The new book is now available: A Different Kind of Web

It’s been a long time in the works, but my new book is now available for purchase from the SAA Bookstore (SAA Member price $49.95; everyone else $69.95). I say “my book” because I conceived the idea and lined up many many smart people to contribute. Don’t believe me? Here’s the table of contents:

Continue reading “The new book is now available: A Different Kind of Web”

Want to get published? I can help you with that.

Well, not if it’s your sword-and-sorcery fantasy novel or revisionist archives romance novel. I can’t help you there.

But if you want to write a book on archives, libraries, cultural heritage organizations, or information science, I can help you. I’ve recently starting working with the delightful people at Neal-Schuman Publishers to help identify new authors and books for them in any of these areas. I’m actively looking for people to submit proposals for books on:

  • electronic records
  • preservation
  • records management and Web 2.0
  • introduction to library, archive and museum practice
  • case studies in archives management
  • planning for commemorations and anniversaries
  • outreach to K-12 audiences
  • how archives, libraries and special collections can meet the needs of genealogists and family historians

So if you want to discuss writing a book on one of these topics, or anything that relates to archives, libraries, museums, or information science, let me know. You can reach me at

Don’t let the thought of writing a book intimidate you. I had no experience writing anything longer than a blog post for publication when I signed a contract to write my first book. I can discuss the process with you and answer your questions, and hopefully identify a viable topic. I know a lot of people who had “work on a publication” on their list of resolutions for this year, so this is your chance. Think about what you want to write and get in touch.

International fame and eternal glory for your archives’ Web 2.0 efforts?

No, it’s not time for the Best Archives on the Web awards (coming soon–I promise!). No, I’m writing to solicit suggestions for what projects I should highlight in two upcoming presentations I’m giving on archives use of Web 2.0–one is a workshop at the Association of Canadian Archivists conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia in June (early bird registration closes on April 23–register now!), the other is a talk at the Brazilian Congress on Archival Science, sponsored by the Associação dos Arquivistas Brasileiros to be held in Santos, São Paulo in August. My talk for the Brazilian Congress will be published in the conference proceedings, and I am considering reworking it for submission to one of our esteemed professional journals.

So, since everyone is rushing around doing great projects and there’s no way I can keep track of everything, I want to make sure I know about the latest and greatest to highlight in the workshop (a day long this time!) and the talk (and maybe the article too). That’s where you come in. If your archives, special collection, or historical society (or one you know about) is doing something innovative with blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, podcasting, social tagging, mashups, mobile apps, or anything else social-media-y, let me know in the comments. What do I mean by innovative? Well, if you think it’s cool, then let’s say it qualifies. If you don’t want to brag in public or just want to keep it under wraps for now, send me an email at info [at] Since these events are outside the United States, I’m particularly interested in hearing about efforts in Canada and the rest of the English-speaking world. (Or, yes, outside the English-speaking world as well. There are web translators after all.)

And, of course, if you just want to make sure people know about your maybe-not-so-innovative-but-still-really-good blog, podcast, Flickr account, FB page, etc. please add it to the Archives 2.0 wiki.

I feel like quoting Joe Biden . . .

I have FINALLY, after far far too long, submitted the text of Book #2 to the publisher, SAA, for review. I’m only editing this one, but I have a few pieces in it as well, and as everyone warned me, editing a book is just as much work (if not more) than writing one. My thanks to all the contributors (who I will name in a future post), many of whom submitted their case studies and essays a very long time ago. I will say that having looked everything over as I was writing the conclusion, that I think this books is going to be fantastic. So, start saving your pennies now to add Book #2 to your collection, or to give it its proper name, A Different Kind of Web: New Connections between Archives and Our Users with Web 2.0.

Three things to do, and then a break

Over the weekend, this blog celebrated its third birthday, or blogiversary, I suppose. So thank you all for your continued interest and support, and to really celebrate I’m taking a short break from all social media. Yes, people can’t believe it, but it’s true. Twitter, Facebook, the whole thing. When I announced this on Twitter someone pointed out that this Saturday is “No Tech Day,” so I’m just doing it a little bit early. I’ll be back soon but I think it’s very healthy to step away for a while. In the meantime . . .

  • The New York Public Library has launched a new blog series, “My Library,” featuring interviews with library patrons about why they value their local library. It’s a good model to consider for archives I think, don’t you?
  • Don’t forget to decide who you want to nominate for this year’s Movers and Shakers in Archives awards. The deadline is Monday April 12, but there is no penalty for early nominations, so get yours in before you start panicking about your taxes.
  • And speaking of procrastination, have you voted in the SAA elections yet? You don’t get a little sticker when you’re done, but if you help get me elected to Council, I’ll give everyone a little sticker at the annual meeting. Oh, wait, I’m probably not allowed to say that. I bet I can’t attempt to sway the SAA electorate with the offer of little stickers. Oh well, here’s a virtual little sticker for you that you can print out and wear proudly after you’ve voted for whoever you chose to vote for.
  • i_voted_sticker

    Now, I’m off to go smell some flowers and enjoy my spring break!

