Category Archives: Section activities

Now Accepting Nominations for SAA Acquisitions & Appraisal Section Steering Committee

Update: Deadline for nominations has been extended to May 28!

Dear colleagues,

The Acquisitions and Appraisal Section has openings for three positions on the steering committee:

  • Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect
  • Steering Committee At-Large Member (2 positions available)

In order to be nominated for these positions, candidates must be a member of the Society of American Archivists and a member of the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section at the time of nomination.

The duties of these positions are as follows:

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect (1 position):

  • The Vice Chair serves a one-year term (2018-2019), beginning at the conclusion of the SAA Annual Meeting. The Vice Chair assists with communication and outreach efforts, producing and overseeing communications. The Vice Chair takes minutes at Section meetings; acts as the chair in the absence of the Section Chair; organizes the program in conjunction with the steering committee for the annual Section meeting; and contributes occasionally to subcommittee work.
  • At the conclusion of the 2019 Annual Meeting, the Vice Chair assumes the role of Chair for the following year (2019-2020), and subsequently as Immediate Past Chair (2020-2021).
  • The Chair presides at meetings of the Section and the steering committee; coordinates Section-proposed sessions for the SAA Annual Meeting and section endorsements; and sets the Section’s agenda for the year with assistance from the Section leadership team. The Chair serves as Section representative with respect to SAA, SAA Council, and other groups within SAA; appoints Section subcommittees as needed; and coordinates the preparation of an annual report of Section activities and submits it to the SAA executive office.
  • The Immediate Past Chair is responsible for chairing the Nominating Committee for that year’s section election.
  • In each role, this person is expected to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and recurring section meetings (at least four per year).
  • The time commitment for this role is estimated at 5 hours per month.

Steering Committee Members (2 positions):

  • Members serve two-year terms (2018-2020), eligible for reelection to a second term.
  • Members co-chair at least one of the Section subcommittees, regularly attending meetings and reporting back to the Section.
  • Members serve on the Nominating Committee, assist in planning annual meeting sessions of interest to the Section, and participate in Section subcommittees (such as the Best Practices Subcommittee). They also participate in discussion of Section business.
  • Members are expected to attend the SAA Annual Meeting and recurring section meeting conference calls.
  • The time commitment for this role is estimated at a few hours a month.

Please send candidate suggestions to the Nominating Committee by May 20, 2018.  Final ballot information will be sent to SAA by June 1, 2018. Elections will be held online in July 2018. For questions and to submit nominations, please contact the Nominating Committee:

Consider nominating yourself or a colleague! Please include name, email address, and institution (if available) of the suggested candidate.

Thanks!

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April 19 Twitter Chat: Collection Development and Acquisition Policies

Join us April 19 at 7pm EST for a twitter chat on collection development and acquisition policies! We’ll be asking the archives community to weigh in on the following questions:

  1. Do you think collection development or acquisition policies are necessary? 
  2. After reading through the survey at http://bit.ly/2rtGwr2, any initial thoughts or feedback?
  3. Do the survey results represent your institution accurately? 
  4. The data indicates many often have little influence on writing a policy, what would increase your ability to influence it more? 
  5. Do you think these kinds of policies should be easily available, such as on institutional websites?  Why or why not? 
  6. For those whose policies need revision before uploading, could the A&A section offer some assistance? In what form? 
  7. For those whose institution lack policies, what would help you get those written?
  8. Could the A&A section offer assistance to get that process jump-started? 
  9. What do you think are best practices in the creation of collection development policies?

We hope to hear from you @AppraisalSAA – remember to end your tweets with #AppraiseThis so we can include you in the conversation!

If you missed the conversation, a recap is now available at Chat_20180319_AcquisitionsPolicies

Impressions on Collection Development Policies and Practice

by Mat Darby

In 2017, the Best Practices Subcommittee of the Acquisitions and Appraisal Section conducted a survey of archivists on the topic of collection development and acquisition policies. During this process, we also received examples of these policies from archivists at a variety of institution types who were willing to share them. As we continue to consider and evaluate these policies and survey results, we felt it would be helpful to provide some of our initial impressions about what we found.

First, the need to establish and maintain collection development policies seems not to be viewed universally as an essential part of archival practice. Many archivists believe because they already know what they and, by extension, their institutions collect, that this institutional knowledge should be sufficient. Further, some archivists believe the creation of a concrete policy could place overly rigid boundaries on the scope of their collecting.

For institutions with collecting policies already in place, it is not always clear for whom the policy is written. Is the document detailed enough to be used by archivists to guide collection development? Is the policy clear and free enough of jargon to assist potential donors? Further, does the policy help to explain and justify collecting for administrators, resource allocators, and board members?

In some institutions, the collecting policy is an internal document and perhaps one that is not widely known about or shared among staff. Publicly sharing even an abridged version of a collection policy, one that may not be as dense or granular as an internal version, can provide useful information to prospective donors. All staff, even those without direct acquisition responsibilities, should be aware of the scope of collecting activities.

