First Timers, Students and New Members

We understand that being a new member of an organization, or attending a large conference for the first time, can be a daunting experience. That’s why we provide a variety of opportunities and programs that can help you survive – and thrive! – at ARCHIVESRECORDS: Ensuring Access and beyond….

Whether you’re a first-time attendee, an archives student or new professional, or a new member of CoSA, NAGARA, or SAA, here are some tips for navigating the conference:

Education Sessions: All conference registrants are welcome to attend any education session and to move between sessions. A name badge is required for admission to all sessions and events.

SAA Appointed Group Meetings: All SAA members are welcome to attend Council, board, committee, working group, and task force meetings. Please announce yourself to the chair upon entering the meeting room and take a seat on the perimeter of the room. It is the chair’s prerogative to acknowledge those who wish to speak, and the chair may call for an executive session should a confidential matter be considered.

Section and Roundtable Meetings: All conference registrants are welcome to attend any SAA section or roundtable meeting. Only section and roundtable members may vote on matters brought before the group.

Students and New Archives Professionals Roundtable: SAA’s “SNAP” Roundtable was founded in 2012 “to advocate for students, interns, new professionals, early-career project archivists, and archivists who are still looking for their first professional jobs.” What better way to start your conference experience than to attend the SNAP Roundtable meeting (Wednesday, August 13, 5:15 – 7:15 pm, Washington 4)? And then move on to the….

New Member/First-Timer Orientation and Forum: All attendees are welcome to join representatives of SAA’s Membership Committee, Key Contact Program, Council, and staff for a casual conversation about how to make the most of your time at the conference. Refreshments will be served and a cash bar will be available. (Wednesday, 7:30 – 8:45 pm, Marriott Salon 1)

Networking Café: Throughout the conference, visit the Career Center in the Networking Café to learn about current employment vacancies or consult with a career advisor. Attend the Mentoring Program Meet-and-Greet to meet with program coordinators and/or to apply to be a protégé (SAA membership required). For additional details and times (including how to make an appointment in advance to meet with a volunteer career advisor), see here.

Navigator Program: SAA’s Women Archivists Roundtable and Membership Committee sponsor the Navigator Program, which matches conference veterans with first-time attendees. This informal outreach effort helps newcomers make the most of their time at the conference. Navigators share their experience, advise you on sessions and special events that are likely to suit your interests, and facilitate networking with other attendees. Navigators typically contact participants prior to the meeting and are encouraged to answer questions by email in advance. They will also arrange to meet you in person at the conference. Deadline to request a navigator was July 1. Stop by the Onsite Registration Desk for more information, or contact

“Lunch Buddy” Program: Don’t feel left out during networking opportunities! Launched in 2012 by SAA’s SNAP Roundtable, the Lunch Buddy program facilitates networking and connections between new and established members. The voluntary program uses a Google Drive-based spreadsheet to set up a meal or meet-up that one person is willing to “lead.” The leader selects a place and time for lunch (or dinner or happy hour) and acts as the point of contact for the meal. Interested attendees add their names to the list. For more information, or to sign up to be a “host” or attendee:

Student Poster and Paper Presentations: Graduate students have two opportunities to present their work. Three student paper presentations were selected from among many outstanding proposals by the Student Program Subcommittee of the 2014 Program Committee for presentation as Session 607 (Saturday, August 16, 8:00 – 9:15 am, Virginia AB). Graduate student poster presentations will be on display during Exhibit Hall hours on Thursday, August 14, and Friday, August 15.

Alumni Mixers: Many graduate education programs sponsor mixers during the conference. Take this chance to mix and mingle with alumni from your education institution. The schedule will be posted on the conference website as plans are made; for a complete list of mixers, see the Onsite Program.(Thursday, August 14, 7:30 – 9:30 pm, various locations)

Student Chapter Leaders Meeting: The leaders of SAA’s student chapters for an informal exchange of ideas about managing their chapters, raising funds, and engaging students. Stop by if you're interested! (Thursday, August 14, 3:30 – 5:00 pm, Madison AB)

Annual Meeting referenced: