Archives Howl-Up

So how about that last post, huh?

There has been some discussion on Twitter about organizing a meeting to discuss all the issues raised. (I have been calling it a howl-up. Cute, huh?) Feel free to discuss in the comments. In person meeting, online, or both? Where’s a good city to host? Should it be recorded? Any archivist or student groups want in?

I will make a poll based on the responses. And if someone else wants to step up to organize this thing…that would be awesome.

8 Responses to “Archives Howl-Up”

  1. Margaret Says:

    I would love to partake in a howl-up! No matter what, I think there needs to be an online participation option, given the small or non existent salaries many of the interested parties have. I may be able to attend in person if the meeting is in the Northeast -NYC, Philly, Boston – and if it’s on the weekend.

    Thanks, again for this rallying cry!

  2. Susan Says:

    I think it’s a great idea and there should be an online option no matter what. I’d be able to get to Philly, NYC or Boston without too much trouble if I could find free or hostel type housing for the night.

    Is there enough interest in several parts of the country? Would it be too hard to have multiple howl-ups going on at the same time? I know this would require a lot more planning, coordination and commitment on whoever wants to organize. But I think group discussion needs to happen and I hope no interested archivists feel isolated if they can’t come to a particular place. Otherwise that just perpetuates one of the problems of the annual meeting. For awhile now, I’ve wished for informal gatherings of archivists that aren’t sponsored by any professional organizations.

    Also, I think this should be advertised on the A&A list so archivists who perhaps didn’t attend SAA or ones that don’t read this blog or have Twitter accounts can be brought in to share their views.

  3. Stacie Says:

    A “howl-up” would be beneficial, but only if there are clear solutions that can be presented to the problems you raised and a plan for action. I’d love to meet more archivists and gain different perspectives, but I’d be hard-pressed to spend my meager grad student dollars to go to another city just to gripe about inequities.

    • Dee Dee Says:

      What about a local howl-up (or many) where people could just rant and swap stories and maybe share ideas, and then an official online meeting with an agenda and goals?

  4. Scott Ziegler Says:

    I think meeting is a good idea. And I agree that there should be some deliverables (forgive the business jargon). Perhaps if, as a group, we could have a clear list of what we think the problem is. I think most of think it’s not anyone’s fault that so many of us are unhappy with job prospects.

    By way of suggestions, we could discuss the possibilities of:
    1. Creating a resource for students thinking about going into archives (maybe like an “” website) that would allow potential students to talk to people in the field and get honest answers.

    2. Creating and collecting ideas of how to use archival skills outside of traditional archives. (Maybe holding digital preservation workshops at local genealogical societies.)

    Just to get things going I’ve created the following Google group:

    Keeping up with comments on a blog can be tricky, maybe this will be a bit easier (if not we can think of something else).

  5. AnonymousCoward Says:

    My 2 cents:

    1. My preference would be for an in-person meeting (with an online option). I’m a D.E. library school student (as others might be?), so having actual person-to-person communication with others in the field is something I tend to crave. Of course, making it in-person will be limiting – I know I have pretty much zero budgeted for travel – but I’m hoping we can find a way to make it work.

    2. Since I want an in-person component, I selfishly vote for Philly because it is the closest option for me!

    3. Though venting will be therapeutic and will inevitably happen, I do concur that we need deliverables. Otherwise, I don’t know that it is worth the travel. I can (and do) complain to my spouse every night; from an event such as this I’m looking for a little bit more. I do also tend to worry about public venting, as I like my job and I would really like to keep it!

    4. I think it is important that there be a wide variety of folks present. Obviously, everyone that goes to the effort of attending will probably feel some passion for this topic, but I’m hoping it doesn’t just resort to being a meeting of current students. I do love students (I am one after all), but I don’t know how productive a student-centric meeting would be. It seems like this issue has (at least from comments here and on A&A) touched many folks in various stages of their careers, but I don’t know whether that diversity will be reflected in a “howl-up.”

    Thanks again!

  6. Jordon Says:

    If you had it in Philly, I think leveraging the support of the iSchool and DVAG would be a great idea. The iSchool could provide the tech support (and maybe faculty participation, if Professor Davis is available), and DVAG could provide beer support. Also, I think it would be helpful for the iSchool students studying archives to come and get the straight dope about the state of the profession.

    I can’t speak for the iSchool, but DVAG would love to be a part of such a meeting. If you arrive at something like an actionable plan and Philadelphia is in the picture, let Margaret or me know and we can work out the logistics. And, as you probably do, I have contacts in the iSchool and could help facilitate that end as well.

  7. Beth Says:

    I think having this sort of meeting is a great idea. I vote for having an online option no matter what, so that everyone will have a chance to participate.

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