Guest post: What can a new archivists roundtable do?

Here’s another guest post from Rebecca Weintraub, new archivist and Queens College library school student. You can follow her on Twitter @BeckAW and @SAAatQC

Okay. So we’ve decided that we want to do this roundtable. We know why. We know for whom. We know what we want to be. We know what we want to call ourselves. Question is…what do we do now? For anyone who has previously attended the annual meeting, you know that roundtables have designated meeting times. There are also activities during the year that go beyond the meeting. What would ours be? What would we do?

In bullet-ish form and in no particular order (or development, for that matter), here are some thoughts:

  • The RT should organize/host an orientation or get-together for students, be it their first, second, or third time (and beyond!) at the annual meeting. Individual schools tend to have meet-ups – great for current students and alumni of those schools, but it would be great if all students had the chance to get together and mingle outside of the student poster presentations. It’ll be “Annual Meeting 101”! This could be mixed with an event for new members as well, or as a stand-alone – schedule permitting.
  • It would be great to set something up with Mentoring Program. What, exactly, I’m not 100% sure of – but they’re definitely an committee that would be worth collaborating with for obvious reasons.
  • Another worthy collaborator would be the people behind the resume review/job search table at the AGM. Again, the specifics elude me here, but I think this is going in the right direction.
  • Finding a way of working with other roundtables, especially during the AGM, would definitely be worthwhile. While there are some students and new archivists that know exactly what kind of archive they want to work in (or, perhaps, they are already working in it), there are those who have absolutely no clue. Getting representatives from other roundtables or notable professionals speak to our group while at the meetings would be incredibly informative to those not entirely sure of their direction (not to mention, it’s a great networking opportunity!).
  • I’m very much a fan of having a roundtable newsletter. These sorts of entities are great ways for getting both new archivists’ and students’ feet wet in positions within the organization. It would be a forum to discuss issues that impact us (internships, finding that first archives job, etc.) as well as a way for us to keep in touch throughout the year.

These are just five simple ideas. Some, like I’ve said, need a bit more developing – but the idea is there. The only thing we need now? A roundtable!

What do you think? Any other ideas for activities for our roundtable?

About Rebecca
Archivist, librarian, webcomicker.

One Response to Guest post: What can a new archivists roundtable do?

  1. Coordination is key says:

    I urge you to consider integrating the charge of this group with that of the orientation event. It seems like the purposes of both groups, while not identical, have lots of functional overlaps. Perhaps a good first step is to shake up the orientation event. If that fails in San Diego, maybe you need to have a separate meeting. Based on my reading of your October 2011 post, it seems like people who arrange this event were interested in suggestions. I would take it one step further and advise the organizers of this event to get direct participation from someone from your group in the planning of the orientation event–perhaps even rebranding it as a new archivists event. Coordination and improvement of these myriad young professional opportunities (orientation, mentoring, new archivists RT) is key.

    Also, I serve on one of the roundtables, and we’re talking about having a student intern on the steering committee to help out. If all the RTs and sections committed to having a student intern, that would be a good way for the student to network and serve the profession early on.

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