2020 Joint Annual Meeting Pop-Up Session Selection

The 2020 Program Committee invites your vote(s) on which session(s) you would most like to see presented at the conference. Please vote for up to four proposals. The four proposals with the most votes will be presented as general sessions during the conference livestream on August 6-7.

Deadline for casting your vote(s): Wednesday, July 8

All Fun and Games: Integrating Creative, Immersive Gaming into Archival Programming

Archivists responsible for educational and outreach programming often face challenges when adapting to diverse audiences. While navigating the vulnerability of collections and the need to convey important primary source literacy skills, archivists must consider audiences’ increasing preference for materiality, simulation, and the social learning environment. Game-based instructional programs can provide creative, hands-on learning opportunities while protecting valuable collections.

This presentation will reflect on the experience of using game-based instructional techniques to successfully develop an Escape Game that engaged a campus community with archival sources and authentic learning. The program was a physical adventure game that placed participants  in a situational environment to work together and to analyze archival materials in order to find clues, solve puzzles, and complete game objectives. Tasks were specifically designed to engage learning objectives that explored archival conceptualization, discovery, and interpretation. Sensory immersion allowed authentic engagement with the materiality of collections, their historical context, and the deeper critical narratives within the collection. The successful program increased awareness of the archival collections throughout the University community and became a catalyst for collaboration between subject librarians and teaching faculty.

This presentation is targeted towards archivists, educators, and cultural heritage professionals who are interested in engaging learners with creative, hands-on archival educational programming. The presentation will convey the importance of accommodating a variety of learning styles in archival instruction and programming; the value of using Escape Game activities to introduce users from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to collections; and how game-based instruction can be effectively incorporated into archival programming.

Discussion of how to incorporate gaming in the COVID era of remote learning and virtual programming will also be discussed.

Autumn M. Johnson
Special Collections 
Georgia Southern University

Nikki Cannon-Rech
Research Services
Georgia Southern University

Archival Outreach in the New Normal: Using Digital Platforms to Teach Primary Sources

In March of 2020, the National Archives and Records Administration made the unprecedented decision to close their facilities.  The Presidential Libraries were prepared to welcome spring school tours that were not going to happen.  As the seriousness of the worldwide pandemic set in, archivists and education specialists across the agency searched for a way to connect with students. After several meetings, the decision was made to rapidly build an online schedule that classes, teachers, and students could join.

The National Archives has a long-standing partnership with Internet2 and the Presidential Primary Source Project.  Every year a series of presidential libraries, sites, and other museums present a series of programs on different presidential topics. This series is done completely online with classrooms and homeschool students across the country. Over nearly a decade, the Presidential Primary Source Project has developed a loyal following of schools.

Because of the strong distance learning partnership between NARA and PPSP, it made sense to continue teaching after the conclusion of the normal series.  From March until June NARA presented several sessions reaching thousands of students. Some educators did not have experience teaching in the online platform and some did. We will share tips for presenting in this medium and how you can tell the session is effective.  We will also discuss methods for regaining audience attention and making the session more interactive.

Independently, NARA has also moved adult programming to online platforms. Some of the programs are discussions or guest speakers, some of them are lifelong learning groups seeking talks from archivists and exploring collections.  We will discuss how to host these kinds of sessions with members of the general public.

Lastly, managing an online program has a lot of moving parts. We will discuss how to manage registrations, digital platforms, and advertising.

Elizabeth Dinschel
Archivist and Education Specialist
National Archives and Records Administration at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Therese Perlowski
Internet2, Community Anchor Program (CAP) 

Archival Project Management in the Age of COVID-19

Every year, funding agencies award millions of dollars to archives and special collections to support vital work. Project triumph is expected, and failure to meet performance objectives is costly. Proj­ect management increases the odds of success, yet few LIS programs or professional development trainings focus on these skills. Agility and iterative approaches using technology are a natural fit for recovery efforts as they account for real-time changes occurring as organizations respond to COVID-19 and its aftermath. The ongoing crisis magnifies issues and inefficiencies that archivists usually tolerate in their daily work. Rethinking archival work within this environment can help recognize what could be done better, and could provide the nudge needed to start solving challenges. In an era of uncertainty, when organizations face increased demand for technology implementation and expanded online services, but decreased budgets and staff sizes, archivists who master project management skills thrive under exigent conditions.

