SAA Council Update, Winter 2012

Message from Your Council Liaison

In the past few years, Council members have been focused on improving communications -- two-way communications, that is -- between SAA leaders and SAA component groups like the Business Archives Section.  I want to share a couple of examples and urge you to share your thoughts. 

For the San Diego meeting, a small group of Council members (myself, Bill Landis, and Terry Baxter) worked with two SAA members (Courtney Chartier and Alison Stankrauf) to experiment with the format and content of the annual Leadership Orientation & Forum.  The Forum takes place during the annual meeting and its objective is to provide timely, useful information to help newly elected or appointed SAA leaders get their bearings in the organization so they don’t have to spend half of their term trying to figure out how SAA works. We polled the SAA leader list to find out what new leaders wanted to know about SAA and as they come into positions on steering committees and as chairs and co-chairs.  The volume of feedback was extensive and the new, improved Leadership Forum got rave reviews. We interpreted this as just one indication of SAA members’ very real appetite for two-way conversation with their professional organization. As a result, Council has charged incoming Council members each year to develop a bold and participatory orientation session responsive to current feedback from the membership. 

Also in August, on the advice of the Council-charged Communications Technology Working Group, SAA President Jackie Dooley worked with SAA staff to launch a blog to facilitate exchange between members and SAA leadership on a wide variety of topics.  “Off the Record” (at ) is not an “official” SAA publication or communications channel -- rather, it provides an opportunity for members and leaders to share news, opinions and information about the issues that concern us as a profession and as an organization. Please take a look and add your perspective to the array of conversations.

And although it may seem counter-intuitive to these efforts to foster better communication, Council determined this year to break with the tradition of Council liaisons’ routine appearances at Section and Roundtable meetings at the annual conference. Instead of presuming that our updates should take up time on the packed agendas of component group meetings, we reasoned, why not let chairs and steering committees know that we are ready and willing to attend and speak to issues and concerns of the component groups, if they’d like to have us. We think this worked well in San Diego and resulted in relevant and concise updates -- but we’d like to know what you think.  

Thanks to the BAS Newsletter editors for inviting me to provide this update, and as always, please feel free to get in touch.

Beth Kaplan
Council Member and Liaison to the Business Archives Section, 2011-2014



<< Previous: Message from the Chair | Winter 2012 | Next: What is Audiovisual Enterprise Content Management? >>

SAA Home / BAS Home / Contact the Editors