Nancy P. Beaumont 2014-02-10 10:57:59
There’s an old saw in association management that, in times of trouble, individuals turn to their professional organizations for information, education, advocacy, and networking—the practical tools that help them work smarter, the collective voice that represents them as professionals, and the opportunities to connect with others facing the same challenges. That seems to be happening at SAA. SAA membership reached a new high of 6,102 at the end of December 2012. Although student membership has declined a bit since its high of nearly 1,500 in June 2011, we’ve seen a nice uptick in most other membership categories—perhaps reflecting a loosening of the job market. (November 2012 saw our highest-ever job count on SAA’s Online Career Center at http://www2 .archivists.org/groups/saa-online-career-center.) With twenty-six SAA workshops already scheduled between January and early June in locations around the country, this is a good time to consider investing in your professional development. Scan the full Education Calendar (http://saa.archivists .org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/events/ ConferenceList.html?Action=GetEvents) for a workshop coming to a town near you. . . . If you don’t see a topic of interest or you’re not able to travel for continuing education, take a look at SAA’s nineteen online, ondemand courses that you can schedule at your convenience (see http://saa .archivists.org/events/ConferenceListOLOD. html?Action=GetEvents&). Publications Editor Peter Wosh noted in the November/December issue of Archival Outlook (page 32) that the Publications Board and its Fundamental Change Working Group have taken on a new publishing initiative geared to providing better and timelier access to basic professional information. Beginning this month, you’ll have access to three new modules—in both print and electronic versions—that complement Kathleen Roe’s bestselling Arranging and Describing Archives and Manuscripts (Chicago: SAA, 2005): “Standards for Archival Description” by Sibyl Schaefer and Janet Bunde, “Processing Digital Records and Manuscripts” by J. Gordon Daines III, and “Designing Descriptive and Access Systems” by Dan Santamaria. With this new publishing model, SAA seeks to shorten production times, reduce costs, and give voice to a new generation of authors—all of which is geared to helping you “work smarter.” As we look at these new resources and new directions, I’d like to thank Peter Wosh for his remarkable six-year run as publications editor. Peter retires as editor in February (to be succeeded by Chris Prom). During his tenure, Peter has led a dynamic team, including the Publications Board(s) and Publishing Director Teresa Brinati, to an amazing publishing record for an organization of SAA’s size and capacity. They’ve been willing to take risks. They’ve been creative. And they’ve cranked out a lot of good reading. Thanks, Peter! Peter would be among the first to tell you that volunteering within SAA is a great Way to connect with colleagues who share your interests. I’ve been keeping an eye on the volunteer applications for 2013 and am gratified to note the unusually high percentage of volunteers whose names I don’t know. Of 129 applicants to date (before the January 14 deadline), 76 have been members for less than 5 years and 53 have belonged to SAA for 6 or more years. Of the first cohort, 55 haven’t served in a volunteer position within SAA; of the second, 17 haven’t served before. I think this reflects a really good balance between recruitment of fresh blood into leadership and retention of those who have worked on behalf of the organization in the past—and presumably feel sufficiently good about the experience that they’re willing to reup. Vice President Danna Bell-Russel and her Appointments Committee have their work cut out for them, as there are just 62 positions to fill…If you’re interested in serving your professional association, keep in mind that you can get your feet wet—and make good connections—by volunteering to assist your favorite SAA section or roundtable committee or project group. The SAA Council meets January 23–26 to take on its typically far-ranging agenda and to take a fresh look at the Society’s strategic plan (http://www2.archivists .org/governance/strategic-priorities) to ensure that it’s positioning the organization to address your needs and interests into the future. You’ll have several opportunities in the coming months to react to the new draft plan—and I hope you will!
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