SCAA Executive Board Retreat

Francis Marion University, Florence, SC

January 4, 2006

Present: James Cross, Henry Fulmer, Dorothy Hazelrigg, Mike Kohl, Kate Moore, Suzanne Singleton, Elizabeth West

President Suzanne Singleton called the meeting to order at 10:30 a.m.

  • Agenda Topics

    A. Website: Recent updates to the website, including the new Yahoo listserv, were discussed. Suzanne suggested that the majority of the text on the website is acceptable, but that many of the features are not used and/or updated--for example, the Resource Register. Elizabeth West said that the new listserv could largely replace the Resource Register, and Suzanne suggested getting rid of the Register. Suzanne also noted that the Officers page and the Member List need updating. Henry Fulmer distributed a new membership list, current as of the end of 2005. He said he had concern about putting too much of members' personal information on the website. A decision was made to remove the list temporarily until it can be updated, and to ask the members' permission to post their contact information online. Elizabeth noted that she had submitted past meeting minutes to the webmaster, but that they had not been posted. Suzanne said that the last two years' worth of minutes was probably sufficient. It was agreed that the Constitution, Bylaws, Newsletter, and Workshops and Meetings pages were acceptable. The online membership application could be updated. Kate Moore suggested that a new SCAA logo could be designed and other aesthetic improvements could be made to the website. Suzanne said that Alexia Helsley had worked on a new logo recently. Elizabeth suggested that Geoff LoCicero, who assists with the layout of the SCAAzette, might be willing to help improve the website. Kate offered to contact Geoff and to get an estimate for his services in web design.

    B. Membership: Henry reported that as of 12/31/05, SCAA had 75 members. Jim pointed out that many members had paid their 2006 dues at the fall meeting, and Henry suggested that he and Jim Cross get together to figure out exactly who had paid 2006 dues. Henry also said that he had tried to find members on the 2003 list who have since dropped out, and had sent a mailing to them. About 6 letters were returned due to out-of-date addresses. Suzanne posed the question of attracting new members, particularly students and those new to the state of South Carolina. Henry noted that the Library School at USC receives membership forms to distribute, as does Connie Schulz in USC's Public History program. Suzanne said that a mailing was sent several years ago to all Society of American Archivists members in the state who were not SCAA members. Henry stated that many South Carolina Department of Archives and History employees attended the workshops at the state archives facility, but did not actually join SCAA. Suzanne said that the cost of two conference registration fees a year meant that the loss of these individuals' dues was not that important, but that not having them as members and contributors, possible future officers, etc., was a problem. Henry brought up the Membership Directory and the fact that it is difficult to keep accurate; if it is published in the spring, it will not include those who register at the spring conference. Kate asked about new ways to increase visibility. Elizabeth suggested that we could ask historical societies, house museums, and other sites to post flyers. Mike said that our membership overlaps with that of the South Carolina Public Records Association and Elizabeth said we could send materials to their meeting, as well as that of the South Carolina Library Association. Jim suggested an inexpensive traveling display. Henry suggested updating the brochures. Suzanne said the brochure could be placed on the website as a .pdf to be printed out. Kate volunteered to work on designing and writing text for a new brochure. She asked for ideas. Among the ideas suggested: an emphasis on archivists' protection of South Carolina heritage; an emphasis on the variety of archivists in SCAA; inclusion of some images; a registration card that could be filled out and immediately returned; a good quote that would sum up the SCAA mission.

    C. Treasury: Jim reported that income exceeded expenses for 2005, and that the general account contained approximately $9,400. He said that the scholarship fund is in a separate account containing $1,153, and that no additions to the fund had been made since June. Jim distributed a proposed budget for 2006 that also included information on budgets for the past 5 years. He noted that the budget was conservative and took into account past trends. Jim also brought up the question of the Certificate of Deposit (with a 13-month term) that SCAA owns. It contains $10,000, and Jim asked what its purpose was. He said that if the money is for an emergency, it should not be kept in a CD, but in a form that could be made liquid more quickly. If the money is intended for scholarships, he submitted that the interest should be used for scholarships. He suggested having the use of the money voted on by the entire membership. Elizabeth said we could ask Alexia or Jeannette Bergeron why the money had been set aside in the first place. Suzanne pointed out that no one has ever applied for a scholarship from the fund and that there were no firm rules established for distributions from the fund, but that it was originally intended to underwrite students attending the SAA annual meeting. Jim said that SAA is too expensive for us to provide scholarships in any practical way. Elizabeth said that SCAA meetings are inexpensive and Henry said that students can work at SCAA meetings in exchange for free attendance and lunch, so a scholarship is not really necessary for that purpose. Henry suggested using extra money to bring in more out-of-state, well-known speakers for SCAA meetings where we might not have concurrent sessions, but instead one or two sessions with a “big name”. Jim suggested this could be coordinated with other organizations to offer programs of joint interest. Suzanne asked about the possible audit of SCAA's books, which had been suggested in the past. Jim said he did not know what decisions had been made previously, but that an audit needs to be done.

