RAO 2020 Ballot

We are pleased to present the candidates for the 2020-2021 RAO election ballot. We hope you will carefully review the candidate statements before voting.

Thanks to the nominations and election subcommittee and to our steering committee members who have finished their terms. 

The following positions are up for election: 

  • 1 Vice Chair / Chair Elect (3 year term, serving 1 year each as vice chair, chair, and immediate past chair)
  • 2 Member at Large positions on the Steering Committee (2 year term)

Vice Chair / Chair Elect: 

Cinda Nofziger, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Candidate Bio: Cinda Nofziger is the first Archivist for Academic Programs and Outreach at the Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan. She designs and manages a robust instructional program in close collaboration with Michigan faculty. Since 2016, she has co-organized and led a semester-long teaching seminar bringing together faculty and archivists. She is a member of the Bentley’s provost funded on-going research initiative “Engaging the Archives: New Partnerships and Understandings of Teaching and Learning with Primary Sources.” At the Bentley, she also served on the planning and program committee for the national Teaching Undergraduates with Archives Symposium, held in 2018, and co-edited the book Teaching Undergraduates with Archives (University of Michigan Press, 2019, https://www.fulcrum.org/concern/monographs/5138jg565). She was on the SAA Program Committee for the 2019 annual meeting. She is a co-chair of the TPS Unconference committee for 2020, after serving on the planning committee for that event since 2015. She has written and presented on teaching with primary sources, as well as accessibility in public services. She holds a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa. Current priorities for her include collaborative and inclusive teaching with challenging primary sources and emerging practices in teaching online.
Why do you want to serve as RAO Chair, and what initiatives/priorities/goals are you most interested in implementing in this role?
As I write the answer to this question, I am sitting at my kitchen table, three weeks into a shelter in place order from my state’s governor. The work this section does will likely face some significant changes of the next few years, as we grapple with the aftermath of this global pandemic. Yet our work--facilitating connections between our materials and people--remains a supremely important part of our profession. It is essential that as we go forward, we do so together, listening to each other, collaborating, and advocating for ourselves and each other, inside SAA and in our individual institutions. We have an opportunity to strengthen our connections, to together provide more equitable and inclusive reference, access, and outreach as we meet the opportunities and challenges of the next few years. Most immediate priorities would include information sharing about coping, experimenting, and advancing our common goals during this unprecedented time. Equitable distribution of resources through case studies, bibliographies, and webinars online, for example, would be an important demonstration of our strength and commitment to each other, our profession more generally, and all whom we aim to include in the services we provide. We as outreach specialists have an opportunity and an obligation to engage and enrich to the extent that we can with the resources we have.

Steering Committee Member Candidates: 

Candidate #1: Greta Browning, Appalachian State University

Candidate Bio: Greta Reisel Browning, C.A., is the Reference Archivist and Curator of the Rhinehart Rare Book Collection on British History at the Special Collections Research Center at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She oversees reference for the SCRC, provides reference for archives and rare books, teaches students and the general public about rare and unique materials, manages outreach activities such as exhibits and social media, and curates a rare book collection. She worked at various archives prior to coming to Appalachian, where she has been since 2006. Greta has a MA in Public History from North Carolina State University and a MLS from North Carolina Central University. She is a member of the Society of American Archivists, the Academy of Certified Archivists, the Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College & Research Libraries, and the Society of North Carolina Archivists (SNCA).
Over the course of her career, she has been active in SNCA as the co-editor of the Journal for the Society of North Carolina Archivists, an elected member at large, and a local arrangements committee chair. In SAA, she has served on RAO’s TPS bibliography subcommittee and on the Preservation Section’s “Agents of Deterioration” bookmarks subcommittee.

Greta’s current research interests include primary source instruction and special collections outreach activities in academia. She has presented her research at SAA, SNCA, and the Society of Georgia Archivists, as well as published book chapters, book reviews, and articles.

What do you think is the role of the RAO Steering Committee, and how do you envision contributing to the committee?: 
I believe that the role of the steering committee is to provide vision and ideas for the activities of the section and to represent the will of its members. To the steering committee, I will bring my experience leading and working on committees, and my ability to complete assignments for deadlines. I will also bring my connections to other archivists and practitioners in allied fields. I have worked in several archives and participated in various professional organizations, including being a member of RBMS’s Instruction and Outreach Committee (IOC). These relationships can help in identifying others to serve in RAO leadership or in finding ways to work across professional organizations to reach common goals. Finally, I will bring my observations and ideas. For example, I have participated in several TPS community calls over the past couple of months, and I have observed that SAA’s TPS committee has been able to successfully collaborate with the RBMS IOC when these two groups seemed to be struggling to integrate previously. These virtual meetings have leveled the playing field for both groups, provided a venue to share timely information through teaching demos and discussion, and increased camaraderie among participants during an uncertain time. This collaborative initiative in a virtual environment has impressed me as a successful model on which RAO can base any number of future learning or information-sharing activities with other sections in SAA, or other like-minded professional organizations.

