Retooling the Archival Workforce
Snowden Becker (University of Texas Austin), Janet Ceja (University of Arizona), and Karen Gracy (Kent State University)
Monday, July 13, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM | 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Immediately preceding this year’s AERI conference, the International Council on Archives’ Section on Research Institution and University Archives will convene in Chapel Hill, NC. As their conference site notes, “Despite growing recognition of the complexities of managing audiovisual archives and the urgency of tackling the challenges, few universities and research institutions have adequate resources to address the myriad difficulties faced by archivists grappling to preserve and facilitate the use of this valuable documentation.” This theme is explored throughout their program, which includes a thread on “the knowledge, skills, and capacity challenge”: put briefly, “how do we provide members of the profession at large with the necessary skills to manage audiovisual archives?” This is a question that has come up repeatedly, if peripherally, at AERI since its first instance, and one that we as a community have not yet succeeded in fully engaging.
Accordingly, we propose a half-day workshop models a three-stage, iterative approach to innovative pedagogy and curriculum revision that is focused on this very specific knowledge, skills, and capacity challenge. While our focus will be on unique needs and core competencies related to archival A/V (film, video, audio, and digital media), the tools and techniques discussed here will still be broadly applicable to teaching challenges in any archives program. Stage one consists of identifying and prioritizing core competencies needed by archives professionals; stage two explores how those core competencies can be addressed in and across graduate curricula, courses, or other programming as part of a retooling process for the next generation of archival practitioners; in stage three, data from evaluation and critical reflection are incorporated into an action plan for continued innovation.