Survey: Archives & preservation of social media

If you are an archivist or special collections librarian, please take a few minutes and complete this survey, which part of an academic study by a postgraduate student at the University of Dundee:   It is designed to establish to what extent literary authors use social media and have considered its long term preservation, and to what extent archivists are actively or considering preserving an author’s social media content.


Now available: Job search experiences and career satisfaction among recent archives program graduates

After posting so many links to surveys, it’s nice to be able to follow up and announce when people have survey results to share. This comes from Rebecca Goldman (aka DerangeDescribe):

Last year, Shannon Lausch and I conducted a survey to evaluate employment and career satisfaction among recent archives graduates. We received over 200 responses, and the data is now ready to share! If you go to , you’ll be able to download our survey questions, our presentations from SAA12, and our data.

You are free to use this data for your own research–just cite and link back to it.

Thanks so much to all of you who took the survey, and we hope you find our results useful. Please contact us if you have any questions or suggestions.

I only looked through Rebecca’s presentation, and found the results not as bad as I thought they might be. I do wonder though, regarding the issues of negative effects of career choices on finances, personal and family life and other aspects of life, how similar those results would be across the board for post-graduate programs. I suspect that those issues are not unique to graduates of archives programs (not that Rebecca said they were).

I’ll share here the questions she asked at the end of her SAA presentation:

  • If we repeat our survey of recent grads, how can we make it better?
  • Is there a better way to investigate the “too many grads” problem?
  • Besides offering better salaries, how else can we  improve the quality of life of recent grads?
  • If temp positions and relocation are inevitable, how can we better support new grads through temporary work and help them move into permanent employment?

Any thoughts on those questions or reactions to the data collected by the survey?

Your input needed for survey on job satisfaction in archives

Again I’m helping promote a survey, so please take a few minutes and help Jack. I look forward to seeing his findings.

I am writing an article for eventual publication on management practices and employee satisfaction in the workplace, and in order to write this article, I would like to survey everyone who is currently employed in the archival field (regardless of type of position). As a result, I’m hoping you can help me by please completing a short survey – it’s less than 30 questions, and it shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. The questions in the survey have been based on an extensive review of not only the archival literature, but management literature generally. The survey can be accessed at:
 All responses will be anonymous. Your responses will be very important to analyzing the state of job satisfaction in the archives field, and determining what types of management practices can be improved on, if any. Thank you very much for your help.
Jack Kormos, MLS, CA
Archives Assistant, Wisconsin Historical Society

Please participate in survey on user-created descriptive metadata in archives

You may have also seen this on the A&A listserv but I’m very interested in this topic so I want to give Matt all the help he can get. Please note, as he says below: “If your institution does not collect user metadata, “no” answers are helpful for the data analysis.”  I checked and he would prefer archives in North America only. The survey closes on February 19.

This is a reminder about a survey I’m conducting on the status of user created descriptive metadata in the archival profession.

The survey focuses on the degree to which archivists allow and encourage user created description, and whether or not such description is incorporated into authoritative catalog records, finding aids, or other metadata record.  The survey asks primarily Yes or No questions on the ways in which institutions use Web 2.0 technologies to allow users to comment, annotate, and tag, and the degree to which comments and annotations are included in authoritative metadata records.  If your institution does not collect user metadata, “no” answers are helpful for the data analysis.  The survey should take about 20 minutes to complete.

I am asking you to participate in my research study by completing a survey at this link.

Completion of this survey indicates voluntary consent to participate in this study.  No personally identifiable information will be collected.  No further emails will be sent other than a participation reminder toward the end of the survey period.

If you have any questions about the study please leave a comment below or contact me.  Thank you for taking the time to assist me in this research.

Matt Gorzalski, MLS, CA
Assistant Professor and University Archivist
Morris Library
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Survey for grads of US-based masters programs about attitudes toward users (needs more archivist responses!)

A request from Steve Ammidown (@stegan on Twitter):

Hi- I’m doing a quick, informal, unscientific survey of people who attended US based masters programs in library science or associated fields. I write for the blog Hack Library School, and this survey is part of my brainstorming process for a possible article on how students and alumni perceive the attitudes towards patrons within their programs. Ultimately, the librarian, archivist or information professional are responsible to their customer. Are our programs doing enough to communicate that? Should students expect to seek out outside experiences to understand patrons? Anyways, the article is in its embryonic phase, and this survey will hopefully help me flesh it out. Thanks for your time!



Today’s the last day for two things

First, today is the last day for SAA members to volunteer to serve on the new Communications Task Force. A significant part of this group’s work will be looking at how SAA uses social media so if you consider yourself knowledgeable in that area, or if you just have opinions about how SAA could communicate better with its members, please take a look at the description of the group and consider applying. But do it quickly, today’s your last day!

