• Local History/Special Collections Manager, Full-Time, GS 20, Alexandria Library

    The Alexandria Library is seeking an experienced manager to coordinate its Local History and Special Collections Branch. The incumbent is responsible for the overall management of the branch in support of the Alexandria Library’s goals and priorities. The incumbent will provide leadership and oversee daily operations to include acquiring, processing, organizing and preserving manuscripts, archives, photographs and digital collections. In addition, the incumbent supervises staff, providing leadership through policy recommendations, team building and planning.

    Duties:

  • Manages and oversees staff assignments, training and evaluation.
  • Analyzes books, documents and other materials to determine appropriateness for the Library’s historical and special collections branch.
  • Organizes the preservation and conservation of valuable materials.
  • Ensures adherence to professional standards for the work environment and collection records, including deeds of gifts, stewardship, storage and preservation.
  • Oversees the preparation of document descriptions and reference aids for use of archives, including accession lists, indexes, guides and bibliographies.
  • Coordinates the development and implementation of digital applications for the delivery of Special Collections resources.
  • Reviews existing materials in the collection and selects items suitable for digitization and inclusion in the Alexandria Library’s digital collections.
  • Plans, organizes and delivers educational programs, presentations and tours on topics related to Alexandria and/or Virginia history.
  • Fosters, implements and manages the Local History/Special Collections outreach activities.
  • Works closely with Barrett Branch Manager to ensure effective communication between staff, program coordination and facility management.
  • Maintains an appropriate knowledge of advances and trends in archives, librarianship and related fields through training, networking, and attending conferences and workshops.
  • Assists customers with research inquiries via e-mail, telephone and in-person by directing them to appropriate staff, resources and collections.
  • Serves as the liaison to the Friends of Local History/Special Collections.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Experience:

  • Ability to be proactive, flexible and collaborative in order to accomplish library and departmental goals.
  • Ability to establish and maintain positive relationships with Library advocates, community groups and historical institutions.
  • Ability to manage projects to completion, prioritize work, meet deadlines, direct and/or manage a team and ensure accountability.
  • Familiarity with digital collections and management platforms, document imaging and conversion systems.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Excellent customer service skills and an enthusiasm for public service.
  • Experience with grant writing and historical research and writing skills is preferred.
  • Specialized training and experience in archives and digital preservation is preferred.
  • Knowledge of best practices for digital preservation and archives, including relevant software and applications (e.g. EAD, Archivists Toolkit, CONTENTdm) is preferred.

Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in Library & Information Science from an ALA-accredited institution OR a Master’s Degree in History or related field.
  • At least five years of experience in professional library, museum or archival work.
  • At least two years supervisory experience or any equivalent combination of experience and training which provides the required knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • A strong understanding of southern history, especially the northern Virginia area and Alexandria, including the contributions of minority populations.

 

Schedule:

40 hours per week. Hours will be scheduled to meet the needs of the Alexandria Library and will include days, evenings and two Saturdays per month.

Salary:

$59,083.96 – $94,933.80, depending on qualifications. Eligible for pro-rata annual and sick leave, health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance and retirement plans.

The City’s promotional policy states that an employee who is promoted will receive an 8.5% increase plus transition up to the closest step of the new grade, or placed at the minimum of the new grade, whichever is higher. An employee’s new promotional salary may not exceed the maximum salary of the new pay grade.

Location:

Alexandria Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

Contact:

Click here to apply<http://www.emailmeform.com/builder/form/pyG0BrfvdP4DAd6eajdRSLcK6> attaching one document containing a cover letter, resume and three (3) professional references, preferably supervisory. Address Cover Letter to Ross Farley, HR Manager, 5005 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22304. Contact with questions: 703-746-1799, or careers@alexandria.lib.va.us.

OPEN UNTIL FILLED

Job: Archivist, History Associates-Rockville, MD

Posted: May 12, 2016 by saacua in Jobs

Location: History Associates-Rockville, MD

Salary: 43,000.00-46,500.00

Type: Full Time-Experienced

Categories: Archives Management, Electronic Records, Special Collections

Required Education: Masters

Apply here.

