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SAA Committee Member Highlights: Jennifer Motszko

This post is from Jennifer Motszko of the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. Jennifer is the chair of the SAA Membership Committee, 2020-2021.

Jennifer, what drew you to archives?
I have always been interested in history and planned to make that my career in some way. As I was working towards my masters degree in History at UW-Milwaukee, I was hired for a work-study position in the Archives. That’s what did it for me! Doing research, answering reference requests, processing collections, creating exhibits. I loved every part of my job and knew that I wanted to be an archivist. I decided to get a degree in Library Science and the rest is history.

Why did you get involved with the Committee or Subcommittee?
I volunteered for the Membership Committee as a way to get more involved in SAA. I felt a little lost trying to navigate the organization and thought volunteering would give me an opportunity to understand how SAA functioned. Also, I wanted to meet more people in the profession outside of my own archives. Serving on a committee is a wonderful way to become embedded in SAA, learn about and take advantage of all the resources at your disposal, and find colleagues and friends.

What’s your favorite thing about your work on the Committee or Subcommittee?
My favorite thing about working with the Membership Committee is the dedicated individuals in the group. Each and everyone on the committee wants members to be aware of and take advantage of the resources SAA provides to its members. They continue to develop unique ways to connect with both new and existing members. The Career Services Commons is just one example of a product that evolved from the requests of SAA members and the brilliant ideas of committee members.

What do you wish SAA members knew about your Committee or Subcommittee or its work?
I hope that SAA members know that the Membership Committee is here for all members. We want to help SAA provide resources and create a welcoming environment for a diverse membership. If you have ideas about how the Membership Committee could better serve your needs, please reach out to us!

Featured

SAA Committee Member Highlights: Brittany Newberry

This post is from Brittany Newberry (she/her), Processing Archivist at the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library in Atlanta, GA, current advisor and past chair of the Career Development Subcommittee. Brittany is also a steering committee member for the Archivists and Archives of Color section.


Brittany, what drew you to archives? 

My first year of undergrad I had to choose a place to work for my work study. At the time, the Special Collections department in the library was called Rare Books and I thought that sounded cool. I worked there for all four years of undergrad and absolutely loved it. Through my time there, I was able to create enclosures for fragile books, repair book bindings, process a few collections, and do reference work. I loved being able to see handwritten correspondence and materials from various people. I liked knowing that I was helping to preserve history. So, I decided to attend library school and concentrate on archives. I’ve been in archives ever since. 

Why did you get involved with the Committee or Subcommittee? 

After being a member of SAA a couple years, I knew I wanted to get involved and help make a difference in the profession. I saw the call for volunteers and applied. After being appointed to the Membership committee, I was assigned to the Career Development subcommittee. As an early career archivist at the time, I was nervous about this assignment, but it has been the best part of my time on the committee and I have learned so much. 

What’s your favorite thing about your work on the Committee or Subcommittee?

I would definitely say my favorite thing is the people I get to work with. The subcommittee co-chairs are fantastic and our volunteers for the Career Center and Career Services Commons have been excellent. 

What do you wish SAA members knew about your Committee or Subcommittee or its work?

I wish people knew that we are more than just the Career Center at the Annual Meeting. The Career Development subcommittee is actively working to identify and implement ways to help archivists advance their careers. So check out the Career Services Commons and/or send us an email with a suggestion. We want to help SAA members and non-members thrive. 

If you’d like to learn more about career services offered by the Membership Committee, please visit the SAA Career Commons!