Sunday, March 7, 2010

CLGA goes to the ALA

CE Committee member Rebecka Sheffield has been tapped to present at the annual conference of the American Library Association June 27, 2010 in Washington DC. The topic of her talk will be "There's a Gay Archives?" : Outreach and Advocacy at the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives"

Read the abstract below:
Over the past twenty years, archivists have become increasingly interested in outreach and advocacy programs that can help entice visitors to the archives and encourage support for archival activities. In particular, many community archives have developed strategies to engage with the communities they serve. By doing so, they aim to raise awareness of their role in society, bolster support for their programs, and improve access to their records of enduring value. The Community Engagement Committee of the Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives (CLGA) was formed in 2008 while the institution prepared to move into its new, permanent home at 34 Isabella Street in Toronto. The Committee's mandate is to to undertake advocacy and outreach activities, as well as to develop educational programming around the archives' collections. My presentation will provide a brief overview of advocacy and outreach in archives, emphasizing connections between access to information and outreach activities. I will then provide a brief description of the work of the CLGA's outreach activities, including workshops with Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in public high schools, blog and Web site publishing, a visiting speaker series, and presentations at local conferences. Finally, I will argue that outreach and advocacy should be considered when archives evaluate their ability to provide access to the records in their holdings. After all, the best findings aids in the world will not suffice if the community doesn't even know that the archives exists.

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