The session outlines how to initiate, plan, and complete a project, emphasizing the practical application of technology tools, techniques, and processes with real-world archival examples. It offers advice on how to manage the interpersonal dynamics, communication and collaboration, and organizational culture that influence effectiveness, which is especially vital for remote archival work. Participants will learn strategies in key areas: time and cost estimating, planning, tracking budgets and deliverables, working within institutional constraints, and reporting on progress. Archival processing, steeped in project man­agement, leads to improved processing procedures, increased efficiencies in the preservation, arrangement, and description of collection materials, and enhanced access to collections. The audience will learn how to apply project management principles to be able to respond to change and the unexpected, focus efforts on what matters, and build a framework that ensures success. Participants should feel empowered and better equipped to embrace projects at their home institutions.

Margot Note, CA, CRM, IGP, PMP
Margot Note Consulting, LLC 

Archives for all: Experience from India

The archive is a combination of both collection and information resources. Archivists preserve their collection for posterity. It’s their responsibility to enhance the accessibility to the user for the benefit and development of the community in a better way. This session will highlight the role of archives to make a sustainable networking system to enhance the accessibility towards the community. The archival resources need to be organized to serve the knowledge properly. In the post-pandemic world digital platform for online accessibility are highly demanding. We have to create new strategies to build a bridge between the archives to make the collection more accessible. In the said background, the presentation will focus on the Indian experience in general & PCM Museum & Archive in particular.

Dr. Kishor Chandra Satpathy
In-Charge, PCM Memorial Museum & Archive
Indian Statistical InstitutePlot  

Beyond Diversity Initiatives: Nontraditional and Student-centered Approaches to Recruiting BIPOC into Archives and Special Collections Librarianship

The purpose of this pop-up session is to discuss how Special Collections and Archives departments in academic libraries can provide mentorship and viable/meaningful professional development opportunities for BIPOC. Despite the growing focus on diversity and recruitment by library schools and institutions like SAA, ALA, ACRL among others, BIPOC not only remain underrepresented in the field, but many continue to encounter barriers within library cultures. As many diversity initiatives often focus on current LIS students or those with expressed interest in the profession, this panel will discuss how institutions can leverage their strengths to build and foster diversity programs aimed to recruit prospective undergraduate and graduate students, and library staff and student workers into the profession.

Based on critical pedagogy, and nontraditional and student-centered approaches, the Cal State LA Special Collections & Archives Student Assistant Program is designed to support and mentor students with potential in the field. Cal State LA is one of the largest and most diverse campuses in the CSU system and is uniquely positioned to recruit students into the profession by embedding community-centered archival practices into primary source instruction, outreach and reference services, and the library student worker experience. Topics discussed by the panelists will include: fostering and mentoring students; intentional engagement; student outreach; developing student agency; and the panelists’ personal experiences navigating the profession.

The intended audience is special collections and archives personnel in various institutions. The session will proceed as a panel and will invite the audience to discuss, generate, and share ideas/initiatives that can be implemented in their respective institutions/organizations.

Azalea Camacho
Archivist and Special Collections Librarian
John F. Kennedy Memorial Library, California State University, Los Angeles

Amalia Castañeda
Reference Instruction and Outreach Librarian
University Library, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Karina Cardenas
Special Collections and Archives Assistant
Special Collections Research Center, Henry Madden Library,
California State University, Fresno

