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Musings of a librarian, former archivist, musician, bibliophile, and tech-obsessed.

Entries in SAA 2010 (4)


SAA Conference Conclusions

A huge sigh of relief! SAA 2010 is over, which means my summer is also nearly over. The conference was pretty good. The Research Forum was one of the best days of sessions--not a dry presenter, not a droning presentation, and a lot of intriguing projects! The most enjoyable sessions for me were the ones presenting on NDIIPP, FADGI, and audiovisual-related topics... all two sessions. I also attended two sessions on electronic records that I also found helpful. Even though they focused on text and photograph files, I was able to get some ideas for a/v. I also enjoyed the session presented by my colleagues at GW and the University Development staff, which gave me some ideas for fundraising. I did find it funny that in the MPLP session I attended, none of the presenters had an answer to process a/v, photos, or electronic records using MPLP, opting to not process, or to process at an item level. Oy... At that pointed I wanted to say, "Do a preservation survey so you need what materials need a little extra attention and otherwise process like you would paper records. Find your series, and/or do it alpha by subjects." I guess some archivists still fear a/v.

Speaking of a/v, the Recorded Sound Roundtable was particularly fun. After little involvement in the previous year, once I volunteered to the webpage, many more volunteered for other committees. I'm compiling the resource list for the future webpage, expanding from the resources on this website and focusing on resources that speak to archivists instead of audio engineers. Most of the roundtable consists of archivists that want to know more about a/v, but need more guidance from the people who work with those collections. The Preservation Section also had two interesting presentations, one on redesigning dream environmental conditions, another on using a cloud as backup access during disasters that take out servers, mainly power outages.

My poster presentation and Lone Arrangers Roundtable presentation went pretty well, and the files for those are under the Presentations on this site. I met some great people, from the DC area and beyond, a former grad school classmate crashed with me, making late night metro rides more tolerable, and I survived five straight days of sessions! Hopefully looking forward to next year!


Around the Corner... SAA 2010!

I'm prepping for SAA 2010, putting the finishing touches on my poster presentation and the Lone Arrangers Roundtable presentation, and taking a final look at all the sessions in my preliminary program, permanently marking all the sessions I'll be attending. I'm also cleaning my apartment and getting it ready for a friend who's staying with me for the conference. This is my last major event of the summer, a summer that's flown by too fast and has had me traveling in five states.

After this week I'll be back to a normal schedule at work, and have more time to work on this site, the ARSC site, and other various things... It's time to start planning my next big project!


Web Presentation Survey Results

I've been finding some interesting results from my survey. My initial email to the SAA listserv produced a few responses from archivists without websites. However, all of my responses from my survey on the Lone Arrangers' listserv were from archivists with archive websites who want to add different things, or understand website development better. I've also received a few questions about online finding aids (those I can answer!) but also online databases. While I do use them, and can add to them, creating one is quite different.

One thing that most archivists would benefit from is analytics software on their websites. Most are not sure exactly how researchers get to or use their websites. Without that knowledge, it is difficult to develop any website to suit a researcher's needs. I think this is going to be a major focus of my presentation.

Another similarity--archivists are stretched too thin. They don't have enough time to complete their work, let alone start a web-based project. It's frustrating, but nice to know I'm in similar company.


I Get Around(table)

I will be giving a brief presentation on web development tools at the Lone Arrangers' Roundtable Committee Meeting at SAA on Wednesday, August 11.

I have sent out a survey to the Roundtable asking several questions:

  • Does your institution have a website?
  • Are you part of a larger institution that has a website, but you don't have a webpage/site? If so, does that larger institution have a web designer/developer/designated poster of web content?
  • If you have a page/site, or think you can get your institution to list your page/site, are you permitted to post content or do changes have to be sent to a central web developer? If so, would you like to expedite the posting process?
  • Does your institution have a web server to host the site (a server for storage is different than a server for a website)?
  • How does your typical user find you? What types of information most interests them?
  • Could you spare at least a half hour a day, for a few days a week?
  • Is there anything you've seen on a website that you would like to re-create? If so, if you could send me the link, that would be helpful.
  • Do you have any other questions about websites or tools available to create/edit websites?

I will use the responses to shape my presentation, whether I focus more on designing using online hosts, or using widgets to customize a current site, or being aware of what goes on behind the scenes, or promoting the site better though SEO. I bet a lot of people would also like to see what analytics software can do for them!