My name is April Anderson-Zorn, and I’m the university archivist for Illinois State University (ISU). I currently serve as a Key Contact in District 5, and I welcome SAA members in Illinois (outside of Chicago). I’m originally from Pensacola, Florida, and moved to the Midwest in 2011, where I’ve been at ISU for over ten years.
What do I enjoy about being a Key contact?
I absolutely enjoy welcoming new members and getting to chat with folks who want to know more about the profession and SAA. When I was a new member – many, many moons ago – I found a lot of support in networking with long-time SAA members. I believe in the power of networking and helping new members build their archival community.
What is the most important part of being a Key Contact?
We are often the first people new members ‘meet’ when they sign up for SAA. As Key Contacts and District Representatives, we must put SAA’s best foot forward when introducing new members to the Society and to the membership. This is how we engage new members with the many services SAA provides and keep the entire membership connected.
How has the role evolved?
I’ve been welcoming new members for eight years! Even as I type that, I can’t believe it’s been that long! I took over the role from someone who needed to step away and have been lucky enough to stay in it ever since. In the beginning, my welcome emails were short, and they were email equivalent to a hearty handshake. Now I try to include information about the year’s upcoming annual meeting, avenues for mentorship and professional development, and the benefits of networking. However, I’ve always let people know they can ask anything of me, and I’ll do my best to get them an answer. If there is anything I want people to take away from one of my welcome emails is that I’m always available to help.