History Associates is actively recruiting qualified individuals with experience in surveying, arranging, preserving, and describing archives, including paper documents, audiovisual, photographic, and digital materials.

Read the rest of this entry »

Position is open until filled. Apply by May 9, 2016 for priority consideration.

The University of Baltimore’s Langsdale Library seeks an Archivist in Special Collections to provide collection management and user services in support of the University Archives, the Baltimore Regional Studies Archives, and the national lineage society collections. The successful candidate will process archival collections in all formats according to professional standards and best practices, as well as create and update information about archival collections through the library’s information management systems. The academic selection team looks forward to receiving your required electronic application, cover letter, and resume to learn about your interest in the university’s work and your qualifications for our vacancy.

Our successful candidate will also provide archival reference service and instructional support for UB courses, develop online collections and digital exhibits in conjunction with library faculty, promote collections throughout the University and with community stakeholders, and seek external funding opportunities for the growth and development of collections. This position also helps coordinate projects for volunteers, interns, and student assistants in Special Collections, as well as actively participate on University of Baltimore and University System of Maryland and Affiliated Institution (USMAI) committees and task groups. This is a one-year contractual faculty position, with the possibility of annual contract renewal. Employment offer is contingent on final position funding. Read the rest of this entry »

The Smithsonian Institution will be seeking bids for three contract archivists to work on a multi-unit minimal level processing project – 2140 work hours over a period of 15 months, to begin as close to July 1, 2016 as possible.

The selected contractor will provide 2,140 hours of professional minimal level archival processing, arrangement, preservation and EAD (Encoded Archival Description) services for five Smithsonian archival units, including the Archives of American Art (AAA), Archives Center at the National Museum of American History, the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage Archives, and the Freer-Sackler Gallery Archives over a period not to exceed 15 months, or beyond September 30, 2017.  The primary goal of this project is to complete the archival processing of 22 individual archival collections that total circa 1,010 linear feet, with a team of three processing archivists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Landing Your Dream Job: SAA@CUA

Posted: April 27, 2016 by saacua in News

The Spring 2016 meeting of the SAA@CUA Student Chapter was held on Wednesday evening, April 20th. Highlights of the evening included a presentation/discussion by guest speaker Rebecca Katz, Administrator of the District of Columbia Office of Public Records and Archives; the annual SAA@CUA-hosted Certified Archivist Examination information session, given by Certified Archivist Dr. Jane Zhang, Assistant Professor, CUA Department of LIS; and chapter elections for Fall 2016.

Takeaways? Landing your dream job, and positioning yourself for success in the archival field.

Landing YOUR Dream Job

What graduate student, or recently graduated student, isn’t worried about their career prospects? We all want to land that final-destination-dream-job. The truth? Some do, and they’re hear to tell the rest of us, “it’s all going to be okay!”

Rebecca Katz graduated from CUA’s MSLIS program in the spring of 2015 and, within six months, landed her dream job as head of the DC Archives. A former classmate of many attendees, it was a treat to hear her speak of her own professional success and fulfillment. Even better, though, was Ms. Katz’s unabashed sharing of her journey, including highs and lows, through “How to Land Your Dream Job….In 4 Not-So-Easy-Steps”.

Step 1: Identify dream job. You might not believe it, but Ms. Katz started out at Harvard Law School with an eye to becoming a kick-butt Special Education Attorney. What happened? As is often the case, there were no job prospects. After floundering around for a bit, though, Ms. Katz found work as a Legal Services Attorney. Alas, it wasn’t a great fit and, as she put it, “It turns out I was a horrible Legal Services Attorney!”

Step 2: Realize you’re completely wrong about your skills and flounder around for a while.

