This year at the Society of American Archivists annual meeting, incoming SAA president Kathleen Roe kicked off her initiative “A Year of Living Dangerously for Archives.” You can read about the initiative on the SAA Website, but I can also boil this down for you. Those of us who work in cultural heritage institutions get it — archives are important. We spend a lot of time telling one another how about our wonderful collections, and about the good work we do. However, despite our passion and conviction, we don’t spend nearly enough time making the case outside the building how important archives are.
I like this formulation: Archives change lives. Tell people about it.
I’m eager to hear all the stories that come out of this Year of Living Dangerously (YOLDA, as I’m dubbing it, which goes nicely with YOLO, don’t you think?). I urge you to participate in YOLDA by sharing your stories on the SAA website but also by pointing us to your work in the comments. Let’s use this year to inspire one another. I think it’s more dangerous to not take action than to find ways to advocate for ourselves, but if it makes you happy to think of yourself as an action hero, than go for it!