RAO Election - 2017 Ballot

Thank you to all of our excellent candidates for standing in the 2017 RAO Election. Please take some time to review their candidate statements and get to know them so you can make an informed choice. You will be voting for two Steering Committee Members, for two year terms, and one Vice Chair/Chair-elect, for a three year term.  We are also voting on an edit to our bylaws, which is highlighted and underlined in the attached document. It reflects the need to for a more robust communication structure for RAO so that we are able to more effectively communicate with the RAO membership.  Please also review these proposed changes before the election.

 Voting will take place online, so watch for your ballot to be emailed to you once the election opens!


Vice Chair/Chair-elect Candidate

Rebecca Peterson May


Currently the Public Services Archivist at the Z. Smith Reynolds Library (ZSR) at Wake Forest University, my responsibilities include reference, access, outreach, student management, and instruction. I received my MLIS from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in American Studies and Art History from the George Washington University. Prior to becoming Public Services Archivist, I worked at ZSR as Access Archivist and at the Library of Congress on the Veteran’s History Project and the LOOK Magazine Project. I have been a member of the Reference, Access, and Outreach Steering Committee for two years, and have previously presented a "Hot Topic, Cool Demo" at the RAO section meeting, as well as served as the RAO Communications Intern. I am eager to continue my work with RAO as I have enjoyed my work with the section in years past.

Candidate’s Statement

I am deeply committed to the work that the Reference, Access, and Outreach Section continues to do in SAA. As RAO programming continues to expand, including the RAO marketplace of ideas, the Teaching With Primary Sources Unconference and Workshops, 23 Things, National History Day, and so much more, I find this section more and more applicable to my work and interests as an archivist. My work in RAO has progressed from Communications Intern, to "Hot Topic, Cool Demo" presenter, and currently to Steering Committee member. In all of these roles, I have gained experience and insight into RAO's mission and purpose. I would like to take this opportunity to run for Vice Chair/Chair-Elect member to apply what I've learned while also bringing experience I have gained from other professional development. I am finishing out a two year term as the president of the Society of NC Archivists (SNCA), and many more years on the SNCA Executive Board. I would like to bring my knowledge of, and successes with, that organization to RAO for the benefit of the membership. If elected, I will  build on the great work that past and present leaders have implemented, continuing the necessary and relevant programming, leadership, and information exchange that RAO does so well.

Steering Committee Candidates

Beaudry Allen


Beaudry Allen is an Archival Processing Specialist at University of California, Santa Barbara Special Research Collections. She is responsible for processing American Religious Collections, Humanistic Psychology Collections, faculty papers, and congressional papers. In addition to processing manuscript materials, Beaudry oversees the born-digital processing pilot program and advocating efforts to expand preservation and access to digital content within Special Research Collections and collaborating with library-wide initiatives.  Concurrent to those responsibilities, Beaudry has been designing social media outreach programming for collections and Student Assistant advocacy. Beaudry received her MA in European History from Villanova University and completed her MA in Archival and Records Management from San Jose State University, with an emphasis on digital preservation. Prior to her current position, Beaudry has worked at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley and interned at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.

Candidate’s Statement

Our work as archivists are to meant to serve our communities by preserving and making accessible materials for use and as society evolves-- and our collecting areas grow and change-- we must acknowledge materials traverse many different socio-cultural points of entry and formats for research. With that, we must strive to be more nuanced and acknowledge different approaches in reference, access, and outreach so collections are more accessible. Each day I endeavor to implement approachable modes of discoverability for materials. I view RAO as an asset in exploring and sharing new ways for access and outreach. I hope through my role in RAO I can contribute in a broader scale by promoting and supporting collaboration, discourse, and best practices building within our field.

Conor Casey


Conor Casey is the founding labor archivist of the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. From 2001-2008, Casey worked at the Labor Archives & Research Center at San Francisco State University, becoming archivist and visual collections curator. A member of the Academy of Certified Archivists, Casey holds an MA in US History from SFSU, and an MLIS from San José State. Casey's professional service includes serving as co-chair of the Society of American Archivists’ Labor Archives Roundtable, and is a trustee of the Pacific Northwest Labor History Association.

