April K. Anderson-Zorn, Candidate for Nominating Committee

April K. Anderson-Zorn

University Archivist & Assistant Professor
I will work to bring change to the Society. I will support my BIPOC colleagues and those working to bring EDI to our repositories, our profession, and our communities. We must hear and acknowledge our colleagues' ideas, and we must support them in the fight to end systemic racism.



I am entering my tenth year as the university archivist for Illinois State University. Before my tenure at Illinois State, I worked in Florida as an academic and freelance archivist. I am originally from Pensacola, Florida, and earned my bachelor's in history from the University of West Florida, my master's in history from the University of Central Florida, and my MLIS from Florida State University. Because my repository is off-campus, my research interests include collection access and outreach. That has narrowed through the years as I work with disabled researchers who have difficulty accessing our physical collections. I also focus on identity in the profession. While researching panels on impostor syndrome, I discovered a lack of representation online for women and Black archivists. I co-wrote, received, and recently concluded an SAA Foundation grant to create Wikipedia pages for underrepresented archivists. Though the grant created forty new and edited Wikipedia pages, there is still much to be done in recognizing the work and talents of those underrepresented in our profession.

I stay active in the profession by publishing articles, volunteering for service, and serving on SAA committees. My article on time capsules appeared in a recent issue of American Archivist, and I have a forthcoming article in Archival Issues. I am currently revising a paper with my co-authors on impostor syndrome in the archives profession. I am also co-authoring an article about the legal and privacy issues encountered while digitizing our university's yearbook collection. I recently served on the 2020 SAA Program Committee and am currently serving on three SAA steering committees: College & University Archives Section, Human Rights and Archives Section, and Women Archivists Section. My service and authorship have introduced me to extraordinary colleagues who work for positive and lasting change in our profession.



I want to empower people. From my students to my colleagues, I know that this profession can be a powerful force for change when everyone is included. Many years ago, as a young professional in another field, I routinely witnessed the exclusion of qualified individuals based on their appearance, orientation, and beliefs. I was young, scared, and lacked the support and knowledge of how to fight injustice. As an older professional and archivist, I believe it is my personal and professional duty to support my students and colleagues in the equitable, diverse, and inclusive work they do in their communities. 

I co-chaired our institution's LGBT Queer Studies and Services Institute with an archives colleague for the last two years. While working with the Institute, I've been able to grow our LGBTQI+ collections and bring a greater awareness of these materials to the campus community. The Institute also offered a physical space for our campus Pride members to meet. I worked with our graduate assistant to ensure the space was safe and welcoming while making visitors aware of the academic and service resources available to them on campus. Last year, my co-chair and I facilitated a merger of the Institute with a new campus-wide organization focused on service and activism. We are thrilled to see our Institute members' hard work continue in the new form and for the exciting projects and programs that lie ahead.

I work hard to help all underrepresented students and colleagues. But in my allyship, I recognize my privilege and know I must continue to work to uncover hidden bias. I believe our profession must do the same. As a Nominating Committee member, I would seek archivists working to document underrepresented communities in unique and unconventional ways. I would also find colleagues fighting to bring equity, diversity, and inclusion to their institutions. We must nurture these voices and empower them so that they can preserve their community history and be a powerful force of change in our profession.



According to the SAA Council Statement on Black Lives and Archives, "The labor of dismantling white supremacy and structural racism in archives, and beyond, does not rest solely upon our Black membership and other people of color. White archivists, who comprise a vast majority of the field, have a responsibility to disavow racism daily in society and in our profession." How do you interpret the Nominating Committee's role in decreasing structural racism in the field to make it more equitable for BIPOC archives workers?


The Nominating Committee's role is to identify archivists in our membership who actively support our Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) members, the BIPOC community, and those who are working to end white supremacy and racism not only in their repositories but in all walks of life. These are the members who are working, at this very moment, to address collecting inequalities in their repositories while simultaneously protesting systemic racism in their communities. These members address the lack of BIPOC recruitment into library and information science programs, humanities fields, and other programs that train future professionals. Members of our Society fight to address the financial inequities our BIPOC membership face in the workplace and work to dismantle outdated systems of tenure and promotion. Some Society members also work to bring equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) to their institution's hiring practices.

Simply put: we need these members to lead SAA.

The Nominating Committee plays a pivotal role in seeking out those in our membership who work to make a difference in their communities and encourage them to run for Society leadership positions. Now more than ever, we need these members to bring EDI ideas and practices to the Society. This work is not and should not be done primarily on the shoulders of our BIPOC colleagues. Should I be given the opportunity to serve the Society, I will support my BIPOC colleagues and those working to bring EDI to our repositories, our profession, and our communities. We must not only hear and acknowledge our colleagues' ideas, we need to support the implementation of their solutions. To only say "we hear you" does not solve the problem. The Society must come together, be receptive to change, and support EDI work. The Nominating Committee's goal should be to identify, support, and encourage our archives colleagues to lead our membership through lasting change to benefit the communities we serve and the Society at large.



Slate of Candidates

The Nominating Committee has slated the following SAA members as candidates for office in the 2021 election:

Vice President/President-Elect



Nominating Committee