Audra Eagle Yun, Candidate for Treasurer

Audra Eagle Yun

Head of Special Collections & Archives
We must prepare for a critical, inclusive, and transparent review of our financial circumstances and outlook—sustaining an organization driven by our core values and code of ethics. As treasurer, I would focus on equitable, clear, and reciprocal communication in support of this goal.



Audra Eagle Yun is head of Special Collections and Archives at the University of California, Irvine, where she provides leadership and vision for a team of nine librarians and staff including fiscal oversight; administration of strategic plans, grants, policies, and procedures; overseeing collection development, archival collection management, and technical services; fostering user-centered reference and instruction; and operationalizing community-centered archives partnerships. Audra’s work focuses on community-centered archives partnerships, archival collection management, and feminist leadership.

Audra is the author of Archival Accessioning (Society of American Archivists, 2021) and a co-author of the Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries (2012; 2020) as well as a contributor to the 2019 revised Statement of Principles for Describing Archives: A Content Standard. Audra has presented at more than 30 conferences and events including SAA, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS), the Society of California Archivists, and the Society of North Carolina Archivists. She was the Principal Investigator for “Transforming Knowledge, Transforming Libraries,” a three-year, $500,000 research grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) with quantitative and qualitative findings that articulated how participatory, student-centered approaches in building community-centered archives can transform engagement between ethnic studies, community-based archives, and libraries.

Audra was part of the 2013 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute and was part of the 2008 ALA Emerging Leaders cohort. She has been a member of the Society of American Archivists since 2008 and has served in numerous elected and appointed roles for the Society, including Description Section Steering Committee, Program Committee, Nominating Committee, Host Committee, and Appointments Committee. Audra was elected to serve on the SAA Council from 2017 to 2020, including a year on the Executive Committee.



I am a first-generation college student raised in a low-income household in rural Florida. I am also a white European American, cis-gender female with an educational background in the humanities. I understand that I am part of a disproportionately well-represented group in librarianship and in the archival profession, and that my identity carries with it significant privileges and implicit biases.

Elevating the perspectives and expertise of those who have been marginalized in historical documents and narratives holds great personal significance for me. A childhood memory of bearing witness to historical photographs of anti-Black violence from my hometown led me down my chosen career path. It was the depiction of this violence that provided archival evidence, painstakingly cared for in the hands of Black community historians and displayed at the public library. Their work to preserve what was meant to be forgotten reveals that the archival field is only beginning to reckon with centuries of oppression and erasure.

I have been aware of my own implicit bias, the existence of inequity, and the almost imperceptible pervasiveness of whiteness in our profession and society since college, where I was exposed to intensive diversity and critical cultural competency education. I joined a small sorority that focused on what was then called multiculturalism, obtaining training in peer facilitation and for years contributing to a student-led, staff-advised social justice immersion retreat. In these spaces, I was simultaneously aware of the intersectional nature of identity and the need for my own continued education and competency training. In graduate school, I focused on public library special collections and community archives, expanding my practical skills toward social justice within archival work.

As part of my job, I recognize my positionality and power both as a manager and as part of a highly represented racial/ethnic group through open lines of communication with my direct reports, development of a mission, vision, and values through which our team operates, and a strong focus on social justice, feminist leadership, and community-centered archives partnerships. I understand that a big part of my role is customizing the ways in which I interact with people, based on their needs and my continually evolving skills. Good management skills are DEI skills.

As treasurer for SAA, I would apply the inclusive approach that I have found effective in empowering my colleagues as a manager: embracing diversity and intersectional experience, listening deeply, and focusing on operational, systemic change.



One of the treasurer's responsibilities is to communicate financial information to the Council and to the membership through financial reports, financial statements, audit results, and presentations at various meetings. As treasurer, how would you communicate with current and prospective SAA members about SAA’s current financial situation and its outlook for the future?


This is a pivotal moment for our profession. We find ourselves at the intersection of the transformation of practice, a global pandemic, and major change in our organization’s leadership. SAA is poised for necessary self-reflection and change following the appointment of a new executive director, who is the senior staff member at the service of our members. We must prepare for a critical, inclusive, and transparent review of our financial circumstances and outlook—sustaining an organization driven by our core values and code of ethics. As treasurer, I would focus on equitable, clear, and reciprocal communication in support of this goal.

I would be committed to the continuation and expansion of the excellent work of current SAA Treasurer Amy Fitch and SAA Director of Finance and Administration Peter Carlson to facilitate open information sharing about the financial health and outlook for the Society, including town hall meetings and regular reports to the membership. It is also essential that the Finance Committee work closely with SAA staff and other key stakeholders to develop a streamlined, less complex membership dues structure that is equitable to the precariously employed, unemployed, and student members of the organization. We must also look creatively to our 501(c)(3), the SAA Foundation, for continued adoption of innovative philanthropic initiatives and models, such as the successful Archival Workers Emergency Fund and its affiliated mutual aid experts. I will advocate for diverse representation on the Foundation Board as well as the Finance Committee, pushing for even more member perspectives in the stewardship of the Society’s finances.

All members of SAA are literal stakeholders in this organization who contribute directly to our organization’s financial health. As treasurer, I would focus on (existing and potential) member education and plain-language explanation of our financial circumstances. For example, the “value proposition” of membership could include the fact that membership is as much an investment in fair wages and benefits for the talented, dedicated, full-time staff of the Society as it is an investment in one’s own professional development. Additionally, the treasurer can promote the development of proposals that would benefit from Society or Foundation funding, including section funding and member-led grants.

We can learn a great deal from peer associations that have obscured information to members about their fiscal health and the value of membership. We are well positioned to move into the next few years as an even more transparent, member-driven association with sustained sources of income. As treasurer, I would advocate that we consider where we can be more nimble, including budget scenarios that are responsive to the possibility that previously stable income sources are no longer predictable. This includes considering atypical concepts like major budget cuts, radically revised dues structures, digital-only conferences, restructuring net loss programs, etc., and allowing SAA members to review and consider all possible options using highly visual communication tools. I would do this in close consultation with SAA staff, with special attention given to my role as an elected representative of the membership.



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