Professional Development

SAA- But wait, there’s more!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 5:05 pm

I know you’ve been inundated with tons of information about the Society of American Archivists’ annual conference over the past few weeks. Craig, Rebecca and Audra have done a wonderful job of describing so many of the sessions and topics that were addressed there, so I can say “Ditto” to all of their posts. But I also want to add my perspective on a few things that I learned while there, so here goes…

 

Archivists’ Toolkit

At the Roundtable session regarding Archivists’ Toolkit (the database that we use here) the speakers told of multiple updates that have been implemented, which will hopefully continue to decrease the number of “bugs” that we have encountered with it. They also discussed several new modules that had been developed by institutions that use AT. One in particular that caught my attention was the ATReference module created by the Rockefeller Archives Center. It is used to manage reference requests, register patrons, record visits and topics of research and track user statistics. We here at ZSR have always said it would be nice to have such a feature as part of AT, but we don’t have the resources to create it on our own. So, now that someone else has done the hard part, maybe we can investigate using it! We currently use LibStats to track our reference activities, and it works nicely so we aren’t desperate for a system, but it’s nice to know that there is an option available for AT now. Future plans for other possible modules include: Retrievals, Bar coding and Use Tracking, Reading Room Scheduling, and Web Interface and Personal User Accounts.

 

Skeletons in the Closet: Addressing Privacy and Confidentiality Issues for Born-Digital Materials

On the digital preservation front, I attended a session that addressed privacy and confidentiality issues for born-digital materials. Erin O’Meara from UNC-Chapel Hill, Gabby Redwine from the Ransom Center at UT- Austin and Bonnie Weddle from the New York State Archives discussed privacy concerns with regards to born-digital accessions.

*Erin told about a time at UNC School of Medicine when there was a data breach a few years ago and the confidential information of hundreds of breast cancer patients was accessed. After this occurrence, UNC responded with the creation of the position of Data Security Officer as well as multiple policies to protect the privacy of patient information. There were also numerous retirements and departures of campus administrators who were either somehow connected to the affected departments or who were opposed to the new policies and structure. While medical information should definitely be protected, Erin made the point that there has to be a balance between access and privacy to university records in a public institution.

Their approach is to work with the creator or the records to identify confidential information from the beginning. This is very helpful, but not always accurate. Some confidential information has been found in the donated records even after reviewing it with the creators before the archives receives it. So, they also scan the records with a bulk extractor to look for general expressions or keywords. This helps them pinpoint items that cannot be kept in the repository, but it also very time consuming. Erin said there is a tension between the shift to minimal processing for paper records, but then doing more with the e-records. New training and tools are needed to address the issues such as the best staffing models for dealing with digital information, the best practices that are emerging for digital curation and how to address redaction and restrictions to public records consistently.

 

*Gabby Redwine discussed the ways that the Ransom Center handles digital information. They deal mainly with manuscripts there, and works of contemporary authors arrive on floppy discs, tapes, cartridges as well as computers. (They have 8 computers with authors’ works on them currently). They want to maintain the original order and provenance as much as possible, and to do this they use forensic software just like law enforcement and government agencies use. This type of software can decrypt passwords, find deleted emails, create an exact replica of a disk, and much more. While great for retrieving information, archivists are then posed with the question of what to retain and what to leave. Do you pull deleted emails back out and keep a copy? Do you create an image of the disk, or just copies of the files? And if it is a collection that you’ve had since long before digital forensics was possible, what do you pull from those old disks, computers, etc.? Since most donor agreements from years past don’t mention the issue of retrieving information from digital formats, it leaves the archivist in a sensitive situation, especially if the donor has died and no family member is reachable. What do you do if you find unexpected or private information on these old formats? These are all ongoing issues that archivists are dealing with, and that have no clear cut answers at this point.

 

* Bonnie Weddle works in the New York State Archives. Obviously she deals with government records which are very different than the kind of materials we have here, but many of the issues are the same. How to provide access while maintaining confidentiality, how to make the records available online quickly, and the best way to deal with huge amounts of information when you have a small staff and not enough space. We all identified with these themes!

