Meet the 2013 Vice Chair/Chair-Elect and Steering Committee Candidates

Vice Chair / Chair-Elect: Lisa Sjoberg

Bio:  My current position is the College Archivist and Digital Collections Librarian at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. Since I joined SAA in 2005 as a graduate student, I have been a member of the Reference, Access and Outreach Section. I have been fortunate to serve on RAO task forces (National History Day and currently as co-chair of the Teaching with Primary Sources working group). I have also served as the RAO Communications Liaison for two years, and am the editor of the RAO Newsletter

Statement: My involvement in the RAO section has allowed me to work with amazing people and also to learn how the Section operates. This knowledge and experience is one of the skills that I will bring to the Section as the Vice Chair/Chair-Elect. Another skill I have to offer is passion. My archival bailiwick is promoting the use of collections. I am deeply invested in generating new methods and ideas for reference, access, and outreach not only at my place of employ, but in the profession more broadly. I love learning and pursuing new ideas, and I really enjoy looking at the big picture to innovate new practices and advance archives. Finally, as a lone arranger in my day job, I rely on collaboration to make progress on initiatives. Therefore, one of the best words to describe me is “connector” because I thrive on being in conversation with others and linking people to resources they are seeking whether that is information sources, people, or ideas to lead them on their path of discovery. Because of all of these interests, I have strong listening and interpersonal skills, and I enjoy serving others. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue my involvement in the RAO Section, and I thank the RAO leadership for the nomination to serve as the next Vice Chair/Chair-Elect.


Vice Chair / Chair-Elect: Greg Kocken

Bio: Greg Kocken is an assistant professor and Head of the Special Collections & Archives Department at W.D. McIntyre Library, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Prior to joining the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Greg served as a reference archivist at the American Heritage Center in Laramie, Wyoming and at the Wisconsin Historical Society before that.  He holds a B.A. degree in History, with an emphasis in Public History, and earned an M.A. degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Greg has served as a member of the RAO steering committee since 2011 and is actively engaged in issues related to reference, access and outreach.
Statement: Reference, Access and Outreach is constantly evolving, and as a community we must address challenges and embrace opportunities. If elected, I will provide the leadership necessary to strengthen existing RAO initiatives, and engage our community through new initiatives. Previously, I have been involved with RAO’s National History Day Committee and the Navigating Minimal Processing and Public Services working group. My experiences with these groups helps provide me with the foundation needed to lead RAO. An issue which I hope to address is how RAO can serve as a leader in helping our profession to address the challenges of providing access to born digital materials. RAO’s members have great ideas, and if elected I will channel those ideas to help us all better understand this and other important issues.



Steering Committee: Rebecca Bizonet

Bio: My job for the past five years as part of the Ford Historical Resources Collaborative at The Henry Ford has been to provide research and reference services to my colleagues at the Ford Motor Company Archives, drawing on the significant collection of historical records and photographs that the company donated to us in 1964.  I’ve also facilitated public access to our collections during regular reference shifts in our reading room. It’s been extremely helpful as a processor and cataloger (which I was in a former life, and still try to do when I can) to see how the collections I’ve described are actually being used.  In addition, for over a year now I’ve been the social media liaison for Historical Resources (which includes archivists, librarians, and curatorial, conservation, and registrar staff).  This involves coordinating blog posts — from recruiting writers, to educating, encouraging, and editing – along with serving as a resource on collections information for our institution’s social media manager.  

Outside of work, I’m the co-editor of Michigan Archival Association’s biannual newsletter, Open Entry, and am also a member of the MAA board.  In both roles, it’s been my mission to ensure that our members are well informed and have a voice in the organization.  As part of SAA’s Annual Meeting Task Force over the last two years, I’ve helped analyze current practices and formulate recommendations for updating and improving SAA’s annual meeting. Specifically, on the Online Access Subgroup of the task force (first as a member and later as its chair), my group and I researched and recommended ways to increase and modernize online access to the annual meeting.  Through it all, communicating our charge to SAA members and gathering and listening to their input was crucial.  The task force’s work continues this summer with the hosting of a forum for member discussion of our final report.  I’m also a member of MAC (Midwest Archives Conference), and I served on its 2011-2012 Nominating Committee.