Step 2.5: Pick yourself up!! “This step is key,” says Ms. Katz. This is the place where you discover your own unique skills and abilities, where you find out what you’re actually good at! In Katz’s case, she discovered she’s much better at breadth than depth. In other words, “where to find the answer”, not so much knowing the answer immediately.

Step 3: Identify your actual dream job. When Katz decided to pursue an MSLIS degree at CUA, she naturally thought she’d fall right into the role of Academic Law Librarian. But a little thought adjustment, a lot of thinking, and some considerations (A) A desire to improve DC government, B) A love of old stuff, C) The skills and knowledge acquired in class, and D) Issues with the current state of the DC Archives and Office of Public Records) put Ms. Katz on the fast track to identifying just where her skills were needed, could be best used, and could make the most difference.

Step 4: Are you ready? Ms. Katz admits, “I got my dream job right out of library school because I knew the right people!” You’ve probably heard instructors, managers, mentors, and everyone else preach the importance of connections. Turns out it’s all true! Make professional contacts, whether they seem like they’ll be useful or not, because chances are you’ll need (and want!) them on your side when the time comes.

So DON’T STRESS! Everything will be okay. It might take some time, deep thinking, and certainly a lot of self-reflection, but you’ll find that perfect dream job that’s suitable for you. And when you identify it, be confident that you’ll rock the job-with all of the unique skills and bits knowledge that only you can bring along.

Contact Rebecca Katz (archives@dc.gov/202-671-1108) for internship and practicum opportunities. There’s a lot of work to be done at the DC Archives and Office of Public Records, and she’s willing to work with students to tailor a perfect experience.

Taking the Certified Archivist Exam

The Academy of Certified Archivists supports the highest level of professional archival practice, and defines and outlines the knowledge and abilities necessary to be an archivist by certifying archivists, ensuring professional standards, and promoting the employ of Certified Archivists.

Want to get a leg up on other archival professionals, distinguish yourself from the pack, get more experience in the field? Take the Certified Archivist Exam and earn those credentials. Along the way, you’ll build more confidence and position yourself for employment success.

The Examination is comprised of 100 multiple choice questions crossing 7 domains or areas of expertise (see Role Delineation Statement in “Materials and Information” below)

Requirements. Preparation is key. To take the exam, you’ll need at least a Master’s degree with varying amounts of qualifying experience required depending on your degree concentration. Provisional certification is an option for recent graduates of an archival program. This option allots you three years to complete your professional qualifying experience.

How to Apply? Head online to download/fill out the application.

  • Applications are due by May 15th. Remember that the exam takes a fair amount of preparation, so if you’re unprepared for this cycle of examinations, you can work toward applying next year.
  • $50.00 application fee

Materials and Information:

Contact Information:

  • Academy of Certified Archivists: aca@caphill.com/518-694-8471
  • For other questions or to talk with a Certified Archivist in your neighborhood, contact Dr. Jane Zhang (zhangj@cua.edu)

SAA@CUA

If you’re a CUA LIS student and interested in joining SAA@CUA, please contact us at saaatcua@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you!! Remember, your student membership fee is covered by AGLISS!

 

DCPL Launches Memory Lab

Posted: March 1, 2016 by saacua in News

Guest Post by: Cynthia Vrabel 

On Saturday, February 20th, the DC Public Library launched a new space at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library branch called the Memory Lab. As its name suggests, this new space is dedicated to providing the public with the technology and training needed to preserve their digital materials. The kickoff event started with tours of the space in the morning, followed up by a screening of the documentary “Through a lens darkly” and a talk with the film’s director, Thomas Allen Harris.

The Memory Lab is both a physical space and an online resource. People will be allowed to reserve the lab for up to three hours at a time, and will have access to digitizing videos and photos with step-by-step instructions. In addition to the resources available at the actual location, there is also an online resource–giving people opportunities to research the space and learn more about the kinds of technologies available to them at the library and at home.