 

Candidate #2: Kara Flynn, University of Arkansas

Candidate BioKara Flynn is the Research and Educational Services Archivist in the Special Collections Division at the University of Arkansas. She provides research and reference assistance as part of the division’s research services unit and creates engaging public programming including running the Special Collections Graduate Student Speaker Series, and leading the exhibits team, the group responsible for curating exhibits in Special Collections’ eight exhibit spaces. Kara also regularly provides primary source instruction for undergraduate courses in a range of disciplines, including art, graphic design, theater, and educational studies. Prior to her current position, Kara served as the Special Collections & Institutional Archives Librarian and History Liaison Librarian at Augusta University. Kara has presented her work on primary source instruction at the Society of Georgia Archivists Annual Meeting, the Texas Library Association’s Library Instruction Roundtable Summit, and will be presenting at this year’s Society of American Archivists Annual Meeting. She has published an article on outreach in Provenance, the journal of the Society of Georgia Archivists, as well as an article on accessioning and collection access in the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies, and a case study on primary source instruction through SAA’s Case Studies on Teaching with Primary Sources series. Kara is a peer reviewer for the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies and previously served as a member-at-large on SAA’s Students and New Archival Professionals section (SNAP) Steering Committee. Kara received her MLIS with a concentration in Archives from the University of Pittsburgh.

What do you think is the role of the RAO Steering Committee, and how do you envision contributing to the committee?: 
I see the role of the RAO Steering Committee as guiding members of the section and organization on issues related to reference, access, and outreach. This includes providing members with up to date information and resources, as well as representing the needs of the group to SAA leadership. This is a particularly important role in the current climate, in which our models for reference, access, and outreach have changed drastically in the last few months, and during a time when we as archival professionals will need to continue to work to adapt our approaches to providing these key archival services.

As an early career archivist whose work has focused on reference, primary source instruction, and outreach programming, I believe I am well-positioned to contribute productively to RAO steering committee discussions and projects. I bring both my experience in areas related to reference, access, and outreach, and my openness to new ideas and to learning from those who have more experience than I do. I believe the ability to balance one’s own experiences and ideas with those of others is imperative to creating productive leadership. I have experience in both leading and being an active member of leadership groups at my institution, and in the SAA SNAP steering committee, and am eager to serve on the RAO steering committee because I feel that reference, access, and outreach, are key archival service, and I hope to be in a position to advocate for this work, and for others in the field.

 

Candidate #3: Daria Labinsky, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library

Candidate Bio: Daria Labinsky is currently an archivist at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, 2017-present. Previous positions include: Archivist, National Archives at St. Louis, 2013-2017. Technician, Preservation Programs, National Personnel Records Center, 2010-2013. Multimedia Library Supervisor, Albuquerque Public Schools, 2009-2010. Local History/Adult Services (reference) Librarian, Rio Rancho (NM) Public Library, 2001-2008. MLS from Emporia State University, 2001. BS, MSJ from Northwestern University, 1984, 1986. Former journalist, author, editor, indexer.

Professional service:

SAA memberships/positions (past): Nominating Committee, Committee on Public Policy, Issues & Advocacy Steering Committee; (current): Government Records Section, Women’s Archivists Section, Privacy & Confidentiality Section, Issues & Advocacy Section, Reference, Access & Outreach Section, Mentoring Program
Midwest Archives Conference (past): Public Information Officer, Program Committee Co-chair; (current): Council Member/Publications Coordinator
Academy of Certified Archivists (past): Board Member/Exam Administration Regent
Regional Archival Associations Consortium (past): Steering Committee Member
Society of Georgia Archivists (past): Program Committee Member; (current): Local Arrangements Committee Member
Archives Leadership Institute, 2016

 

What do you think is the role of the RAO Steering Committee, and how do you envision contributing to the committee? : The Standing Rules for the RAO Steering Committee state that members "serve in an advisory capacity," may be assigned responsibilities by leadership, and plan the annual section meeting. In my experience, however, steering committee members play a much larger role. Steering committee meetings serve as brainstorming sessions, where members discuss which goals they should work toward and which projects they want to focus on. A good steering committee sets hard deadlines, establishes and oversees subcommittees or working groups when needed, and shifts course if problems arise--for instance, if a pandemic makes in-person presentations unfeasible. Steering committee members should be flexible and willing to work hard. Members should expect to fill in when a situation requires additional help, such as if another member has a personal or professional crisis. 

As a RAO Steering Committee member I will try to get us to focus on concrete outcomes, so that at the end of each year we have accomplished something that helps archivists do our jobs better and/or improves our professional situations. This might include discovering and promoting ever-more innovative approaches to reference, access, and outreach, or it might mean we've come up with a better way to reach untapped and underserved audiences. Or perhaps we can figure out a foolproof way to turn increasing reference statistics into a greater understanding of the value of archives, leading to promotions and financial gain. ("Dream no small dreams ... " ).

 

 


 

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