COVID-19 Collecting Initiatives of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has been on the forefront of researching, combating, and providing information about the COVID-19 pandemic. This session will focus on how NIH is capturing a collective account about the agency and its response to the virus through collaboration between archives, library, and records management efforts. The NIH COVID-19 Collecting initiative of the NIH Office of NIH History and Stetten Museum, and National Library of Medicine (NLM) captures content that otherwise would not be retained as permanent. This session addresses challenges including collection development, internal and external collaboration, staffing, storage, privacy, and sensitivity concerns. The session will contain three presentations from NIH staff including the NIH Records Management Program, Office of NIH History and Stettin Museum, and NLM. The first presentation will discuss how the NIH Records Management Program is adapting to managing Federal records in a remote work environment and supporting COVID-19 archiving. The second presentation will focus on the ‘Behind the Mask’ initiative, which ensures reactions from NIH staff about their personal and professional experiences during the pandemic will be preserved. The final presentation will focus on COVID-19 collecting as part of the National Library of Medicine's Global Health Events web archive. This effort includes a broad range of born-digital web and social media resources documenting the diversity of roles, experiences, and perspectives on the pandemic. The intended audience for this session is archivists, librarians, records managers, historians, and anyone with an interest in how the NIH is responding to the pandemic regarding archives, libraries, and records management. The presentations will be followed by live Q&A and comments from attendees.

Katina Mavrophilipos
National Institutes of Health

Rebeccah Baker
National Institutes of Health

Gabrielle Barr
National Institutes of Health

Christine Moffatt
National Institutes of Health

Crash and Burn: Learning from Failure

It seems that we as archivists are not ones to usually point out our failures, but failures are a great resource for learning as long as we fail intelligently.  At least that is what Charles F. Kettering, inventor and social philosopher, would want us know that “It is not a disgrace to fail.  Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world”  This session would give attendees to learn from other archivists failures and would allow them to share about their own.  All too often at these conferences we only hear about the projects that went beautifully, sure there were bumps along the way but the project was a success.  This session is all about the times when things did not go as planned.  Each speaker will talk about their failed project for 5 to 7 minutes each and then we will leave plenty of time for sharing and questions.  Topics that will be covered include creating a digital archive, blogs and outreach, and time management.  Session attendees will see that failed projects are bound to happen and as long as you can learn from it, it was not a failure in the end.

Collette McDonough
Kettering Foundation

Amy Rohmiller
University of Dayton

Adam Wanter 
MidPointe Library Middletown, OH

Digital Humanities and Library Labor: Resources, Sustainability, and Project Management in a Collaborative Context

This panel will focus on library labor and project management issues that arise when librarians, archivists, students, and research faculty collaborate on digital humanities projects. The presenters will discuss original research and case studies with a focus on sustainability, managing the labor and resources necessary to have successful projects, and balancing the expectations of all parties involved.

Wagner Webster will discuss original research addressing collaborations between information professionals and research faculty on digital humanities projects. How do these collaborations unfold? Who initiates the projects? How have information professionals adapted their work to support current or potential future DH projects? What administrative hurdles are faced during the collaboration? She will also discuss a follow-up project that drills deeper into labor, resource allocation, and administrative support from an archives/library perspective.

In Thornhill’s work with the University of Oregon Libraries' Digital Scholarship Services Department, she has developed operational procedures for the their Digital Scholarship Center Faculty Grant Program, an initiative that fosters partnership with UO faculty in the production of open humanities and social science digital research. She will focus on how she has implemented the program’s project work with the newly formed Digital Strategies team, a cross-functional specialist team that includes professionals from across libraries.Thoms will present on her work with Utah State University Libraries' Digital Initiatives Unit, which supports the full range of the libraries’ digital efforts. She will focus on the challenges of managing a full portfolio of projects while balancing the expectations of campus and community partners, with a mission to provide work experiences that respect the time and effort of both staff and student employees. The discussion will include the inevitable tension between providing opportunities for meaningful work including skills development and engagement, and meeting the project benchmarks that are used to assess our work.

Jessica Wagner Webster
Digital Initiatives Librarian
Baruch College, City University of New York

Kate Thornhill
Digital Scholarship Librarian, Digital Scholarship Services
University Of Oregon

Becky Thoms
Head of Digital Initiatives
Utah State University Libraries

Documenting Today’s Pandemic for Tomorrow: Collecting and Preserving Community Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Miami University created the “Documenting Life During COVID-19 Project,” which established an archival collection centered around those in the local or institutional community. Participants were invited to create their record in any medium they could to express their feelings and experiences during the pandemic. Upon donation, participants may request that their records be sealed for up to 50 years. However, as archival professionals, we seek to plan ahead for a future in which these materials will be accessible to the public, and when the events recorded herein will no longer be a part of recent memory.