We also recognized a sense of powerlessness or lack of control on the part of some of the archivists responding. Beyond just the policies themselves, a need exists within the profession for guidelines that archivists can use to bolster their own arguments to directors and administrators as to why a policy is needed, why it should be periodically reviewed and updated, and why it should be available to the public.

Overall, these issues contribute to a lack of transparency on the part of many collecting entities. Clearer, more readily available policies could improve donor relations; promote collaboration, and cooperation among institutions with similar collecting strengths; and produce more informed and engaged staff.

Despite some of the issues that appeared in the survey results, the more robust policies we examined addressed all or some of these concerns in the following ways:

  • Clearly states the mission, guiding principles, and philosophy of the institution – why you collect what you collect
  • Transparency: policies share the criteria and processes that go into making acquisition decisions, including deaccessioning
  • Identifies the person/committee/etc. within an organization that makes acquisitions decisions
  • Indicates the point person(s) within the organization for potential donors to contact
  • Acknowledges legacy collecting while focusing on current collecting goals and priorities
  • Identifies strengths but emphasizes gaps where work is needed
  • States directly what the repository does not collect
  • Outlines the considerations and criteria at play when making acquisition decisions: content, accessibility, quality of documentation, physical condition, cost-benefit analysis, etc.
  • Includes a statement regarding collaboration and/or non-competitive relationship with other repositories
  • Shows commitment to assisting donors in finding the right home for their materials, even if that is another repository

As the work of the Best Practices Subcommittee progresses, we will provide further analysis of our survey results with a goal of assisting archivists in improving collection development policies and practice.

The 2017 survey results are compiled in a report located here. Please join us in a twitter chat on April 19, 2018 to further the discussion about these issues and concepts with fellow A&A section members.

Appraisal & Acquisition Bibliography Project

The Acquisitions & Appraisal Section is developing a bibliography on appraisal and acquisition. This shared resource is intended to support archivists and other information professionals conducting research on appraisal, those interested in learning more about specific appraisal theories, and anyone looking for case studies about implementing appraisal and acquisitions strategies in specific contexts. The Acquisitions & Appraisal Section steering committee intends for this project to be iterative and encourages members to contribute and help this bibliography grow into a richer resource over time. Use of the SAA Acquisitions & Appraisal Section Bibliography is free and available in a Zotero Group Library. The bibliography is available here on Zotero.

The Zotero bibliography is an open group that anyone can join and add to. As this is a work in progress, please help the Acquisitions & Appraisal Section steering committee grow a more robust resource over time! Some guidelines for adding items to this Zotero bibliography are available here: https://goo.gl/CAzt7

Please don’t hesitate to send us feedback on the bibliography and how we can continue to improve it: appraisalsaa@gmail.com

 

Voting Open until July 10

Dear A&A Membership:

Cast your ballot for the 2017 Section Elections to help determine the next intake of A&A Section Committee members. We have positions open for the Vice Chair/Chair Elect (1) and Steering Committee (2).

Ballots should now have been received by email.

Information on each candidate is posted on our microsite & is also made available through the link to vote!

Voting closes Monday, July 10th

Creating or expanding collection policy

Hi everyone,

As you may have heard, the A&A Best Practices Subcommittee recently produced a survey report on practices surrounding institutional collection development policy. The focus on policy writing is not over yet though, and the Best Practices Subcommittee is seeking your help in compiling a resource package to better equip archival staff with tools to create or update their workplace acquisition policy. Please get in touch with feedback on the survey (accessible here) and/or what resources would you find useful.

Questions to answer could include (and were also posted through our #appraisethis Twitter chat):

  • Do you think collection development or acquisition policies are necessary?
  • What are your initial thoughts or feedback after reading through the survey?
  • Do the survey results represent your institution accurately?
  • The data indicates many often have little influence on writing a policy, what would increase your ability to influence it more?
  • Do you think these kinds of policies should be easily available, such as on institutional websites?  Why or why not?
  • For those whose policies need revision before uploading, could the A&A section offer some assistance? In what form?
  • For those whose institution lack policies, what would help you get those written? Could the A&A section offer assistance to get that process jump-started?

 

Please write to Marcella Huggard (mdwiget@gmail.com) and Julie May (julie.ilene.may@gmail.com). Any contributions are most appreciated!

 

Voting for next A&A leadership team

Hello Acquisitions & Appraisal Section members,

The nominations for leadership positions are all in, and we are now approaching the time for elections! Thanks to everybody who nominated themselves or another member for candidacy, and thanks to all of you in advance for voting.

This year we have three open positions for its steering committee this year: one Vice Chair/Chair Elect position and two positions for Steering Committee At-Large Member.  Candidate statements and bios can be found here:  http://www2.archivists.org/groups/acquisitions-appraisal-section/2017-election-candidate-statements-and-bios

 

A few additional logistic details:

  • Election ballots will be sent out via Survey Monkey June 26-28 with voting ending on July 10, 2017.
  • All those who are active section members as of June 30 are eligible to vote. 
  • The ballot email may go to your spam inbox; please adjust your filters and/or check there if you do not receive a ballot by June 28th.
  • If you have any difficulties receiving or casting your ballot, please email Felicia directly at fowens@archivists.org.

Thank you,

Nominating Committee