Monthly Archives: June 2013

Good interview advice for everyone

This slideshare has some really good interview advice that I think everyone could use, not just  recent graduates. While this slideshare is not directed towards the library science crowd it’s information is just as relevant.

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Appraisal of Electronic Records SAA DAS workshop

On June 10th, I attended my second SAA DAS workshop: Appraisal of Electronic Records. The workshop was taught by Caryn Wojcik, an archivist for the State of Michigan, and was hosted at METRO in conjunction with NY ART.

This workshop is considered to be in first tier, otherwise known as a Foundational course, so you could elect to test out of it. That choice is up to you and your background. I recently completed a class on digital preservation, so some of basics I knew. But I didn’t know quite some of the details. This workshop helped fill in some of the gaps from the class. I imagine that’s the point for most of these workshops.

The appraisal workshop is pretty good. It discusses the basics of appraisal and goes into considerations specific to electronic records. I enjoyed the class activities and I liked that they build upon each other as the workshop progressed and that the content became more and more detailed. There are three scenarios in the workbook for the activities sections and the class is suppose to split into 3 groups and work on these activities. Three groups didn’t do it in for particular workshop and my group elected to be split in half. I personally think a fourth scenario, maybe regarding a government archive, could be added that would allow the option of the teacher to create a fourth group. While my group being split didn’t negatively affect my experience during the workshop, I think it might be something they could consider in the future.

Overall I enjoyed this workshop, found the content interesting, and learned a great deal. I would recommend this workshop if you have the ability to take it in the future. However, I do think that a webinar can be created as an adequate substitute for this workshop. I think this could provide better access and lower the barrier to starting on the DAS path.

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NYAC 2013 (part 3)

As for Friday I skipped the first session, but I wouldn’t miss the Breaking into the Field: Reports from Emerging Professionals session for anything. One of my friends from the MTA job was presenting. She did a great job, if fact they all did a remarkable job. All of the presenters should be very proud of themselves. There were plenty of tips, tricks, and personal anecdotes that I found both helpful and comforting. One of the presenters, Allie, posted her slides online. If you’re interested you can find them here.
I would highly recommend checking them out.
All too soon the conference came to an end. However, the closing luncheon was a fitting ending. There was plenty of food and we were even invited to take some more. Which I’m sure was appreciated by those who had to take a long trip home. It included a presentation from Karen Falk, the director of the Jim Henson archives, which included endearing and humorous video clips of some of his characters.
NYAC is a great conference, it has a family atmosphere. It’s a great place to start presenting and even better conference to catch up with colleagues. Since it’s small, attendees have more time to get to know each other on a deeper level. Let me put it this way: it’s very hard to get lost in the crowd at NYAC and that’s what makes it a unique experience.

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NYAC 2013 (part 2)

Thursday is the first full day of the conference and you can see the crowds of eager archivist flocking to Humanities Hall (the conference building). While I heard there was an issue with the coffee, that morning I didn’t notice. I was quite content with the orange and cranberry juice they had.
The first panel I attended was of course the one on DAM: How To Get Started With a DAMS. This panel wasn’t quite what I was expecting, even if I should have; still I was impressed. I thought it would focus on how one would start a DAM, instead there were three case studies of how these panelist implemented a DAM, or digital repository, at their organization.  It was much better than I expected. I was very impressed how some of the DAMs began, how these panelists solved some of the problems they included, and how they balanced the costs. The case studies showcased how any organization can start a DAM on a shoe-string budget.
In the afternoon I went to the This Just In! Leveraging Archives
Amidst the Media Blitz panel. Now don’t get me wrong, all the panelists were knowledgeable and approachable. But Greg Hunter stole the panel. When asked what he thought about the image of archivists in the media, his response was (I’m paraphrasing) “I don’t care what the media thinks of us as archivists, I care what they think of our collections.” He also stressed, later in the panel, how important it is for archivists to know our collections so we can give our audience (in this case the media) what interests them.
I also attended the Privacy and Confidentiality Roundtable meeting. I personally felt that this would be a good follow-up after my workshop on wednesday. It looked like I wasn’t the only person who thought that way, since there were several others who attended both. This round table meeting didn’t disappoint, the conversation/discussion was both interesting and intriguing. I learned a bit more about privacy that I didn’t know and I was able to contribute to the conversation.
The last stop of the day was the reception. This was a great chance to network and grab some food. I’ll be honest, I was probably paying more attention to the food that was coming out than on networking. Either way, I had an amazing time, met some fantastic people, and was able to get to know some fantastic people even better.

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NYAC 2013 and first SAA DAS workshop

I attended NYAC this year held at LIU C.W. Post, home to the Palmer School my Alma Mater. These conferences are great, I saw some colleagues that I met the last time I attended NYAC at Marist in 2010 and I met some new ones. I also realized that I know many more archivists in the area than I thought I did.

Wednesday was workshop day, so I went to the Privacy and Confidentiality Issues in Digital Archives workshop. This was my first SAA DAS workshop. It was a full-day workshop and it was really good. It didn’t even feel like a long day. The instructor, Heather Briston, was very knowledgeable and was able to get through all of the information. I not once felt that we were rushing through the material and on multiple occasions the class had questions on a slide or topic. Heather Briston took her time and made sure that each question was thoroughly answered and included many examples throughout her lecture. She included two activities to help us understand and implement what we were learning. However, she was only able to get through one of these activities. But since the materials for these activities are included in the workbook, we can do these activities on our own time. I have no complaints about the workshop or the instructor and I would gladly recommend this workshop or attending any presentions by Heather. As for the exam: my thoughts on it will be forthcoming.

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What I’ve been up to the last few months

First off, great, big, hearty congratulations to Henrik de Gyor at Another Dam Podcast for successfully funding his Kickstarter campaign. I look forward to seeing the transcribed podcasts when they are done.

Second, I finished my online class on digital preservation. I took it through the Palmer School and it was taught by Gregory Hunter. One of the projects was that the class created a wiki of various resources on digital preservation. It’s a shame we couldn’t preserve it.* In addition to the class discussion and weekly readings, each of us had to write three papers. One of these papers had to be about a current issue or topic on digital preservation. We also had to write a paper comparing two digital repositories. And the final paper was on how each of us will implement our own digital preservation strategy for our own digital assets. It was very good and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested. That said, it did take up most of my spare time the last few months; but it was well worth it and I’m happy I took it. It’ll definitely help now that I plan on taking the DAS workshops.

In addition to the online class, I’ve continued taking the Caring for Yesterday’s Treasures – Today course series webinars. They really didn’t take up that much time, just a few hours here or there. The recordings for these webinars are still up on their website. I look forward to their new webinar courses coming in the fall. I plan on registering for those when they open and I recommend that others do the same.

Lastly, I’m attending NYAC (an archive conference on Long Island) next week. I’m attending my first SAA DAS workshop there. I’m very exited to start on the DAS path. I will be taking my second DAS workshop June 10th. So hopefully I’ll have quite a bit to write about in the following weeks.

 

Edit: I spoke with my professor during NYAC, I misunderstood the “loss” of the wiki.  It’s saved and preserved on their servers, but the students of the class no longer have access to it.

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