Long overdue round-up from around the Web

I’ve got a big backlog of things for a “round-up” post, so this will be both long and brief at the same time.

    • Previous “Best Archives on the Web” award winner, “A View to Hugh” has launched a new feature–a series of essays commissioned to accompany the regular blog posts about the work of Hugh Morton. Another innovative approach from the smart people at UNC-Chapel Hill.
    • The New York Times has a nice story about Carl Malamud’s crowd-supported digitization of NARA’s videos (which I covered here). Nice to see his efforts getting more recognition!
    • The Brooklyn Museum is taking a different approach to releasing descriptive information on the Web–open it all up, without review but provide a rating of how accurate it is. Read the whole story for yourself, it’s a great idea. (And yes, they’ve been allowing visitors to add comments to the catalog descriptions for quite a while now too.)
    • Following up on his post of a few months ago (“Tragedy of the (Flickr) Commons?“), Roy Tennant is eating his words in a new short post, “Mea Culpa: The Flickr Commons Lives.”
    • Speaking of Flickr, the images from the Documerica collection that the National Archives has posted on Flickr is getting a lot of well-deserved attention, most notably from in “The ’70s Photos That Made Us Want to Save Earth.”
    • In case you missed it on the listservs, the Denver Public Library has set up a Flickr group to share images of photographs that were stolen by James Lyman Brubaker and recovered by the FBI but have yet to find their true homes. See the group and learn more at:
    • The EAC-CPF schemas have been released. If you don’t understand why that’s important, do some reading up here.
    • You can now register for the Association of Canadian Archivists’ annual meeting, to be held June 9 – 12 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where I’ll be teaching a day-long workshop on (what else?) the use of Web 2.0 tools by archives. Hope I won’t be the only American attending!
    • The Jewish Women’s Archive has launched a groovy new tool, “On the Map,” a user-generated map documenting the physical landmarks of Jewish women’s history.

I’m sure I have more, but that seems like a long enough post for now. If you really want to keep up, you might want to subscribe to my Twitter feed. As I say in my little Twitter bio, I follow over 500 people so you don’t have to!

Please vote in the SAA Elections

And, this year I am only endorsing one candidate–myself. Yes, it’s true. I am a candidate for SAA Council, and I’d like your vote.

If you’re an SAA member and you’re a regular reader of this blog or follow me on Twitter, you probably have a pretty good idea what my interests and values are, and you’ll know even without reading my statement whether or not you think I’d be a good Council member. (But, please, by all means, read my statement and those of the other candidates. I know I worked hard on mine and I’m sure they did too. You can learn something from them.) But, I’m going to make two specific requests.

First, if you’re a student member, please vote. I have noted over the past several years as the number of student members has increased rather dramatically, the overall percentage of SAA members who vote has declined (see stats in comment on this post). I don’t really remember, but I think when I was a student I either didn’t vote or only voted for people whose names I knew (usually because they had written a required reading). In the discussion on Twitter this morning about student voting some people said they thought it was because:

“You really have to attend a number of annual meetings to have an informed opinion on these things. No number of personal statements makes up for personability”

“As a student I didn’t feel clued-in to the ‘scene’ to vote responsibly, but I hope today’s students are more w/it!”

“Students are less active in SAA, feel tentative due to lack of experience, and don’t know who leaders are.”

“And I know a lot of students join SAA just to get the discounts on books”

If you’re a student, you may agree with some of these statements or none of them, but I encourage you to take the time to read the candidates’ statements and vote this year. According to the FY2008 Annual Report, student membership is the single largest category, representing 21.5% of all SAA members. You may not feel as connected to the organization, but statistically you’re a big part of it. Take a few minutes to think about who you want its leaders to be, and vote.

Second, I not only want your vote, I want the votes of your friends too. I admit that I feel like I’m an underdog. I imagine people who don’t know me will look at my biographical information and say, “Wait, she doesn’t actually work in archives any more. Why should I vote for her?” So, if you’d like to have me representing you on Council, please share why you feel that way with a couple of your SAA-member friends. I can’t offer you any bribes, but I really would appreciate it.

