I'm officially going to be starting my three-year term as an elected member of the Council of the Society of American Archivists in August BUT the organization brought the newly-elected folks out to headquarters in Chicago earlier this month for orientation and observation of the May Council meeting. These trips are funded by SAA itself, so, aside from my time away from work, there is no burden on UNCG.
One thing that SAA hears frequently - particularly from newer members - is that members wish they knew more about the inner workings of the organization. SAA itself is pretty transparent when it comes to releasing agendas, minutes, budget reports, etc. But it's also a large organization, with membership and leadership spread across lots of different types of archives all across the country.
In an effort to provide yet another venue to provide information about organizational action and to help newer members learn more about how the organization operates, I started a blog to give insight into the work I'm doing as a new Council member. If anyone is interested in how a large professional organization's main governance body works, you can follow along here: https://barkivistoncouncil.wordpress.com/. Our next Council meetings will take place at the SAA Annual Meeting in early August -- one at the start of the meeting and one at the close.
Tim Bucknall and I attended the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) Conference April 4-5 in San Antonio. Tim presented a breakout session on the Slavery Database and I did a very informal presentation on our OER initiatives at a roundtable discussion.
I came away feeling very good about our work here. We are providing many of the services that large ARL libraries do with far fewer resources. So bravo! If there was one theme it was about seeking partnership both on campus and externally. I think we've done a good job with that, too, and we'll continue to grow.
Our efforts on OER are on par with many other libraries as well. Some libraries have worked more closely with student groups which is a great idea.