Nancy P. Beaumont 2014-05-27 13:27:41
SAA’s newly adopted Goal 2: Enhancing Professional Growth, aspires to the following: “Archivists have access to the professional resources they need to be successful and effective in their careers.”1 Some might say that SAA has always been about providing members with access to professional resources. That’s what professional associations do. So what’s new? Built into the strategies associated with the goal are some very important qualitative statements. In working toward Goal 2, SAA will: -Provide content, via education and publications, that reflects the latest thinking and best practices in the field. -Deliver information and education via methods that are accessible, affordable, and keep pace with technological change. -Support the career development of members to assist them in achieving their goals. We’ll know that we’re succeeding when member participation increases and when your evaluations reflect continuous improvement in the quality, relevance, and accessibility of content. Harder to tease out will be whether SAA is helping you achieve your career goals . . . . Here’s what’s on the horizon as we address Goal 2. In Education . . . By June 30, we will have implemented 115 face-to-face courses and workshops since July 1, 2013, of which 88 are related to SAA’s Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Curriculum and Certificate program.2 The very busy DAS Subcommittee and Education staff have simultaneously been 1) working with instructors to update their content to “reflect the latest thinking and best practices in the field”; 2) developing tests to accompany each DAS offering; and 3) creating, testing, and administering a comprehensive DAS examination that ninety-four individuals already have taken. Lest you think that DAS is the sole focus of our professional development efforts, the Committee on Education and staff also are continuously creating new and updating existing offerings in other domains, as reflected in twenty-seven programs scheduled this year. Based on our experience to date with DAS, they’re developing an innovative approach to providing comprehensive coverage of other subject areas, beginning with arrangement and description. If you’re wondering how we choose topics and locations for SAA’s courses and workshops, the straight answer is that most are scheduled as a direct result of members asking for them to be presented at a nearby location. The commitment to provide affordable online learning continues: Five new webinars are being developed for release between July 2014 and March 2015 to supplement the fifteen online, on-demand webinars that are now available.3 In Publications . . . Publications Editor Chris Prom and the Publications Board will be developing nineteen new titles for the Trends in Archives Practice series, joining the three existing modules on archival arrangement and description.4 The Board scanned the environment and available data to determine which topics would be of most value to archivists and students as they seek out practical information on managing archives and manuscript collections in the digital age. Topics to be covered in 2014–2015 are: Becoming a Trusted Digital Repository, Digital Preservation Essentials, Rights in the Digital Era, Teaching with Primary Sources, Putting Descriptive Standards to Work, and Archival Appraisal and Acquisition. Each module of ten thousand to twenty thousand words represents the best of current practice, with limited reference to debates about the more theoretical or contested aspects of archival work. Each points to other valuable resources, both within the series and in the broader literature. And each provides advice that is appropriate for implementation in a wide range of repositories. The modular approach enables SAA to be more agile in the development phase and to provide the information at an affordable price, especially for SAA members. But here’s an interesting dilemma: Despite member surveys indicating a great interest in transitioning to e-publications, we are experiencing the same gap between theory and practice that so many other publishers are facing—print still rules. As we build a critical mass of individual Trends modules that are available only electronically, we will also package together three to four related modules so that you have the option to purchase the cluster in print, PDF, or EPUB formats. Comments or questions? Contact me at email@example.com. Notes 1 The Strategic Plan 2014–2018 was adopted by the SAA Council in January 2014: http://www2.archivists.org/governance/strategic-plan/2014-2018. See the “Key Performance Indicators” on that page for more on what progress toward Goal 2 might look like. 2 See the complete Continuing Education Calendar here: http://saa.archivists.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/events/ConferenceList.html?Action=GetEvents. 3 See the list of online, on-demand webinars here: http://saa.archivists.org/events/ConferenceListOLOD.html?Action=GetEvents& 4 Trends in Archives Practice complements the volumes in SAA’s Archival Fundamentals Series II. For more information: http://www2.archivists.org/news/2014/get-ready-to-bloom-with-trends-in-archives-practice?
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