 

Doing a 180: Putting Ephemera on the Front Burner

I joined this session mid-way through, but got a lot out of it! The presenters told about their projects that were designed to make collections of ephemera accessible online and about the successes and challenges involved. To me it is a bit ironic that there are so many large collections of ephemera around the world when the word itself describes impermanence! (definition of ephemera) We have a huge amount of ephemera here that, to me, is one of the most interesting groups of materials at WFU. I got some good ideas of what other institutions are doing to showcase their ephemera, and hope to do something similar here.

For example:

The California Ephemera Project was funded by a CLIR grant. Mary Morganti of the California Historical Society explained:

*Staff were hired to work on just this project and they shared the decision- making for what would be included and how.

*Each contributing institution can edit their own finding aids on line, since they know the collections best

*New institutions can contribute to the ephemera catalog at any time

*The project directors would have “contests” to see what staff member could find the smallest object, largest object, etc. to keep people motivated as they worked to catalog the items

*They would up with an established framework for adding digital images of ephemera to the website, and can use the same steps for scan on demand projects

 

The Hartman Center – Duke University

Richard Collier told about the collections at the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History. Among the notable collections are:

Advertising Ephemera

The J. W. Thompson archive

He also said that they have received materials from Lester Wunderman, who is considered the father of direct marketing (i.e. junk mail). While some see it as junk mail, it is actually the creative product of this company; their artefactual history. There are boxes and boxes of mailings for companies that show the different styles of mailings that went out and to whom. Some are on slick paper, some on regular paper. Some have logos on the envelopes, others don’t. Some are targeted at a younger consumer, others at older ones. An amazing amount of materials, just waiting to be processed!

 

Which Hat are You Wearing? “You Need What, When?”

This session was helpful because the presenters described ways to juggle multiple duties in an archives and actually accomplish things at the same time. While it came from the angle of “lone arrangers”, it was still very applicable to me and the way we handle things at ZSR. While I’m not alone, there are some responsibilities that fall to me a majority of the time and I need to know the best ways to divide my time.

*Alison Stankrauff from Indiana University at South Bend recommended staying involved in professional organizations, the school and the community in order to “give back” to the profession and to the researchers.

* Lisa Sjoberg from Concordia College talked about how she works on displays, newsletters and bulletin boards in order to publicize the archives’ materials. By also forming relationships with faculty and staff on her campus as well as other archivists in the area, she is able to gain support for her projects and increase publicity as well.

*Chana Kotzin from the Jewish Buffalo Archive Project of the Bureau of Jewish Education of Greater Buffalo described how she collaborated with other local institutions to create a website, locate potential grant offerings, and coordinate small events for their area.

All presenters emphasized how important it is to carve out at least an hour or two each day to have uninterrupted time in order to respond to emails, work on processing, answer reference questions and just keep your sanity. While it’s easier said than done, it’s something I need to implement to stay productive.

Thus ended my first day and a half of sessions at SAA… Summaries of the next two days soon to come!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to “SAA- But wait, there’s more!”

