Jackie Dooley and Bill Landis
L-60, Introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians
4-8 July 2011
1) How useful were the pre-course readings? (Leave blank if you applied and were accepted late for the course, and thus did not get the list in time.)
1: Very useful. 2: Very useful, extensive but extremely helpful grounding in the subject. 3: They were definitely useful if for no other reason than that they gave me some introduction to the field—language, issues, mindset. 4: Readings provided a good introduction to contemporary theory/discussion in the field. 5: Very useful in learning terminology and setting an overview of the issues that were discussed in class. 6: Very. I appreciated the mostly high level and provocative discussions of the issues and current trends in the field. 7: They were extremely useful and very thought-provoking. I will continue reading through the additional sources recommended to us. 8: The readings were very interesting and quite important in giving us a frame in which to consider the issues discussed during the week.
2) Were the course workbook and other materials distributed in class appropriate and useful (or will they be so in the future, after you return home)?
1: Yes. 2: Yes, particularly examples of documents that are currently in use at other institutions (deed of gift document). 3: Yes, some of these materials will be extremely useful—the kinds of things I had tried to find myself on the internet. 4: Emphatically, yes! 5: Yes, I found everything in the workbook organized and very useful during the class and I know I'll be referring to them often in the future. 6: Yes. I am definitely planning on using the materials myself and passing them along to colleagues as appropriate. 7: Yes, they were useful during the course, and they will be even more useful as I review and absorb them more thoroughly. 8: The materials are great and will be wonderfully useful after the course for me to review issues raised in class or to engage with them further. Having the workbook materials in electronic format is also very helpful.
3) What aspects of the course content were of the greatest interest or relevance for your purposes? Was the intellectual level of the course appropriate?
1: Everything was appropriate. The intellectual level was a stretch for me sometimes because of my lack of experience with this area. 2: Appraisal, deed of gift issues, intellectual level was just right. 3: The course promised an introduction to Archives for Special Collections Librarians. That is exactly what I wanted and what I got. Intellectual level was appropriate. 4: In-depth descriptions of processing and description were of most interest. 5: The discussion about born-digital records was very helpful in understanding the complexities involved. Yes, the course was challenging and I have a lot of food for thought. 6: the introductory nature of the course was helpful to me since it ensured that the basic concepts and ideas were advanced. I was familiar with most, but not from any formal presentation. 7: I enjoyed the variety of our course offerings. Informative readings, good 'lectures' and discussions, and interesting exercises and collaborative mini-projects. 8: There were many elements of the course I found compelling, especially issues concerning donor relations, intellectual property, and ethical concerns. I found the intellectual level appropriate.
4) What did you like best about the course?
1: Lectures, field trips. 2: The interaction of the instructors with each other, their collective experience in different aspects of the archival process. 3: Aside from the fact that it filled my expectations, I appreciated the generosity of the instructors in sharing their insights and experiences. 4: Presentation of the professional climate was an unexpected but immensely valuable part of this course. 5: The instructors were entertaining and educational—clearly experts in the field and they did an excellent job guiding novices through the complex issues and relating them back to other professional areas— what other people in the class might experience or deal with in their institutions. 6: I found the practical exercises very useful—as a learner who needs hands-on practice or demonstrations. Adored the field trip to the digitization lab. 7: The instructors. They worked well together and brought differing perspectives for us to consider. 8: I especially enjoyed being able to consider issues at a metal or theoretical level, mixed with hands-on processing and description exercises. Our discussions in the class and with people at field trip sites were provocative and engaging.
5) Did the instructor(s) successfully help you to acquire the information and skills that the course was intended to convey?
1: Yes. 2: Yes, absolutely. 3: Definitely. 4: The course was a perfect 'introduction.' I fell confident to pursue further work and education in the field, as well as to hold meaningful conversations on archival practice and theory. 5: Yes. 6: Yes, and the reinforcement over the course of the week of the key concepts—in various contexts led to really strong understanding and take always. 7: Yes, very much so. 8: Yes. Discussion of the profession, and available resources helped with info and knowledge, while hands-on exercises helped us to acquire the skills, and equipped us to know how to deepen those skills after the course.
6) Did you learn
what the course description/advertisements indicated you would learn? Y/ N
1-2: Yes. 3: Yes. Absolutely—see #3. 4: Yes. 5: Yes, it was exactly what I expected/needed. 6: Yes, would have liked greater depth in the born digital unit, but understand the limitations of this format and course. 7-8: Yes.
7) Did you learn what you wanted to learn in the course? Y/N
1: Yes. 2: Yes, and more than I expected to learn. 3-4: Yes. 5: Yes, I feel like this course should be a requirement for librarians! 6: Yes, and the additional resources as take aways will help me preserve and pass along that knowledge. 7: Yes. 8: Yes. I was especially interested in current issues, challenges, and concerns in the field, not to become an archivist myself, but to be able to collaborate with archivist and understand where their concerns are similar to or diverge from those of us working with Rare Books. That being said, I also learned practical skills.
8) How do you intend to use or apply the knowledge or skills learned in this course?
