enjoy serving as a member of our SAA Issues & Advocacy Round table leadership with others who are also interested and passionate about helping to formulate effective responses to all of the increasingly important professional advocacy and information concerns outlined above.

Alessandro Meregaglia
I work as an archivist/librarian at Boise State University’s Special Collections and Archives, where I manage our digital collections and respond to reference questions. I have a Master of Library Science (Archives & Records Management specialization) and a MA in History from Indiana University. Prior to joining Boise State, I worked as a project archivist at a non-profit organization.

Statement of Interest:
As an academic archivist and during my time with a small non-profit organization, I understand the vital need for advocacy in archives of all sizes and want to build on the efforts that the I&A Roundtable has already accomplished (the Advocacy Toolkit, the blog, etc.).

Earlier this year, I participated on Legislators Research Team for I&A, which gathered information about key legislators. That experience reiterated the need for advocacy in archives when I noticed that legislators on archival governing committees had little experience with archives. Maintaining awareness about public policy affecting archives directly (or indirectly through other cultural institutions) is key to strengthening the profession while also making sure archivists’ voices are heard. I look forward to the opportunity to serve SAA and the archival profession on the I&A Steering Committee.

Megan Miller
Megan Miller is the Digital Imaging Technician for the Chemical Heritage Foundation’s Beckman Legacy Project. Her academic training is in history: she received her MA from Temple University, where her coursework focused on public history and archival studies, and her AB from Bryn Mawr College. She is a member of MARAC’s Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion.

Statement of Interest:
There are dramatic changes I would like to see (in society, in the profession), but incremental progress is still progress. I can’t wave a magic wand and suddenly provide funding for cash-strapped institutions, force stakeholders to realize the value of archives, or make the profession instantly welcoming and accessible to a diverse talent pool. I can help a bit with the grind: spotlighting new issues, keeping longstanding issues from being forgotten (or incorrectly deemed to be solved), and making sure that momentary gains are not allowed to disappear. I want to help the conversations and resources I&A fosters migrate throughout the profession.

Blake Relle
Blake Relle received his Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archive management from LSU in 2013.  Currently, he serves as an Archives Specialist at the Louisiana State Archives where he fulfills request for materials made by the public as well as state agencies. From 2013 to 2015, he served as a digitization intern at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.  Professionally, Relle has presented on “How to get new archival professionals involved in archival organizations?” and “Should archival professionals do continuing education?” At the upcoming SAA meeting in August, Relle will be on a panel that will discuss how archives and museums can provide access to their collections to people with disabilities. Relle serves as Website and Social Media Coordinator for the New England Archivist Early Professionals and Students Roundtable.  In this capacity, Relle manages and updates the Roundtable’s website and social media accounts.  He co-wrote a blog post for ProjectArc regarding how the Toronto City Archive reduced its energy consumption by 59%.

Statement of Interest:
This opportunity will provide a way for me to give back to my profession as
well as learn from others. I will have a chance to learn about the issues facing the archival community as well as help find solutions to these issues. We have to work together because we can do more as a whole than we can individually.

Alison Stankrauff
I have served as the Campus Archivist at the Indiana University South Bend campus since 2004. I am a lone arranger, and inherited an archives that had not had an archivist for ten years. What draws me to be a leader in the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable is the strong draw that I feel to issues of social justice. What I think that this means for my participation in this roundtable is that I see it as an advocate for archivists as well as the publics that we serve. I would work to make sure that critical issues that are central to the concerns of archivists and preserving – and making accessible – the historical record are addressed. Previous to my current position, I served as a reference archivist at the American Jewish Archives, and previous to that, as a technician at the Reuther Labor Archives at Wayne State University. I interned at the Rabbi Franklin Archives at Temple Beth El in metropolitan Detroit. I graduated with my Masters in Library Science with Archival Administration concentration in 2002 from Wayne State University, and I have a Bachelors degree in history from Antioch College.

