Tanya Zanish-Belcher 2017-11-13 11:18:39
Even as SAA Vice President Meredith Evans releases her Call for Volunteers (see page 14), I’d like to share more about the appointments process. Having now been through the entire procedure, I think that selecting appointees is one of the most important duties of the vice president/president-elect, and it’s important that we are transparent in reporting on and documenting all we do. One of the greatest challenges is that we simply don’t have enough volunteer slots to accommodate the large number of applicants each year. Please consider leadership opportunities within SAA’s sections, which often do not have a lot of volunteers and offer rich opportunities for involvement. I would like to sincerely thank my Appointments Committee: Jelain Chubb and Bill Landis (co-chairs) and members Andrea Jackson, Elena Colón-Marrero, Sammie Morris, and Helen Wong Smith. The Appointments Committee does the important work of reviewing all applications and sorting them into easily reviewable spreadsheets with prioritized recommendations for the vice president to consider. Special thanks also to Felicia Owens, SAA’s governance coordinator, who manages these spreadsheets and organizes them by committee, subcommittee, task force, and working group. The process is aided, too, by input from committee chairs who indicate their preferences for membership based on a particular need for a skill set. When all is said and done, the buck stops with the vice president. I spent a lot of time reviewing all the recommendations, keeping in mind the need to involve new members of the profession and new volunteers, as well as the critical importance of diversity in background, geographic representation, and repository type in broadening our understanding and perspectives in SAA leadership. Here are some basic numbers from the 2016–2017 appointments process. Number of appointed volunteer positions available: 96 Number of applicants: 180 Number of archivists appointed who have never held a position in SAA: 41 (42%) Number of diverse archivists appointed: 34 (35%) Number of interns appointed: 16 (out of 50 applicants) Overall, how many people participate in SAA leadership? Although my unscientific count via the SAA website may include some duplication, the total appears to be approximately 631 archivists who are participating in SAA leadership activities. With this next Call for Volunteers, Meredith and I hope that you’ll give serious thought to applying. Do read the guidelines carefully, as they will provide advice for submitting your best possible application. (And please be selective about the opportunities. Those who indicate an interest in every vacancy seldom are appointed.) It’s in the interest of SAA that we are able to involve anyone who wishes to contribute to the organization. I know that professional associations can sometimes be intimidating, but my focus in the next year will be to find creative ways for SAA to be even more welcoming for all its members. For now, would you like to talk more about how you can contribute to SAA? Do you have an idea you would like to share? Please contact me directly at email@example.com and we’ll talk!
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