While moving forward with the project, the organizers faced various obstacles. Preservation planning became a daunting task, given the variety of physical and digital objects submitted to the collection and the possibility of their being sealed for an extended time. Worse, the organizers were told to shut the project down. Ultimately, through support from multiple stakeholders, the project was allowed to continue, resulting in a collection born completely through volunteers that spoke to the resilience of the community in a time of global crisis.

This presentation will explore the opportunities and challenges presented by actively building a crowdsourced collection, and how the speakers minimized risks in its creation and preservation. Though the presentation will be framed around the experiences of a single institution, attendees will leave equipped with the knowledge to develop a community-born archival collection. Attendees will also learn how to address preservation challenges working with archival collections that will be sealed for a significant amount of time.

Rachel Makarowski
Special Collections Librarian
Miami University

Kim Hoffman
Preservation Librarian
Miami University

Jacky Johnson
University Archivist
Miami University

Carla Myers
Scholarly Communications Librarian
Miami University

Email Archiving

The email messages that people send and receive leave behind an information and evidence-rich trail of activities, one that can and should be amenable to future historical investigation and interpretation. Over the past few years, email preservation has become an increasingly feasible—though not yet routine or common—part of archives and digital preservation work. Both the possibilities and challenges of email archiving are detailed in the Report of the Task Force on Email Archives, which promulgates several preservation pathways, but also recommends significant follow-on work to develop the community’s ability to preserve email for future research use.

This session seeks to engage with individuals from institutions like archives, libraries, museums to generate discussion regarding the current and future developments of email archiving. Such developments include 1) the Email Archiving: Building Capacity and Community (a regrant program), 2) the creation of Requirements for Packaging and Representing Email using PDF, and 3) the Review, Appraisal, and Triage of Mail (RATOM).  These projects are intended to promote developments in email archiving by providing frameworks for institutions to engage in email archiving.

The session will be split into three informative mini presentations (with time for discussion) about the previously mentioned projects to aid in the understanding of preserving history through email archiving. All programs seek to engage institutions with the tools that currently exist by developing workflows, interoperable systems, metadata pathways, and archival package structures, then sharing the results in forums that will help others build a similar capacity to preserve email.

Chris Prom (He/His)
Associate Dean for Digital Strategies University Library
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Camille Tyndall Watson
Digital Services Manager
State Archives of North Carolina

Joel Simpson
Project Delivery Manager
Artefactual Systems Inc.

Ruby Lorraine Martinez
Email Archives Community Fellow Office of Digital Strategies


Hot off the Presses: LYRASIS Reveals Collecting Materials and Archival Practice Amidst the Pandemic

We can all agree that the past six months have brought massive change to almost every aspect of our lives. Our local, regional, national communities and organizations have been impacted as well.  One of our essential functions as archivists is to collect materials to preserve the historical record, but with the pandemic at our front doors how we do this?  In this session, LYRASIS will share brand new survey results detailing how cultural heritage institutions across the country are accessioning materials now and how the pandemic is impacting archival practice. The presenters will also share results from the LYRASIS NHPRC Survey and Focus Group project focused on the needs of Small and Diverse Archives.

The intended audience includes professionals who perform collecting tasks at their institutions and decision makers who can identify new resources for their programs, as well as archivists who want to share ideas with their managers.  The topics being shared are all-inclusive.

The session will begin by revealing the results of the surveys with questions from the audience at the end of the session. The three presenters have each had roles in the survey projects and will speak to different aspects and results. The Q&A period will also allow for the audience to provide their thoughts and experiences which will help in developing new policies and resources to aide archivists safely gathering materials during the pandemic.  Speakers will also share resources to help archivists move through the challenges they are facing as a result of the current pandemic.

