2015 Election: Candidate Information


Bethany Anderson


Bethany Anderson is a Visiting Archival Operations and Reference Specialist in the University Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she manages the processing of digital content and the records of the College of Engineering and science programs. She holds a master’s degree in Archives and Records Management from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s in Near Eastern Art and Archaeology from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor’s in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. She previously worked at the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan and at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at UT Austin. 
Bethany is a Steering Committee member for the Society of American Archivists’ Women Archivists Roundtable (2013-present) and the Acquisitions & Appraisal Section (2013-present), and she served as the Publications Board Intern (2013-14) and a member of the Online Publications Working Group (2014). As an active member of the Midwest Archives Conference, she is currently a member of the Nominating Committee and served as co-chair of the organizing committee for the 2014 MAC Fall Symposium. 
At the University of Illinois Library, she is a member of the Research Data Service Committee (May 2015-present) and the Born Digital Special Collections Working Group (December 2013-present). She previously served on the Prairie Research Institute Library Service and Planning Team (October 2014-January 2015) and the eResearch Implementation Committee (May 2013-April 2015). Her professional interests include appraisal issues relating to scientific records, arrangement and description, and digital

Statement: What acquisitions and appraisal opportunities and challenges will arise in the next 5 years and how can you help this Section be prepared to meet them?

Archival appraisal is arguably one of the most important and complex activities that archivists engage in. Deciding what to keep and collect, and what not, shapes the cultural and scientific record and memory. Being a Steering Committee member for the section over the past two years has made me realize that acquiring and appraising archives requires us to engage with stakeholders across and outside of the profession. Given the influx of digital material--social media, research data, and web content--appraisal is more important than ever, as are the frameworks and criteria we employ to make decisions about what will be preserved in perpetuity. But the challenges confronting archivists on what to acquire and preserve extend beyond decisions about collecting around content, function, or subject; over the next five years, I believe we will be increasingly confronted by the complexity and variety of digital formats, different platforms’ terms of service, and the importance of working with creators and donors to capture provenance and contextual information. It will be incumbent upon us to engage with SAA groups where our interests intersect and advocate the importance of archives to content creators and content/social media services in order to steward the evolving digital record. 

The Acquisitions & Appraisal Section provides an important forum for members to explore issues surrounding the acquisition of certain types of content. In order to address the above challenges, the section will need to continue broadening the space where members can discuss these issues, while creating more opportunities through the listserv and social media to highlight projects that, for instance, document events and subjects transpiring on social media. Negotiating the politics of what we acquire and appraise should continue to drive the section’s initiatives and as we preserve digital material. As we decide which factors will determine the long-term retention and curation of digital content, the section should create dialogues with groups such as the Web Archiving Roundtable, the Issues and Advocacy Roundtable, and the Electronic Records Section. These conversations will create greater opportunities for collaboration and a space where we can share resources over the next five years and into the future.


Heather Sokya 

Heather Soyka is a recent graduate of the doctoral program in ArchivalStudies at the University of Pittsburgh School of Information Sciences, and served there as a teaching fellow. Prior to this position, she was the assistant university archivist and then head of preservation for Texas Tech University. Primary duties as assistant university archivist included responsibility for appraisal and accessions, campus outreach, and records scheduling for a large state university system. She has also worked in a variety of archival roles for the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Harvard University Art Museums Archive. Heather’s research and teaching interests are directly related to understanding, translating, and disseminating practical theoretical and questions of appraisal, particularly related to community records and values.

Heather has been an active member of SAA since 2005, including serving on the Acquisitions and Appraisal Steering Committee. In previous years she has served on the Distinguished Service Award Committee and several SAA roundtables, has presented during the SAA conference each year since 2009, and has been an active participant in the IMLS-funded Archival Education Research Institute (AERI) for the past six years. She received a masters degree with concentration in archives and records management from Simmons College GSLIS, and her PhD from the University of Pittsburgh.