  1. Sounds like you got a lot out of the conference, Vicki. SAA is impressive in its depth, breadth, and quality.


Pages
About
Categories
2007 ACRL Baltimore
2007 ALA Annual
2007 ALA Gaming Symposium
2007 ALA Midwinter
2007 ASERL New Age of Discovery
2007 Charleston Conference
2007 ECU Gaming Presentation
2007 ELUNA
2007 Evidence Based Librarianship
2007 Innovations in Instruction
2007 Kilgour Symposium
2007 LAUNC-CH Conference
2007 LITA National Forum
2007 NASIG Conference
2007 North Carolina Library Association
2007 North Carolina Serials Conference
2007 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2007 Open Repositories
2007 SAA Chicago
2007 SAMM
2007 SOLINET NC User Group
2007 UNC TLT
2007_ASIST
2008
2008 Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
2008 ACRL Immersion
2008 ACRL/LAMA JVI
2008 ALA Annual
2008 ALA Midwinter
2008 ASIS&T
2008 First-Year Experience Conference
2008 Lilly Conference
2008 LITA
2008 NASIG Conference
2008 NCAECT
2008 NCLA RTSS
2008 North Carolina Serials Conference
2008 ONIX for Serials Webinar
2008 Open Access Day
2008 SPARC Digital Repositories
2008 Tri-IT Meeting
2009
2009 ACRL Seattle
2009 ALA Annual
2009 ALA Annual Chicago
2009 ALA Midwinter
2009 ARLIS/NA
2009 Big Read
2009 code4lib
2009 Educause
2009 Handheld Librarian
2009 LAUNC-CH Conference
2009 LAUNCH-CH Research Forum
2009 Lilly Conference
2009 LITA National Forum
2009 NASIG Conference
2009 NCLA Biennial Conference
2009 NISOForum
2009 OCLC International ILLiad Conference
2009 RBMS Charlottesville
2009 SCLA
2009 UNC TLT
2010
2010 ALA Annual
2010 ALA Midwinter
2010 ATLA
2010 Code4Lib
2010 EDUCAUSE Southeast
2010 Handheld Librarian
2010 ILLiad Conference
2010 LAUNC-CH Research Forum
2010 LITA National Forum
2010 Metrolina
2010 NASIG Conference
2010 North Carolina Serials Conference
2010 RBMS
2010 Sakai Conference
2011 ACRL Philadelphia
2011 ALA Annual
2011 ALA Midwinter
2011 CurateCamp
2011 Illiad Conference
2012 SNCA Annual Conference
ACRL
ACRL 2013
ACRL New England Chapter
ACRL-ANSS
ACRL-STS
ALA Annual
ALA Annual 2013
ALA Editions
ALA Midwinter
ALA Midwinter 2012
ALA Midwinter 2014
ALCTS Webinars for Preservation Week
ALFMO
APALA
ARL Assessment Seminar 2014
ARLIS
ASERL
ASU
Audio streaming
authority control
Berkman Webinar
bibliographic control
Book Repair Workshops
Career Development for Women Leaders Program
CASE Conference
cataloging
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
CIT Showcase
CITsymposium2008
Coalition for Networked Information
code4lib
commons
Conference Planning
Conferences
Copyright Conference
costs
COSWL
CurateGear 2013
CurateGear 2014
Designing Libraries II Conference
DigCCurr 2007
Digital Forsyth
Digital Humanities Symposium
Disaster Recovery
Discovery tools
E-books
EDUCAUSE
Educause SE
EDUCAUSE_SERC07
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Embedded Librarians
Entrepreneurial Conference
ERM Systems
evidence based librarianship
FDLP
FRBR
Future of Libraries
Gaming in Libraries
General
GODORT
Google Scholar
govdocs
Handheld Librarian Online Conference
Hurricane Preparedness/Solinet 3-part Workshop
ILS
information design
information ethics
Information Literacy
innovation
Innovation in Instruction
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Inspiration
Institute for Research Design in Librarianship
instruction
IRB101
Journal reading group
Keynote
LAMS Customer Service Workshop
LAUNC-CH
Leadership
Learning spaces
LibQUAL
Library 2.0
Library Assessment Conference
Library of Congress
licensing
Lilly Conference
LITA
LITA National Forum
LOEX
LOEX2008
Lyrasis
Management
Marketing
Mentoring Committee
MERLOT
metadata
Metrolina 2008
MOUG 09
MOUG 2010
Music Library Assoc. 07
Music Library Assoc. 09
Music Library Assoc. 2010
NASIG
National Library of Medicine
NC-LITe
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
NCICU
NCLA
NCLA Biennial Conference 2013
NCPC
NCSLA
NEDCC/SAA
NHPRC-Electronic Records Research Fellowships Symposium
NISO
North Carolina Serial Conference 2014
Offsite Storage Project
OLE Project
online catalogs
online course
OPAC
open access
Peabody Library Leadership Institute
plagiarism
Podcasting
Preservation
Preservation Activities
Preserving Forsyth LSTA Grant
Professional Development Center
rare books
RDA/FRBR
Reserves
RITS
RTSS 08
RUSA-CODES
SAA Class New York
SAMM 2008
SAMM 2009
Scholarly Communication
ScienceOnline2010
Social Stratification in the Deep South
Social Stratification in the Deep South 2009
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
SOLINET
Southeast Music Library Association
Southeast Music Library Association 08
Southeast Music Library Association 09
SPARC webinar
subject headings
Sun Webinar Series
tagging
TALA Conference
Technical Services
technology
ThinkTank Conference
Training
ULG
Uncategorized
user studies
Vendors
video-assisted learning
visual literacy
WakeSpace
Web 2.0
Webinar
WebWise
WFU China Initiative
Wikis
Women's History Symposium 2007
workshops
WSS
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
Tags
Archives
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by WordPress.org, protected by Akismet. Blog with WordPress.com.