Candidate’s Statement

I am excited at the prospect of serving the Reference, Access, and Outreach Section, as this dovetails in fundamental ways with my own work managing the processing, outreach, and digitization efforts for labor and labor-related collections as Labor Archivist of the Labor Archives of Washington, University of Washington Libraries Special Collections. As a community archivist and lead archivist in an academic institution with key stakeholders that are remote and not part of the academy, I have made enhancing access via the mass creation of finding aids, legacy inventory digitization projects, and digitization of hard copy collections a central part of my work. As well, I have expanded efforts similar to the RAO’s recent activities by acting as a judge, interviewee, and reference liaison for National History Day papers and several projects. I have also worked to expand the use of archival materials in classrooms both at the University of Washington and area community colleges. I’ve also been working within the UW Libraries to incorporate primary source instruction more fundamentally in reference grad assistant training and information literacy sessions.  Outreach is a fundamental part of my work as an advocate for the value of our collections as well as fundraising. Like most RAO members, I’ve created a portfolio of programs, media outreach (radio and TV), social media, exhibits, and collaborative events with community stakeholders. I’m a passionate advocate for enhanced access and understand how access dovetails with providing excellent onsite and remote reference services. I am excited to collaborate with the activities of RAO more closely through direct service to the Section, and look forward to learning from the ideas of colleagues with similar areas of activity as well as sharing my own ideas and experience with RAO members.

Samantha Crisp


Samantha Crisp is currently the Special Collections Librarian for Augustana College, a small liberal arts college located in Rock Island, Illinois. Beginning in August 2017, she will serve as the curator and site manager of the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, North Carolina, a division of the State Archives of North Carolina. Previously, she has served as a research assistant for the Research and Instructional Services Department of the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and as an intern for the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture at Duke University and the North Carolina State University Special Collections Research Center. She received her M.S.L.S. with a concentration in archives and records management from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2014. 

Crisp has focused her profession and presented widely on reference, access, and outreach for archives and special collections, particularly related to teaching with primary sources. She is currently finishing a two-year term on the SAA-ACRL/RBMS Joint Task Force on Primary Source Literacy (2015-2017), for which she contributed to the development of guidelines that will provide competency standards for primary source literacy. Additionally, she has lead workshops on crafting active learning exercises with primary sources, designed methods and tools to assess student learning and engagement in special collections instruction, and developed collaborations with subject librarians incorporating primary source literacy and traditional information literacy instruction. In her capacity as Special Collections Librarian for Augustana College, she has worked tirelessly to improve the public face of Special Collections, designing primary source “petting zoos,” transcribe-a-thons, community outreach events, and other public programming to generate interest in primary source research, as well as teaching approximately 50 unique instruction sessions per academic year to undergraduate students in a variety of disciplines.  Her research interests include primary source literacy, assessment of public services, diversity and inclusion initiatives for archives and special collections, archival activism, and women’s collections.

Candidate’s Statement

Providing access to the historical resources in our care is the bread and butter of what we do as archivists. “Access” takes many forms—from making valuable resources available online, to providing researchers with the tools they need to appropriately analyze and evaluate a primary source, to making records creators aware of their own role in the historical record. I find RAO work exciting because of the many opportunities it offers for innovation, creativity, and collaboration. Some of the most inspiring projects and ideas I’ve heard about from the SAA community have been those that both push the boundaries what we traditionally think of as “access and outreach” and those that challenge the notion of archivists as passive preservers of history: traveling pop-up exhibits, zine making workshops, National History Day collaborations, integrations of primary sources and STEM research, and much more.

One area of RAO work that particularly interests me is teaching with primary sources (TPS). Public services archivists are increasingly confronting this issue as part of their daily work, even if, in many cases, they do not nominally serve in an instructional role at their institution. Teaching with primary sources takes place in many settings—reference desk interactions, genealogy workshops, the K-12 or college classroom, spontaneous “teachable moments,” or even remotely—and it has become clear to me as I’ve pursued my own professional development and pedagogy that, until very recently, there has been a lack of quality resources to aid archivists charged with teaching from their collections. Recent developments supported by RAO (such as the annual TPS Unconference, TPS Exchange, and TPS bibliography), as well as initiatives by related groups (such as the Guidelines for Primary Source Literacy recently developed by an ACRL-RBMS/SAA joint task force) are positioned to alleviate some of this strain. As a steering committee member, I would look to work closely with the TPS Committee and other affinity groups to remain on the cutting edge of these developments; for instance, soliciting and compiling a series of case studies on TPS that incorporate the new Guidelines, and exploring the continued development of resources and toolkits on primary source literacy and archival literacy.

RAO members have both historically and currently been among the movers and shakers of SAA. I look forward to the opportunity to use my position to support the innovation and creativity our section has been known for. This could be as simple as continuing successful initiatives like the Marketplace of Ideas, or as involved as facilitating cross-section collaboration on programs to reimagine the public faces of archives. Regardless, I am excited to bring my skills and enthusiasm to the RAO section and get involved with the organization in a meaningful, impactful way.

