2020-11-02 Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

 Agenda and Minutes

November 2, 2020



April Feldman (Communications Manager)

Allison Fischbach (Student Member)

Ryder Kouba (Education Coordinator)

Tori Maches (Chair)

Kiera Sullivan (Secretary)

Melissa Wertheimer (Vice-Chair)


Agenda Items:

I. Introductions - Position / web archiving experience / hopes for the section?

A. Tori Maches (Chair)

1. Position: Digital Archivist, UC San Diego Library (San Diego, CA).

 2. No official web archiving program at UC San Diego Library. Efforts are  conducted by a few different library departments. Tori manages the Special Collections web archiving work, develops web archiving collection policies, handles work related to legacy web archiving collections, and conducts crawling and QC work.

3. Web archiving attention has increased with remote work. There are lots of interesting conversations going on (ex: ethical and technical perspectives), and Tori is excited to engage with it as a section.

B. Melissa Wertheimer (Vice-Chair)

1.Position: Music Reference Specialist, Library of Congress, Music Division (Silver Spring, MD).

2. Melissa is a special collections librarian with an archivist background. She has been web archiving since 2018 when, a few months into her position at LC, the person who had been spearheading web archiving for her unit was preparing to go on sabbatical. Melissa took the reins. The web archiving program at LC is huge, 20 years old, and includes a technical team and subject specialists who do the collection appraisal and some of the description. Melissa curates several collections and also provides training on new best practices at LC for appraisal and collection management.

3. Melissa hopes to meet other people involved in web archiving and learn how they are approaching it, and to be a part of a section that serves its members by being active and not just another listserv of SAA.

C. April Feldman (Communications Manager)

1. Position: University Archivist, California State University, Northridge (Northridge, CA).

2. April is the only person working on University Archives; responsible for all outreach, processing, web archiving, email archiving, etc.

3. April wanted to get involved, work on the network/support system, and be of service in the wider profession.

D. Allison Fischbach (Student Member)

1. Positions: Student, University of Maryland, Archives and Digital Curation Program (Baltimore, MD). Full time staff member, Towson University, Special Collections and Archives (Towson, MD).

2. At Towson, Allison manages the University’s instance of Archive-It. She is working to include more student output in addition to the administration’s output. COVID-related emails are also a collection focus right now, and Allison is testing tools and exploring methods of collection.

3. Allison wants to learn about the tools and workflows used by other institutions, big and small.

E. Ryder Kouba (Education Coordinator)

1. Position: Collections Archivist, The University of Hong Kong (Pok Fu Lam, Hong Kong). Prior position: Digital Archivist, American University in Cairo (Cairo, Egypt).

2. Ryder worked a lot with Archive-It while at AUC, capturing political content and university documentation. HKU does not have an official web archiving program. The University Archives is very siloed, and does not have its own Archive-It account. Working from home, Ryder is focusing on heritrix software testing, with varying degrees of success. He is hoping to create a more systemized program for HKU archives.

3. Ryder is interested in ethical issues, web archiving metadata, levels of description, how to balance workflow and resources (time for QA, etc.) and is excited to work with the section on those topics.

F. Kiera Sullivan (Secretary)

1. Position: University Records Processor, UC San Diego Library, Special Collections & Archives (San Diego, CA). Prior position: Town of Archivist of the Town of Bedford, Massachusetts.

2. Kiera is the processor for the University Archives collections. Web archiving is a newer addition to her work, and her experience to date has consisted of assisting the UA in identifying areas that should be collected. This year, Kiera has been tasked with learning to use Archive-It, scoping test crawls, creating metadata for established seeds in the UC San Diego web archives collection, and to begin web archiving student and community content.

3. Web archiving is a piece of the processing puzzle that is unfamiliar, and Kiera is looking forward to engaging with the section, learning and assisting others to learn, improve, and share their web archiving skills.

II. News/Questions/Announcements

A. Quick overview of how sections work, for those of us who are new to SAA committee work? (Example: reporting to SAA Council)

1. Tori explained the following:

a. The SAA sections promote conversation and education on a specific topic. The Web Archiving Section is here to put together opportunities for those interested in web archiving to talk, compare notes, learn from each other, or set up some kind of educational opportunities.

b. There is an annual section meeting at the SAA Annual Meeting which involves a discussion on the change over of section leadership, a recap of the past year, and programming (examples: panels, discussions, something related to web archiving).

c. We have a liaison on the SAA Council. Last year we did not have much contact with our liaison - but we were mainly in contact with Felicia Owens, who is in charge of SAA sections in general.

d. We provide an annual report at the end of the year and the chair sends it to SAA Council in September.

B. Quick overview of long-term and short-term goals of the section

1. Tori explained that our section’s goals are wide-ranging. We can do whatever we want to do as long as it falls into promoting the discussion of, and education in, web archiving and/or connecting section members to each other.

2. Tori noted that we are relatively new and not especially solid yet, so we have some room to decide how we will fulfill that. 

C. Recurring meeting day/time?

1. Members contributed the following scheduling details:

a. Ryder and Tori are quite flexible.

b. Melissa is a government employee and must do these activities on her own personal time. After 5 PM (Eastern) is usually good for her, particularly in the virtual environment.

c. Allison will have a course on Mondays 6-8 PM (Eastern), and Wednesday mornings do not work.

d. April is available every week day except for Fridays.

e. Kiera is available every week day except for Thursday mornings (Pacific).