Leigh A. Grinstead
Senior Digital Services Consultant

Thomas F. R. Clareson
Senior Consultant for Digital & Preservation Services

Katy L. W. Klettlinger
Consultant & Member Outreach Librarian, Mid-Atlantic & Great Lakes

Organizing Labor Archives for Black Lives Matter

Why document a protest? Why interview an activist? Why not wait twenty years for a collection donation? The purpose of this session is to bring labor archivists, union members, and educators together to explore ways to document and disseminate the intersectionality between organized labor and social justice movements, specifically police violence and Black Lives Matter. This panel intends to represent the importance of collaborations between memory workers and the labor movement in documenting and collecting materials related to BLM and interconnected social justice movements. Grounded within the context of COVID-19, this session also intends to discuss different practices for documenting and collecting during a pandemic. Examples of practices include a hybrid approach between traditional archival collection techniques and embedding ourselves in labor and BLM events to record events in real time. An additional purpose is to discuss and suggest different documentation and collection approaches as ways of strengthening both institutional and community relationships. The intended audience is archivists and other memory workers who recognize the urgency of advocating for the value and importance of archives in the context of the emerging BLM movement to answer the broader question proposed by Kathleen Roe of “Why Archives?”

The session will proceed with each panelist providing a brief overview of their current projects and goals related to labor and social justice movements, followed by the moderator posing a series of questions which each panelist will respond to in a roundtable format.

Ben Blake
Labor Archivist
University of Maryland, College Park

Conor Casey
Head, Labor Archives of Washington
University of Washington

Chris Garlock
Union Cities Coordinator,
Director, DC Labor Fest, Host,
Union City Radio/Your Rights At Work/Labor History Today

Alan Wierdak
Labor Archive Specialist
University of Maryland, College Park

Response in a Time of Need: Models of Creative Thinking and Continuity of Customer Service during the Pandemic

Leaders at Maryland State Archives had less than two work days to prepare prior to our governor’s declaration of a state of emergency.  Quickly mobilizing our workforce to maximum teleworking by Governor Hogan’s order, our managers kept essential records and functions accessible to the public throughout the lockdown. Staff outlined new processes, paring down to skeleton crews on-site in order to provide the public with access to land records, plats, vital records, as well as to pull files for the judiciary and other state agencies. Simultaneously, outreach to the general public and community groups took on a greater purpose than ever before. This lessons-learned session outlines how we retooled operations to provide a safe working space for team members while maintaining services required by government agencies, individual customers, and community groups.

Throughout the pandemic, archivists have the legal obligation to provide access to vital records and land records (including plats and our MDLandRec system of records access), as well as processing and posting images for the Governor's Press Office (GovPics). Corey Lewis oversees all operations associated with production of digitized records, constituent services, and image delivery. He describes retooling work flows; initiating projects to improve quality of digital collections; fulfilling grant work; and interagency requests, while the majority of staff were teleworking. James Watson, who manages internal and contractor scanning operations, will talk about the direction of on-site technicians as they maintained production on paid projects at an appropriate social distance.  While closed to the public, our agency simultaneously adapted reference and outreach functions to meet the needs of teachers, parents and students seeking online content. Maria Day, who manages Special Collections and Conservation, will talk about how we utilized our social media to highlight newly available digital content and how adapted our outreach to community history groups for telecommunications.

Maria Day
Director, Special Collections and Conservation
Maryland State Archives 

Corey Lewis
Senior Director of Digitization and Constituent Services
Maryland State Archives

James Watson
Director of Digital Acquisition, Processing and Publication
Maryland State Archives

Strengthening the Archival Record: Unifying Commercial and Local Digital Archival Content

Libraries spend significant amounts of money to acquire and digitize local archival collections while also purchasing commercial digital archives from third-party providers. The acquisition of this commercial content is often approached separately, however, and there is a disconnect in the way that libraries present, make discoverable, and intellectually integrate commercial and local digital archival content for their communities. This session will examine the ways in which archival and collection development staff can work together to create a more robust and holistic digital archival collection by unifying commercial and local content. Three faculty librarians from Montana State University Library will share how they are proceeding to unite their archival content by discussing strategies for collaborative collection development, purchasing models for commercial archival content, and integration of this content into database lists, discovery layers, the library’s website, and the curriculum. With the recent essential pivot to remote learning and access, commercial collections of digital primary documents can be used with local digital collections to help meet the needs of users, whether researchers, community members, or students. The speakers will share their experiences of working with faculty from across their campus, and also with third-party providers, on this type of collaboration. Anyone with an interest in strengthening and diversifying the archival resources that are available to users is encouraged to attend this session.