Second,  posted on behalf of Rebecca Goldman:

As part of an SAA12 panel on job search experiences and career satisfaction among recent archives grads, Rebecca Goldman and Shannon Lausch are conducting a survey. The survey closes TODAY, Monday July 9. You are eligible for this survey if you:

  • graduated from a graduate program in archives, library science, history, or a related field in 2007 or later; AND
  • graduated from a graduate program with an archival education component, such as an archives concentration or archives-specific coursework.

The survey is at

Please follow the survey link for more information about the survey and what we’ll will do with the data. Please feel free to contact the survey authors if you have any questions about the survey or your eligibility (our contact info is in the survey intro).

Unlike many archives surveys, we’re interested in hearing from people who ended up in positions outside of traditional archives jobs. We need your help to reach them! Please share this survey with friends and colleagues who are recent grads, as well as any grad school listservs or messageboards you may have access to.

Thanks for taking our survey!

What tools are essential for you?

One of the things that’s got me distracted lately is that I’m preparing to teach an online class about archives/records management and “Web 2.0” issues. You might think I would be very confident about this, but I am conscious that the universe of what’s out there has expanded beyond my ability to keep track of it. So, dear readers, as a reality check, I’d like you to share in the comments which web tools/sites/apps do you use everyday? Which ones are essential to your working/social lives?

Annoucements: Survey for reference, access or outreach archivists & opportunity for Mid-Atlantic archivists to win $$$

I’ve been asked to pass along two announcements:

Did you create a web site or virtual exhibit that promotes the use of archives this year? If you work in the mid-Atlantic region you could be awarded $250 just for doing your job! That’s right. Act fast- submissions must be received by JULY 31, 2010. Check here to see if you qualify for the C. Herbert Finch Award and apply today! It’s free- what do you have to lose?


Greetings colleagues,

The Reference, Access, and Outreach Section Steering Committee is developing a resource document that describes the core skills and competencies necessary to be effective as reference, access, or outreach archivists.

To build on the base of knowledge available in archival literature and other related professions, the committee has developed a brief survey for those practicing in any of these three spheres of archival work to share their perspectives and experience.

We appreciate your participation in and your patience with the survey. We are eager to have a rich range of input that isn’t predefined by us. This means we have asked a lot of open-ended questions and haven’t provided a lot of check boxes. To address potential survey fatigue we have set up the survey so that you can complete it over time as long as you use the same computer throughout. Also, it is perfectly reasonable to skip questions. All answers will remain confidential and will be used for the purposes of gathering information to develop this resource document. The survey will be available through October 2010.

Here is the link to the survey:

If you have questions/problems related to the survey, please contact Jill Severn at

Thanks for your participation,

RAO Survey Team

Jill Severn
Jessica Miller

Survey: Jewish history, archives/libraries and Web 2.0 technologies

Posted on behalf of Amalia Levi, a graduate research assistant at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland. Please complete the survey if it’s appropriate for you and pass along this information to others who might be interested. The survey will be up for about 3-4 weeks. Thanks!

Interested in Jewish history and new technologies?

We invite you to complete a short online survey that will take no more than twenty minutes to complete. In the survey you will be asked about your research in Jewish history and your use of and attitude towards Web 2.0 technologies. We are investigating how scholars, researchers, students, and lay people working in the field of Jewish history and culture can benefit from Web 2.0 technologies and social media, in order to virtually bring together the historical record of Jewish communities and how archivists and information professionals can become catalysts in this process by creating digital archives and platforms, transcending temporal, geographical and linguistic barriers.

This information will be used to better understand trends in Jewish scholarship and to further the idea of the creation of collaborative platforms or digital archives for historians, scholars, and people who are involved in the study of Jewish history and culture.

You can access the survey here:

Thank you for your time and for participating in this study. Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact:

Amalia S. Levi
Graduate Research Assistant
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland
E. amaliasl [at]

or Dr. Jean Dryden
Faculty Advisor
College of Information Studies
University of Maryland
E. jdryden [at]

Poll results: A lot of support for institutional use of social media

Following up on the poll question I asked on Sunday, it turns out a lot of you who use social media on behalf of your institution get fairly good support for it. The poll asked the question “When do you engage with social media (blogs, Twitter, FB, Flickr, etc.) on behalf of your archives?” With a total of 66 votes as of today, here are the results:

  • All outside of work hours (1 vote)
  • Entirely within work hours (15 votes)
  • Both–more outside than in (19 votes)
  • Both–more inside than out (31)
  • I expected that the “both” categories would be the big winners, and they were, but I was a bit surprised (and pleased) to see “entirely within work hours” get as many votes as it did. Most people who commented followed up about it being a mix–they found it easier or more appropriate to do some tasks inside of work hours and some outside. Of course, at least in my experience, that’s how a lot of the rest of our work is too. But still, good to see that most people are at least doing more of this work on company time than not!