Statement: Some running threads through my work in archives and in other professional activities, especially in MAA and SAA, have been a commitment to service, fostering constituent inclusion and participation, working as part of a team for the common good, and being on the lookout for creative ways to make things better.  As a research and reference archivist, I provide as good of an answer as I can on a sometimes tight deadline.  As an editor of both a blog and a newsletter, I relish providing a forum for many voices and shepherding my contributors’ work to completion.  I love getting the word out to a larger audience about things archival, whether it’s sharing stories about our collections with the public or promoting the work of my colleagues within the profession.  I look forward to being able to contribute my skills, interests, and enthusiasm to the RAO Section Steering Committee, and in turn to learning from my RAO colleagues.

Steering Committee: Jodi Allison-Bunnell

Bio: Jodi Allison-Bunnell is the Program Manager for Northwest Digital Archives at the Orbis Cascade Alliance, where she has worked with archives and special collections repositories in Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana, and Alaska since 2007. Her prior positions were at Oregon State University, the University of Montana, and the University of Maryland. She holds an MA in American History and an MLS from the University of Maryland at College Park and a BA in English summa cum laude from Whitman College. She is active in the Society of American Archivists and Northwest Archivists. She is most likely the only archivist in the US with a cat and a vat of sauerkraut in her office.

Statement: I have observed the very dynamic activities of the RAO Section over the last four years with interest. With a broad charge and a rapidly changing landscape that brings many new opportunities, RAO is clearly in for more dynamism! I'd love to be a part of guiding and coordinating the activities of this section in these very interesting times, bringing my experience in coordinating many people across vast geographic distances and making things happen. 



Steering Committee: Matt Herbison

Bio: Matt Herbison is the Reference & Outreach Archivist at the LegacyCenter of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Matt writes, "I enjoy advocating for the rights of archives users—and for the obligation and right of archivists to actively cultivate and meaningfully engage as many new archives users as possible. I have a particular interest in working with K-12 and undergraduate students and teachers to bring primary sources into the classroom in both face-to-face and online settings, with the goal of building 'simple' document analysis skills all the way through to the complex task of intelligently incorporating archives into students' research processes.

Statement: For the last two-plus years, I've been working with the RAO Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Working Group, as a member of the TPS Survey group and as a leader of the group creating the TPS Bibliography. I have also done stints as Web-person for MARAC and the SAA Museum Archives Section. I am active in local groups, including leading the THATCamp Philly organizing group, am a founding member of the Greater Philadelphia Digital Humanities Group (PhillyDH), and am currently Immediate Past Chair of the Delaware Valley ArchivistsGroup. I'm also a member of the 2013 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute.



Steering Committee: Nora Murphy

Bio:  Nora Murphy is the Archivist for Reference, Outreach and Instruction at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Institute Archives and Special Collections. Since arriving in 2000, Nora has overseen public service. She runs the reference services and reading room, and has worked with many different types of researchers, from National History Day high school students to established historians. She works with faculty in different disciplines to introduce undergraduate and graduate students to primary sources. Nora routinely gives talks and presentations to alumni, staff and donors at MIT, and coordinates presentations by other staff. She collaborates on and curates exhibits (physical and virtual) is always eager to promote the use of the archives and special collections.

Prior to arriving at MIT, Nora worked with archives at the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Archives and Records Preservation, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library, the Massachusetts State Archives, and on a number of grant-funded archives projects.

Statement: I bring a breadth and depth of experience in reference having worked with researchers in a variety of different archival repositories. I have initiated and collaborated on many outreach efforts, from newsletters, to presentations, to exhibits, and enjoy working with faculty in difference disciplines (including architecture, music, history and writing) to tailor instruction sessions to the needs of a class. Whether working in a one-person archives or in a larger repository, I have worked with professional colleagues and interns to make collections available for use as quickly as possible, and to find ways to share information about our holdings. I enjoy working in archives and learning from my colleagues. I hope for the opportunity to work more closely with my RAO colleagues to share ideas about how to inform and engage researchers and others about the amazing materials we curate.



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