When considering the future of archives, it is essential to consider the role of archivists. Archives have suffered from a multi-decade cycle of poverty that stunts their ability to provide adequate care for records and services for users. The role of archival interventions carried out by archivists is often overlooked and invisible to users and the general public. Well-managed and useful archives require archivists to oversee their care. Archivists play a critical role in responding to concerns about digital cultural heritage loss, but their marginalization from the public sphere remains a significant challenge.
As the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County expanded at the beginning of the twentieth century, the library’s trustees turned to Andrew Carnegie to build new branch libraries. The construction of Cincinnati’s Carnegie branches extended access to dedicated library facilities outside of the downtown basin, because the branches were primarily built in the emerging hilltop neighborhoods. The library trustees were largely responsible for location decisions. Community associations saw the construction of a neighborhood branch as a desirable status symbol, and regularly attempted to influence the trustees’ decisions in their favor.
Discussion of the likely impacts of climate change on archives is significantly deficient in the archival profession. Archives hold rare and unique materials that are irreplaceable and institutional adaptation to climate change is critical to the survival of these resources. The earliest effects of climate change are likely to be increased weather events that threaten the physical safety of holdings. Hurricanes, floods, and fires pose particular risks to archives due to potential damage to buildings as well as from limitations of local infrastructure to rapidly respond to disasters. Disaster preparedness for archives needs to include planning responses to a wide variety of situations that threaten holdings. As societies begin to adapt to climate change, archivists should consider how values of sustainability and resiliency might inform archival practice.
The archival profession has long attempted to define what constitutes a professional archivist. These debates over education, training, and certification have lasted decades, however few studies have been completed on how the employment market for archivists has changed in response to these professional challenges. This study looks at almost a thousand professional archivist job advertisements between late 2006 and early 2014 to understand the current prevailing recruitment criteria. It is broader in scope and time period than other recent studies. Overall, the market was determined to be mostly stable during the study period.
Scholar@UC - scholar.uc.edu - is the faculty self-submission repository currently in development at the University of Cincinnati (UC). Using the Hydra framework, this system comes in an environment of dramatic change: new partnerships across campus and with other entities, new engagement with faculty and stakeholders, growing needs for internal staff job development, and development of new researcher services. The UC Libraries is lean on staffing in comparison with its peers, so we face unique challenges that require flexibility and creativity. We embrace both nimble processes and a strong sense of risk-taking, to ensure that Scholar@UC becomes a critical enterprise system. This panel reflects on three aspects of our engagement and development efforts. First, we will discuss outreach efforts to bring together a small set of “early adopter” faculty, and the process of assembling feedback in a personalized, interview-based setting. Then, we will discuss the process to transform this feedback into functional use cases that prioritize needs and desires. Finally, we will discuss building a small and high-functioning software development team, and collaboration with UC’s central IT department and other local/national development efforts. We think this presentation will offer insight for other institutions with ambitious agendas and limited means.