I’ll do me. You do you. But let’s all do SAA!

Last week, archivists from all over the country (actually, probably the world) came to Atlanta for the eightieth Society of American Archivists (SAA) annual meeting. And it was AWESOME. Aside from the fact that I live in Atlanta and had the luxury of watching so many of my colleagues enjoy all that my city has to offer, I had a chance to experience what it was like to serve on the host committee for the SAA meeting. In addition, I am a 2015 – 2017 Association of Research Libraries/Society of American Archivists Mosaic Fellow, so I enjoyed a few different special events through that as well. One thing that I love about the SAA conference is that no one’s experience is identical. At some conferences, everyone attends the same sessions, eats the same conference food, etc. Nothing is wrong with that. However, at the SAA conference, there is no possible way an archivists can go to every session, visit every vendor, drink at every happy hour, eat at every restaurant. . . it’s just not humanly possible. Hence, each archivist attending the conference has a customized experience based on what is important to him or her. Some archivists choose to stay for the entire conference while others may only stay for a few days. Some may choose to attend pre-conference workshops while others may choose to spend that time getting to know the area and socializing with colleagues. There is no wrong way to do SAA! Even archivists that cannot physically come to the meeting can enjoy conference recordings on Mp3. How cool is that??

Anyway, I’m going to give you a glimpse into my SAA experience. I encourage everyone to comment and share their own!

Tuesday, August 2

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ARL/SAA Mosaic Forum

During this all-day forum, my fellow Mosaic scholars and I enjoyed learning about diversity in archives and early career development from a variety of panel speakers. I’d like to make a special shout-out to my friends Holly Smith, Gabrielle Dudley, and Courtney Chartier for conducting a wonderful panel to kick off our forum! Later in the day, we had lunch with current SAA President Dennis Meissner and SAA Executive Director Nancy Beaumont, which was delightful. We ended the day with a mock job interview. I am already employed, so it didn’t mean much to me, but the practice is always good.

Tuesday, August 2:       

5:30 p.m. Archive-It Partner reception

Be still my beating heart! Some of my oldest blog readers may remember that interned with Archive-It during the summer of 2015. That’s the reason I started this blog in the first place! I enjoyed a lovely reception with my former co-workers and internship supervisors. It was so wonderful to see them. They came to Atlanta all the way from San Francisco.

Tuesday, August 2

6:30 p.m. ARL/SAA Mosaic Fellow dinner at White Oak Kitchen

Dinnertime with my Mosaic Fellows! We had a delicious dinner at White Oak Kitchen in downtown Atlanta and enjoyed lots of bonding. I was so impressed because the restaurant was even able to accommodate all of my dietary issues (which is rare). Yum!


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Aren’t we adorbs??

Wednesday, August 3

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Academy of Certified Archivists exam

Umm, do I really need to describe this one? It was definitely a challenging test. I am keeping positive thoughts and hoping that I passed! I want to be a certified archivist!

Wednesday, August 3

12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. Bookstore

Those prices were incredible!! I bought two new books—College and University Archives: Readings in Theory and Practice edited by Christopher Prom and Elaine D. Swan and the new, hot-off-the-press Digital Preservation Essentials edited by Christopher Prom, Erin O’Meara, and Kate Stratton. In addition, I got to meet Abigail Christian, SAA’s Editorial and Production Coordinator.

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Wednesday, August 3

2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Registration table

Part of being on the SAA host committee is putting in work. In addition to contributing to the conference blog, one of the ways I contributed was by working the registration table. This allowed me to meet archivists from all over the place. I even got a chance to meet Frank Boles—an accomplished and prolific archivist who has written countless articles for The American Archivists and other well-known journals in our field. Meeting people was so much fun!

Friday, August 5

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. 71st Presidential Address and Awards Ceremony

During this large ceremony, I was recognized as an ARL/SAA Mosaic Fellow along with other SAA scholarship winners. I even got to walk on stage. I also enjoyed listening to the address that President Dennis Meissner gave. He talked about a variety of topics including the need for inclusion in the archival profession and the need for archivists to become givers to their profession. After the presidential address, I met two INCREDIBLE archivists whom I have looked up to for such a long time—Cheryl Oestreicher and Scott Cline!!!

I had such a wonderful time at SAA. There were tons of things I wish I could have done, but attempting to go back and forth between the conference in downtown Atlanta and working at my job in Kennesaw in addition to moving into my first apartment that same week, I could only do so much. (Yes, there was stress involved). To be honest, I REALLY wished I could have attended the Write Away! Breakfast. *Sigh* Next year definitely!

That was my experience at SAA. Now tell me how you did SAA!!