FAQs for Key Contacts

1. What is the schedule for making contacts during the year?
New member lists are distributed on a bi-monthly basis, generally in January, March, May, July, September, and November.

2. What will I receive?
Key Contacts will receive lists of new members to contact in their respective states or geographic regions. These lists are compiled by SAA staff in Chicago and are distributed to them by their appointed District Representative.

3. How many contacts will I make?
The number will fluctuate from one mailing to another. Key Contacts who live in a state with only a few members, may make only a few contacts each year. In states with large numbers of members, such as New York and Texas, we have tried to appoint more than one representative. We do not intend to burden you. If you feel overwhelmed, let your District Representative know so that they may take steps to alleviate the situation.

4. Who is my District Representative?
Your District Representative is a member of SAA who lives within your geographic region. SAA has been divided into 11 regional districts, each encompassing between four and six sub-regions. Sometimes these sub-regions are states, but they may also be broader (Canada) or narrower (New York metropolitan area) depending on the total number of members in each region. After contacting each of your new members, you should contact your District Representative to confirm that you have completed your contacts and to report any problems or comments that were made to you regarding members. Your District Representative is your first line of communication if you have any questions or concerns.

5. How should I make my contacts?
Find a method that works for you. You may choose to contact people by letter, telephone, or e-mail see samples). Experiment to find out what works best for you. The method of your contacts is not critical as long as your contacts are made.

6. Do new members receive other communications?
Yes. New members receive a welcome email from SAA shortly after joining. The email contains details about membership perks and information about the society in general.

7. Should I contact new institutional members?
As a general rule you should not make these contacts unless you are familiar with the institution or know that the institutional membership is actually for an individual. However, it is up to the Key Contact individually to determine whether to contact an institutional member.

8. Is it possible for an individual to utilize an institutional membership?
Yes, in the role of an institution’s designated Primary Contact. Read more about the benefits of Institutional Membership and details on the role and benefits of a Primary Contact.

9. What is the Bridge Rate?
This is a two-time special rate that can be made available to an active member who is experiencing economic hardship and is unable to afford the cost of full membership. The individual must have been an active member during the entire year prior to making such a request and must demonstrate financial hardship to the SAA office. The Bridge Rate cannot be approved by the Key Contact and/or District Representative.

10. How long is my appointment?
Key Contacts are asked to serve for three years. However, Key Contacts may elect to serve a second three-year term if asked to do so by their District Representative. Individuals replacing Key Contacts who are unable to fulfill the length of their term will serve the remaining term and be eligible to serve up to two terms of his or her own.

11. Who do I contact with problems, suggestions, or questions?
You should first contact your District Representative. You may also contact either of the Key Contact Subcommittee chairs at any time.

12. How many Key Contact representatives are there?
There are approximately 70 Key Contacts, including the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and International representatives.

13. Why do Key Contact representatives meet as a group at the SAA Annual Meeting?
This formal gathering allows SAA to recognize the vital efforts of the Key Contact representatives on behalf of the archival profession and the society. It also provides Key Contacts the opportunity to share and build on their experiences as a group. In addition, all Key Contacts are invited to attend the annual Membership Committee meeting to participate in discussions related to membership.