As they say about the Oscars, it’s an honor just to be nominated. I’m sure some of you readers had something to do with that, so thanks for your support. And, now, in the immortal words of Cute Overload:

vote stoat 1

My 2.0 book available at a discount

If you’re an SAA member (or if you have a friend who is), you can now order my book, Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections at a discount. It’s $65 for SAA members through the SAA Bookstore, which is a pretty nice break from the normal cover price of $80. My thanks to SAA for deciding to carry the book and for giving members this great benefit!

You can now buy a copy of “Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections”

Yes, my book is now available—there’s a Neal-Schuman version (published in the US) and a Facet version (published in the UK). You can find them both on Amazon. Let me make this clear: this is not a scholarly book. I wrote the book that contained everything I thought anyone needed to know who was thinking about implementing social media in their archives, special collection, historical society, or local history collection. I wrote it to be practical. (You want a scholarly book? I’m working on that one for SAA. It’s going to be, if I do say so myself, really good. But that’s a whole different blog post.) You can see for yourself by looking at the table of contents on the Neal-Schuman site.

As I say in my Acknowledgments:

This book would not have possible without my own social network of friends and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter, and the wonderful community of people who have engaged in discussion of these issues with me on my blog, ArchivesNext. A friend joked that this would be a crowdsourced book, and in some ways, it is. The world of Web 2.0 is too large for anyone to keep up to date on everything that’s happening, and so I am happy to be part of a community of archivists working toward integrating Web 2.0 technology and thinking into our archival institutions.

One of the things I’m most pleased with are the interviews with so many archivists who have successfully implemented Web 2.0 tools. These interviews are usually a couple of pages long and focus on their own experiences and lessons learned. My thanks to these lovely people who contributed interviews (in order of appearance):

Sara Piasecki, Oregon Heatlth & Science University
Stephen Fletcher, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Gavin Freeguard, The Orwell Prize
Emma Allen and Joshua Shindler, The National Archives (UK)
Heather McClenahan, Los Alamos County Historical Society
Lin Fredericksen, Kansas State Historical Society
Julie Kerssen, Seattle Municipal Archives
Amy Schindler, The College of William and Mary
Katrina Harkness and Joshua Youngblood, State Library & Archives of Florida
Mark E. Harvey, Archives of Michigan
Ann Cameron, Gill Hamilton and James Toon, National Library of Scotland
David Hovde, Purdue University
Matt Raymond, The Library of Congress
Lauren Oostveen, Nova Scotia Archives
Molly Kruckenberg, Montana Historical Society
David Smith, Archives New Zealand
Tracey Baker, Minnesota Historical Society
Michele Christian, Iowa State University
Colleen McFarland, University of Wisconsin—Eau Claire
Tim Sherratt, National Archives of Australia
Matthew Davies, National Film & Sound Archive (Australia)

When I was writing the book I wanted to include as many real-world examples as possible to illustrate the different things archives and historical organizations are doing on the web. It was only when I was compiling the index that I realized just how many places I referenced. Here, for my amusement, and I hope yours, is a list of all the archives sites and organizations mentioned: Continue reading “You can now buy a copy of “Web 2.0 Tools and Strategies for Archives and Local History Collections””

What do you want to see in your stocking this year?

Yes, the holiday season is upon us, even here at ArchivesNext worldwide headquarters. I’m working on one serious post for next week that I hope will attract some discussion, but otherwise I hope to shift attention to caroling, eggnog-drinking, present-wrapping, and general merry-making. But, I’m inspired by a book I bought for myself with Christmas shopping (c’mon, I know you do it too), to ask what archives-related items you’d like to receive (or give) this year. The book–which I can’t recommend highly enough–is Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far it’s touching, and funny, and inspiring, and yes, even has a little bit of archival content. I know one of my archivist friends is always recommending The Victorian Internet: The Remarkable Story of the Telegraph and the Nineteenth Century’s On-line Pioneers but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. What’s on your list?

Oh, and if anyone out there wants to be my Secret Santa, feel free to get me a Francis Francis 208003 X8 iperEspresso Machine (in red, I think), or pay for the two-year service contract for an iPhone (oh no, here come from comments from the Droid fans!), or, and if you could swing this one, I’d really love it, get the National Archives to develop a strategic plan for their digitization and use of social media. Hmm … no takers, right? Let’s stick to the smaller stuff–what do you want to give or receive this year? (Seriously, that book about the Yiddish books is great–and no, I received no compensation of any kind in return for saying that.)

UPDATE: How could I forget to mention that I’m sure what everybody really wants for Christmas is a COPY OF MY NEW BOOK. Well, ok, yeah, it’s not exactly a stocking stuffer. But it is supposed to be coming out (according to Amazon) on December 31.