What’s My Job Again?

On October 7, 2016, AzAA sponsored an annual symposium event at the
Tempe History Museum, entitled What’s My Job Again?

Archives Symposium Flyer

The role of the archivist is constantly shifting to keep up with new technology, to create new collaborations with communities, to expand our collecting scopes, serve patrons, and to help the archives field improve ways of managing and disseminating collections. Yet job titles and job descriptions aren’t changing quite so quickly, often remaining simply “archivist,” or sometimes expanding to “digital archivist,” but not always reflecting the wide range of tasks that need to be accomplished to keep repositories running smoothly.

The annual Arizona Archives Alliance symposium during October’s Archives Month will focus on functional analyses of archival staffs, including in-depth discussions about job titles and responsibilities. Functional analyses of existing jobs in archival repositories enable archives staff to inventory the positions they have, assess the strengths of existing staff and strategize how to best make use of their gifts, and to identify gaps in staffs in an effort to advocate for new staff positions.


Chrystal Image (2)

Chrystal Carpenter
University Archivist, Carol Grotnes Belk Library, Elon University, Elon, North Carolina.

Chrystal has served as University Archivist at Elon University since 2015, and previously held positions at the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego, and Manuscript and Congressional Archivist at the University of Arizona. A primary function in her role at Elon is to carefully examine existing staff positions, identify needs, and advocate for more staffing. Chrystal is currently embarking on an in-house succession plan and functional analysis of staffing. Her goal in doing so is to: align current professional library staff with their KSAs, identify training needs, reorganize to align functional work and strategic goals, create synergies between work, update and craft new job descriptions, and hire a new professional archivist in 2017. In addition, she plans to use the outcomes of this process to assist as she advocates for an increase in staff resources to meet the goals and objectives set forth by the University.


Erin O’Meara
Head, Office of Digital Innovation and Stewardship, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Erin’s experience with needs assessment and functional analyses regarding archives roles started in her first academic library job. Within the first year, her position was renamed and reframed based on library and campus needs. That trend of shifting roles has continued throughout her career. At the Gates Archive, she helped inform staffing plans from the ground up as the archive grew (it’s only five years old). Business process analysis was used when determining what types of skills were needed. The archive defined archivist positions irrespective of format, so that work is performed in a functional area on analog, digitized, and born-digital material.




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