2. Tori proposed the first Wednesday of every month at 6 PM (Eastern).

a. Unanimous approval.

b. ACTION: Tori will send out a recurring Zoom invitation.

III. Old/Continuing Business

A. Ongoing goals and projects?

1. Tori noted that as last year was a strange year, there is no business carrying over to this year. The section leadership tried to set several things up last year but circumstances did not allow for them to proceed. Last year’s focus centered on creating a list of institutions doing covid related web archiving. There was also discussion on how to handle the section meeting and other section logistics, given the pandemic.

B. Anything folks would like to improve on or change from past years? (Example: using Google Drive to share agendas/minutes)

1. Kiera outlined how the group’s meetings appear to have worked based on looking at past agendas + minutes. Suggested to continue utilizing Google Drive and to proceed with the established method of recording and sharing meeting agendas and minutes. Unanimous approval.

IV. New Business

A. Tori informed the group that Jess Farrell from SAA’s Committee on Public Policy wants to come to a future meeting to discuss intersections between the section’s work and COPP’s work, or issues we’d like to see COPP address.

1. Tori asked how the group felt about such a meeting with Jess Farrell.

2. Melissa suggested that we meet with Jess Farrell in January or February. Unanimous approval.

3. ACTION: Tori will contact Jess and suggest a meeting in early 2021.

B. Tori informed the group that there was a new question regarding feedback from section members during the election. Our group received three questions/comments:

1. Question about how people with disabilities can get more experience/involvement in the field.

2. Interest in learning about corporate archivists’ web archiving activities/approaches (versus academic or public librarians).

3. Education/problem-solving about web archiving and digital privacy, regulations, security, and navigating the changing regulations landscape around digital and consumer privacy within the context of WA. The content we archive now might fall under those regulations in the future.

4. Tori suggested that these questions/comments could help guide us as we decide what our section can focus on this year.

5. ACTION: Kiera will add this to our agenda for next month; members will all come prepared to discuss these comments next month.

V. Section Membership meetings

A. Melissa asked how often we have section membership meetings. Is it just at the SAA Annual meeting, or a couple times a year (virtually)?

1. Tori stated that we are required to meet one time per year, at the SAA Annual meeting. We are at liberty to set up additional meetings and programming, as hosts or co-hosts. Tori noted that virtual events have become normalized, and we are not tied to in-person events.

VI. Section blog

A. Melissa raised the issue of our section’s blog. She expressed a strong desire that our blog become more active, citing the Electronic Records section’s blog as an excellent example of an active space with tons of meaningful content. 

1. The group discussed:

a. Inviting content for blog posts from the steering committee and the wider section membership. Providing periodic prompts according to feedback, web archiving events, current events, etc.

b. Discovering how active our membership is and whether they want to be more active.

c. Promoting web archiving as a tool and highlighting members’ institutions and collecting.

d. Exposing a cross section of our community’s interests, engagement, and processes - addressing all facets of all the individuals who make up the section’s membership.

e. Cleaning up dead links and redirects on the existing blog posts. 

f. A first blog post introducing the new Steering Committee members.

g. A minimum goal of 1 blog post per month; a lofty goal of 2-3 blog posts per month.

2. April will be our Blogmaster, and Allison will be our Twittermaster. Allison will use Twitter as an avenue to push out our blog posts. Ryder is also very comfortable with Twitter and will utilize it (as well as the blog) for educational outreach. All members will participate and contribute.

3. Tori suggested that our monthly blog post go up the third Wednesday of every month. Unanimous approval.

B. Tori asked what our concrete first steps should be. The group decided on the following immediate actions:

1. ACTION: Melissa will locate the old links/redirects that she discovered on the blog. Melissa and April will work together on tackling these housekeeping issues on the blog.

2. ACTION: All group members will try to access the microsite and let Tori know if they are unable to access it.

3. ACTION: Tori will contact Nicole to discuss how the blog has been handled, and loop April in.

4. ACTION: Kiera will create a folder on Google Drive for our blog post content. She will also add the microsite PDF to the section’s space on Google Drive.

5. ACTION: All group members will submit their text to April via Google Drive by November 13th. 

6. ACTION: April will post the blog on November 18th, utilizing the #WebArchiveWednesday. The first post will include the following sections:

a. Meet your Steering Committee members

b. Watch this space; going to be more active

c. 100 word pieces from each member on a web archives collection that they would like to highlight

C. The group decided on the following items to be discussed in the future:

1. Upcoming meeting with Jess Farrell from SAA’s Committee on Public Policy.

2. The three questions/comments received via feedback from the election.

3. Procedure improvement suggested by Melissa: once a blog post goes up it will be shared on Twitter, shared on the section listserv, and shared on the SAA announcements listserv.

4. Draft invitation for blog content submissions suggested by April. Example: a web archives collection they have. Why do they collect it, how did they scope it, considerations they had to take into account?

5. Blog content development idea from Ryder: after the first few blog posts are planned, establish some contacts and get 3 or 4 contributors lined up. For example, Ryder can contact his Cairo colleagues.