The importance of this space is not lost on members of the community or its staff. As professionals, we are always cognizant of preservation needs of our workplace, and personal needs often fall by the wayside. By placing personal archiving and preservation of digital materials on the same level as the preservation needs of institutions and businesses, we can work towards protecting the stories of our users, and our communities.
Learn more about the Memory Lab here, and access Jamie Mears’ (project coordinator) talk on the importance of personal archiving here.

CUA Hosts 8th Annual “Bridging the Spectrum” Symposium

Posted: February 18, 2016 by saacua in News

On Friday, February 12th, individuals from across the information services field gathered at CUA’s Pryzbyla Student Center for the 8th Annual “Bridging the Spectrum” Symposium. Conceived and hosted by CUA’s Department of Library and Information Science, the symposium is a knowledge-forum for students, practitioners, and academics from all areas of the information services. The main goal? To conceptually bridge the spectrum of library and information professions by facilitating and supporting unexpected connections.

This year’s program included a keynote address; morning and afternoon breakout sessions; and, for the very first time, a poster presentation and lightning talk session.

For those students and professionals with an eye to the archival sector of information services, the projects presented at “Bridging the Spectrum” were a catalyst to thinking about archives, and archival tools, in brand new ways.  The main issues on the table: partnering with other parties/institutions for increased or improved archival use; leveraging repository collections to create new records; archiving social media material; selecting and implementing institutional policies for archiving specific materials; and archival tools for personal knowledge management.

Inter-Institutional Collaboration for Archival Success

Let’s be honest-most college students don’t visit an archive regularly. Sure, there are any number of reasons why, but the results are similar: a lack of experience with, or understanding of, primary materials; a deficit in original and critical thinking skills; lowered awareness of available resources and organizational standards, and an accompanying reliance on less trustworthy resources accessible via smartphones and computers. For the sake of students and repositories, information professionals need to find a way to ramp up utilization. But this is a daunting task for those in the higher education sphere, where policies like Common Core aren’t implementable, and where students aren’t encouraged or required to visit their campus archive. How are professionals to tackle such challenges? As evinced by the efforts of one community college archivist in New York, outside-the-box thinking and innovative institutional partnering are an effective combo.

Constance Williams, an archivist at Queensborough Community College in New York City, is partnering with faculty professors to increase student attendance at the repository. Working closely with instructors, Williams helps create research paper assignments that require the use of the college archive. Her main aims are to increase participants’ use of primary resources, and to foster original and critical thinking patterns. Using the archives’ primary resources, their own prior knowledge, and some old-fashioned curiosity, students formulate and answer a specific research question. In their quest to fulfill requirements,  the students are also learning to rely on research methods other than smartphones and apps. So far, Williams has reported a general uptick in archival use, with some students returning multiple times to access records. An unexpected result has been the creation of a new “Student Research and Writing Collection,” a special place in the archive carved out by the research papers of these initial partnership participants. Williams is continuing to explore and initiate new classroom partnerships, hopefully expanding the program to include a wide variety of subjects.

Social Media in the Archives

Whether or not you like it, social media has become an ingrained form of cultural communication. Government bodies, education centers, and organizations publish “officially unofficial” content on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook every day. Now they’re looking to archive these efforts. Archival policies and best practices for social media content aren’t a new trend, but they aren’t foolproof or easy either. Amy Wickner and Megan O’Hern, archivists with the University of Maryland, encounter and respond to such roadblocks in their quest to identify and outline an institutional policy for archiving the AFL-CIO Twitter feed in the George Meany Memorial AFL-CIO Archive.

So far, the pair hasn’t identified or  implemented any definite archival tool or policy, but their struggle to do so, and the questions they pinpoint along the way, highlight a growing problem in the archival field. The first steps are asking the right questions, teasing out the top concerns, and identifying the end goals of use and preservation. Then there’s the question of tools. Should they utilize one of the myriad social media capturing tools available today, add original features to an existing program, or take the long road and build a completely new device? They’ve drawn few concrete conclusions at this point, but their process of consideration emphasizes the importance of tailoring such archival strategies according to specific institution type, and/or even based on specific collections. If nothing more, Wickner and O’Hern’s are widening the spectrum of archival professionals working to place social media in a repository context.

