2018 Election: Candidate Statements and Bios

RAO Section Candidate Information - 2018

Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect  (select one)

Name: Julie M. Porterfield

Email: jmp48@psu.edu

Position Title: Instruction & Outreach Archivist

Institution:  Penn State University Libraries

Bio Statement:

I serve the Penn State University Libraries as both the Instruction & Outreach Archivist and WGSS Library Liaison. My work focuses on women and feminism in archives, archival outreach to campus and community groups, and teaching archival and primary source literacies with critical pedagogical techniques. Additionally, I currently serve on the RAO Steering Committee.

Why Do You Want to Serve as RAO Chair?

I have been an active member of RAO for several years. I began my service to the Section as the RAO Web Liaison, and for the past year, I've served on the RAO Steering Committee. We are very fortunate to have great section members and sub-committees that are doing great work. As Vice Chair/Chair Elect I would seek to coordinate and elevate all of these efforts.


Steering Committee  (select three)

Due to a recent mid-term vacancy on the steering committee, an additional steering committee member will need to be elected for a one-year term (eligible for reelection next year). The steering committee will choose one individual at random, from among the top three “vote-getters” in the election, to serve the one-year term.



Name: Amanda Hawk

Email: ahawk1@lsu.edu

Position Title: Head of Public and Research Services

Institution: Louisiana State University

Bio Statement:

I recently joined Louisiana State University’s Special Collections unit as Head of Public and Research Services. In this role, I manage reference services, oversee reading room operations, coordinate assessment and metrics for the unit, and contribute to outreach, instruction, and social media strategies. I previously served as Athletics Archivist at the University of Maryland and as Special Collections Assistant at Princeton’s Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library. I’ve been an active participant in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference as a Scholarship Committee member and also contributed to several program and local arrangements committees for MARAC meetings. I served for five years as a National History Day judge for papers, websites, and documentaries at the national-level competition. An SAA member since 2011, I’m eager to take a more active role in the Reference, Access, and Outreach section.   

What do you feel is the role of the RAO Steering Committee?

I am excited to be considered as a candidate for the Steering Committee. Over the past several years, I’ve been amazed by the scope of RAO-led initiatives, from the Marketplace of Ideas, to primary source literacy and assessment, to sharing best practices and exploring new access tools, and I hope to contribute to these efforts. On a fundamental level, I believe RAO brings together a community of practitioners with a common goal – to connect researchers with our institutions’ resources. Our methods of achieving this goal continue to expand through innovative instruction and outreach and through the programs and standing committees supported by the section.

In my position at LSU, my responsibilities cover all aspects of reference, access, and outreach and allow me to consider issues impacting these areas with a new perspective. I am particularly interested in outreach to new users of archives and in changing the language used in relation to special collections and archives (removing jargon, re-writing visitor guidelines, etc.). I am also currently implementing the SAA/ACRL Statistical Measures and Metrics for Public Services reporting guidelines at LSU and would like to learn more about the RAO assessment committee.

As a steering committee member, I would actively advocate for and listen to our members’ interests and needs. I’d be honored to contribute to the section and to help facilitate collaboration among members. Thanks for your consideration!



Name: Anna Kresmer

Email: annakresmer@gmail.com

Position Title: Archivist

Institution: National Federation of the Blind

Bio Statement:

Since 2009, I have worked as the archivist at the Jacobus tenBroek Library at the National Federation of the Blind. I served as a member of the SAA AMRT/RMRT Joint Working Group on Diversity in Archives and Records Management
organization, 2010-2012. I am also a member of the Disability History/Archives Consortium (DH/AC). And I have been a member of both SAA and MARAC since 2009.

What do you feel is the role of the RAO Steering Committee?

A good steering committee represents the needs, interests, and desires of the section members they represent. They seek feedback from the members; develop, articulate, and execute projects and presentations that serve the needs of members; help to set the goals and priorities of the group; and represent the group's concerns in the wider organization. Their focus should be centered on the core issues addressed by the group, while finding new ways to explore, investigate, and innovate.

In the case of the RAO Steering Committee, the core issues are balancing access with preservation and connecting users with relevant materials. Committee members must help find new ways to bring archival materials that might otherwise languish on the shelf to users who might otherwise be excluded from the reading room. Not only does this require innovation through embracing technology and social media, it also requires identifying new audiences and their unique research needs. In short, RAO addresses one of the most basic foundations of our profession: preserving the past for the future while still making it useful today. The task of steering committee members is to move that work forward.




Name: Erin Ryan

Email: eeryan3@ua.edu

Position Title: Processing Archivist

Institution: University of Alabama

Bio Statement:

I am a new archives professional. I graduated in 2017 with my MSLS from UNC-Chapel Hill, and have been a processing archivist at The University of Alabama's Hoole Special Collections Library since August 2017. The job includes several shifts a week staffing the desk in our reading room. While I was in grad school, I had a yearlong internship in Duke University Archives, where I processed materials/wrote finding aids, answered reference requests from patrons about Duke history, had a weekly desk shift in the Rubenstein Rare Books and Manuscript Library reading room, and posted about our collections on the University Archives Twitter feed. I had other UNC student assistantships with Arts@TheCore, an educational outreach division of Carolina Performing Arts; and the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. Before I switched careers, I was a professional writer and editor for more than a decade. I published at least 150 articles, columns, essays, and reviews for newspapers and journals, including the Charlotte Observer and the National Catholic Reporter. I also taught journalism for a year at a small college in Kansas. From 2012-2015, I worked as an art gallery assistant in Charlotte, N.C. While in Charlotte, I volunteered as the newsletter editor for two local artists' guilds and as the webmaster for the Charlotte Writers' Club. My earlier master's degree is in theology.

What do you feel is the role of the RAO Steering Committee?

I feel the Steering Committee is there to determine the direction and activities that the RAO committee, as a whole, will pursue in order to help realize the goals of the SAA Strategic Plan. I read, for example, about the "Archivists to the Rescue!" fundamentals workshop plan that the RAO section, the Lone Arrangers section, and the Issues and Advocacy Section are working on jointly. I liked to see that these sections were coming together to identify and meet a common need (and build on Goals 2-4!). All archivists, no matter what we area we specialize in, contribute to the task of making our resources more accessible. We all help to educate the public and our institutions about the importance of what we do. Some archivists may not have as many resources as others; some might not have the institutional support they need to do their jobs effectively (cue Goal 1). I think the RAO Steering Committee can help to increase the visibility of archivists and provide support for those who need the backup of a larger organization.



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