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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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
Bio:
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).

Call for Candidates!

Want to be part of an engaged and rewarding SAA leadership team and advocate for archives and archivists? I&A is seeking candidates for Roundtable leadership positions, and we want YOU to run!

The open positions:

Vice-Chair (two-year term: first year as Vice-Chair and second year as Chair):

Description:
The Chair and the Vice-Chair serve as joint officers of the Roundtable. Only individual members of SAA and the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable may hold these positions. The Chair and the Vice-Chair direct and report the activities of the Roundtable, organize and conduct the annual meeting of the Roundtable, chair the Steering Committee, act as liaisons for the Roundtable to other bodies, appoint Roundtable committees as needed, and handle administrative matters, including, but not limited to, annual reports to the SAA. As officers, the Chair and the Vice-Chair serve terms that total two years each. Upon completion of his/her term as Vice-Chair, that officer succeeds to the office of Chair for the next term.

Steering Committee Member – two openings for ONE-year terms (because we are implementing the staggered terms approved in our bylaws revision in 2015)

Steering Committee Member – two openings for TWO-year terms (because we are implementing the staggered terms approved in our bylaws revision in 2015)

Description:
The Steering Committee comprises six members, including the Chair and Vice-Chair. The Steering Committee directs and coordinates the activities of the Roundtable and approves appointments made by the Chair and the Vice-Chair if vacancies occur. Committee members establish projects to work on through the year and help to plan the annual business meeting.

Additional details about I&A leadership roles and responsibilities can be found in the bylaws.

To run, submit your contact info, desired position, bio, and brief statement of interest via this web form by Monday, June 6.

Voting will be conducted in early July and candidates will be notified towards the end of July.