MARAC/NEA Boston Plenary I

The conference began with opening remarks from Danna Bell. She shared with us her thoughts about professional development and continuing education for archives professionals. Her central question was:

What skills do archivists need and how should they attain them?

I was excited to hear Bell discuss the real need for collaboration across organizations to make these opportunities available to a wider audience and share collective resources. Bell hopes for continued and expanded collaborations among libraries, museums, and archives.

In terms of how this archival education is taught, Bell encouraged us to think about how we gain the knowledge we need, and the call for new pedagogical models for delivery content. She emphasized the need for experiential learning, and virtual spaces and communities. 

My big take-aways from the plenary were the key skills Bell argues we need:

  1. Self awareness to seek and be open to feedback from those who are our friends and allies, and those who are more critical.
  2. Ability to perform an evironmental scan to look at both the broad issues and specific concerns of our profession.
  3. Ease to handle ambiguity and change.
  4. Confidence to invite a broad range of thinkers and potential decision makers to the table.
  5. Effective communication- up, down and around within your organization.

What skills do you think archivists need?

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