Meet the 2023 LAS Election Candidates

In 2023, the SAA Lone Arrangers Section (LAS) will elect new leadership to fill the following positions: Vice Chair/Chair, Newsletter Editor, and Regional Representative.

Meet the 2023 Candidates:

Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

Hilary Swett (Vice Chair candidate)

Hilary Swett

Archivist, Writers Guild Foundation

Bio: I am a solo archivist at the Writers Guild Foundation, a non-profit entertainment special collections library and archive in Los Angeles. Like all of us in small shops, I wear many hats and juggle shifting priorities and circumstances. I work with donors, appraise, process, describe, and manage collections, catalog new library and archives acquisitions, supervise interns, create exhibits, and handle research requests. I am also active in LA as Subject, a regional consortium, and the Los Angeles Preservation Network, a local educational group. I earned an MLIS from San Jose State and, prior to that, went to film school and worked in the entertainment industry.

Candidate statement: The Lone Arranger Section community has grown my professional knowledge as my duties have evolved and expanded over the years. The listserv advice and newsletter were invaluable when I was a new professional figuring everything out. As Vice Chair/Chair-Elect, I look forward to giving back to this group that has been so important to me. I will continue the work being done to offer helpful, insightful programming and strengthen the supportive community that exists. Conversations and events are beneficial on a practical level but also offer intangible value that can only be gained by sharing our successes, challenges, and advice with each other. Lone arrangers are often in such unique situations which is why it's so important to be part of a network of people who "get it."   I look forward to being responsive to member needs and representing the work of solo archivists throughout the wider profession.

Newsletter Editor

Allison Bundy (Newsletter Editor candidate)

Allison Bundy

College Archivist & Digital Collections Librarian, Concordia College – Moorhead, Carl B. Ylvisaker Library

Bio: I am the College Archivist & Digital Collections Librarian in the Carl B. Ylvisaker Library at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. I originally started at Concordia as a student (Class of 2017!) and was fortunate enough to get the position of archives associate after I graduated. I transitioned into the role of Archivist in January of 2023 upon completing my master's degree. I am currently the only employee working in the archives, but I have the wonderful support of my colleagues in the library and my archival colleagues in the Fargo-Moorhead area to boost me when I need it. I live in Moorhead with my husband and our corgi, Merlin. I like to fill my time outside of work by playing Dungeons & Dragons with our friends, hiking through the nearby state parks, or reading from the ever-growing pile of books on my nightstand. At work, I am striving to update and streamline our workflows to incorporate the digital world into Concordia's archives. I have a huge interest in born-digital archiving, digital preservation, and the preservation of audio-visual resources. It is my goal to one day have the digital content of Concordia's archives fully inventoried and accessible to researchers. I am taking my first small steps in this direction and look forward to the adventure!

Candidate statement: I have spent almost the entirety of my time as the archives associate and now as the College Archivist as a Solo Arranger. I am at the beginning of my career, and I faced the challenge of not knowing which questions I should even ask, or where to look for resources. My colleagues in the Carl B. library are wonderful people, but there are simply some questions they cannot help me with. Finding the Lone Arrangers Section lifted a huge weight off my shoulders that I did not even realize was there. No longer did I feel so alone! I wanted to put myself forward for the position of Newsletter Editor for three reasons. The first reason being that I wanted to be able to participate more in this wonderful community. I want to be able to gather and share stories of success and innovation between the members of our community, to show that being a lone archivist does not always mean you must struggle. I must admit, the second reason I would love to be the newsletter editor is a bit selfish. I was an English writing major in my undergraduate studies. I thrive on editing and writing. It is, and always will be, one of my favorite pastimes. The third reason is that I want to be able to be able to help others build a network of connections. Compiling and distributing the newsletter is one way I can help show those in our community that, yes, there are others like you and here is where they may be.

