Letter from the President

I am excited to be part of the SAA Student Chapter leadership team this year! As way of introduction, here is a little information about me and my interests:

Graduate Library Preprofessional


Putting up a small exhibit on Mother Teresa using archival materials.

As part of the Graduate Library Preprofessional (GLP) program, I work full time in the Archives here at CUA while pursuing my degree part time. This has been an amazing opportunity to get experience and on the job training! So far I have been able to…

State Department Virtual Internship

I also have recently started a “Virtual Student Foreign Service” internship, which is organized through the State Department. In my role, I will be assisting the Collections & Preservation Directorate of the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) by compiling material for online exhibits built in eMuseum, the web component of their collection management software, The Museum System.

Archivists of Metro DC

This summer, I joined the volunteer organization Archivists of Metro DC (AMDC) on two occasions to help organize the archives of SOME (So Others Might Eat). SOME has been providing meals and many other services to the needy of Washington D.C. since 1970, so it was really meaningful to use our archival skills to rehousing their photograph collection. If you are looking for ways to give back, I would definitely suggest checking out both AMDC and SOME!

That’s a bit about me and what I’ve been up to! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions or want to know more about any of these opportunities I’ve participated in.

Katie Santa Ana
SAA Student Chapter President

Aside  —  Posted: October 4, 2016 by saacua in News

Meeting Agenda

Posted: September 23, 2016 by saacua in News

Check out what we discussed at our first meeting earlier this week…

How to Join SAA

Writing for the SAA@CUA Blog

  • Are you doing interesting archival work at your job or have a neat internship? Have a current project you’d like to share? We’re looking for writers!
  • Email any questions or blog post ideas to Katie Santa Ana at 01santaana@cua.edu


  • Interested in leadership at SAA? Vice President and Treasurer positions are open!
  • Tell us about your interest in the role
  • Vote!

Upcoming Events…

Archives Fair 2016 (volunteers needed!)

  • Wednesday, October 5, 2016
  • 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • National Museum of American History
  • West Wing First Floor: Coulter Performance Plaza and SC Johnson Conference Center
  • 14th St and Constitution Ave, NW, Washington, DC 20560

Manuscripts Division of Library of Congress Tour

  • Monday, October 24, 2016
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • 101 Independence Ave. SE
    Room LM 101
    James Madison Memorial Bldg
    Washington, D.C. 20540-4680

SAA Student Chapter Meeting! Sept. 20

Posted: September 14, 2016 by saacua in Events, News
It’s time for an SAA Student Chapter meeting! If you have any interest in joining SAA or you’re just curious, meet us Tuesday, September 20th, at 6:15pm in the Information Commons (Room 315 of the Columbus School of Law).
Here’s what’s on the agenda:
  • Elections! We have several open leadership positions, which are a great way to get experience and add a little something to the resume.
  • Archives Fair 2016! This exciting event on Oct. 5 brings a variety of archives institutions together for presentations and a tour of the Archives at the National Museum of American History. We are going and want you to too!
  • Joining SAA! (and how to get reimbursed by AGLISS)
  • SAA@CUA Blog! Want to write about your experience working with or in an archive? Do a cool project? We want to showcase it!
We have a lot of great things happening this semester and I can’t wait to meet up with you all. If you can’t make it to this particular meeting, I’d still definitely recommend attending the Archives Fair. It will be an amazing opportunity to meet many professionals in the archival field. And of course, you can always email me with any questions you might have, I am happy to be a resource to you all!
Let me know if you are coming to the meeting so I can plan cookies/snacks   🙂
Thank you,

Katie Santa Ana
CUA Archives GLP

SAA Student Chapter President
  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.



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.


$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.


Alexandria Library, 717 Queen Street, Alexandria, VA 22314


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.


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)


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.