Slate of Candidates for Research Libraries Section, 2017-18

Research Libraries Section
Candidates for 2017 election


Vakil Smallen

Biography: Vakil is the National Education Association Archivist at George Washington University, responsible for processing describing and promoting collections, and providing reference assistance. He primarily works with GW Libraries’ unique collections related to education, including the records of the National Education Association. Additionally, he was part of a project to explore the potential for archiving social media, and he teaches a Freshman level class on bibliographic literacy. Vakil has been at this position for six years. Prior to that, he spent three years at the International Monetary Fund as a Declassification and Processing Archivist. He received his Masters Degree in Library Science with a focus on Archives from the University of Maryland College of Library and Information Sciences in 2007. He is in his second year as a member of the Research Libraries Section Steering Committee.

 Statement of Interest: I have worked in archives attached to Research Libraries for a decade, both within and outside of higher education. I believe this has given me a unique perspective on I would like to serve as the Chair of the Research Libraries Section. I have served on the Research Libraries Section Steering Committee for two years.
If elected, I hope not just to share my own ideas about the valuable work of the Section, but to facilitate the ideas of other members of the Steering Committee and the Section. Research Libraries represent a key sector in the Archives world. Harnessing these ideas will allow members of the Steering Committee to better understand the expectations members have for the Section. I believe that by defining the Section's role we can ensure its value to members.

Steering Committee Candidates:

Alison Reynolds

Biography: Alison Reynolds is the William Henry Seward Project Archivist at the University of Rochester, a position she has held since 2014. In this role, she works on processing and description of the Seward papers, serves as a liaison to a large collaborative digital humanities project, and promotes outreach for the collection through instruction sessions, exhibits, reference consultations, and programming for the campus and community.  She joined SAA in 2015 and is also a member of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference (MARAC). She currently serves on the MARAC finding aids awards committee. Alison holds an MA in English from the University of Connecticut and earned her MLS from Indiana University.

Statement of Interest: My interest in serving on the Research Libraries Section Steering Committee stems from my experience collaborating across departments in a large research library. It is easy for the work of special collections librarians and archivists to be overshadowed or lost in translation within the larger library context. As a member of the steering committee, I would like to help facilitate discussions, provide a forum for sharing ideas with other SAA members, and create resources for us to communicate our value and accomplishments when collaborating across departments, both within the research library and the larger institution. I believe our most important responsibility is making our collections accessible for research and promoting them to users, and a necessary step to accomplish this is to collaborate and promote our resources within. Being on the Steering Committee would be an excellent opportunity to promote projects and provide support for colleagues engaging in collaborative work across the profession. 

 Dan Cavanaugh

Biography: I am the Alvin V. and Nancy Baird Curator of Historical Collections at the University of Virginia’s Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. In this position, I am responsible for overseeing the management of special collections at the library and I play an active role in most of my department’s operations, including digital curation, course instruction, collection development, processing, and public outreach. Before assuming my current position, I served as a Historical Collections Specialist at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library. I have a MSLIS from Drexel University, a MA in History from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a BA in Archaeology from the University of Evansville.


Statement of Interest: I want to serve on the Research Libraries Roundtable’s steering committee because I think it would be a great opportunity to promote collaboration between archivists working in research libraries with different disciplinary focuses. In my own experience at the Claude Moore Health Sciences Library, I have seen how collections that were developed to serve one particular area of research can be used by non-traditional user communities. For instance, last year we hosted artists in our repository who were inspired by the pieces in our medical collections to explore new creative avenues in their own work. As a member of the Research Libraries Roundtable’s steering committee, I would like to explore how archivists can work together to promote similar kinds of cross-disciplinary partnerships between repositories that might expand our traditional user communities and inspire the pursuit of novel research. 

Jean Green

 Biography: I am a Special Collections Librarian in the Libraries at Binghamton University – SUNY. In this position, I am called upon to collect, promote and provide access to materials that enhance, support and encourage the research, learning, teaching and participation in academic programs of undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and scholars both at Binghamton University and in the region, state, nation and world. I also serve as the Bibliographer for the German and Russian Studies department and the Russian and East European Program including the selection of vernacular language materials for the general collection. Before coming to Binghamton University Libraries, I served as College Archivist/Assistant Library Director at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. I have an MLS from the University at Albany – SUNY and an MA in History from SUNY Cortland.



Statement of Interest: I would very much like to serve on the Research Libraries Roundtables Steering Committee as I feel it is important that special collections and archives be recognized as an essential element of research libraries. Special collections and archives need to be provided with administrative and monetary support for their legitimate needs for staff, funding, materials, etc. As a member of the Research Libraries Roundtable Steering Committee, I would like to discuss and explore how archivists and special collections professionals can better articulate the value that they bring to research libraries and how they can help the libraries and the academic institutions to fulfil their missions.