Friday, May 31, 2013

RAO Steering Committee Nominations: Matt Herbison

Bio: Matt Herbison is the Reference& amp; Outreach Archivist at the LegacyCenter of Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Matt writes, "I enjoy advocating for the rights of archives users—and for the obligation and right of archivists to actively cultivate and meaningfully engage as many new archives users as possible. I have a particular interest in working with K-12 and undergraduate students and teachers to bring primary sources into the classroom in both face-to-face and online settings, with the goal of building 'simple' document analysis skills all the way through to the complex task of intelligently incorporating archives into students' research processes.

Statement: For the last two-plus years, I've been working with the RAO Teaching withPrimary Sources (TPS) Working Group, as a member of the TPS Survey group and as a leader of the group creating the TPS Bibliography. I have also done stints as Web-person for MARAC and the SAA Museum Archives Section. I am active in local groups, including leading the THATCamp Philly organizing group, am a founding member of the Greater Philadelphia Digital Humanities Group (PhillyDH), and am currently Immediate Past Chair of the Delaware Valley ArchivistsGroup. I'm also a member of the 2013 cohort of the Archives Leadership Institute.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Don’t Be Shy, Apply!
Deadline for RAO Marketplace Vendors Extended
to May 23, 2013

Consider an Arranged Marriage…

There is still plenty of time to propose your own hot topic or cool demo for this year’s magical marketplace extravaganza, but here are a few suggestions that the marketplace team believe could be the perfect match for the today’s chic, super-cool RAO archivists:

Possible Cool Demos…

Elevator Speech Lab: Facilitator(s) would discuss what makes a good elevator speech (as an elevator speech delivered in 90 seconds or less) and then participants would have 5 minutes to draft a speech and  share (on a voluntary basis) other booth shoppers.

When the keyword is not enough: reference and instruction strategies for the Google generation: A moderated discussion of what works well to get researchers to move beyond the basic keyword search

Steps to obtaining your own Wikipedian in Residence: The hot new thing for outreach and access is to leverage the power of Wikipedia and its legion of users and creators by embedding a Wikipedian-in-residence.  Discussion leaders share steps and answers questions for establishing a Wikipedian-in-residence.

Possible Hot Topics…

Outreach to community archives:
How can we help groups and organizations interested in preserving their history themselves make good decisions and get the help they need?

To loan or not loan; that is the question: RAO recently supported the effort to have the SAA standards committee endorse the guidelines for loaning and borrowing with a few caveats.  Facilitators could continue the discussion started at last year’s marketplace on the challenges and opportunities of lending and borrowing.

Copy requests in the reading room: what is the current state of the safe harbor of fair use? Many archives allow patrons to make their own copies with digital cameras or with a photocopier in the reading room.  What are best practices to ensure safety and integrity of materials and that fair use is upheld.

What makes a great archives exhibit? Discuss strategies for creating engaging exhibits that add value and interest to archival materials on display

Make a Proposal…

Applying to purvey hotness and coolness is simple and easy:
 1.      Draft a brief description of the demonstration or hot topic and explain how and/or why it relates to reference, access, or outreach archivists and their work. 
2.      Come up with a working title.
3.      Determine who will lead the demo or moderate the discussion (this may be you, so talk to yourself)
4.      OR, VOLUNTEER to lead one of proposed hot topics or cool demos suggested above and use the proposal form link below to do so.
5.      Visit and complete the online proposal form
6.      Deadline to apply is May 23, 2013
7.      QUESTIONS? Contact Jill Severn at 706-542-5766 or

More details in case you missed them…

Wanted: Hot Topics and Cool Demos
 The 2013 RAO Program Committee seeks Hot Topics and Cool Demonstrations for provocative conversation and deep thinking in a hotel in New Orleans in August.   On August 15th 2013 RAO will host its second annual Marketplace of Ideas and seeks purveyors of hot topics and cool demonstrations to sell their wares to a savvy audience of RAO archivists.

What is an RAO Hot Topic?
 An RAO hot topic is an issue, a concern, an idea that has sparked recent attention in RAO circles.  It can be something that seems novel or cutting-edge; it can be an enduring issue that is garnering new attention or approaches. 

What Makes an RAO Hot Topic HOT?
 An RAO hot topic can be provocative and even fractious; it can also be surprising and funny. Above all else, a hot topic should engender passion, engagement and excitement.   

What is an RAO Cool Demo?
 An RAO Cool Demonstration is a presentation of an approach or technique that has enhanced services, simplified processes, or transformed workflows and approaches. It could be a simple fix or adaptation, or a reinvention of the wheel.

What Makes an RAO Cool Demo COOL?
 An RAO Cool Demo should be widely applicable to RAO archivists and simple enough to explain in a low-tech manner in a short period of time.  Think of it as an app that works without a mobile device.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

RAO Wants YOU!

Seeking a few good members to run for the RAO Steering Committee!

Please send us any nominations for Steering Committee for the Reference, Outreach, and Access Section. And of course, you’re welcome to nominate yourself!

Here are the (short) by-laws that explain the duties and terms of the officers:

Serving as a section leader is a great way to get involved with—or continue to be involved with—SAA, and a chance to benefit your profession. The Nominations Committee would be glad to answer any questions you might have; please feel free to contact us!

Nominees should submit their name, a brief bio, and a short statement to a member of the Nominations Committee.  Deadline: May 31, 2013. 
Each nominee will get their own post here on the blog as their nominations come in. Plus we will be posting the short statements on the RAO website and in the next issue of the RAO newsletter.

~The Nominations Committee

Rachael Dreyer,

Jean Green,

Kathie Otto,