    D. Newsletter: Kate said she had been communicating with past editor Brian Fahey for ideas. She asked if the budget would pay for two or three issues this year. Jim said three issues were in the budget. Suzanne said that publishing the first issue after the spring conference would be good, to include coverage of the event. Elizabeth suggested that Connie Schulz's Archives class could be asked to write about their internship projects. Kate said that the length of the newsletter would be dictated by the material. She also said that Brian had agreed to maintain the listserv for now.

    E. Conferences and Workshops: Elizabeth proposed going to a format of one conference and one workshop per year. Mike said that PALMCOP had difficulty getting a good turnout for their early December meeting, and suggested combining with them or with SCPRA for a workshop. Elizabeth said that there are always problems in getting speakers lined up for the conferences, and that they frequently fall through at the last minute, hence her suggestion of one issue-oriented conference and one hands-on workshop. Elizabeth said that the North Carolina archivists' association has suggested having a joint meeting. Jim said that having a conference and workshop format allows longer-range planning, but he pointed out that the Society of Georgia Archivists had tried a similar format, but now meets one time a year only for 2-3 days. He suggested bringing in an SAA-sponsored workshop, and said that SCLA has also expressed interest in partnering with SCAA for meetings/workshops. Elizabeth read some suggestions from past SCAA meeting evaluations. Henry said that Jake Benson, a conservator who recently moved from the Columbia area, might be willing to hold a workshop this spring. Various ideas were suggested for possible workshops, including: creating and caring for scrapbooks; taking care of book bindings; and an “Antiques Roadshow” style format. Henry agreed to contact Mr. Benson about the possibility of a spring workshop. Mike said he would contact Sarah Murray, who could not attend the Executive Retreat, to let her know of our ideas. Henry suggested that Lois Upham, a former teacher of Preservation at USC, could also be a possible speaker for a conference. He suggested disaster planning/recovery as a topic. Elizabeth said that Sharon Bennett might be willing to speak about her recent experiences with Hurricane Katrina cleanup. Mike suggested having a program on Freedom of Information Act and/or privacy issues, which might address in some ways the common request on the evaluation forms for a session on problem patrons. Jim suggested contacting SAA about hosting one of their regional workshops so that we would at least have the information on doing so. Suzanne said she would talk with Sarah before having Mike contact SAA. The decision made for the spring conference is to ask Jake Benson if he would be willing to hold a workshop. If he cannot do so, the back-up idea is to ask Sharon to talk about disaster relief, and possibly ask someone else to speak on the aftermath of the Graniteville train accident.

    F. Annual Social, Awards, Nominations: These items were deferred until the next board meeting.

    G. Bylaws and Constitution: Suzanne said she knew of no issues regarding these that required discussion or action.

    H. Publicity: Mike referred to Dennis Taylor's memo to the Executive Board in October 2005, asking if SCAA could host a mixer at the SAA annual meeting and/or send one of the SCAA officers to SAA each year. Jim said that in the past, the mixer at SAA has relied on Connie Schulz and her students. Dorothy said that there was the question of whether the mixer would be an “official” event (listed in the SAA program) or more informal. The issue of alcohol being provided at the mixer was brought up, and whether it was a concern for insurance or other reasons.

    I. Scholarships: Mike suggested an article in the newsletter addressing the question of the use of the scholarship fund. He said that it would probably not sit well to have the money used to send one of the SCAA officers to SAA. Elizabeth suggested that the money could help a student or a lone arranger attend an SCAA meeting, an SAA workshop (as opposed to the annual meeting), or a SOLINET workshop. Suzanne said that originally, there were two ideas for the scholarship fund, one being that students would receive the money, the other that professionals would receive support for attending meetings. She said a scholarship opportunity has never been advertised or organized, and that a Scholarship Committee could be revived to help decide the use of the money. She agreed to work on re-establishing this committee.

    The subject may be brought up at the general business meeting at the next SCAA event.

  • Procedure Manuals

    Procedure Manuals were exchanged among the outgoing and incoming officers.

  • Next Meeting Date

    Suzanne announced that the next meeting will be held on or around February 6. The meeting was later confirmed to be held at the State Archives on February 7, 2006, at 10 a.m.

    The meeting was adjourned at 3:35 p.m.