New “Technology Strategy for Archives (TS4A)” Working Group

This post comes to us from new group facilitators Mark A. Matienzo, Assistant Director for Digital Strategy and Access at Stanford Libraries, Audra Eagle Yun, Head of Special Collections and Archives and University Archivist at UC Irvine Libraries, Greg Wiedeman, University Archivist at University at Albany Libraries, and Max Eckard, Assistant Director of Curation at the Bentley Historical Library. All were participant-advisors and facilitators on the Lighting the Way project (Mark was the Project Director), and share an interest at the intersection of archives, technology, strategic planning, and facilitation methodologies.


The Lighting the Way project provided archives, library, and technology workers an opportunity to collaborate in facilitated activities to support strategic planning for archival programs. As participant advisors and facilitators, our experience showed us that archives workers suffer from many structural forces and often lack the administrative support, technical infrastructure, and permanent staff required to fully meet our mission. We have a critical need for time, collaborative space, and structure to face these strategic challenges together. We are excited to announce, then, that we are forming a new DLF group focused on supporting archives and technology workers, management, and leadership, and that we are inviting you to be a part of it!

What is TS4A?

The group’s conveners envision that this “Technology Strategy for Archives (TS4A)” community of practice will:

  • Provide a space for strategic planning and visioning to support holistic and programmatic practitioner-led planning of the social and technical ecosystem of systems and people that support archives programs.
  • Share information about emerging initiatives and to explore opportunities for early stage collaboration across institutions. 
  • Apply facilitation methods that are generative and care-focused to support creative and inclusive approaches to envision strategy and future planning.
  • Potentially steer participant-driven subgroups dedicated to specific needs or challenges, and provide ideas about how to connect and collaborate with others outside TS4A to support the work.

TS4A is open to anyone interested in these topics regardless of formal role, experience, or institutional affiliation. (You do not need to be a DLF member to participate.) Participants are encouraged to bring strategic challenges and other topics from their own institutions to assist with their own local planning.

History

TS4A originated as a result of the findings of Lighting the Way, a two-year IMLS-funded project focused on improving archival discovery and delivery through practitioner-led strategic planning. Our work found that effective strategic planning and transformational change requires collaboration across many people with varying expertise and levels of positional power. Project participants identified the importance of facilitated working sessions and the desire to have further opportunities to collaborate on strategy with colleagues across institutions. We also found that sharing and collaborating on early stage work is valuable for archives and technology workers given the sector’s tendency to present only on completed work. 

Get Involved

While group intends to hold quarterly meetings on Zoom as working sessions to allow its members to practice collaborative strategic planning, to kick things off we will:

  • Hold our first, public meeting via Zoom on Tuesday, June 28, 2022 at 11am PST/12pm MST/1pm CST/2pm EST. This will be an open call to get interest and input on future directions for the group. Please register for the meeting in advance so we know how many attendees to expect.
  • Hold a second, in-person working session at the 2022 DLF Forum in Baltimore, MD. Date and time TBD. For this launch meeting, we invite interested DLF attendees to shape our future activities supporting practitioner-led strategic planning and identifying opportunities for collaboration.

We hope to see you there! In the meantime, we have started to populate our Google Drive Folder with the above information and we also have a DLF Listserv that anyone can join.

We look forward to building this community with you!

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