SAA Council Creates Annual Meeting Task Force, Approves Two New Awards

At its August 22 meeting held in conjunction with ARCHIVES 360°, the SAA Council created an Annual Meeting Task Force charged to, “…analyz[e] current practices related to the SAA Annual Meeting as well as possible future approaches, and deliver to the Council a report with recommendations as to which current practices should be changed and what new practices should be implemented.”

The task force will “consider how issues of social responsibility should be addressed; how meeting sites, including hotels, are selected; the current meeting model and meeting structure; increasing diversity in meeting sites; how to limit cost of meeting attendance for participants; how to best make meeting content available to those who cannot attend; and the extent of SAA’s dependence on the annual meeting for revenue….”

The task force will comprise nine members, along with four subgroups assigned to examine issues of social responsibility, meeting model, meeting content, and online accessibility of meeting content.  A call for volunteers for the task force and subgroups was issued on behalf of SAA Vice President/President-Elect Jackie Dooley via the SAA website on August 27, with a deadline of September 26.   

In other actions, the Council:

  • Approved a Diversity Committee recommendation to establish a new Diversity Award, to be given for the first time in August 2012.  According to the award description, “The purpose of the Diversity Award is to honor an individual, group, or institution for outstanding contribution in advancing diversity within the archives profession, SAA, or the archival record.  Nominees will have demonstrated significant achievement in the form of activism, education, outreach, publication, service, or other initiatives in the archives field.  The award is given based on the long-term impact on improving and promoting diversity as defined in the SAA Statement on Diversity.”  To encourage SAA member participation, preference may be given to SAA individual and/or institutional members.  All nominations must be submitted by February 28.  See the SAA website ( for details.
  • Approved a recommendation by then-Vice President/President Elect Gregor Trinkaus-Randall to create a new Emerging Leader Award, to be given for the first time in August 2012.  The award recognizes, “Work of merit that has made a substantive contribution to an area of the archives profession beyond the nominee’s local institution and holds promise for future contributions; demonstrated leadership through collaborative work or exemplary service to local, regional, and/or national archival and cultural associations; … and involvement in successful outreach and advocacy efforts on behalf of the nominee’s institution and the archives profession.”  The award is presented to an archivist who has between two and ten years of experience.  All nominations must be submitted by February 28.  See the SAA website ( for details.
  • Established a Glossary Working Group to maintain and update A Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology on a permanent basis.  The Working Group will comprise experts and will include representation from the Publications Board and the Standards Committee.
  • Approved a request from SAA’s Intellectual Property Working Group (IPWG) that SAA apply for observer status with the World Intellectual Property Organization.  Securing of observer status at the November 2011 Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights (SCCR) meeting would allow SAA to participate in discussions about a proposed international treaty on exemptions to copyright for archives and libraries.
  • Approved a recommendation by the Standards Committee and IPWG that “Well-intentioned Practice for Putting Digitized Collections of Unpublished Materials Online,” a standard developed by OCLC Research, be endorsed, provided that it is accompanied on the SAA Standards Portal by a preface prepared by IPWG.  According to the Committee:  “The standard helps to articulate an approach to placing unpublished materials online for public access that can shift analysis away from an overwhelmingly item-level analysis to a more aggregate-level analysis.”  To view the new SAA Standards Portal, which debuted in late August:

All materials presented at the August 22 and August 27 Council meetings are available via the meeting agendas at:  Minutes of the two meetings will be posted on the SAA website no later than 60 days after the meetings. 

The SAA Council will meet again January 25-27, 2012, and May 16-18, 2012, in Chicago.  The deadline for proposal of agenda items for all Council meetings is four weeks prior to the start of the meeting.

Voting Method Changes Approved at Annual Business Meeting

A resounding majority of members attending the Annual Business Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Chicago on August 27 voted to adopt Council-proposed changes in the SAA Constitution and Bylaws that will move votes on dues changes and Constitution and Bylaws amendments to electronic referenda of all voting members.  

Effective at the close of the meeting, proposed dues changes must be approved by a majority of members voting in an online referendum and proposed amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws must be approved by a 2/3rds vote of those members voting in an online referendum. 

A proposed change in eligibility of institutional members’ primary contacts to hold national office was tabled.   

To read the proposed amendments, see: