As one of the five fellows in the Association of Research Libraries/SAA Mosaic Program, Yvonne Ivey will intern at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, where she will learn the acquisition and accession process, provide reference services, and work with unclassified presidential materials. Read on for Ivey’s thoughts on diversifying the archives profession and holdings and her goals as a Mosaic Program fellow. SAA: Why did you decide to pursue a career in archives? YI: I was most attracted to the archival profession because it facilitated an opportunity for me to feed my curiosity while having the chance to help others. I believe in the beauty of preserving history’s evidence and ensuring it is available for others to experience it. From as far back as I can remember, I have always had a curious mind, and archivists are the gatekeepers to the true treasure troves. As an undergraduate, I had an impactful experience interning at the Coca-Cola Archives under the mentorship of Jamal Booker. That experience alone solidified my love for the archival profession—I knew I was destined to become an archivist. SAA: What do you hope to accomplish as a result of your participation in the Mosaic Program? YI: I am working to become more engaged and active within SAA through networking and professional development opportunities. I hope to come out of this experience with the skill set hiring managers seek, as well as with more knowledge about the complexity of the archival field and what I can do to ensure its relevancy in the future. SAA: In your opinion, what’s one step the archives profession can take to further attract diverse individuals to the workforce? YI: Recruitment at the college level: many college students do not recognize the opportunities available within the profession. Recruitment events such as job fairs, informational sessions, and better marketing by the campus library can draw further attention to the archives profession. SAA: Thirty years from now, what do you hope peoples’ perception of the archives profession will be? YI: I hope that people have a better understanding of what the archives profession is and how beneficial it is. Archivists are much more than the people who collect documents and artifacts; archivists essentially shape the past. Archives help foster a society’s sense of identity. Everyone should know archives’ significance—not just researchers and scholars. SAA: As an archivist, how will you help to diversify collections and bring more awareness to underrepresented cultures? YI: Archivists need to learn to be uncomfortable. They’ll need to welcome materials that they don’t agree with, but they have to understand that preserving them is important. I hope to have the opportunity to speak out in forums or conferences to create a dialogue about the need for archivists to step away from their comfort zones and think about the bigger picture: creating a mosaic of America.
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