Thursday, May 10, 2007

Warm summer days

We are having such a gorgeously warm day here. I couldn't resist taking a break from the task list to say hello and check in with IAG readers. Like everyone lately, I've been on the road.

I did a presentation on "How to Market the Archives" at the MAC/SOA conference in Columbus, OH last week. It was really fun to think about archivists for a bit (as opposed to my usual dominant thought-audience, librarians). Note to self: Archivists Do Not Necessarily Identify with Librarians.

The Brand is not necessarily the same, and the public's perceptions of the Archives are not necessarily the same. It sparked a really good conversation about what IS the Archive Brand, and how is it differentiated from libraries, museums or historical societies. And how is it relevant to today's users (esp. if the original source materials are NOT digitized!)?

Any archivists or would-be archivists, chime in here.

What else have I been doing? I spent about a week and a half crossing the country from east coast to west for our National Library Advocacy project, listening to people talk about libraries, their library experience and what they think about library funding.

The results have been very very interesting. We did indeed go to Jackson County, Oregon, to hear what people had to say. We also went to Minneapolis, Minnesota--because the library funding there has been a hot topic for the community and community leaders. We went to small towns, big towns, and many places in between.

In reflecting back on it, many people in this country deeply value what the Library has to offer, and the richness that librarians bring to their knowledge-seeking endeavors. Of course, many people wonder what the right answer is, for library funding in their communities, too.

Next week I am off to Dublin and then Maryland, to talk about DataSPIKE and more DataSPIKE with the UpCounty Libraries. Should be fun!


Kate said...

Hi Alice - I'm an archivist (and blogger) who's been doing a lot of thinking lately about the archives brand--which is, I agree, quite different from libraries or museums. I'm actually planning on developing a survey on this topic in the next month or two. I'd be very interested in learning what the attendees at your session thought the archives brand was (and was not). How can I get in touch with you?


Alice said...

Hey Kate! Thanks for your comment--look forward to thinking through it more with you. Best way to reach me is e-mail, alice_sneary [at]

Attendees were in general agreement that libraries and archives are different animals, although we both share this tendency to think we can "rise above" marketing...when the real situation is: if we don't talk about ourselves, people simply have too much clutter in their lives to remember us beyond nostalgia.