Statement of Interest:
I’m Alison Stankrauff, Archivist and Associate Librarian at Indiana University South Bend. I’m committed to being vigilant for the archival profession and the archival record that we collect, protect, make accessible. When either of those are in danger, I believe it’s my duty to do my part to personally advocate for what’s at stake – and motivate others to do the same – with a collective voice.

Candidate Bios and Statements: Steering Committee Member (One-Year Term) (vote for two)

Megan M. Atkinson
Megan M. Atkinson is the University Archivist for Tennessee Technological University.  She has worked for over six years as an archivist.  Her primary goal is making as many collections as possible available for research to the users.  Her previous positions include the National Park Service, Louisiana State University, and Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities. She has a BA in History from West Chester University and an MLIS from Drexel University.

Statement of Interest:
I have always advocated for archives, but I recently took a position where few knew I existed or the importance of the archives.  Although this was not a novel idea-given most of my jobs were this way-this was the first time that I was in a position where it was my duty to advocate for myself and not the duty of my supervisor.  As a result, I feel that advocating for myself at the lower level, my university, will be greatly aided by my participation in Issues and Advocacy and advocating as a whole for the profession and archives nationally and internationally. I participated in the Legislator and Research Team pilot program and would like to participate and dedicate more time towards this effort, which aids all archives and archivists.

Hilary Barlow
Hilary Barlow is a Preservation Staff Member at Penn State University and a Volunteer Archivist at the Centre County Historical Society in State College, PA. She completed her Master of Information degree in Archives & Records Management at the University of Toronto in 2015 and worked as an Archives Intern for Democracy Now! Productions in New York City. As an MI student, Hilary served as President of the Master of Information Student Council. She is an active member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference and has contributed to the I&AR blog.

Statement of Interest:
In my archives career thus far, I have tried to keep advocacy at the center of my practice. As President of my student union, I advocated for an information master’s program more open and accessible to students. As an Archives Intern at Democracy Now! Productions, I learned how archives can document social movements and a long history of independent reporting. I feel that the Issues & Advocacy Roundtable engages with the challenges our professional faces most urgently today. I want to be more involved in collaborating with other archivists and determining what issues to bring to light.

Laurel Bowen
I am the University Archivist at Georgia State University, where I provide records and research services for university administrators, the academic community, and the public.  I have an M.A. from Cornell University.  To increase public awareness and appreciation of the value of archives and archivists, I enjoy demonstrating the powerful, practical, and sometimes unusual ways that records can be used to advocate for citizens in their local communities.

Statement of Interest:
I’ve served for one year on the Steering Committee and would like to be considered for a second year.
1. Our profession is enhancing its advocacy efforts to make a bigger impact on issues that affect the public interest. I’d like to be part of this effort as a member of the I&A Steering Committee.
2. The Steering Committee identifies, discusses, and recommends issues to be brought forward for action, and coordinates its work with other advocacy groups. I’d like to get a clearer view of what motivates our profession to take action and the forms that action takes, so our Roundtable can be increasingly successful in advocating for our members’ concerns.
3. I hope to see our Roundtable continue to offer opportunities for members to be actively involved in advocacy efforts.  See https://issuesandadvocacy.wordpress.com/
4. Engaging in advocacy issues on the Steering Committee also stimulates thought on larger challenges such as (a) How do we as a profession advocate effectively for citizens, records, and the public interest when public officials can be elected with mega-contributions from a few sources?  (b) What strategies can be employed to persuade officials to provide timely access to public records? I would appreciate your vote.

Tara Kelley
Tara D. Kelley is a moving image Archivist / Librarian at New York Public Library. She became the Specialist for the Mikhail Baryshnikov Archive in 2012, and began work with the Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division at the Schomburg Center in 2014. Kelley is a founding member of the AMIA Film Advocacy Task Force, promoting the continued use of film for archival preservation and creative work, and currently serves on the Steering Committee of the SAA Issues & Advocacy Roundtable. She earned her MLIS at Rutgers University and is a graduate of the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation at George Eastman Museum.