Veronica Denison


I received a BA in Archaeology and Culture of the Ancient Near East and Religion from Lycoming College in 2011. In 2013, I graduated with an MLIS from Simmons College. I have been working as an archivist at Archives and Special Collections at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) since 2013. My position at UAA involves providing reference, describing collections and making them accessible to users, teaching archival instruction classes to students and the public, and various outreach duties. The outreach I have been involved in includes educating users and potential donors on the value of archives, having booths at community events (including PrideFest and STEM Day), creating exhibits, and presenting at various conferences. One of my conference presentations was at the Alaska Native Studies Conference where I co-presented with Anthropology students on the work they did in one of our archival collections. For two semesters at UAA, students in the “Ethnohistory of Alaska Natives” course came to the Archives to do research in, and help further describe using specific metadata tags, a collection of an Alaskan anthropologist who studied Inupiaq culture. The goals were to help the students better understand archival description and research, and to help make the collection more discoverable, not only to the Alaska Native communities the anthropologist studied and kept in contact with, but also to people outside those communities, for both personal and professional research purposes.  

Candidate’s Statement

I welcome the opportunity to be a member of the RAO leadership team, both to share my ideas and to learn from others. As an archivist at the University of Alaska Anchorage Archives and Special Collections, I enjoy teaching archival research and instruction classes to users of all ages, as well as connecting students and the public to primary source material. I also enjoy developing new ideas with professors and other archivists on different ways to bring archival material into the classroom. I love providing reference services to students, faculty, staff, and the public, and believe that reference can also be used as a form of outreach. I am passionate about collecting, preserving, and making accessible archival materials to everyone, as well as educating and speaking with the public about archives. I have served on the Donald Peterson Student Travel Award Subcommittee, and will be chair this coming year. I look forward to the opportunity to become more involved within SAA. I believe RAO is an innovative platform for archivists to share and develop new ideas and I would be honored to be a bigger part of it.

Tom Flynn



 MSIS Archives and Records Management, University at Albany (2008)

 B.A. History, Dickinson College (2007)

Professional Experience:

Assistant Director of Archive and Special Collections, Winston-Salem State University (2013-Present); Archivist, Winston-Salem State University (2010-2013); Archivist, Maryknoll Mission Archives (2009-2010); Reference Library Assistant, Albany Public Library (2007-2009)

Professional Activities:

Member of the SAA-ACRL/RBMS Joint Task Force on Public Services Metrics (2014-Present); Member of the Society of North Carolina Archivists; Presentations at the annual conferences of the Society of North Carolina Archivists: Putting Your Patrons to Work: Crowdsourcing Success Stories (2012), Celebrate Like Your Hair’s on Fire: Using Archival Content in Hot Ways (2014), Outreach Programs with a Purpose (2015); Presentation to the North Carolina Library Association: Tweeting, Blogging and Facebooking the Rare, Unique and Special: Social Media Efforts from NC’s Special Collections Libraries (2013).

Candidate’s Statement

As archival institutions continue to be asked to do more with less, it becomes even more important that the overall focus be on reference, access and outreach. The users of archival repositories are getting more diverse and so are the materials we work with. The Reference, Access and Outreach Section serves a critical role in being the central location for connecting archivists with new and innovative methods for connecting patrons with collections. As a section it is important to remain abreast of changing technology, statistical trends in services and other issues that impact access to collections.

It is with all this in mind that I look to serve the archives community as a member of the Reference, Access and Outreach Steering Committee. Having spent time at various types of archival repositories, I recognize the need to maintain a high level of innovation in the access services of archives to reach and expand institution’s user base. Connecting people with resources has a profound impact on the collections as well as the people seeking them out.

The Reference, Access and Outreach Section offers incredible resources to archivists to better serve and expand their user base. Interactions between access staff and patrons are crucial as they help ease the complexities that often come with archival research. The section has offered great opportunities for collaboration through its marketplace, unconference, 23 things and listserv. Having participating in many of the offerings by the Section, I can attest to the success of these programs and the need to continue and expand their reach. In order to continue growth, it is important for membership to stay active and leadership to embrace change, both of which I hope to do if I serve on the Steering Committee.

Dina Kellams


Job Title: Director, Indiana University Archives

Education: MLS, Indiana University, 2001

Work experience: Director, 2015-present, Indiana University Archives; Associate Archivist, Indiana University Archives, 1999-2015

Relevant Professional Service: Society of American Archivists, 1999-present; Key Contact Program, Indiana Representative, 2007-2012; Faculty Advisor, SAA Indiana University Student Chapter, 2007-2015. Midwest Archives Conference, 2000-present; Council, 2010-2013; Society of Indiana Archivists, 2000-present: President, 2004-2005; Past President (Board Position), 2005-2007; Vice President, 2003-2004, 2013-2015, Board of Directors, 2001-2003. 