Lily Troia


I am pursuing my Masters in Library and Information Science in the archives track at Simmons College School of Library and Information Science in Boston, with an expected graduation of Spring 2016. As Dean's Fellow for Digital Media Outreach I manage social media strategy and produce content for the school’s online news blog. I currently work as a cataloging intern for the American Archive of Public Broadcasting, and am independently developing a framework for copyright risk assessment for the Berklee College of Music Archives. I volunteer as an archival assistant at the Yale University Divinity Library Archives, and previously worked as a manuscript assistant at the Schlesinger Library at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Upon completion of my degree I hope to continue work in public media, or the arts and humanities sectors applying the tools acquired in my LIS program to an organization committed to cultural heritage, digital preservation, and information access.  

I was one of three graduate students awarded a 2015 Rutgers University Institute of Jazz Studies Archives Fellowship, and one of three students invited to present in a session at SAA’s Archives 2015 this August. I am currently Social Media intern for the Acquisitions & Appraisal Section of SAA, Social Media Consultant to the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies out of Yale University, and am a student representative on the New England Archivist's Education Committee. I am also a recent recipient of NEA's Richard W. Hale, Jr. Professional Development Award for research exploring the intersection of artistic endeavors and archives. This spring I helped launch the inaugural Simmons College Chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists, and will present at AMIA’s Annual Meeting in Portland, Oregon this November in a session that will explore contextualization of moving image materials with other types of archival collections.

What acquisitions and appraisal opportunities and challenges will arise in the next 5 years and how can you help this Section be prepared to meet them?

It would be impossible to exaggerate the irrevocable trajectory, and incommensurable relevance, of archival management, as we hurtle further into the digital age. The ubiquity of MPLP approaches in archives and special collections libraries should be indication enough of the overwhelming challenges facing our profession, tasked with preservation and stewardship of our massive documentary heritage. In this environment, decisions 
regarding acquisitions and appraisal become paramount to the sustainability of archival institutions, especially in the context of born digital materials. The realities of “big data” require new frameworks regarding everything from storage capacity to description techniques, which directly impact acquisitions and appraisal process management. In addition, factors such as funding issues, much-needed diversity initiatives, and the philosophical push of decentralized scholarship we see in the digital humanities movement, encourage adjustments to the archival model that emphasize outreach to a wider spectrum of users. While still new to the discipline, my student status--and various paraprofessional and volunteer positions, ranging from social media-related to archival processing and cataloging--afford me the opportunity to stay abreast of the most current conversations, issues, and ideas circulating among archivists, and those in related professions. This unique positioning, paired with my enthusiasm and appetite, should allow me to help guide Section decisions and activity with a dynamic currency vital to success in a climate of continued flux.

Marcella Wiget


Education:  BA in History from Knox College with a minor in Theatre Performance, 2004; MA in History from Colorado State University  - Fort Collins with a double concentration in Archives and Museum Studies, 2006

Professional Experience:  Currently Public Records Program Supervisor for the Kansas State Historical Society in the State Archives Division; duties include acquisition, arrangement, and description of government records transferred from state agencies as well as helping state agencies and counties manage their records, including through interpreting and revising retention and disposition schedules.  Much of this work involves appraisal and reappraisal.  Prior responsibilities at KSHS included grant project to survey and describe State Archives’ government records and manuscript textual holdings and to process fully the 2500 cubic foot Menninger Foundation Archives collection.  Prior experience includes Assistant Archivist at the Bessemer Historical Society in Pueblo, Colorado (2008) and Curator of Collections at the Reno County Historical Society in Hutchinson, Kansas (2006-2007).

SAA involvement:  Member of SAA since 2006.  Served on the Reappraisal and Deaccessioning Guidelines Task Force in 2010-2012; currently one of the SAA representatives on the Committee for Archives, Libraries, and Museums, or CALM (joint committee of SAA, ALA, and AAM).  Co-wrote and have co-taught SAA’s Reappraisal and Deaccessioning from Start to Finish workshop.  Coordinated panel discussion on grieving donors at the Acquisitions & Appraisal’s section meeting in 2013.  Serve as occasional peer reviewer for the American Archivist.

Other professional activities:  Served on MAC’s 2015 Program Committee; currently serving on MAC’s Education Committee.  Secretary for the Kansas City Area Archivists; have served on KCAA’s Scholarship Committee and as Scholarship Committee chair.  Have held Academy of Certified Archivists certification since 2010.  Working toward DAS certification.  Co-wrote with Matt Gorzalski, “More Access, Less Backlog: How the Kansas Historical Society Got its Groove Back,” 2011 Archival Issues case study.