CLA's Introductory Archives Workshop for Religious Communities

CARA Vice-President Patricia Carroll would like to share the following news:

The Catholic Library Association (CLA) is once again offering its popular Introductory Archives Workshop for Religious Communities. The course will be held at the Cenacle Retreat House in Rokonkoma, NY June 15 to 20.

Our own Malachy McCarthy, archivist of the Claretian Missionaries, USA Province will once again be lecturing. For the first time his co-presenter will be Grant Gerlich, MLIS, CA, archivist of the Mercy Heritage Center in Belmont, NC. Together these two will bring a wealth of practical experience and insight into the day to day challenges unique to the operation of religious archives.

The Introductory Archives Workshop is part of the CLA mission to provide professional development and build community among those who work in Catholic libraries and archives.

Society of American Archivists Releases Best Practices for Internships

Continuing the conversation started at CARA's Fall Meeting on interns and volunteers, Steering Committee member Audra V. Adomenas calls our attention to the recent release of SAA's "Best Practices for Internships as a Component of Graduate Archival Education". This three-page document outlines "a set of suggested guidelines for graduate students, archival educators, and archivists serving as intern supervisors. Sections include recommendations for the nature of work, compensation, agreements, supervisor responsibilities, communication, and evaluations."

If you have or plan to have interns at your institution, you may want to refer to this document to ensure that both you and your interns have a rewarding experience. Thank you, Audra, for bringing it to our attention.

CAA/CARA Cross Training Survey Closes May 16, 2014

The impetus for this survey grew out of a conversation at the 2013 CARA Fall Meeting, where the idea of "job shadowing" was discussed. CARA Steering Committee member and CAA Liaison Audra V. Adomenas brought the idea to CAA, and they decided to follow up on it. CAA's Professional Development Subcommittee developed a Cross-Training Survey in order to determine if this is an offering CAA should pursue.

Description of survey:

This is a survey to gauge the interest of Chicago Area Archivists and Chicago Area Religious Archivists members in a potential cross-training program at Chicago-area repositories, institution, or practitioners.

A cross-training experience is envisioned to be a temporary professional-quality interaction between the host organization and the individual person, or between two organizations that exchange personnel temporarily to experience professional quality opportunities. The purpose of this proposed CAA/CARA cross-training program would be to facilitate ongoing learning opportunities for individuals who already have professional work experience, but who wish to learn new work practices, skills, technologies that cannot be accessed through one’s employer.

Existing graduate programs in public history and library science already provide (or should provide) internship opportunities for those schools’ students. This CAA/CARA cross-training program is for members with archival or related cultural heritage work experience, especially individuals who lack the employer-based learning they seek.

The CAA Professional Development subcommittee members and CARA will follow up with respondents to this survey who express interest in a cross-training program via an additional survey to ask detailed questions about professional development needs.

Please follow the link to respond to the survey.

The survey will be up until Friday, May 16, 2014

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Aaisha Haykal, .

CARA Member News, May 8, 2014

Diane Pugh has been hired to serve as the Project Archivist for the NEH-funded Foundation Grant, "Preparing to Preserve, Digitize, and Catalog the Southeast Chicago Historical Museum (SECHM) Collection." Diane will be working almost full-time on the project during June and July (35 hours/week), and will be assessing their collection and making recommendations for its archiving and preservation. She will create a diagram of the museum space, listing content and classificatory systems, and provide an overview of the collection and more detailed log descriptions of flagged objects based on consultation with the advisory committee for the project. At the end of her work, Diane will write a summary of the work's status, and meet with the committee to discuss the written summary, possible metadata schemes, and future work plans.

Congratulations to Diane on her exciting new project! If you would like to contact her directly, she can be reached at

Report on 2014 Midwest Archives Conference (MAC)

From April 23 to April 26, 2014, I was in Kansas City, Missouri, attending my first-ever MAC meeting. I had a wonderful experience; MAC certainly lives up to the hype. Everyone I met was friendly and welcoming, and the panels and presentations were interesting and practical. What more could one ask from a professional conference?

In addition to friendly new acquaintances, I encountered quite a few familiar faces. It was good to see that the CARA membership was well-represented in Kansas City. While there, I was able to spend quality time with Audra Adomenas, Kajsa Anderson, Merle Branner, Diane Pugh, Marcia Stein, and Julie Wroblewski. Whether we were chatting over dinner and cocktails, or comparing our impressions of various panels, it was always a joy to share the conference with my fellow CARA members.

One of the highlights of MAC was the pre-conference workshop I attended on Wednesday, April 23, entitled "From Theory to Action: A Pragmatic Approach to Digital Preservation Strategies and Tools."