Jim Gerencser, Candidate for Nominating Committee

Professional Experience: Dickinson College, College Archivist and Head, Archives and Special Collections, 2005–present; Interim Director for Academic Technology Services, 2006–2007; College Archivist and Special Collections Librarian, 1998–2005.

Education: MA, History, Shippensburg University, 1997. MLS, University of Pittsburgh, 1995. BA, History and Political Science, Dickinson College, 1993.

Professional Activities: Society of American Archivists: Finance Committee, 2013–present; Reference, Access, and Outreach Section, Vice Chair/Chair-Elect and Chair, 2009–2011; member since 1994. Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference: Treasurer, 2008–present; Steering Committee, 2008–present; Finance Committee, 2007–present and Chair, 2008–present; Development Committee, 2003–2008; Membership Development Committee, 1999–2003; Program Committee, Chair, Fall 2003; Program Committee, Spring 2008; Local Arrangements Committees, Spring 2007, Spring 2009, Fall 2010. Other activities: Pennsylvania State Historical Records Advisory Board, 2010–2013; Archives Leadership Institute, 2010; Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (Harvard), 2013; Grant reviewer for NEH, 2005; NHPRC, 2007; PHMC, 2009.

Select Publications: “Opening the Black File Cabinets: Describing Single Items for Discovery and Access,” case study in Description: Innovative Practices for Archives and Special Collections, ed. Kate Theimer (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014). “Finding Value and Meaning through Work/Study in the Archives,” case study in Past or Portal? Enhancing Undergraduate Learning through Special Collections and Archives, eds. Eleanor Mitchell, Peggy Seiden, and Suzy Taraba (Chicago: ACRL, 2012). “New Tools Equal New Opportunities: Using Social Media to Achieve Archival Management Goals,” printed in A Different Kind of Web: New Connections between Archives and Our Users, ed. Kate Theimer (Chicago: SAA, 2011). Co-authored with Malinda Triller, “Cooking with the Past: A Hands-On Approach to Interpreting Primary Sources,” printed in The Library Instruction Cookbook, eds. Ryan Sittler and Douglas Cook (Chicago: ACRL, 2009). Co-authored with Malinda Triller, “Hands-on Instruction in the Archives: Using Group Activities as an Engaging Way to Teach Undergraduates about Primary Sources,” Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists, v.6, no. 2, Winter 2009.

Select Presentations: “Description on Demand: Discovery and Delivery Made Simple,” Association of Canadian Archivists Annual Meeting, 2011. “'I’ll Have What She’s Having’: Encouraging Discovery by Blogging Reference Questions,” Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, 2010. “Maximal Processing: Product, Process, Priorities,” New England Archivists Spring Meeting, 2010. “Web 2.0 State of Mind: From Theory to Practice,” Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Spring Meeting, 2009. “Harnessing the Power of the Blog,” Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Fall Meeting, 2008. “Under One Roof: A Model for Conducting Digitization Projects In-House,” Eastern CONTENTdm Users Group Meeting, 2008. “Part of the Team: Working with Faculty to Meet Their Digital Goals,” Mid-Atlantic Digital Libraries Conference, 2008. “Dressing up the Storefront: Attracting New Audiences with the Unique,” Keynote Address at Ohio Private Academic Libraries Annual Meeting, 2006. “'Don’t Send Me Away’: The Reference Revolution,” Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Fall Meeting, 2003. “Teaching, Learning, Digitizing: An Approach to Promoting Use of Resources in the Humanities through the Cooperation of Educators and Archivists,” Digital Resources for the Humanities (Edinburgh, Scotland), 2002. “Problems, Pitfalls, and Solutions: Archival Reference Services in the 21st Century,” Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting, 2002. “The Three R’s—Reading, ‘Riting, and ‘Rchives: Educating with Archival Collections,” Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference Fall Meeting, 2001. Workshop Instructor, “(Virtually) From the Ground Up: Planning and Implementing a Digital Project,” Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference, Spring 2004, Fall 2005, and Spring 2007.




Question posed by Nominating Committee: Define your vision of diverse leadership for SAA and describe how you would select candidates to make this vision a reality.

The health of SAA as an organization requires an active and engaged membership, with individuals sharing their ideas and lending their voices to the debates that shape who we are and where we want to go as a profession. The membership naturally reflects the diversity of our profession, not just in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and other common attributes, but also in terms of economic background, level of education and experience, political and social viewpoint, religious preference, and similar measures. Individuals representing this more broadly framed vision of diversity need to be present within the leadership roles of SAA. As a member of the Nominating Committee, I would examine the full range of diverse backgrounds and viewpoints that currently are, and in recent years have been, represented in SAA leadership, and then I would aim to develop a slate of candidates that would complement and further diversify the variety of individual perspectives, ideas, and understandings among SAA’s elected leaders.