Thursday, February 26, 2015

521. Need Your Input: Why People Love Archives



                As you are no doubt aware, Americans currently (probably always!) are besieged with public officials who can’t think beyond their noses. One effect of this is the constant government attacks on the budgets of libraries and archives. As genealogists, we are major players in the lists of patrons of those two groups. We also are major players in the voting rolls, which are what pols respect. Below is an appeal where we as “the public” can have a strong effect. Ready, set, go:
               
                Alison Harper Stankrauff of the Society of Indiana Archivists passed along a message from Society of American Archivists President Kathleen Roe, who is asking for heartfelt testimonials about why archives matter. Can you help? Respond to Kathleen directly at: kathleen.d.roe@gmail.com.  

Call to Action #5: Why People Love Archives

                We recently heard from many of you about why you’re an archivist and what you love about archives. We truly do have strong, energetic supporters of all kinds—from journalists to genealogists, students to stakeholders, there are people who can and do say wonderful things about the value of archives. So ask your supporters why they love archives.
                This month, we encourage you to seek input, comments, or testimonials on why archives matter to others.  We can use comments like these when we are promoting our programs to our managers, resource allocators, legislators, and even the public.
                Here are some ideas for how to gather that information:
Ask the supporters who visit your repository to write why they love archives using this simple form—or create your own. Leave out copies of the form at your repository. Responses can be detailed or short and sweet—all these comments will help us build an even stronger case for why archives matter.  Be sure to ask for permission to use their names and quotes!
                Reach out to those you know who have benefited from doing research in your repository, your colleagues, or even your boss and ask them to provide you with a statement indicating why they love archives. You can reach out with a simple email, or host a fun event to celebrate archives—such as an “I Love Archives” party in connection with Valentine’s Day. (Okay, it may be a little schmaltzy, but remember—it’s all for the love of archives!)  
                Again, be sure to ask for permission to use their names and quotes—and get a picture if you can! Share the responses you receive, or what you’ve done to reach out!
                Post your comments on SAA’s Facebook post.
(Or use #PeopleLoveArchives on Twitter, or email responses to saahq@archivists.org.)

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