September 19, 2020

Society of American Archivists (SAA) Council Approves Revised Core Values and Code of Ethics for Archivists

From SAA:

At its August 3 virtual meeting, the SAA Council approved significant revisions to the Core Values of Archivists and Code of Ethics for Archivists, as proposed by the Committee on Ethics and Professional Conduct. The documents reflect member input from a 2018 comment period. The documents will be reviewed on a more regular schedule–including opportunity for member input–going forward.

In other action, the Council:

  • Agreed to support and pursue the following actions: Require all those applying or running for SAA positions (staff positions, such as Executive Director; elected officers of the Society, such as President, Vice President, and Treasurer, and Council; and appointed positions, such as American Archivist Editor and Publications Editor) to submit a “diversity statement” as part of their application/nomination materials; develop guidelines for writing and submitting such a document; and create opportunities for mentoring and teaching SAA leadership and membership on how to develop and evaluate a diversity statement.
  • Approved a description of the newly created Crisis, Disaster, and Tragedy Response Working Group, formed on the recommendation of the Tragedy Response Initiative Task Force.  A call for volunteers for this group will be issued immediately following the Annual Meeting.
  • Elected Lisa Mangiafico of Soroptimist International of the Americas to serve a three-year term as a Class B member of the SAA Foundation Board of Directors, beginning August 14, 2020.
  • Approved a petition to form a new student chapter at North Carolina Central University. Read more about SAA’s student chapters here.

In addition, the Council:

  • Discussed a recommendation from the Committee on Public Policy about SAA’s involvement in the Ahmad vs University of Michigan case, and agreed to support COPP and the Committee on Public Awareness in providing information and sponsoring educational programming inspired by this and other court cases that address the status, within open records laws, of personal papers held by public institutions.
  • Briefly discussed a recommendation from the American Archivist Editorial Board that the Council form two task forces, one on professional mediation, facilitation, and conflict management and the second on publication ethics.  The Council ran out of time before completing a discussion of the suggestions. Council liaison Mario Ramirez will work with the Editorial Board and Council to ensure that the discussion is taken up within an appropriate timeframe.
  • Continued its ongoing conversation about the challenges of providing support to 46 Sections, and agreed to discuss with Section leaders their ideas for ensuring the health of their groups and/or modifying SAA’s approach to member affinity groups.

The Council is grateful to the more than 40 members who observed some or all of the Zoom meeting. Any questions that were asked in the chat box will be responded to within 48 hours.

To access materials discussed at the August 3 meeting, click here.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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