1: In my work. 2: I will have a greater understanding and appreciation of the work done by the archivist with whom I work and at the chief librarian who works with donors. 3: Hopefully, my institution will acquire the literary papers that prompted me to take the course and I will use what I learned at that time. Even if this does not happen, I will use what I learned in other ways. 4: In my day-to-day duties. 5: By keeping informed about developments in the field and in conversations with archivists. I'll have more knowledge of the issues. 6: To communicate with my colleagues and design processes for managing materials in archival manner and systematically. 7: I will be meeting with both our local archivists and the librarians in my department to see how we can work more closely together and learn from each other. 8: For now, I'd like to further my learning in the field and use what I've learned to inform my own understanding of issues within SC. In future, I could see myself collaborating with or supervising Archivists within an SC environment.
9) How could the course have been improved? If you have a suggestion for a new course (and—equally important—a person who could teach it), please contact the RBS Program Director.
2: No—no suggestions. 3: Can't think of any suggestions. 4: Add a segment on how to run a reading room, there are many features peculiar to archives. 5: The course is perfect as is—I would suggest an avenue of outreach might be MLIS programs across the country where librarians go for CE—might be a great place for more connections across the professions. 6: My background as a non-special collections librarian made some of the discussion hard to relate to; perhaps broaden the audience, e.g. collection managers/librarians, so that it would apply to more professions. 7: No improvements necessary. I enjoyed our in-class discussions, our field trips, and the instructors' informal presentations. 8: It was a great class. Some issues (e.g. intellectual property, donor relations) might merit an advanced of their own. It might be interesting to overlap a session with the Born Digital course at the same time.
10) If your course left its classroom to visit Special Collections (SC) or to make other field trips away from your classroom, was the time devoted to this purpose well spent?
1: Yes, extremely so. 2: Yes, very useful, especially to visit the Library of Virginia and hear about the scanning processes here at UVA. 3: We had 3 field trips and 2 of them were very useful. The third field trip brought us into a discussion that was overly detailed and technical. It could have been a shorter visit and the time used for a more general discussion. 4: Discussion with working professionals on the field trips was time well spent. The show and tell-esque tour of the Library of Virginia was not a particularly beneficial use of time, in terms of learning outcomes. 5: Yes, the visits to SC, Library of Virginia, and the Digitization Center were very valuable. 6: Yes, the Library of Virginia was a really valuable visit and also Digitization lab at SC. 7: Yes. Very much so. Very inspirational. 8: Field trips were great! Nicole Bouche at SC spoke openly and helpfully about the challenges in refining a collection development policy, and Bradley Daigle's presentation on UVA's digital programs fit wonderfully with our discussions. The Library of Virginia was amazing facility with spectacular collections and well worth a trip to Richmond.
11) We are always concerned about the physical well-being both of the RBS teaching collections and of materials owned by UVa's Special Collections. If relevant, what suggestions do you have for the improved classroom handling of such materials used in your course this week?
2: No suggestions—we didn't use SC materials. 3: Did not use. 6: Not 1. 7: N/A. 8: No suggestions.
12) If you attended the optional evening events (e.g. RBS Lecture, Video Night, RBS Forum, Booksellers' Night) were they worth attending?
2: Selby Kiffer's lecture was outstanding and so appropriate given the location at UVA and that it was July 4th. 3: Yes, they are all part of the RBS experience that I enjoy. 4: the lectures were both engaging and educational. 5: Yes, the RBS Lecture was excellent and a great way to spend July 4th. 6: The lectures were interesting enough, although the second lecture seemed to involve a weird tension that made it awkward. 7: the 4th of July lecture and reception were excellent. Thank you. 8: Yes, they were great events!
13) Did you get your (or your institutions) money's worth? Any final or summary thoughts, or advice for other persons considering taking this course in a future year?
1-3: Yes, definitely. 4: Yes! 5: Yes, I would highly recommend this course for any reference librarian who wants to be more aware of their colleagues work and the organization and description of archival materials. 6: Very much. 8: Yes. Wonderful experience!
14) Would you recommend this course to others?
1-2: Yes. 3: Yes, definitely. 4: Yes! 5: Yes. 6: Yes. JD and BL are a great teaching team—able to communicate their vast knowledge and experience without talking down or over our heads. 7: Yes, and I will. 8: Yes.
Number of respondents: 8
Institution gave me leave
I took vacation time
N/A: self-employed, retired or had the summers off
I am self-employed
Work has nothing to do with RBS course
Institution paid tuition
Institution paid tuition ___%
I paid tuition myself
Exchange or barter
N/A: Self-employed, retired or scholarship
Institution paid housing
Institution paid for ___% of housing
I paid for my own housing
N/A: stayed with friends or lived at home
Institution paid ___% of my travel
I paid my own travel
N/A: lived nearby
There were 3 general librarians with some rare book duties (38%), 1 rare book librarian with archival duties (12%), 1 rare book librarian (12%), 1 general librarian with no rare book duties (12%), 1 worker in an arts and cultural institution (13%), 1 worker in a non-profit organization (13%).
Where did you stay?
Hampton Inn & Suites—2