Archiving Your Life

Probably the most exciting and immediately useful work presented at “Bridging the Spectrum” is the brainchild of DC Public Library Resident Jaime Mears. Mears has spent her time at DC Public wisely, and the fruit of her labor is the first ever DIY personal archiving lab and programming series of its kind in the United States. The Memory Lab is not an archive, but a tools and means for creating an archive, all placed at the fingertips of library patrons. Personal knowledge management has never been so important or in-demand, and the general public has never before been granted access to the knowledge and tools necessary for such management.

What’s the Memory Lab offering? At DC Public Library’s Martin Luther King Jr. branch, patrons can transfer home movies to relevant formats, digitize various materials, learn preservation methods and best practices, and discover ways to digitize social media content. Mears hopes that the lab will spur other librarians in the U.S. to implement similar services. The Memory Lab opens later this month, February 2016.

In recent news of the SAA@CUA student chapter, a new executive board has been elected since some of our members have finished the LIS program.  Starting in January 2016, for the spring semester, our new chapter officers will take over!  Congratulations!

President: Jenna Tenaglio
Vice President: Clara Bannigan
Treasurer: Cynthia Vrabel
Secretary: Victoria Pohlen

Advisor: Dr. Jane Zhang

Practicum Experience: David Carliner Papers

Posted: December 10, 2015 by saacua in Sharing

Guest Post by: Lindsey Bright

David Carliner Papers

            The David Carliner Papers is a collection of 29 boxes (12 linear feet) of personal and professional documents and correspondence. David Carliner (1918 – 2007) was a prominent immigration and civil rights attorney in Washington, DC, and founded the DC chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Beginning his practice in the 1940s after being denied an army commission, Carliner gained notoriety for his position as a civil rights activist through his work as an attorney on the 1955 Naim v. Naim and 1967 Loving v. Virginia cases. He was well known throughout Washington’s Jewish community, and he was a driving force behind the movement for home rule in the District. Major cases of note which he participated in include a 1965 representation of a government employee who sued the government after being fired for being gay and the 1979 – 1980 fight against the deportation of Iranian students.

The first chairman of the DC chapter of the ACLU, many of the boxes in this collection contain correspondence, memoranda, member lists, and event information regarding the chapter and its activities and governance. Additionally, even more than his ACLU activities, the boxes contain paraphernalia from his legal career. Court briefings, depositions, congressional records, and legal correspondence are interspersed with more mundane documents, invoices from a landscaper or birthday cards from friends and family. Mainly unprocessed, the bulk of work on this collection was geared towards grasping the scope and content of the boxes amassed as the collection arrived at the DC Public Library’s Washingtoniana Room over the past few years. Maintaining original order as best as possible, the contents of each box were re-foldered, with staples, paperclips, and other detritus removed. Folders were labeled, newspaper clippings separated out for photocopying, and a running list of folders was created. Special care and note were taken with many of the papers, as poor storage conditions prior to accession left parts of the collection water damaged and fragile. Folders containing these items were also labeled as damaged, indicating a priority for photocopying or digitizing and potential discarding depending on the severity of the damage.

Notable items within the collection include letters from Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bill Clinton, invitations to the 1963 March on Washington, and a large number of turn of the century German and German-Jewish legal documents. A significant subset within the collection regards Carliner’s wife Miriam née Kalter, who fled Germany in 1930 to avoid persecution as a Jew under the Nazi regime. Correspondence and filings by her and on her behalf for the restitution of her family’s German property make up the contents of almost one entire box, and other folders contain birth and citizenship papers for her and other family members, as well as her naturalization papers. A significant collection for many reasons, a highlight is specifically its relationship to the recent anniversary of DC home rule, and the impact made by Carliner on that legislation.

