The Original Order of Things:
An AAO Monthly Newsletter
January 2022, Volume 2, Issue 1
Welcome to the January 2022 issue of The Original Order of Things. This month’s newsletter is packed, including an update on the Archives Advisor position, a list of upcoming AAO events, a new Student and New Professional Spotlight, and a compilation of archives and library related activities for Black History Month, which begins February 1, 2022 (tomorrow!!).
- Tys Klumpenhouwer and MacKenzie Gott, Editors.
a. Off the Record Submission Deadline Extended
Off the Record (OTR) has extended the deadline for its Winter 2022 issue to February 1, 2022. Get your last minute submissions in!
Please review the submission requirements, which are available here: https://aao-archivists.ca/Submissions. If you have any questions or ideas for OTR, contact Michael Friesen, OTR Editor (firstname.lastname@example.org)
b. Archives Advisor Position
Earlier this month, the AAO Board of Directors announced the decision that as of March 31, 2022, the AAO will no longer be offering the Archives Advisor Program. The Board is tremendously grateful for all of the work of the archives advisors over the past 30 years, and most recently, Iona McCraith’s dedication to the position.
Since the announcement, the Board has received some feedback, which was addressed in the following statement to members.
Thank you to everyone who has shared their perspectives and feedback on the advisor program. We are grateful for the many years of service provided by the advisor program, and ending the program was a difficult decision. The past success of the archives advisor was strongly supported by government financial support, and unfortunately, the era of strong provincial grants supporting this type of work is unlikely to return.
In 2019, a large percentage of the funding to the archives advisor program was cut. Since that time, the advisor program has been operating on a limited 10 hour a week service model, only answering calls or emails, with no site visits. The recent statistics of the archives advisor program show that this service was not being used by the vast majority of institutional members.
The AAO Board has a responsibility to make fiscally responsible decisions in order to keep the AAO operational, solvent, and relevant. Institutional membership fees would have to be raised approximately 45% to cover the cost of the archives advisor program. This increased membership rate would create a barrier for many small and underfunded archives, and higher institutional membership fees cannot make up the difference in grant shortfalls.
Our strategic plan highlights the need to focus on being financially independent of provincial grants. This is one of the reasons we are focusing on expanding our professional development offerings, which have the potential to generate income as well as meet member needs for continuing education and networking.
We strive to support members the best we can, but recognize that how we do so is constrained by our funding and the volunteer nature of our organization. Members still have a number of other benefits and we are evaluating what services we offer in light of this change. We will be conducting a membership survey in 2022 to gain a clearer understanding of membership needs. An additional message around membership benefits will be released prior to the membership renewal period.
We encourage members to reach out with questions to the AAO office at email@example.com or the AAO president at firstname.lastname@example.org
The AAO Board of Directors
c. February is Black History Month!
Below is a select list of sources for events hosted by archives, libraries, and historical societies related to black history and the celebration of Black History Month this February. We encourage members to share more events via the AAO ListServ!
Ajax Public Library: Black History Month event calendar
Toronto Public Library: Black History Month event calendar
d. The AAO’s Professional Development Committee presents: Safe Spaces for Diversity
The safe space virtual sessions are safe spaces set aside and reserved for archives workers and records managers from historically excluded groups in our profession to connect with one another in an informal, participant-driven environment. These sessions are open to students, emerging, and established professionals, as well as those working in volunteer and activist roles.
Archivists with Disabilities, Chronic Illnesses, and the Neurodivergent, moderated by Sarah McDougall, February 10, 2022 from 12 pm - 1pm
LGBTQ2+ Archivists, moderated by Krista McCracken, February 16, 2022 from 12 pm - 1pm
BIPOC Archivists, moderated by Tamara Rayan, February 18, 2022 from 12 pm- 1pm
All sessions are free to AAO members, student members, and non-members. The sessions will be conducted online via Zoom and will not be recorded.
Please contact email@example.com with your questions and any requests for accommodation.
For those who missed the email announcement, on December 15, the Conference Planning Committee made the decision to move the 2022 Annual Conference online. The Conference will still run from May 25 - 27, 2022 and the conference theme - somehow even more prescient now - remains the same: “These Are Unprecedented Times: How Archives and Archivists Changed, Struggled and Thrived Through Challenging Periods.”
The call for applications/submissions is now closed. Visit the AAO’s conference website for updates and the release of the program in the coming months!
The Student or New Professional Spotlight is a semi-regular feature of this newsletter supported by the Student and New Professional Outreach Committee. Much like the Member Spotlight in Off the Record, this section will highlight the accomplishments, interests, and pressing issues facing new graduates and professionals in the archival field.
In our first Student or New Professional Spotlight, we learn about recent graduate Kyle Pugh, who recently completed his studies at the University of Toronto. Thanks to Jenna Lemay, Chair of the Student and New Professional Outreach Committee for once again organizing the Spotlight!