2022 Business Meeting Minutes

SAA Labor Archives Section

Annual Business Meeting

Monday, July 11, 2:00pm EST


Attendees: Sarah Lebovitz (Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University), Shae Rafferty (Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University), Steve Fisher (retired, former University of Denver), Steven Calco (Kheel Center, Cornell University), Mary Clark (retired, former University of California Berkeley), Vakil Smallen (International Brotherhood of Teamsters Archive, George Washington University), Lisa Vallen (Southern Labor Archives, Georgia State University), Eric Chin (NBC Universal, LAS Council Liaison), Stefanie Caloia (Walter P. Reuther Library, Wayne State University), Riley Griffin (Kheel Center, Cornell University).


Sarah Lebovitz called the meeting to order at 12:00pm.


-       Introduction and Agenda Review

-       Report from SAA Council Liaison Eric Chin (5-10 min)

o   Council meeting in May (Chicago)

§  Fiscal year 2023, 2.75 million in revenue, 2.78 million in expenses – operating at a loss, catching up from the pandemic

§  Looking to refill staff positions to support technology, just hired individual to help operate microsites

§  A lot going toward supporting hybrid SAA meeting this year (Boston)

o   Approved description and charge to create Archival Reparation Committee

§  Tasked to insure organizations services support archivists in repatriating and receiving archival materials (grew from recommendation from SAA Native American Archives Section, they’ll have a standing position on the committee)

o   New task force on Membership Funding and Diverse Archives Workers

§  Representatives will be appointed for this task force

o   Approved new SAA Strategic Plan, new workplan for DEIA

§  Looking to incorporate cultural competency priorities across organizations

o   Approved Crisis Collecting Assistance Team program to provide remote guidance on documenting crisis to archivists and archives professionals nationwide

o   Reviewed the SAA Constitution and Bylaws (happens yearly)

§  Changes brought about by increasingly technological world

o   Data collecting to examine section structure and health, there are over 46 sections in SAA which is a lot to keep up with

§  Looking to alleviate some bandwidth issues, still in the idea phases, but will roll out testing to see how we’ll handle sections moving forward

o   Last year serving as our Council Liaison! They’re still making appointments for liaisons, but we should hear back soon.

-       Business

o   Acknowledge outgoing Co-Chair Shae Rafferty

§  Elections coming up, keep an eye out on information regarding candidates; candidate statements are available on the website

o   Internal housekeeping updates

§  Rehaul on LAS governing – created a shared Google Drive that will rotate as co-chairs come in and out (with new passwords)

·      Longevity for access to documentation

o   LAS relevant sessions and/or tabling at upcoming conferences

§  Future sessions should be actively shared out on the listserv, especially as meetings continue to hold virtual components

-       Report outs

o   LAS Communications team: Steven Calco providing update

§  Steven Calco, Conor Casey, Meghan Courtney

§  Current goal is to setup a bi-yearly newsletter

§  Created a Twitter account (@laborarchivists)

·      Created a list of labor archives so anyone in the group can see the different institutional twitters

·      Use it to highlight collection highlights, proposals, sessions, etc. for labor unions, researchers, historians, etc!

§  Created LAS announcement form to compile information for the newsletter

·      Can be things like: new services, new collections, new digitization projects, etc.

·      Looking to have involvement from staff, student workers, etc.

·      Created Slack channel for the committee

·      Looking to do social media campaign similar to Archive Hashtag party put out by Library of Congress every month

·      Sarah: Goal is to make sure the business meeting doesn’t get bogged down by updates that make news hard to keep track of

o   LAS Directory Working Group: Vakil Smallen providing update

§  Vakil Smallen, Conor Casey, Ben Blake, Sarah Lebovitz

§  Updating work is mostly done, added an entry for NEA

§  Sarah Lebovitz and an additional member were splitting work on updating all the links

§  Conor Casey and Vakil were working on cleaning up the HTML, giving it a more standardized look (strong tags vs. bold tags, etc.)

§  Sarah: goal is to continue receiving new directory entries but also to figure out what’s next for the project – the HTML cleanup is in case we end up moving the directory to a different platform/format (currently on SAA homepage, which is limiting in how we can display information)

-       Ongoing projects

o   LAS Quarterly meetings

§  This year the section starting hosting quarterly meetings to get people together, workshopping different forms

§  Meetings are flexible – coffee hours, discussions on certain topics, inviting speakers, etc.

§  Want to provide avenue for LAS members to connect and find community – open to feedback for the future

§  Created a form for people to submit ideas for quarterly meetings, allows there to be a good running list of items

§  Meetings are not exclusive to the LAS section, others are welcome and encouraged to join

-       Ideas and Brainstorming

o   Interest in Boston meet-up

§  Positive response to labor archivists getting together, potentially outside of SAA annual meeting

§  Steven and Lisa attending in Boston, willing to serve as point people if those attending SAA wanted to get together

o   Discussion of future projects

§  One big ongoing project is the Labor Archive Directory, thinking about what that continued work looks like

§  Sarah: digitizing SEIU publications and partnering with other archives with SEIU publications to provide full runs of items

§  Vakil: goal this year is open education resources related, talking about how OER is an equity issue (secondary cost of education), not having to pay for educational resources can be really beneficial to students

·      Lisa: discussing Machinists publications and opening them on Hathi Trust

·      Steven: Wants to make International Ladies Garment Workers Union publications available

§  Sarah: Multi-repository document sets that adhere to different states’ education requirements

·      Meghan Courtney: Brief period where DPLA was funding these kinds of projects, cautioned to look into it before actually working on it (not sure that K-12 educators would be interacting or engaging with the Labor Archives Section)

·      Lisa confirmed that DPLA is still funding these types of programs, and that she’s working on one and will report back

o   Future direction of section

§  Finding more opportunities for people to be involved

§  Want to broaden outside of just “Labor Archives”

§  Discussion about levels of engagement and activity

·      Seeing who the active members are and using word of mouth to encourage them to continue attending and to invite friends

§  Discussed the working group/committee on archival labor

·      Thinking about having LAS member serving on that committee