(If you want to share today’s comic, please link to this post instead of copying the image–the context is very important. Thank you!)
Those of you who know me as an archives tech, rather than as a webcomicker, know that I am passionate about supporting archives students and new archivists. I started the original Crash Space for Archivists and listed my house. I support my local SAA student chapter. I CC-license my comics so that students (and others) have a large collection of free, archives-themed images to use in their papers and presentations. You could say that my interest in these issues, as an aspiring archivist, is somewhat self-serving, but as someone with a full-time, non-grant-funded archives job, I am unaffected by many of the issues facing new members of our profession (and pretty damn lucky).
When I attended SAA this year, I was fortunate to meet lots of experienced archivists–many of whom were excited to meet me because I post drawings on the Internet. But you’ve probably read their papers and seen their conference presentations and subscribed to their blogs already.
I also met some great students and recent grads. You probably wouldn’t recognize most of their names. And these are the people I want to talk about, because I worry about them, archivists. It is amazing the things that people will tell you when you have no power to hire anyone, and now I’m angry. Really angry. It almost makes me want to…howl?
I worry about these kids. And I worry about you, archivists, and your profession, because I worry that these archivists will take their skills and ideas and find jobs outside the field instead of putting up with all this bullshit. And how can you truly preserve your collections in the long term if there is no one to replace you if you change jobs or retire or get crushed in your own compact shelving?
I know there are influential archivists out there who read this blog, as well as plenty of people new to the field. I want to read all your ideas for how to fix this, here, elsewhere on the Internet, or privately. (You can post anonymous comments here, but WordPress will show me your IP address on the back end–if that makes you nervous, don’t leave a comment.) I want to get back to writing the humorous comics you’ve all come to expect from DnD, but I can’t work on the funny stuff unless other people step up to take care of the serious stuff.
(Photo credits, top to bottom: National Library of Wales, George Eastman House, the Library of Virginia, the U.S. National Archives, JWA Commons.)