2021-02-03 Steering Committee Meeting Minutes

Agenda and Minutes

February 3, 2021



April Feldman (Communications Manager)

Allison Fischbach (Student Member)

Tori Maches (Chair)

Kiera Sullivan (Secretary)

Melissa Wertheimer (Vice-Chair)

Ryder Kouba (Education Coordinator)

Jess Farrell (Committee on Public Policy)

Agenda items:

 I. Discussion with Jess Farrell

A. Introductions and favorite film/videogame/etc so far this year

 B. Description of COPP - Advisory body tasked with drafting issues statements/briefs  relating to public policy-related archival issues (ex: Information Brief: Archives and the Environment)

 1. Jess shared the procedures for suggesting SAA advocacy action. She noted that COPP has the procedures and the support infrastructure if we want to work with them on advocacy actions. We can email Jess anytime with questions on those procedures (jess.farrell@educopia.org

 2. Jess shared a resources document from COPP (examples of statements/issue briefs, contact information, information about COPP).

 C. Jess asked us what issues facing archives we think are most important right now.

1. Tori shared the three topics that we received as feedback from our membership.

 2. Melissa raised the topic of labor issues, especially equity and ethical labor practices. We are undervalued financially and face the problem of temporary/part time/unpaid labor for the work done by highly educated, uniquely skilled individuals. April noted that many archivists are classes as paraprofessionals. Jess stated that this is the biggest thing that the ERS said as well.

 3. Melissa raised the issue of web archives being embraced by organizations, communities, etc. of non-archivists. Due to understaffing, underfunding, and undervaluing, archivists are given a very small seat at the table. Most practitioners and decision makers are not archivists (such as digital humanists, computer scientists, etc.), and frequently this leads to friction as projects progress and archivists try to weigh in. Jess agreed and noted that archivists are rarely quoted in articles about web archiving.

 4. Jess invited us to email her if we thought of anything else. She is taking our list back to COPP and will follow up with us if there is anything that COPP would like to work with us on.

  II. News/Questions/Announcements?

A. Allison has access to our section’s Twitter now - let her know if there’s anything you’d like her to share out from there.

III. Rapid Response Web Archiving collaboration with Archive-it

A. Discussion of Jillian’s replies to our questions (via email)

1. Section members wondered if this is still something we can contribute to given that it has already been a month. Melissa noted that what is being generated now is largely articles, and the goal is not to curate an electronic clippings file.

2. Kiera suggested that we use this situation as a means to create section guidance for rapid-response web archiving initiatives so that we are better prepared to jump in right away in the future. She also considered that if we are unable to be of much help in this event, at least we will be prepared to help out next time.

3. The group began brainstorming the types of material that could/should be suggested:

a. Not news articles

b. National guard sites about deployment

c. Statements from: state governments, counties bordering DC, local governments bordering DC, police unions, capitals across the country that were affected

d. Press releases from human rights organizations

i. Melissa and Allison shared two examples (1) (2)

4. Kiera and Tori noted that the scope we are developing means that many of our questions concerning things like dynamic media are not going to be an issue. The group agreed that all intellectual property concerns, permissions, and deduping are the responsibility of Archive-it.

5. Tori suggested that we add suggestions to the spreadsheet to get the ball rolling for section members. The group spent a few minutes looking over the spreadsheet and contemplating seeds to add.

B. Coffee chat with membership

1. Ryder asked how other sections’ coffee chats are structured, how many participate, etc. Kiera shared some information on the C&UA Section coffee chat experience. Ryder noted that a casual structure is preferable for a coffee chat, rather than formal breakout rooms with planning.The group agreed that a casual coffee chat would be best.

2. Ryder suggested we have a few prompts planned so that we have good discussion for the full hour.

a. Ryder suggested the topic of the monopoly that the Internet Archive has in the web archiving world; he indicated that learning about other options and tools that our colleagues use would be interesting. 

b. Tori suggested long term preservation and access issues outside of the IA environment. What are people doing, and what does it look like? 

3. Kiera suggested that we send an announcement about the coffee chat, including 1) we have this project, and 2) a topic to discuss after the project has been explained.

4. Melissa suggested that we have a document with our guidance ready to share with the coffee chat attendees. Allison suggested also putting the document on the blog.

5. After sorting out some zoom logistics questions, the group decided to host the Decaf Coffee Chat via a UC San Diego zoom account on Wednesday, February 17th, at 6pm (Eastern).

IV. New Business

A. ERS Joint Section meeting (see 2/1/21 Jenny’s email)

1. The group did not have time to discuss this item during the meeting. It was decided that we all would like to participate in a joint section. If necessary, this can be discussed further over email.


The meeting was adjourned at 7pm (EST).