Rodney Lawley (Newsletter Editor candidate)

Rodney C. Lawley

University Archivist, Troy University

Bio: Rodney is a university archivist serving Troy University, in Troy, Alabama. He is a 2019 graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he received the History Chair Award and was a member of both the Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society and the Golden Key National Honor Society. In 2021, Rodney graduated from the University of Alabama with a master of library and information studies degree with a concentration in archival science and digital libraries. Upon graduation, he was employed by Troy University as a social sciences librarian. After assuming many of the archival and special collections duties at the University, Rodney was later promoted to University Archivist in 2022 and continues serving in this capacity today.  Prior to becoming an archivist, Rodney served over 3 decades as a mid-level administrator and criminal evidence specialist.

Candidate statement: As the only archivist at my university campus, I am single-handedly organizing and preserving all of the materials we have collected for the last 135 years. For this reason, I understand the all-encompassing role—and the frequent headaches—that often accompany the job of being a lone archivist. In this context, I recognize the need for an active and supportive community of like-minded colleagues, not only for referrals and advice, but for the encouragement and inspiration it takes to tackle big problems and explore new challenges. If elected as your newsletter editor, I pledge to be an active member of this support community by placing the editorial spotlight on our colleague’s adventures and success stories. As the previous editor of a library-based newsletter, I understand the impact a quality newsletter can have. In this respect, I will strive to continue the professionalism provided by previous editors of SOLO. I ask for your vote, your support, and your confidence. 

Regional Representative

Melinda Isler snapshot

Melinda Isler

University Archivist/Special Collections Librarian, Ferris State University

Bio: Melinda Isler is the University Archivist/ Special Collections Librarian at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan. She also holds the rank of Professor.  She has served for multiple years on the board of the Michigan Archival Association as board member, and other roles including president.  She is also an active member of the Mid Michigan Digital Practitioners group.   Previously, she worked for the American Jewish Archives at Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She earned an M.L.S from the State University at Albany and has an undergraduate degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

Candidate statement: I am excited to run for a position in the SAA’s Lone Arrangers Section. I am a true lone arranger although I have a few undergraduate students (not archival) who help to manage paperwork for the collection and some scanning.  Currently I am involved in a building renovation which means I spend a lot of time going to one of 4 locations where the records are temporarily stored- and a reading room in yet another building.  I am interested in the Regional Representative position. This will give me the opportunity to review and identify resources that are specifically relevant to the lone arranger. And then share them.  They do exist but require some digging.  There are frequently opportunities in the archival profession that require a significant monetary cost or a significant coding/programming background which is what we never have the money or time to do.  And the fact that this is a paired position with another archivist makes it a team project which will keep the project on track and easier to complete the requirements.  This will require me not to let it get buried in a pile of other items that always seem to pile up.  I look forward to serving the section and becoming more involved.

Alison Quirion

Associate Archivist, Santa Monica Studio

Bio: After spending 20 years as a marketer in the entertainment industry, I decided to pursue my interest in asset management, archives, and information organization. In Spring 2021, I received my MLIS degree from San José State University, and worked multiple part-time positions while seeking full-time employment. As of November 2021, I have been working as the lone Associate Archivist with Santa Monica Studio, an internal development team owned by Sony Interactive Entertainment, and best known for their PlayStation franchise, God of War. I earned a Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) certificate from SAA in September 2022. Long Beach, California is where I call home and which I share with my partner and two dogs. I’m an active member of the Southern California Archivists and have been involved with SAA since grad school where I was Chair of our student chapter.

Candidate statement: My experience in the last few years as I’ve embarked on this new career path in archives and information organization has been rewarding but not without challenges. My current role as an archivist for a video game development team is brand new to the organization and I am the lone arranger. I can’t express strongly enough how valuable it has been for me to find and connect with others doing similar work within gaming, but also to share knowledge, ideas, and recommendations with other lone arrangers. As archivists, we are often dealing with similar issues like budget, bandwidth, and backlog, but as lone arrangers, we also lack internal peers to lean on for support. The Lone Arrangers section is our peer support group, and as Regional Representative I would like to help other Lone Arrangers strengthen their connections with others who are or have been Lone Arrangers. Whether you are new to the profession, like me, or are a seasoned expert, we can all benefit from helping each other. We just have to work a little harder to find each other!