Steven D. Booth, Co-Chair, Awards Committee 2014-12-02 11:16:53
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the holidays, SAA awards season! Each year SAA offers a variety of opportunities for professional recognition and financial assistance. Do you know of an archivist or repository that has made an outstanding contribution to the profession? Or promoted greater public awareness of archives? Have you published a groundbreaking book, written a thought-provoking article, or developed an innovative finding aid? Do you need funding to attend graduate school or the annual meeting? If you answered yes to any of these questions, consider nominating yourself, an individual, or organization for an award in one of the following areas: contributions to the archives profession, advocacy and public awareness, writing and publishing, and travel grants. SAA Roundtables and Sections may also nominate members from their group and related institutions. Groupwritten and self nominations are accepted and encouraged. Here are some helpful tips to guide you through the nomination process from start to finish. 1. Select an award. Browse the list of awards at www.archivists .org/recognition. Although there are twentyone recognitions, only the following fourteen require a nomination: Fellows Distinguished Service Award Sister M. Claude Lane, O.P. Memorial Award Spotlight Award Diversity Award Archival Innovator Award Emerging Leader Award J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award Philip M. Hamer–Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award C.F.W. Coker Award Theodore Calvin Pease Award Waldo Gifford Leland Award Preservation Publication Award Oliver Wendell Holmes Award Carefully read the purpose, criteria for selection, eligibility, and nomination requirements. Details about past recipients are also available at www.archivists.org /recognition and can help you better understand the award. Identify a potential nominee, select the appropriate award for them, and begin the process. If you’re nominating yourself, keep in mind that you can apply for more than one award as long as you meet the qualifications (recipients can only receive one award per award cycle, though). If you are unclear about anything, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance. 2 . Talk with the nominee. Get in touch with the individual, team, or someone from the institution that you would like to nominate. Notify them of your decision to ensure that they are in fact eligible. There’s no reason to keep your plans a secret; the nominee will appreciate your gesture. Ask questions about the nominee’s professional background, experience, service, and activities. Request supporting documentation and materials (e.g. resume/ curriculum vitae, finding aids, publications, grant applications, press releases, reviews, etc.) to identify ways in which the nominee meets the criteria. Connect with other colleagues and patrons who are familiar with his or her work, discuss the nomination with them, and solicit letters of support. Collect as much information as possible that can be used to answer the nomination questions. 3. Tell us “how” and “why.” Use the information you gathered to describe how you or the nominee meets and exemplifies at least one or more of the criteria. Why are you or the nominee or the project, initiative, or achievement significant and deserving of recognition? What were the results or impact? Be direct, and support what you have to say with specific details to highlight their contributions and acts of service to SAA, the profession, and archival community. Facts, examples, anecdotes, illustrations, or numbers can greatly strengthen a nomination. 4. Share what stands out. Be sure to thoroughly describe the nominee’s characteristics. What makes him or her an outstanding archivist or the institution an outstanding repository? Feel free to provide details about their accomplishments, leadership abilities, or impact on communities and patrons, but keep it brief. Resist writing about the organization’s history or the person’s job description, unless it is directly related to The award criteria. If you’re nominating yourself, now is the time to brag— don’t be afraid to fully highlight your accomplishments and what makes you and your work unique. 5. Check the information. After you have completed the nomination form, read it over and edit accordingly. Check for spelling and grammatical errors. Solicit feedback from your nominee and colleagues. Confirm with the nominee and supporters that all information in the form is accurate. It is up to you to adequately answer each question to ensure that the subcommittee has the necessary information to properly adjudicate the nomination. If you’re nominating yourself, ask a colleague to review your work—he or she may be able to give you pointers you would have otherwise overlooked. 6. Submit the materials. All nomination forms, along with applicable supporting documents, must be received via email or postmarked by USPS or a commercial carrier by February 28. Recipients and other nominees will be notified with a decision via email by May 1. If you’re unsuccessful, ask the subcommittee for comments and suggestions. Revise the nomination form and information as needed, and consider nominating yourself, the individual, or organization again next year. While submitting a nomination can be a long process, it helps SAA—and the archives community—recognize the individuals, organizations, and projects that may otherwise fly under the radar. We hope you consider nominating a deserving colleague—or yourself—to help us sing the praises of the many accomplished individuals in the field.
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