CARA Members Train Religious Archivists

Introductory Archive Workshop for Religious Communities, Class of 2016
Sisters of Charity Motherhouse, Leavenworth, KS

Thirty-four early career religious archivists gathered recently at the Sisters of Charity Motherhouse in Leavenworth, KS to learn the basic processes and procedures of managing a small archive. CARA member Malachy McCarthy led the Workshop, sharing teaching responsibility with Colleen McFarland Rademaker, head archivist of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth.

Sponsored by the Claretian Archives, the Workshop provides focused instruction for those with little or no previous experience. The training is intense because of the amount of material that has to be covered in a short time frame.

Patricia Carroll, a member of CARA, coordinated the Workshop. “We marketed the Workshop across the country at meetings and through regional organizations. It was not difficult at all to reach our maximum enrollment. There is an ongoing demand for training.” An important goal of the Workshop is to give participants the opportunity to form personal connections with others who face similar challenges and issues. “The Workshop provides a wealth of reference material to take home,” said Patricia. “The secret sauce is bringing people together to form bonds of support and reliance in their professional journeys. As archivists and Lone Arrangers, we all need others to help us figure things out.”

JLA Column on Strategic Planning & Assessment--Call for Contributors

This call for contributors comes from CARA member Wanda V. Dole, Emeritus Dean of the Library, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Column Editor of the Strategic Planning and Assessment Column in the Journal of Library Administration.

The Journal of Library Administration informs readers on research, current developments, and trends related to the leadership and management of libraries. In today’s global environment, library administrators must make complex and challenging decisions to help institutions achieve the identified mission, vision and goals. You can find the aims and scope of the journal posted here.

The journal publishes up-to-the-minute information that library and information professionals and paraprofessionals in public, academic, special, and corporate environments need to lead and manage toward the overall objective of community and stakeholder support.

Within this context, the Journal of Library Administration features articles by the most highly regarded professionals in the field as related to leadership, management, evaluation, assessment, marketing, and more to promote organizational success. This involves all aspects of public and technical operations, information technology and management, access to information in all formats and delivery options, physical and irtual environments, and organizational behavior.

The Strategic Planning and Assessment column focuses on the closely related topics of strategic planning and assessment in all types of libraries. The column examines all aspects of planning and assessment including (but not limited to) components, methods, approaches, trends, tools and training. The column appears four times a year in even-numbered issues of the journal. Interested authors are invited to submit articles to the editor at

Possible topics include

  • Strategic planning versus strategic thinking.
  • Why some strategic plans fail and others thrive?
  • Positive and negative impacts of strategic planning and assessment
  • Including assessment metrics in strategic plans
  • SWOT analysis versus Appreciate Inquiry
  • Staffing and training for strategic planning and assessment
  • New metrics for new challenges
  • Value metrics
  • The role of planning and assessment in budget allocation, public services (staffing and locating service points) and building and renovating facilities
  • Analyzing and presenting results of planning and assessment
  • Continuous improvement cycle
  • Planning and assessment as tools for organizational change

Interested authors are invited to submit proposals for columns and author contact information to the editor at Articles on both theory and practice and examples of both successful and unsuccessful attempts in all types of libraries are invited. Articles should be at least 3000 words and written in Microsoft Word format.

Author guidelines and further information can be found here.

Digital Preservation Meeting at North Park University

Brandel Library at North Park University. Photograph by Kathleen Gormley.
On June 24, 2016, approximately 15 CARA members met at the Brandel Library at North Park University to hear a talk on digital preservation and to get a tour of the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections.

Aaisha Haykal, University Archivist at Chicago State University Archives and Special Collection, presenting on the POWRR Project. Photograph by Kathleen Gormley.

The digital preservation talk was given by Aaisha Haykal, University Archivist at Chicago State University Archives and Special Collections, who spoke about her work with the POWRR (Preserving digital Objects With Restricted Resources) Project. Aaisha and CSU were part of the initial team that in 2012-2014 gained funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to investigate, evaluate, and recommend scalable, sustainable digital preservation solutions for libraries with smaller amounts of data and/or fewer resources. Due to the success of that initial project, they received additional funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities Division of Preservation and Access to conduct workshops across the country over the course of 2015-2016.

Aaisha discussed the tools that can help with digital preservation, as seen at the POWRR website's tool grid. There you will find everything from freeware to paid services. Aaisha also talked about the importance of advocating for a digital preservation program at your institution. The POWRR website provides one-pagers with talking points to help archivists advocate to different professionals in their institutions. After Aaisha's presentation, there was a roundtable discussion where several CARA members shared their approaches to digital preservation. Hearing from our colleagues offered a reassuring reminder that we are not alone in facing the challenge of how to assess and preserve digital material.

Anna-Kajsa Anderson, Director of Archives and Special Collections at North Park University, stands next to the Skogsbergh Pulpit in the reading room of the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections. Photograph by Kathleen Gormley.

To conclude the meeting, Kajsa Anderson gave a tour of the F.M. Johnson Archives and Special Collections, which holds the historical records of North Park University and the Evangelical Covenant Church as well as those of the Swedish-American Archives of Greater Chicago. The Archives staff was in the midst of preparations for the 125th Anniversary of the university, so we appreciate their taking the time to show us around.

Many thanks to Aaisha for a wonderfully educational presentation and to Kajsa for hosting the meeting!