Do you ever reminisce about all of the things you’ve done and accomplished? Day by day may seem like you’re not making much of a difference, but when you look back you realize just how much you’ve accomplished?
My main priority in my position at the Burke Library is to process, arrange, describe and make available collections. My first grant from the Henry Luce Foundation focused on the Missionary Research Library Archives and the William Adams Brown Ecumenical Library Archives. Over the three-year time period, my team of students and I processed 781 linear feet of archives (178 collections). Now on my second grant which began in January 2015, we’ve processed 358.5 linear feet as of today (38 collections). In total, I’ve had a direct impact on scholarship, research and learning because I’ve made 1139.5 linear feet (216 collections) available for researchers. WOW!
It is also amazing to think that if literally nothing else was processed for the rest of the year on the current project, we would still be exactly in line with what we said we would make available. Processing at a rate of 30-35 linear feet per month, we promised to make between 360-420 linear feet of archives available this year. As of 10:15am on Thursday, October 29, 2015 we have processed 358.5 LF, and I’m sure we will hit or go over that 360LF mark today.
I started the social media efforts at the Burke Library in 2012. It may be hard to believe, but we didn’t have a web presence before I took on the task. Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare were started as well as a blog. The blog and especially Twitter have made a huge impact on getting the word out about collections. One big example of this was the archivist for the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland found out about our WCC collection thanks to a Twitter post announcing the availability of the collection. Pretty cool, huh?
Apart from the archives having an impact on research, teaching and learning, the internship program that I created and run has been very successful. During the first grant, I supervised 14 library school interns. Of the 14, 12 have jobs in their chosen field. They are employed by museums, archives, universities, corporate businesses, seminaries and other institutions. Of the four interns I’ve supervised thus far for the second grant, three are still in school but have obtained further (paid!) internships and positions thanks to their time working with me.
ArchivesSpace is another thing I’m proud to have been a part of and experienced while at Columbia. I served on the ArchivesSpace Task Force at Columbia, and we evaluated it, tested it and really put it through its paces. I’m excited to see what happens next with ArchivesSpace at Columbia.
Digital Archives too have been part of my work while here. I’ve been able to attend a number of Digital Archives Specialist courses via SAA, and I’ve presented on my findings to the Columbia community as a whole. I’ve been serving on the Archives Working Group which has helped to bring a variety of documentation, including regarding digital archives, into one space so it is much easier for staff to locate for guidance.
I’ve written reports; participated in Wayfinding studies; served on committees and other advisory committees; curated two digital exhibits; written newsletters; made the Burke more efficient with usage of space; created documentation; written LibGuides; presented in classes for Columbia, Union Theological Seminary and Barnard College; presented at conferences; and on and on. I’ve grown tremendously as a professional over the last four years in New York City.
And really, what more could you ask for?