The various sectors of archives and related professions can diverge from each other in priorities, strategies, constituencies, and resource availability. Individuals changing positions across these sectors have an opportunity to bring skills learned in their previous field(s) to transform the work being done in archives and related institutions. Cross-sector experiences also provide an opportunity to reflect on how such transitions transformed an individual’s outlook on the profession as a whole and his or her role within it. Even much of the recently renewed interest in the unity among libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs) focuses on institutions and not on the individual professionals working in these areas.
At the 2018 MAC Annual Meeting in Chicago, a lightning round panel of eight archivists presented their lessons learned about transitioning from outside and within the LAM sector. Keeping with the conference theme, “Blurring Boundaries, Crossing Lines,” the presenters shared their experiences moving across several different areas, including local and state government, corporate archives, museums, local historical societies, and academic special collections. Despite varied job titles and responsibilities, common themes emerged during this session about backgrounds and skill sets that enhance each archivist’s current work. Session feedback asked for more information about how the panelists transitioned to serve as a guide for others attempting to do the same.
Copyright © 2018, the Authors
Midwest Archives Conference
Rebecca Katz, Kayla Harris, and Marcella Huggard (2018).
A Change Would Do You Good: Cross-Sector Perspectives. MAC Newsletter.
46 (2), 30-33