Junior Co-chair Candidate Statements

LACCHA candidate statements

Margarita Vargas-Betancourt
My name is Margarita Vargas-Betancourt and I am the Caribbean Basin Librarian in the Latin American & Caribbean Collection at the University of Florida (UF). One of the most important missions of my work as archivist, liaison, and curator has been to identify, incorporate, and broadcast the presence of traditionally underrepresented groups in archival collections. Recently, along with History Professor Lillian Guerra, I curated the exhibit Revolucionarias: Women and the Formation of the Cuban Nation. I would like to serve as LACCHA’s co-chair to support other Latin American & Caribbean archival repositories in the U.S. in the quest to incorporate and broadcast the Latin American and Caribbean heritage.

Amanda Strauss
Research Librarian, Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
My vision for LACCHA is that it can serve as a resource for researchers as well as archivists. I would like to see LACCHA work on an outward-facing project. This project could be, for example, compiling a bibliography of Latina feminist collections; creating a guide to help researchers identify repositories with Latin American collections; or maybe curating an online thematic exhibit that draws on digitized resources from many repositories. Regardless of the form that the project takes, I think that investing in relationships with researchers, who are some of the primary stakeholders in our collections, will pay remarkable dividends.

Thank you for your consideration.

SAA Council Update


The SAA Council met May 22-24 in Chicago. As your Council liaison, I wanted to bring you up-to-date on the list of action items from the meeting. The agenda item number is noted following the item, and you can view all the agenda items at: http://www2.archivists.org/groups/saa-council/may-22-24-2014-council-meeting-agenda. Minutes will be available in about a month.

Council actions:

Adopted a budget for FY 2015 that represents a realistic work plan for the Society and that places appropriate emphasis on maintaining operations at a sustainable level while addressing SAA’s strategic priorities. The organization’s ability to succeed in key areas of advocacy, education, knowledge dissemination, and member services is highly dependent on staying current with communication technology and information management systems. Unlike most other strategic priorities, large technology investments cannot be accommodated within normal operating budgets. The FY15 budget projects a respectable net gain ($46,728) that allows staff to plan appropriately to meet member service expectations. (V.A.)

As a way of supporting a long-standing SAA policy on child care at the Annual Meeting, the Council included in the budget $6,000 to assist members with child care costs associated with attendance at the Annual Meeting. We are collecting information about interest in child care services via the registration form and will be in touch with interested individuals before the conference.

Adopted issue briefs drafted by the Committee on Advocacy and Public Policy on the Presidential Records Act, the Freedom of Information Act, Orphan Works, and Section 108 of the Copyright Act that provide background and explain in detail SAA’s position on these subjects. (V.B.)

Approved a Standards Committee recommendation that its “Procedures for Review and Approval of an SAA-Developed Standard” be revised to include a procedure for “fast tracking” Council development of best practices documents (as has been done for Best Practices for Internships and Best Practices for Volunteers in Archives). In these cases, a subgroup of the Council functions as the standard development and review team and the standards approval process begins at a slightly different place. (III.A.)

Approved a Committee on Education recommendation that it proceed with development of an Arrangement and Description curriculum that will take the many continuing education offerings related to arrangement and description, and arrange those offerings (and several to be developed) into a comprehensive curriculum similar to expand baseline knowledge in numerous aspects of arrangement and description. (V.C.)

Adopted a motion to suspend for the 2015 Annual Meeting section and roundtable endorsements of session proposals. Done in the spirit of the Annual Meeting Task Force report, the action was taken “to allow the Program Committee to explore alternative ways to bring broad member input into the session development process.” Administering the endorsement process seems to consume a great deal of section and roundtable time as it seems for many groups to create more confusion than clarity, and consumes Program Committee and staff time that needs to be focused on exploring new options for direct member input on annual meeting program sessions. This is an experiment. Council hopes that the time that would previously have been used in the endorsement process will instead be used to develop sessions for submission to the Program Committee, or in some other activity for the benefit of the members of the section/roundtable.

Adopted a revised Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct description to reflect current practice and include a review cycle for the “Core Values of Archivists” document. (V.D.)

Adopted a revised Diversity Committee description to address concerns expressed by the current and past chairs and to make it more consistent with other committee descriptions. (V.E.)

Adopted a revised Journal Editorial Board description that reflects current practice. (V.F.)

Adopted a Records Retention Policy and Schedule for SAA. (V.G.)

Reviewed a draft of a Code of Conduct Policy and agreed to seek member comment on it, with a deadline of June 19 (i.e., three weeks from posting). (VI.A.)

Elected Tanya Zanish-Belcher to serve as the Executive Committee member who will represent the councilors on the Executive Committee in 2014-2015. Selected Geof Huth and Michelle Light to serve on the 2014-2015 Nominating Committee. (V.H.)

In addition to the action items, the Council conducted a mega-issue discussion on diversity, in regards to what that means for membership and in diversity of the archival record. We expect more discussion at upcoming meetings.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to let me know and I look forward to see you all in August!



Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Senior Librarian
Director, Special Collections & University Archivist

Wake Forest University