Tuesday, June 4, 2013

RAO Steering Committee Nominations: Rebecca Bizonet

Bio: My job for the past five years as part of the Ford Historical Resources Collaborative at The Henry Ford has been to provide research and reference services to my colleagues at the Ford Motor Company Archives, drawing on the significant collection of historical records and photographs that the company donated to us in 1964.  I’ve also facilitated public access to our collections during regular reference shifts in our reading room.  It’s been extremely helpful as a processor and cataloger (which I was in a former life, and still try to do when I can) to see how the collections I’ve described are actually being used.  In addition, for over a year now I’ve been the social media liaison for Historical Resources (which includes archivists, librarians, and curatorial, conservation, and registrar staff).  This involves coordinating blog posts from recruiting writers, to educating, encouraging, and editing – along with serving as a resource on collections information for our institution’s social media manager. 

Outside of work, I’m the co-editor of Michigan Archival Association’s biannual newsletter, Open Entry, and am also a member of the MAA board.  In both roles, it’s been my mission to ensure that our members are well informed and have a voice in the organization.  As part of SAA’s Annual Meeting Task Force over the last two years, I’ve helped analyze current practices and formulate recommendations for updating and improving SAA’s annual meeting. Specifically, on the Online Access Subgroup of the task force (first as a member and later as its chair), my group and I researched and recommended ways to increase and modernize online access to the annual meeting.  Through it all, communicating our charge to SAA members and gathering and listening to their input was crucial.  The task force’s work continues this summer with the hosting of a forum for member discussion of our final report.  I’m also a member of MAC (Midwest Archives Conference), and I served on its 2011-2012 Nominating Committee.

Statement: Some running threads through my work in archives and in other professional activities, especially in MAA and SAA, have been a commitment to service, fostering constituent inclusion and participation, working as part of a team for the common good, and being on the lookout for creative ways to make things better.  As a research and reference archivist, I provide as good of an answer as I can on a sometimes tight deadline.  As an editor of both a blog and a newsletter, I relish providing a forum for many voices and shepherding my contributors’ work to completion.  I love getting the word out to a larger audience about things archival, whether it’s sharing stories about our collections with the public or promoting the work of my colleagues within the profession.  I look forward to being able to contribute my skills, interests, and enthusiasm to the RAO Section Steering Committee, and in turn to learning from my RAO colleagues.

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