Pam Hackbart-Dean, Candidate for Council

Professional Experience: Director, Special Collections Research Center, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 2006–present. Head, Special Collections and Archives, 2003–2006 and Archivist/Director, Southern Labor Archives, 2000–2003, Georgia State University. Assistant Department Head/Archivist, 1997–2000; Processing Archivist 1990–1997, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia. NHRPC Project Archivist, National Recreation and Park Association (Arlington, VA), 1988–1990.

Education: MA, History and certificate in Public History and Archival Management, University of Connecticut. BA, History, Hendrix College (Conway, AR).

Professional Activities: Society of American Archivists: Committee on Education, 2003–2009; Chair, 2005–2006. Glossary Committee, 2013–2017. 2002 Annual Meeting Program Committee. Congressional Papers Roundtable, Steering Committee, 1996–2001; Chair, 1999–2000. Labor Archives Roundtable, Steering Committee, 2001–2004; Chair 2002–2003. Manuscript Repository Section, Steering Committee, 1997–1999, 2002–2005; Chair, 2003–2004. Oral History Section, Steering Committee, 2001–2006; Chair, 2004–2005. Preservation Section, Steering Committee, 1996–2001; Chair, 1999–2000. Academy of Certified Archivists: President, 2010–2011. Board of Regents, 2009–2012. Exam Development Committee, 2002–2004, 2009–2010. Midwest Archives Conference: 2008 Annual Meeting Program Committee. Archival Issues Editorial Board, 2008–2014. Society of Georgia Archivists: President, 1997. Executive Board, 1993–2000. Fellow, 2010. Illinois Historical Records Advisory Board (ISHRAB), 2012–2015. Archives Leadership Institute, 2013.

Publications: How to Manage Processing in Archives and Special Collections, with Elizabeth Slomba, Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 2012. “Unions and Labor Archives: Donor Relations,” How to Preserve Union Records, Chicago, IL: Society of American Archivists, 2010: 17–31. Processing Decisions for Manuscripts & Archives (SPEC Kit 314), with Elizabeth Slomba, Washington, DC: Association of Research Libraries, November 2009.



Question posed by Nominating Committee: What are your priorities for advancing SAA’s Strategic Plan? How do we create an organization that nimbly embraces change, including changing member needs, yet is stable enough to advance the profession?

The SAA Strategic Plan provides a roadmap for promoting the value and diversity of archives and archivists, and it focuses our attention on what matters most: evolving our organization and profession. Now the priority must be to market it. We archivists should use social media tools, such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, etc., to promote all aspects of the plan. These would allow for microblogging, comments, and the opportunity to provide further information and response to any questions, concerns, or observations.

Another way to promote the plan would be to hold town hall discussions during the annual meeting as well as webinars to explain the plan’s objectives in detail, the timelines to be met, and the strategies necessary to meet them. By spreading the word (i.e., communication) in these ways, including newsletters like Archival Outlook, as well as those from SAA Section and SAA Roundtable, we will generate excitement for the plan. It will also allow for discussion and ideas from membership on how to move SAA and the profession forward.

Together as members of SAA we can create an organization that deftly embraces change, including varying member needs, yet is stable enough to advance the profession by educating, collaborating, and communicating. We must be mindful that different approaches may be needed to update the message. Discovering the balance point is challenging, elusive, and ongoing, because the balance point is dynamic. SAA members and the archival profession will need to embrace change as new opportunities appear. As an organization and profession, we must be prepared to reevaluate goals and objectives, reset expectations, and adjust plans accordingly as trends evolve. We must know our members and keep abreast of change. We must learn to prioritize what should be accomplished by balancing what has to be done and what can be done. All members must understand what can be changed and agree on what priorities should be. Although change presents opportunities we must be mindful that unconstrained change may result in unmet needs in the profession. SAA must be the leader for the profession and demonstrate what can be and should be done for those resistant to new opportunities.

Finally, as we gain momentum in achieving the stated goals of the strategic plan, we must share our member’s narratives, interpretations, and new ideas encountered along the way, including what worked and what did not. Ultimately we want to foster a feeling of affiliation and solidarity for our organization and our profession and reaffirm that we are heading in the right direction.