Learning Objectives

  • Explain the role of exhibits and programs as outreach activities

Scenario

You’re an archivist at a small private university. Your university has ties to a religiously affiliated group, but as of five years ago no longer receives funding from that group. One of the board of trustees is appointed by this group, and beyond that there is no formal connection. The bulk of your archives is university records, with some collecting in the areas of religious scholarship and oral history collections. As part of your regular programing initiatives, you create small exhibits that highlight portions of your collections. Alumni weekend is approaching, and you’ve decided to let your exhibit be focused on student groups. You’ve asked for student groups to submit small displays to include with archival material as an outreach initiative that you hope will aid in your collecting. You’ve told student groups that nothing inappropriate will be allowed into the exhibit, but you have not defined what this means. One university sanctioned student group, the recently formed gay straight alliance, is very eager to include some photos and other materials for the exhibit. You also have interest from many of the older and larger student groups from across campus, some of which are informal and not recognized by the university.

Questions

  • How would you design this exhibit in order to clearly tell the story of student life on campus?
  • How would you deal with student expectations about how their materials will be exhibited along side archival materials?
  • If there is any backlash to this exhibit, how will you deal with it? What kind of political capital will you have to spend in order to fairly represent all interested student groups. If a group isn’t recognized by the university, does this change how you will approach dealing with any issues that may arise?

Bibliography


Learning Objectives

  • Define outreach
  • List examples of outreach activities

Scenario

Your predecessor at the archives you are currently employed at was great at creating exhibits for your collection. They’d spent a few years as the exhibit designer for a small area museum before becoming an archivists. These exhibits would draw excellent crowds for your organization and the former archivist could call on their friends to get good speakers for exhibit programs. They had even created a very popular sleep over program. You have none of that, but you do have two rooms of exhibit area that you now find yourself in charge of. The exhibit program would have exhibitions rotate two to three times of year. Each exhibit would have an opening event and an event in the middle that was some what related. What didn’t occur with the previous archivist was any outreach activities beyond exhibits and exhibit related presentations.

Questions

  • How would you approach planning outreach activities for this organization? Would your approach change if this were a government archives or a business archives?
  • How can you mitigate expectations surrounding exhibits? If you minimize exhibitions in your archives, what will you tell the administration about your new approach to outreach

Bibliography

Timothy L. Ericson, “Preoccupied With Our Own Gardens: Outreach and Archivists,” Archivaria 31 (1990): 114-122. http://journals.sfu.ca/archivar/index.php/archivaria/issue/view/390/showToc.


Learning Objectives

  • Assess effective organization and management of reference services
  • Evaluate reference services and success

Scenario

You work at large state archives that has a variety of different types of users, or you think that the archives has a large variety of users. You actually don’t have much of an understanding of the types of users and how you are serving them at your institution. Currently, your archives keeps rudimentary paper records that tracks the number of users and number of boxes provided. You also have pull sheets that are used for making requests as well as registration forms that document data about users including, institutional affiliation, research interests, dates visited and contact information. You’ve been tasked with analyzing your users.

Questions

  • What data do you currently have avaliable to study your reference activities?
  • What could this data tell you about your users?
  • What other types of data should you collect? How could you make this collection process easier?

Bibliography

Pugh, Chapter 9


Learning Objectives

  • Define access and its concepts
  • Categorize aspects to establish access policies

Scenario

You work at an institutional archives at a private architectural/engineering firm. Your archives is responsible for records management as well as maintaining permeant records for your organization. Your users are mostly internal users, but occasionally you’ve allowed outside researchers to use your collections because your firm has been in existence over one hundred and twenty years. Recently, you’re organization has become embroiled in a very public legal case with the federal government. Because of this, you’ve received more request from researchers to use your collections. Some of the request appear to be from journalist. Your organization’s leadership is worried that too many outsiders are trying to gain access to sensitive information. You need to create an access policy for your organization.

Questions

  • What would an access policy for this organization look like?
  • What factors do you need to consider when creating this policy? What type of restrictions should it contain?
  • What ethical considerations do you need to keep in mind as you are creating this policy?

Bibliography

Pugh, Chapter 6


Learning Objectives

  • Define access and its concepts
  • Categorize aspects to establish access policies

Scenario

You work at a large archive that collects a variety of manuscripts collections, institutional records etc. You organization is planning to renovate it’s reading room space. Your average researchers are undergraduate students, but you do have a decent number of advanced scholarly researchers. The institution has always provided reproduction services to patrons. Last year the staff became overwhelmed with reproduction request, so you temporarily instituted a digital camera policy. Your researchers have enjoyed using their own cameras in your current reading room over the last year that you’ve been experimenting with patrons using cameras for reproduction, but your administration has concerns about copyright and privacy issues that continuing to allow this may bring up. You’re tasked with helping plan the space and the policies and procedures for this new space.

Questions

  • What major issues are you facing with this new space?
  • What design elements should you include during the renovation?
  • How should you align the new policy with the new space?

Bibliography

Pugh, Chapter 6