My Emerging Leader Experience: Developing an Archiving Policy for ALAIR

Headshot of Chelcie Rowell

During 2016 I was fortunate to be sponsored by ALCTS to participate in the ALA Emerging Leaders Program. As part of the cohort of Emerging Leaders, I glimpsed the sizable architecture of ALA, networked with awesome people, and worked together with members of a small team to solve a problem framed by one of ALA’s divisions or round tables.

Without a doubt the most rewarding aspect of the program was working closely with my team members—Craig Boman, Melissa Stoner, and Harriet Wintermute. We were grateful, too, for the guidance and good cheer of Louise Ratliffe (our indefatigable member guide) and Paige Andrew (member guide of MAGIRT’s 2014 team of Emerging Leaders). Working with such a great team underscored for me how much I value working with people who welcome my whole self and how important it is to be a generous and understanding collaborator.

One of our deliverables for our Emerging Leader project was an instructional video explaining ALAIR basics, which we published on ALA’s YouTube channel, as well as depositing in ALAIR itself.

We were tasked with developing an archiving policy for the Map & Geospatial Information Round Table (MAGIRT) to deposit their materials into the ALA Institutional Repository—or ALAIR, for short. We tackled aspects of policy and procedures such as roles and responsibilities (whose job it is to deposit materials), selection criteria, descriptive practices. Additionally, we created how-to guides for depositing materials into the repository, including a short video explaining ALAIR basics—all of which we deposited into ALAIR, of course!

The intention of the project was not only to serve MAGIRT, but also to provide a model for other ALA units. The launch of ALAIR was a collaboration between ALCTS and the ALA Archives, so ALCTS continues to have a stake in policy and outreach for ALAIR. In fact, during our project experience, we learned that ALCTS PARS Preservation Standards & Practices Committee is also working to create deposit guidelines for ALAIR. We were delighted to discover these complementary efforts and shared our outputs (in progress at the time) with the Committee Leadership.

Ever since I attended ALCTS 101 during my very first ALA Annual Conference, ALCTS has been an anchor of my ALA experience. I’m grateful to ALCTS for sponsoring me as an Emerging Leader, and I look forward to learning still more about leadership at the level of ALA Divisions. As the past ALCTS-sponsored Emerging Leader, in 2017 I will serve a one-year term as intern to the ALCTS Board of Directors.

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