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July 15, 2011 / Council of State Archivists

2011 NAGARA/CoSA Annual Meeting Update 2

After a busy first couple of days, we were at it again today. Most of the meeting attendees met for breakfast and the NAGARA Business Meeting, some of us more awake than others. But for those of us who stayed up too late last night, there were bottomless cups of caffeinated coffee and plenty of protein (i.e., eggs and bacon). 

During breakfast the Tennessee Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, welcomed us all to Nashville and Tennessee before we got into the meat of the Business Meeting. 

Afterwards, if we hadn’t already imbibed enough coffee during breakfast and the Business Meeting, we had another opportunity to caffeinate our brains again while schmoozing with the exhibitors and meeting sponsors. 

We all left the exhibit hall with caffeine coursing through our veins, ready to attend the first offering of concurrent sessions. The grouping of sessions all sounded very interesting, but CoSA staffers were only able to attend two of the three sessions. 

“Celebrating Archives Month: Advocacy, Collaboration and Outreach” was chaired by Valerie Edgeworth from the Kentucky Department for Libraries and Archives (KDLA). Session speakers included Jay Richiuso from the Tennessee State Library and Archives and Beth Shields, also from KDLA. They provided a good juxtaposition between the Tennessee Archives Month program, which the Tennessee SHRAB does not play a key role, and the Kentucky Archives Month program which is run almost exclusively by the Kentucky SHRAB. 

“It’s 10 p.m. Do You Know Where Your Governor’s Records Are?” was chaired by Chris Ward from the New York State Archives. In addition to Chris, the other session speakers for this session were Becky McGee-Lankford from the North Carolina State Archives and Cathi Carmack from the Tennessee State Library and Archives. It turns out there was a little bit of statute envy as the states learned the differences between the laws governing the executive branches of each state. There was so much to discuss but unfortunately there wasn’t enough time. So the discussion about ways to approach the unresolved issues with Governor’s records will continue during a future CoSA sponsored web conference. 

After the first offering of sessions, we all reconvened to attend the first Plenary of the meeting. Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, was originally scheduled to speak but had to cancel in order to attend Betty Ford’s funeral in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Deb Wall, Deputy Archivist of the United States, filled in for David Ferriero and did a good job filling his shoes.

However, the shoes she was actually wearing were probably a bit more exciting than David Ferriero’s shoes would have been (the heel of her shoe was the same red as the strap). 

 

Deb will be providing copies of her remarks for us to distribute to the entire group which we will accompany with a summary of the question/answer session which followed. 

Once the Plenary was done, we herded ourselves into the other side of the divided ballroom where we enjoyed fajitas, pulled pork, little round hushpuppies, iced tea, and coffee – can’t forget about the coffee – during the buffet lunch with the exhibitors. 

The second round of concurrent sessions began immediately after lunch with a smorgasbord, an update, and some good vibrations. 

The presenters for the “SHRAB Activities Smorgasbord” session shared a wealth of good ideas and innovative programs pursued through NHPRC grants to SHRABs. Dan Stokes, NHPRC’s Director for State Programs, provided an overview of the $3.8 million in SNAP grants awarded to 43 states and territories in the last four years. Ann Jenks (ND) described their project to digitize photos from small historical societies throughout the state using interns who visited each site (one even slept overnight in the museum when no other accommodations were available!). Kayla Koerting (NE) read a paper prepared by Jodie Foley (MT) then described Nebraska’s own project that also involved traveling students, this time in collaboration with a state university in the far western region of the state. David Cheever (ME) focused on their efforts to make the state’s documentary “crown jewels” (an extensive body of materials that illuminate domestic life in Maine during the Civil War) broadly available through innovative and effective partnerships. Julia Young (MS) described two grants to inventory records in county courthouses that produced guidance for each participating county on scheduling and disposition, delivered workshops, and provided consultations. Kathleen Roe (NY) briefly discussed three curriculum projects, all of which she encouraged every other state to use, including electronic records for small colleges, security, and the basics of archives. 

“DCAPE Project Update” session members included Caryn Wojcik, Michigan Records Management Services; Richard Marciano, University of North Carolina; and Chien-yi Hou; University of North Carolina. Unfortunately, CoSA staff was unable to attend this session, so if you attended and would like to share a brief summary, add a comment at the end of the post. 

Good Vibrations: Social Networking Technologies in Government” was organized by Jim Cundy and speakers included Meredith Doviak, Mary Krakowiak, and Paul Wester with NARA and Mark Myers from KDLA. In June 2009, NARA established a Social Media Working Group consisting of representatives from all offices. Now they use Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, and several other social media sites to connect people to the National Archives. 

About this time in the afternoon people needed more coffee (have you noticed a theme to this post yet?), and those of us who indulged in the caffeine so late in the day will probably have trouble falling asleep tonight. 

The only late afternoon session I can provide a brief summary of is “Traversing the E-Tightrope: Managing Electronic Records.” A full room of people met to discuss the challenges of managing electronic records with Matt Veatch from the Kansas Historical Society, Jim Corridan from the Indiana Commission on Public Records, Charles Robb with NASCIO, and Pamela Hurst from Hamilton County, TN. Examples were given from the county level and the relationship between archivists and state CIOs. 

The day ended with a wonderful reception at the 19th century Belle Meade Plantation.

We all enjoyed the (almost) free rein we were given of the plantation and had a good time catching-up with colleagues and relaxing after another busy day.

On tap tomorrow is the CoSA Business Meeting, more concurrent sessions, a keynote address during lunch, another plenary, and one last reception. 

Since the CoSA staff can’t make it to every session, we highly encourage everyone to post comments about the sessions they sat in on so those who were unable to attend the meeting can experience it virtually. 

Have a good night everyone, and we’ll see you all again tomorrow. 

**Remember to pre-caffeinate yourselves tomorrow because I don’t think there will be quite as much coffee available throughout the day.

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