Statement of Interest:
I am a moving image librarian and archivist at New York Public Library. I started with NYPL’s Library for the Performing Arts as the project archivist for the Mikhail Baryshnikov Archive and now work in the Moving Image and Recorded Sound division at the Schomburg Center.

I currently serve as a member of the I & A Roundtable Steering Committee and seek an additional year-long term. This would allow for continuity with our current News Monitoring and Awareness Research Team and for the development of additional projects.

As a member of SAA and AMIA, I value partnerships with similar organizations, as we share common concerns and extend our reach by working together. As just one example: when the Cinemateca Brasileira moving image archive caught fire, the ability to share news from AMIA with the SAA community was helpful in generating attention and support for the archive. I hope to have the opportunity to advocate for our communities again this year.

Daria Labinsky
I am an Archivist at the National Archives at St. Louis, where I have worked since 2010. Before coming to NARA, I worked for eight years as a Local History and Reference Librarian at the Rio Rancho Public Library in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. I earned a BS in Radio/TV/Film and an MS in Journalism from Northwestern University, and an MLS from Emporia State University. I am an active member of the Society of American Archivists (member of I&A Research Team, several roundtables, Government Records Section), the Regional Archival Associations Consortium (steering committee member and subcommittee chair), the Midwest Archives Conference (formerly public information officer), and the Association of St. Louis Area Archivists.

Statement of Interest:
As a former journalist I have always been especially conscious of attempts to curtail the free flow of information. The few months I have served on the Issues and Advocacy News Media Research Team have only increased my awareness in potential threats that archivists need to know about—because they may physically affect archives and archivists and/or may restrict access to, and openness of, public records.

In my current position I haven’t had much chance to advocate for archives on an institutional basis, other than to participate in promotional efforts such as the #ThisIsArchives Twitter event. When I was a public librarian in New Mexico, I participated in Librarian Legislation Day, during which librarians met with state Congresswomen and Congressmen and lobbied for budget increases. I would be interested in working with the I&A Roundtable on similar activities on a local, state, or even national level, or in participating in other initiatives that further the cause.

Rachel Seale
In January I assumed my new position as outreach archivist for Iowa State University Special Collections & University Archives. I spent the last six years working in the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections & Archives (APR) at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. I spent two years working primarily in reference and processing collections, then moved on to cataloging manuscripts and rare maps, working with donors, and appraising potential donations. In addition I organized presentations and exhibits that highlighted the collections and services of APR. I received my MSLIS with an Archives concentration from Simmons College in January 2006.

Statement of Interest:
Issues & Advocacy is an exciting roundtable. I am interested in a leadership position within it because, now more than ever, I think there is a need for committed professionals to advocate for our profession and for the organizations we work in. I have just recently started getting involved with this roundtable, I am a member of one of the on-call research teams that monitors breaking news and provides a summary and then coverage of the relevant issue. I am eager to get more involved with this roundtable and do have leadership experience within SAA. I have spent the last 3 years in different leadership positions in the Security Roundtable (secretary, junior co-chair, and senior co-chair).

I&A Needs Help with AT—No, Not that AT…

If you’re a member of I&A, you might know that we have an Advocacy Toolkit. (Hint, it’s the second from the left on our menu bar.) Compiled in 2013 and updated periodically by the I&A Steering Committee, the Advocacy Toolkit is meant to provide a starting place for advocacy. Your current Steering Committee has decided that the time has come to revamp the Advocacy Toolkit. We’re partnering up with the Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC) Advocacy Subcommittee and need your help.

When you have a few minutes to spare, go check out the Advocacy Toolkit. Once you’ve perused it, take our quick survey. Tell us how you’d improve the Advocacy Toolkit and what resources you’d add. The survey will be open until 5/16/16. Feel free to share this with all your archivist friends.

If you have questions about the survey, or thoughts beyond the survey, feel free to contact us at archivesissues[at]gmail[dot]com. And stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted with our progress.