Hannah McKelvey
Electronic Resources & Discovery Services Librarian
MSU Library

Jan Zauha
Outreach Librarian
MSU Library

Rachelle McLain
Collection Development Librarian
MSU Library

The Future of Email Discovery

Email offers singular insight into a person’s self-expression, recording evidence of their decisions and processes down to the minute. It is a record of collaboration, professional, social, and familial networks, and all manner of transactions. Many institutions recognize that processing email collections and making them available to users is critical, and have adopted ePADD, open-source software developed by Stanford University Libraries, as a tool to accomplish that work. Even as acquiring and processing email is becoming more common, taking the additional steps to make that email discoverable online to users has not. Although ePADD does feature a Discovery Module for that purpose, it has not been widely adopted even by institutions already using ePADD in their processing workflows. Based on user feedback, implementing the Discovery Module presented technical and resource challenges that prevented institutions from using it.The ePADD project team at Stanford University Libraries received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to continue development work and identified closing this gap as one of our primary goals. In May 2020, a working group of other archivists already using ePADD formed to shape the development of a multi-institutional email discovery platform based on ePADD’s current Discovery Module. We hope to create a platform that is easier and less costly to implement, to lower barriers to implementation and grow the community of users. This session would focus on the work of this group as we design, develop, test, and ultimately release a new pilot multi-institutional email discovery platform. As we believe that consulting email collections of historical importance will become as commonplace as paper correspondence in the future, we are excited to lead this effort. This session would also provide a venue for user feedback on our work to date, as well as recommendations for future directions.

Sally DeBauche
Stanford University Libraries

 Tricia Patterson
Harvard Library

Jessica Smith
University of Manchester, The John Rylands Library

They Have the Technology: Principles and Pragmatics for Developing Linked Data With Wikidata

Even before our current budget crises, the technological cost and expertise required to publish linked data were beyond the reach of most institutions. If linked data is to reach its full potential, there must be a low(er)-barrier way forward. Rather than each create our own siloed systems and standards, how might we bring our archival principles and data to engage with communities already implementing linked data?

This session will define a standards-centered approach to creating archival description in non-archival linked data environments. Presenters will share a set of guidelines and best practices for describing archival collections and their creators in Wikidata. By adopting these practices, archivists may focus their energy on using unique materials to identify the relationships between people, places, events, and records.

The session will explore how this work can build on existing description by demonstrating enhancement and querying of Wikidata records. Creating a sustainable future for linked data means engaging with communities beyond our own while remaining grounded in our profession’s content standards and ethical practices.

Ruth Kitchin Tillman
Penn State University Libraries

Elizabeth Russey Roke
Emory University

Abstract: Ain't in the Budget: Tips for Audiovisual Preservation in Underfunded Collections

Ideally we would all have the funding to not only preserve the media in our collections today, but also ensure their viability well into the future. For analog audiovisual media this undoubtedly means through digitization and migration over time. If you’re planning on digitizing in-house, equipment can be expensive and difficult to maintain, as well as train staff to handle the equipment. Outside digitization by a vendor can be expensive and intimidating. For many community-based organizations, especially those focused on collecting from un- and underrepresented groups, funding for this can be few and far between.

Does that mean the situation is hopeless? Definitely not! There are still concrete, effective, inexpensive, and (in some cases) incredibly simple steps that you can implement in your collections to help preserve your unique audiovisual media until the budget allows for digitization.

This presentation will provide an overview of issues facing the preservation of analog audiovisual material in archival collections, what you can do right now that will help you take better care of and make better decisions for your collections, and provide resources for training and funding opportunities. We will go into greater detail around storage, inventory, DIY preservation methods, and funding.

Biz Maher Gallo
Manager of Audiovisual Preservation George Blood

Sarah Mainville
Media Preservation Librarian
Michigan State University Libraries


Annual Meeting referenced: 

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