Nancy P. Beaumont 2014-07-22 11:33:49
Every professional association is—or should be!— in the business of advancing the profession it serves. That concept is woven throughout SAA’s Strategic Plan 2014–2018,1 but a specific subset of ideas is captured in Goal 3: Advancing the Field. The goal statement is: “Professional knowledge expands to keep pace with an increasingly diverse archival record.” To that end, SAA will: Identify the need for new standards, guidelines, and best practices and lead or participate in their development. SAA’s very active Standards Committee (and its several technical subcommittees) have a distinguished record of initiating and facilitating standards development and providing review and comment (based on broadly solicited member comment) on standards that are relevant to archival theory and practice. It was instrumental in developing the Standards Portal2 on SAA’s website, and the tasks assigned to it in the Strategic Plan include: * Promoting member awareness of the portal and processes for developing, reviewing, endorsing, and/or including new standards, guidelines, and best practices * Encouraging component groups (committees, sections, and roundtables) and members to identify needs and gaps for standards development and to contribute “related resources” to the portal * Consulting broadly to determine areas in which standards, guidelines, and best practices are most needed by practicing archivists * Ensuring that the portal documents the relationships among archival standards and those of related professions Up next: The committee soon will make recommendations to the Council regarding EAD3 and Best Practices for Volunteers. Foster and disseminate research in and about the field. Activities associated with this strategy include: * Encouraging member engagement with published research with hosted discussion groups both online and at the Annual Meeting. At the 2010, 2012, and 2013 Annual Meetings the American Archivist Editorial Board sponsored lively brown bag lunch discussion groups that explored a forthcoming and provocative journal article. Contact AmericanArchivist@ archivists.org if you’re interested in “reading ahead” and participating in a discussion group at ARCHIVES*RECORDS 2014. * Increasing participation by Annual Meeting presenters in posting their materials (abstracts, posters, slides, full papers) on the conference website. Be sure to encourage your presentercolleagues at the 2014 Joint Annual Meeting to submit their materials! * Recording and distributing via the website and other mediums those Annual Meeting presentations that are most likely to engage members in conversation about practical and theoretical research. Research Forum organizers Nancy McGovern and Helen Tibbo have made great strides in this area since 2007 by adding Research Forum materials to SAA’s collection of online Proceedings.3 Participate actively in relevant partnerships and collaborations to enhance professional knowledge. Activities in the coming year will focus on coordination with the new Regional Archival Associations Consortium4 and with individual regional organizations as appropriate, and working through the Joint Committee on Archives, Libraries, and Museums to seek out collaborations with library and museum organizations. Comments or questions about SAA’s Strategic Plan in general or Goal 3 specifically? Contact me at nbeaumont@ archivists.org. If I can’t answer your question, I’ll connect you with someone who can! Notes 1 http://www2.archivists.org/governance/strategic- plan/2014-2018. See the “Key Performance Indicators” for an idea of what progress toward Goal 3 will look like. 2 http://www2.archivists.org/standards. SAA’s Standards Portal is designed to educate the archives community about the value and role of standards, enhance the application of standards to practice, and facilitate successful partnerships with related information standards organizations with mutual concerns and interests. The Standards Committee hopes to establish a comprehensive clearinghouse that includes contextual information to assist archivists and allied professionals in moving SAA’s (and other external) standards from theory into practice. 3 http://www2.archivists.org/proceedings/research-forum. SAA launched the Research Forum in 2007 to provide an opportunity to discuss and share information about research initiatives with relevance for archives and records management. Researchers, practitioners, educators, students, and the curious across all sectors of archives and records management are welcome to participate. 4 http://www2.archivists.org/groups/regional-archival- associations-consortium-raac. RAAC “serves as a formal entity for fostering collaboration among the Regionals, and between the Regionals and SAA. It offers formal channels to coordinate efforts intrastate, interstate, and with SAA which facilitate streamlining actions, reducing costs, and increasing services to archivists around the nation. Such efforts include but are not limited to advocacy, public awareness, education, disaster planning/ recovery, and grant development.” See page 8 in this issue of Archival Outlook for more on RAAC.
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