Relevant publications & presentations: Kellams, Dina and Jennie Thomas. Module 3, “Online Engagement: Or, Sharing to Stimulate Caring,” in Intentional, Participatory, Transformative: Building Engagement in Archives. Trends in Archives Practice (Chicago, IL: Society of American Archivists); (in progress); “Archival Outreach 360: Archivists as Advocates,” Society of American Archivists annual meeting, panel participant, 2011; “Reaching Virtually Everyone – Virtually,” Midwest Archives Conference annual meeting, panel participant, 2011; “The New Final Frontier: Archives and Web 2.0 Applications,” invited talk for the Society of Indiana Archivists annual meeting, 2010; “The University Archives Revisited,” invited talk for the Society of Indiana Archivists annual meeting, 2009

Candidate’s Statement

My tenure as an archivist has been focused on access, outreach, and collaboration. I strongly believe that it is useless for a repository to hold materials if it is not actively seeking use and engagement of those materials. In my time at the archives, I have helped the department launch a successful digitization program for broader access, helped establish social media outlets for better sharing and engagement within the university community and beyond, and created positions within the department that could focus on integrating the archives and primary sources into the pedagogical mission of the university. In addition, I have tried to be actively engaged in professional organizations over the years to ensure I remain responsive to changes and initiatives throughout the archival community. I am excited by the possibility of becoming a leader in RAO and look forward to the opportunity to learn from its members and to help further its work.

Julie M. Porterfield


Julie is the Instruction & Outreach Archivist for Penn State University Libraries, where she also serves as the Library Liaison to the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies department. She earned a BA in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, MA in Global History from Seton Hall University, and MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Her research interests include archival literacy, primary source literacy, and transformative learning in archives.

Candidate’s Statement

Hi Everyone! 

I am so excited to be running for RAO’s Steering Committee! I truly believe that the RAO section of SAA represents an area of expertise in the profession for which the demand is rapidly expanding. Positions that focus on reference, instruction, and outreach responsibilities are growing in number and depth. For me, RAO has been a forum in which I can discuss issues related to these responsibilities with others, who also have similar duties. 

In particular, I am interested in ways that RAO-minded archivists can facilitate transformative learning in archival instruction and outreach activities. Archivists have been collecting for social justice and to fill archival silences for decades. The result is collections that naturally lend themselves to transformative learning. As a Steering Committee member, I would advocate that RAO begin to explore ways that the profession can capitalize on this strength. 

Through my work as the RAO Web Liaison and as a member of the TPS Unconference Programming Committee, I have also come to recognize the need for partnerships with our colleagues across the information professions. If elected, I would also support programming efforts that help RAO members make these connections. 

Thanks for your time! See you at this year’s Annual Meeting!!

Keith Reynolds


Hi, I’m Keith Reynolds! I currently work as a records manager for Salt Lake City Government in the Engineering department. Most of my time at work is spent locating project documents and drawings for city employees and the public, which is occasionally kind of fun and interesting! Prior to this, I worked at a nonprofit where I wore many different hats. I ran a small food bank, I oversaw a housing program, I did community outreach, and I taught classes. Before coming to Utah about 3 ½ years ago I worked at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage center where I also wore many hats. I worked primarily in the digitization department, but I also processed collection material and worked a regular reference shift. I’m originally from a very small town in Northeast Wyoming. I have a master’s degree in public history. I’m recently single and have two great dogs that keep me active! I enjoy spending time outdoors on hikes and gardening. I facilitate a book club, love to cook, and I try to return to Wyoming as often as possible to spend time with my family.

Candidate’s Statement

I have an incredibly varied background when it comes to Reference, Access, and Outreach. In my current roll I provide access to engineering drawings and project documents to city government employees as well as the general public. These documents could be recently created agreements or they could be 100 year old hand drawn atlas plats. Either way, I enjoy connecting patrons with the information they request. The type of access work that excites me the most is in creating ways for people to interact with information and empowering the general public to be able to access information on their own. This could be through public outreach workshops or it could be through online self-service portals. I enjoy providing references services but even more, I enjoy teaching people how to find their own information. I’m interested in this leadership role for a variety of reasons. I am actively trying to become even more involved in SAA and to meet likeminded people across the country. I’m also making an attempt to become more involved and learn more about the Reference, Access, and Outreach side of archives and records since that’s always been my biggest interest and passion.

RAO_Standing Rules_Revision - June 2017 - Final.docx18.01 KB



Send comments on this website to .