Archivists to the Rescue! More Updates and Call for New Web Manager.

Deb Schiff
Chair, SAA Lone Arrangers Section

SAA Archivists to the Rescue Project, Pilot Portion in New Jersey, October Update

Before I launch into the much-anticipated update since our Section meeting in August, I’d like to put out a call for a new Web Manager for the Section. If you’re interested in serving, please let me know. Also, we’re still on the lookout for Local Lone Arranger Representatives: Please let us know if that’s a way that you’d like to serve your local community and Lone Arrangers at large.

Project Update

Just as a refresher, the SAA Archivists to the Rescue! pilot project’s charge is to bring low- and no-cost basic archives workshops to non-professional archivists with the aim of teaching them how to care for their collections, organize them, and make them accessible to researchers. The workshops are well underway, and, as of this writing, four sites have already completed: Trenton (New Jersey State Library), Plainfield (Plainfield Public Library), Atlantic City (Atlantic City Free Public Library), and Chester (Chester Public Library). Co-sponsor University Products supplied to each participant (10 per site) the following items: archival paper and folders, 2 legal-sized document cases, polyester photo sleeves, and a 15% discount for the year of the pilot project. We also received small spatulas for staple removal. We are grateful for their generous support.

Our hosts also were generous. Big thank yous go out to Deborah Mercer and her team at the New Jersey State Library; Laura Poll, Trenton Free Public Library; Sarah Hull, Mary Ellen Rogan, and the IT team at Plainfield Public Library; Stockton University’s Heather Perez and Atlantic City Free Public Library Director Bob Rynkiewicz; and Lesley Karczewski, Chester Public Library Director. We also had co-sponsorship (in terms of refreshments) by the Historical Society of Plainfield and several members of the Atlantic City cohort, as well as the Chester Historical Society.

The presenters for the workshop sites were Gary Saretzky (Monmouth County Archive), Paul Martinez (Montclair State University), Tara Maharjan (Rutgers University), Heather Perez (Stockton University), Ashley Levine (Artifex Press, NY), Annamarie Klose Hrubes (William Paterson University), Alex Plante (Hudson County Community College), Russ Gasero (Archives of the Reformed Church in America), Annie Tummino (Queens College, CUNY), and me (Chester Library).

Along the way, we have been collected data from pre- and post-workshop assessments for each workshop, as well as feedback from the instructors. We also have been recording video interviews with the participants, and email notes on the workshops from everyone involved. Project team member Michelle Ganz (McDonough Innovation, VA) has entered data from the first two workshops, and from the third workshop forward, the instructors will be entering the pre- and post-workshop assessments collected from their participants into Google Forms. We will be analyzing the data after verifying it.

One more set of workshops remain, and will be located at the Dana Library at Rutgers Newark (early November). That set will be co-sponsored by the Institute of Jazz Studies. Special thanks to Elizabeth Surles for her help. After all of the workshops have been completed, we will enjoy a potluck gathering at Gary Saretzky’s home.

In early October, we submitted a report to Council with an update on the project, as well as plans moving forward. We’ll be sharing the new directions moving forward in an update to the list serv soon.

Pin Fundraiser

For those of you following along, we sold all 50 pins at SAA the first day of the conference, raising $760. The funds have been paying the transportation costs of the workshop instructors. Thanks to all who supported the project by purchasing a pin.