Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award: Juber Ayala

Juber Ayala, a graduate student in the Master of Information program in the Department of Library and Information Science at Rutgers University, is a 2018 recipient of the Harold T. Pinkett Minority Student Award given by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The award recognizes minority graduate students of African, Asian, Latino, or Native American descent who, through scholastic achievement, manifest an interest in becoming professional archivists and active members of SAA.

Ayala has demonstrated a strong commitment to archives through his professional work with the Puerto Rican Community Archives (PRCA) at the Newark Public Library and the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College. Through this work and his studies, Ayala has embraced the role of “activist archivist,” working to prevent loss of or destruction of documents and ensuring community stories are kept in the historical record. His involvement in the Organizing Our Community’s Records project, which documented a local community organization’s historical records, helped the organization understand the importance of its records, which may be donated to the PRCA in the future. In his work at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, Ayala revised descriptions of online collection descriptions, increasing readability and access for researchers.

One of his supporters noted that Ayala is “motivated, curious, and capable” and has “already started a clear-cut path in the field of archives focusing on the Puerto Rican diaspora archives—and he is dedicated to this work.”