Yes, it has been over a month.
A lot needed to settle after the space reconfiguration. Moving things to the new shelving system revealed weird numbering sequences of accessions, odd-numbered lots, and a few other irregularities. Spent a good two days cleaning, sweeping, and scrubbing (they don’t tell you about that in MSLIS programs!). And we have had a steady stream of summer student volunteers who have been helpful with getting things resettled in a host of project-type ways.
So, the big thing this past month was the combined SAA, COSA, NAGARA conference in Washington, a couple of day-long pre-conference courses, the ACA exam (that I dare not mention in case I end up taking it again next year!), and the sessions. Don’t worry, I’m gonna give you the whole rundown. And in a month I’ll be able to link to the various presentations (and others that I wasn’t able to attend). Anyway, here is what I did for the week:
Participation in SAA Annual Conference, August 12-18, 2018
Sunday, August 12. Command Line Interface (CLI). 9am to 5pm (day long course). I was just a bit “put off” by the technical sound of it, but it was manageable. Remember back in the pre-Windows day when we had to use DOS commands to get the computer to do stuff? That pretty much sums it up.
Monday, August 13. Completed online exam for CLI. The test, open-book, was a breeze. Mostly concepts and theory.
Tuesday, August 14. Building Advocacy and Support for Digital Archives (BASDA) (day long course). Soft stuff as one of my favorite math teachers used to say.
Tuesday, August 14. Annual Research Forum. Research Forum is always interesting. But I was dancing back and forth between presentations and the all day course I was taking. A bit of a juggling act but we managed.
Wednesday, August 15. Academy of Certified Archivists Certification Exam. 9:30 to 12 noon. Questions were pretty straight forward. Lots of opportunities to draw on project management experience from my past. Interesting questions on preservation and on security, of all things. and I learned a new word, artefactual literacy. But again, straight forward. We’ll know the results in six weeks or so.
Wednesday, August 15. Completed online exam for BASDA. Piece of cake.
Thursday, August 16. Attended Opening Plenary, featuring speeches/presentations by David Ferriero, Archivist of the U.S. (AOTUS), and Zeynep Tufekci, UNC professor. Always impressed with the AOTUS! Cool guy with lots of guts. I really like him. And Professor Zeynep was as dazzling and as informative as always. Lots of good stuff. Had me flashing back to Cairo and Damascus and other hot spots. And Aretha Franklin died.
I attended the following sessions:
101 – Towards Culturally Competent Archival (Re)Description of Marginalized Histories
203 – From Best Practices to “Next Practices”: Documenting Underrepresented Communities through Oral Histories
301 – Archiving “Dirty Laundry”: Issues of access, Transparency, and Respectability Among Archives of Under-documented Communities
410 – Sharing Our Stories: Using Archival Collections to Develop Commemorative Events
501 – The National Archives Aims for Digital Future: Discuss NARA Strategic Plan and Future of Archives with NARA Leaders
604 – No Monuments in the Archives: Historical Records and Contested Public Space
704 – Blockchain: What Is It and Why Should We Care
More on all that when they post the slides, though some are already up at #saa18.