Archives and Archivists List to be Decommissioned as of December 31

The SAA Council voted unanimously on November 5 to decommission the current Archives and Archivists discussion list, effective December 31. The list archives will remain accessible.

The Council also charged the staff to “explore options for providing an online forum for profession-wide discussion that can be monitored effectively and moderated to ensure that it fosters a professional exchange of ideas.”

“In the next 9 to 12 months, the SAA staff must focus on our highest technology priority: implementation of a new association management system,” said SAA President Tanya Zanish-Belcher. “Even as that process is underway, we will re-envision what sort of discussion forum would best serve the entire profession.”

As noted in the briefing paper for this Council action, the A&A List “was created at a time when there were few options for connecting thousands of archivists. Today there are many options for communicating broadly—including Facebook, Twitter, websites, individual and group blogs, and SAA Section discussion lists, which are open to both members and nonmember participants.”

“At its best, the A&A List has been an example of SAA’s ideals for community and collaboration among archivists to serve the profession. At its worst, however, the list has undermined our values of inclusion, diversity, and community among archivists. We believe we can do better and that the time has come to invest SAA’s resources in new models,” the briefing paper notes.

 Coincident with the AMS transition process will be implementation of a new “online communities” platform that will support SAA’s component group lists. “Given that each of SAA’s 46 special-interest Sections has a listserv—and that each is open to member and nonmember participants—we hope that A&A List subscribers will explore the Section lists to discover and follow those of greatest topical interest,” Zanish-Belcher added.

The Council will provide regular updates and will be seeking member input on a new and better way to support professional interaction within our community.

Questions and comments are welcome at president@archivists.org.