My work on this collection over around 50 hours was mostly in a processing capacity. I brought to light and made notes on the condition of many of the items involved, but performed little preservation activity due to time and material constraints. Generally processing on a folder level, some item-level work was necessitated by the presence of staples, paperclips, and other non-archival detritus present on and among already fragile or damaged papers. Just over half of the collection, 17 of the 29 boxes, is now rehoused and those boxes each have a complete folder list. Future work is still needed, to both complete the processing and deal with the damaged items and fragile newsprint materials.

Guest Post by: Marielle Gage

Arlington, Vscr_9710212dA boasts some of the most famous military memorials in the United States. The National
Cemetery, founded on the former property of Robert E. Lee, Confederate general, is the final resting place of many an American soldier, and holds both John F. Kennedy’s grave and the tomb of the Unknown Solider, perhaps the most poignant symbol of the costs of modern war. But there is another gem, not the site of yearly rituals. Right near the entrance is a small memorial dedicated to some of the most overlooked characters in American military history. To quote 1776’s Abigail Adam, “don’t forget about the women!”

The Women in the Military Services for America Memorial’s history reflects some of the realities of military women’s history. The current site of the Memorial was built in 1932 as the “Hemicycle” to be the ceremonial entrance into Arlington, but never served that function, and fell into disrepair by 1986[1]. In 1985, Congress approved the creation of a women’s military memorial, and approved the Hemicycle as the site in 1988. Reconstruction began in 1995 after several years of design and redesign. Controversy followed the first plan, as politicians feared several features would diminish the appeal of other monuments, such as disrupting the view of the Lincoln Memorial from Arlington House and the Kennedy gravesite. A later plan which eliminated the most contentious feature, glass prisms, was accepted. The architecture of the memorial has been widely praised, but the lack of “statues, symbols, or inscriptions that make the memorial identifiable as one for military women” has bothered some visitors.[2]

womens memorial1            Unfortunately, the Memorial has not become a major visitor site in Arlington. Arlington Cemetery’s Wikipedia page has only one line on the Women in Military Service memorial, buried amidst descriptions of several other memorials, all of which receive at least a little more attention in the article.[3] But the limited visibility and knowledge of the Memorial does not leave it without value. This little gem has a secret weapon: its museum and archives. At the “heart” of the memorial is the Register, a computerized database of military women. Users can access “photographs, military histories, and individual stories of registrants”[4] to recreate for themselves the history of women who have served our country from the American Revolution to the present. Furthermore, the Memorial has an Office of History and Collections that curates six separate collections, available to use upon appointment: Institutional Records, Photographs, Documents, Artifacts, Textiles, and Audiovisual Records.[5] The Office of History and Collections also sponsors regular special and online exhibits, in addition to the upkeep of the permanent exhibits on site.[6] Their current online exhibit is A New Generation of Warriors, which “honor[s] the servicewomen of Enduring and Iraqi Freedom”.[7] It can be accessed here: http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Exhibits/EllisOnlineExhibit2.html  exhibitcases

The Women in the Military Services for America cannot help but be an activist archive. Archival Activism is “the conjunction of [the] endeavors”[8] of preserving the past and influencing change in the future. By focusing on a group largely marginalized in the popular memory and historical record of the American military services, The Office of History and Collections at the memorial provides an essential service to those hoping to redirect attention towards the heroines of our nation’s history. Despite being a small, oft-unnoticed site in Arlington, the Women in the Military Services for America Memorial dreams big, and deserves our admiration.

Footnotes

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_in_Military_Service_for_America_Memorial

[2] Kilian, Michael. “Women in Uniform Get Their Due.” Chicago Tribune. October 17, 1997

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_National_Cemetery#Other_memorials

[4] http://www.womensmemorial.org/About/history.html

[5] http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Collections/collections.html

[6] http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Exhibits/exhibits.html

[7] http://www.womensmemorial.org/H&C/Exhibits/exhibitshl.html

[8] https://archivalactivism.wordpress.com/