SCAA Executive Board Meeting

Archives and History Center, Columbia, South Carolina

February 7, 2006

Present: James Cross, Dorothy Hazelrigg, Mike Kohl, Kate Moore, Elizabeth West

Vice President Elizabeth West called the meeting to order at 10:15 a.m.

  • Treasurer's Report

    Jim Cross reported that since the last board meeting, there have been some expenses relating to reimbursement for speakers from the fall conference. Some speakers submitted mileage costs and were reimbursed at the state rate.

    Jim also said he had looked at the audit conducted by PALMCOP for comparison to a potential SCAA audit. He said that PALMCOP's was an internal audit performed by a group that they put together, with Jim being one of them. They divided the task of examining the books and then all reported back, concluding that PALMCOP's books were in order. Jim suggested that we could also get relatively disinterested parties to perform an audit for SCAA's books, but said that he doesn't expect that there are any problems with our books.

  • Membership Report

    Elizabeth reported on behalf of Membership Officer Henry Fulmer, who was unable to attend. She said that Henry had finished sending mailings to about 15-20 past members to encourage them to rejoin SCAA.

  • Director's Report

    Mike Kohl reported on the planning for the Spring Conference. He said that Jake Benson, who had been contacted about running a workshop, was in the process of leaving the state to attend the University of Maryland, and found it difficult to plan to do a workshop at this time. Mike said that he may be a possibility for a workshop later on, preferably a time coinciding with a break in the academic calendar at UM. He would need to be paid expenses and perhaps a $200-300 honorarium.

    As a result of Mr. Benson's declining to speak at the spring conference, Mike reported that he was concerned about getting a program together quickly. He said he had looked back at the previous meeting's minutes to see what other ideas had been discussed, and that he had settled on the idea of disaster planning and relief. It occurred to him that most institutional disaster plans are useless in situations where entire cities or regions are affected by a disaster. He wondered if presenting a disaster relief program might be too much of a duplication of the program given at the South Carolina Public Records Association about the Graniteville disaster. Elizabeth said that there was not much overlap between the memberships of the two groups. Jim agreed with the idea of focusing on disaster planning as a theme and mentioned that Sharon Bennett would probably be able to speak to the larger implications of disasters such as hurricanes. Elizabeth brought up issues of safety and security following disasters, such as the National Guard not allowing archivists to return to their repositories. Mike said he would try to get in touch with Barry Graham of Avondale, who spoke at the SCPRA meeting.

    For a second session, Mike mentioned Dale Stuckey, the general counsel of the South Carolina Department of Education. He said Stuckey had given a good presentation on the Freedom of Information Act, privacy issues, etc. Mike thought Stuckey could possibly speak on the subject for as long as 2 hours.

    Elizabeth said that we should decide the format of the conference and whether to have a plenary and then concurrent sessions, or two concurrent sessions. Mike expressed the wish not to have the conference run too late, for those who had to travel home afterward. Elizabeth said that people like to have networking time at the conference. It was suggested that the first session start at 10 a.m. and last until 11:30, and that the afternoon session(s) last from 1:30 to 3:00 or 3:30 p.m.

    Mike said he would try to contact Dale Stuckey but that we might also wish to contact Lois Upham, who had been proposed as a possible speaker on preservation issues. Elizabeth said she would speak to Henry about contacting her. Elizabeth suggested that Tommy Bedenbaugh could give a presentation on scrapbooks, if Ms. Upham could not.

    Other possible speakers on a Katrina panel were discussed. It was suggested that Sharon Bennett would know other potential participants.

    Mike asked about dates for the conference. Looking back at notes from the January board meeting, he said that the dates that seemed possible were March 14-16, March 28-30, or April 11-13. It was agreed to try to avoid the week of Easter and Passover. Mike said he would first talk to someone at the Archives to see what dates the building was available.

    Another suggestion for a possible program at the conference related to the recent discussion on the Archives listserv about the Mark Greene and Dennis Meissner theory of processing. Mike said that he had been to the session at SAA presented by Meissner, as had Dorothy. The basic idea is that archivists do not need to process at the level of detail that had generally been accepted in the past. It was suggested that the topic might be good for a panel discussion at an SCAA event. Mike said if that idea included getting Greene and/or Meissner to come to the event, it could be expensive. He suggested that for the spring conference, we should work with the ideas that were already underway, including contacting Tommy Bedenbaugh, Lois Upham, and someone relating to the Graniteville event. Dorothy said that it was possible, and maybe even preferable, if the Greene/Meissner proposal was to be discussed in a future panel session, to have it just be amongst the membership of SCAA, and that it was not necessary to have the authors present. Elizabeth said that if someone was invited from a distance, they should probably be given a plenary session to ensure their presentation was well-attended. There was further discussion about the positive and negative implications of following Greene and Meissner's standards of processing.

    Mike asked who could be the contact at the State Archives to help him orchestrate the conference. Sarah Murray had resigned the SCAA directorship and her post at the Archives. Mike said that Sharon McIntosh had been asked to serve as director. No one knew if she had accepted the post. Jim said that in the past, caterers had been hired to handle the lunch, but that the directors had handled the coffee and breakfast items in the morning. Mike said he would be willing to come to Columbia the day before the conference if necessary to make arrangements. Elizabeth noted that speakers probably need to be warned to bring their own laptop computers for their presentations, as the Archives does not have a laptop with a USB port. She also said she would check with Alexia to find out about who typically bought the coffee.

    Mike asked if the board needed to meet or hold a conference call before the spring conference. He asked how quickly brochures could be printed for the event. Kate asked who normally handled the brochures. Mike said he would contact Elizabeth to ask her. Dorothy suggested that the conference information could be sent out on the listserv faster than brochures could be printed. Kate also suggested putting a PDF of the brochure on the website. Jim said that it would be best if the deadline for early registration was 2 weeks before the meeting date.

  • Vice President's Report

    Elizabeth asked everyone to review the minutes from January's meeting, which Dorothy distributed. Since there was not a quorum of voting board members, she suggested approving the minutes at the next meeting. She also asked for ideas for the annual social, and suggested that future SCAA board meetings might be conducted via conference call. At this point, Elizabeth needed to leave the meeting.

  • Newsletter and Web Design

    Kate Moore reported that she had talked with Geoff LoCicero about updating the website. He and his wife offered to work on it together, and submitted an estimate of $200-300.

    Jim said that since there was no quorum present, a decision could not be made at the meeting, especially since the expense of money was involved. Kate suggested that she circulate an e-mail asking for a yes or no vote. Jim said that the process was complicated, but that it would probably be sufficient to get a go-ahead via e-mail and then to officially ratify the decision at the next meeting.

    Kate said that Geoff would try to design a new logo, but suggested that we might consider opening up a competition among the membership for a new logo. She said that more color and updated content would improve the website. She asked for ideas to make the site more dynamic. Jim asked if we really needed to make the site more dynamic, since the traffic is low. Dorothy said the very low response and traffic on the listserv may mean generally low interest in web presence for SCAA, although we no longer print a paper newsletter and it is only available online. Mike said that people do not like receiving unnecessary email. Jim said that there is not much South Carolina representation on the Archives listserv, although many people read it without subscribing. Kate said that Geoff had suggested a blog or message board for the site instead of a listserv, but that she doesn't see the interest. She also asked about the fact that the newsletter is listed as a benefit of membership, but that it is available to anyone on the website, not just members. Kate said she had offered to re-do the main SCAA brochure (not the conference ones), but that she still needs suggestions.

    Mike adjourned the meeting at 11:50 a.m.