It’s Volunteer Season, Archivists! Volunteer for SAA Appointed Groups


SAA Vice President Courtney Chartier and recent SAA leaders hosted a live discussion and Q&A about all things SAA appointed groups and leadership. 
View the recording here.

Courtney Chartier, SAA Vice-President/President-Elect


Consider this your official call to action: Your Society of American Archivists needs volunteers!

I have been volunteering in a professional organization since grad school: as a toddler-archivist, I was vice president of the SAA student chapter at the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Information, where an ethic of volunteerism and maintaining a strong professional community was emphasized under the leadership of Dr. David B. Gracy II. After moving to Atlanta, I joined the Society of Georgia Archivists, serving on its Board for more than ten years, while also beginning to volunteer with SAA. 

I started volunteering as a way to meet other archivists. I was living in a city where I knew only one person (other than my coworkers), and volunteering with SGA allowed me to meet other archivists and make friends. The first time that I volunteered for an appointed position in SAA was for the Annual Meeting Task Force, a group that came together approximately 4,000 years ago (in 2012–2013) to analyze and make recommendations about the SAA Annual Meeting. I learned more than I thought possible about the machinations of an annual meeting, met and learned from experienced chairs, and solidified one of my closest friendships. I can safely say that I regret nothing.

SAA is a volunteer-driven organization, and we are only as vibrant as our membership. There are more than 350 appointed volunteer positions in SAA, and about one-third turn over each year. For 2020–2021, there are 80 appointed positions that must be filled; see below for a list of open positions.

If you don't see an appointed position that calls your name, please consider running for leadership in one of SAA’s forty-six sections. All positions in SAA are opportunities to enrich your life and gift your labor and talents to our professional community.

Appointments Committee

My first (and most fun!?!) duty as SAA vice president is to appoint new leaders to vacant positions. Happily, I get a committee of people to help me. At the time of this writing, the full committee has not been appointed, but Audra Eagle Yun (University of California, Irvine) has agreed to chair.

How to Volunteer / The Appointments Process

First, you have to volunteer! Check out the list of positions below and see what speaks to you. I don't recommend volunteering for everything, but choose those groups to which you can offer either expertise or enthusiasm for the work. Don’t let my use of the word “expertise” stop you from putting your name forward. SAA needs the perspectives of all of our members, and volunteering is a great way to learn more about an area of interest and network with others who have the same interest/expertise. Win-Win!

If you have questions, check the group’s webpage on the SAA website and don’t hesitate to reach out to group members. SAA’s Leader Resources page also has great information about the general responsibilities of leadership positions. The most common question people have is “what is the time commitment for volunteering?” You’re an archivist, so you know darn well that the answer is “it depends.” Committee work ebbs and flows and your best bet is to ask someone currently in the role to share their experience. When you feel confident about the position, volunteer using the online form.

Once all submissions are in, the Appointments Committee will review submissions and consult with group leaders to make sure we understand their needs. The committee will take all sorts of things into account, in particular the diversity of our membership, including race and ethnicity, gender identity/expression, years in the profession, geographic region, and type of archival repository. Individuals will be appointed to one position at a time, and current leaders will not be reappointed to a second term unless there is a critical requirement to continue some aspect of the work beyond their original term.

Happy Volunteer Season!

Appointments Available in 2021

The following groups will have vacancies, with new terms beginning in August 2021. (The number of vacancies is indicated in parentheses.) Review descriptions of the groups by following the links below, and then volunteer to serve

Application Deadline: January 15, 2021

Available Positions

American Archivist Editorial Board (2)

Committee on Education (3)
— Digital Archives Specialist (DAS) Subcommittee (3)
— Graduate Archival Education (GAE) Subcommittee (2)

Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct (2)

Committee on Public Awareness (2)

Committee on Public Policy (3)

Committee on Research, Data, and Assessment (4)

Diversity Committee (2)

Finance Committee (1)

2022 Host Committee (Annual Meeting in Boston) (10-12)

Membership Committee (2)

2022 Program Committee (Annual Meeting in Boston) (10)

Publications Board (3)

Standards Committee (2)
— Technical Subcommittee on Describing Archives: A Content Standard (TS-DACS) (2 + 1 mid-term vacancy)
— Technical Subcommittee on Encoded Archival Standards (TS-EAS) (2)

Awards Committee (1 co-chair)

Brenda S. Banks Travel Award (1)
C.F.W. Coker Award (1)
Distinguished Service Award (1)
Diversity Award (1)
Mark A. Greene Emerging Leader Award (1)
Josephine Forman Scholarship (1)
F. Gerald Ham and Elsie Ham Scholarship (1, must be an SAA Fellow)
Philip M. Hamer and Elizabeth Hamer Kegan Award (1)
Oliver Wendell Holmes Award (1)
Innovator Award (1)
J. Franklin Jameson Archival Advocacy Award (1)
Sister M. Claude Lane, OP, Award (1)
Waldo Gifford Leland Award (1)
Mosaic Scholarship (2)
Theodore Calvin Pease Award (1, one-year appointment)
Donald Peterson Student Travel Award (1)
Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award (1, one-year appointment)
Fellows’ Ernst Posner Award (1, must be an SAA Fellow)
Preservation Publication Award (1)
Spotlight Award (1)

To Volunteer

To volunteer, log in and submit the self-nomination form by January 15, 2021. You may save changes and come back to this form; you may also change or resubmit information. SAA membership is required both to view the self-nomination form and to be appointed to an SAA group.

The application requires quite a bit of information so that the Committee can make sound recommendations. This process can be competitive, so please send your strongest highlights that relate to the position for which you’re applying. 

Questions? Contact

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