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  • 24 Apr 2019 11:36 AM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)

    The view from the MAC hotel, the Marriott Renaissance Center in Detroit. Photo by Rebekah McFarland.

    Attending MAC 2019 in Detroit this year was an EXPERIENCE. The wow-factor began the moment I got into my hotel room, opened the curtains, and found myself looking over a glistening river at Canada. I took a quiet moment to reflect; I had never been to MAC and had never been to Detroit. Winning the Chicago Area Archivists’ Archives and Archivists of Color Travel Fund Award allowed me both opportunities, and I only vaguely knew what to expect from either. I took in the view and my expectations--then my phone rang, and things kicked into fast gear.

    It’s hard to sum up an experience that I am still absorbing. I feel like I had a whirlwind conference: meeting up with fellow archivists for the first time, attending incredible presentations, spending time with friends, seeing the city, participating on a panel, attending the reception at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, a rare quiet moment walking along the river, running into colleagues I hadn’t seen in years--I’m still revisiting it all.

    Rebekah McFarland on the Imposter Syndrome panel at MAC 2019. Photo by Derek Potts.

    I have to say that the moment which most affected me was participating in the panel My Comeback Story: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome in the Archival Profession with April Anderson-Zorn, Amber Dushman, Britt Farley, Jennifer Ho, Beth Loch, Danielle Nowak, and Alison Stankrauff. Presenting itself was a personal accomplishment--I had never participated on a panel before--but getting to know my fellow presenters and hear their stories has really made a lasting impact on me. Though we unfortunately didn’t have time to hear other stories during the allotted time I am still floored by the amount of support and reflection provided by people who approached me to talk afterward. I hope we all began a conversation that will keep on going.

    I am so happy to have attended MAC this year. I came away feeling like a part of something bigger--a feeling I always welcome, especially as a lone arranger. I’m excited for others to have this opportunity through the Travel Fund Award, and for my own continued participation in MAC.

  • 24 Apr 2019 10:53 AM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)

    MAC 2019 by FakhreldinMAC Members gathered at the Renaissance Center in Detroit, April 3-6, 2019. Photo by Kheir Fakhreldin.

    I had a great time at the Midwest Archives Conference in Detroit on April 3-6, 2019. I enjoyed the inspirational plenary by Viranel Clerard, creator of The Detroit Museum of Public Art, a robust project that grew from a tumblr page to a major documentation of Detroit’s public art and architecture. His vision and perseverance serve as a reminder that when necessary, great memory work can be done with a minimum of resources.

    I identified with many of the speakers at the panel on impostor syndrome, particularly my Chicago Area Archivists colleagues Amber Dushman, Jennifer Ho, Beth Loch, Rebekah McFarland, and Danielle Nowak. See their upcoming presentation on this topic at SAA in Austin and read follow-up discussion here.

    Other highlights included Lori Donovan’s panel on using Archive-It for the preservation of websites by public libraries, which is very important for the local history contained in online news articles and obituaries. I also was blown away by a panel on community oral history projects with Lindsay Hiltunen, Lindsay Mattock, Aiden M. Bettine, and Camron Amin. One note I took in that session says: “The archival impulse has to come from within the community. Community should have full control and ownership regarding preservation, etc.”

    Before the conference, four of us visited John King Books, where I found a book that relates directly to a local history project of mine. My hometown, La Grange, Illinois, was founded in the 1870s by a former slaveholder from La Grange, Tennessee, who came north during the Civil War. The book was Slavery’s End in Tennessee, 1861-1865 by John Cimprich. I was grateful for the contextual information it gives my research, and because in the Amazon era, we rarely experience the thrill of serendipitous discoveries in used bookstores. If you’re ever in Detroit, don’t miss John King.

    John K. King Books in Detroit. Photo by Jerice Barrios.

  • 16 Apr 2019 9:14 AM | Jill Waycie (Administrator)

    Code4Lib Chicago announces their spring meeting and a call for talks and breakout sessions! Registration is free, and slots for 7-15 minute talks or breakout sessions are now open. Links and more information below:

    Registration is now open for the 2019 Spring Code4Lib Chicago meeting. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, May 21st at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Richard J. Daley Library in Room 1-470 from 9 AM - 4:30 PM. You can register for the conference here:

    Submission for talks at the 2019 Code4Lib Chicago spring meeting is also now open. Talks are encouraged around a wide variety of topics related to library technology. Just gone through an ILS migration? Has your Special Collections department received a large donation of born digital materials that you suddenly had to figure out how to accession? Have you created a script to automate a thorny regular task? Past talks at Code4Lib Chicago have included topics such as metadata evaluation tools and workflows, Tableau, Omeka and Docker. You can find more information about past Code4Lib Chicago meetings here:

    Slots for talks are open in 10 minute intervals. You can pick one slot to do a 7 minute talk with 3 minutes for questions or pick two slots for a 15 minute talk with 5 minutes for questions. 

    Breakout sessions are times to discuss a topic with a group of your peers that you may know a bit about but would like to dig into more. Past topics for breakout sessions have included UX/Design Thinking, Vue.js and Institutional Repositories. There are currently five spaces booked for breakout sessions but can book more depending on interest.

    There is no formal review process, simply fill in your name and the topic for your talk or breakout session in the schedule document, which you will find here:

  • 12 Apr 2019 11:28 AM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)

    On Friday, April 5, 2019, members of Chicago Area Archivists who attended the Midwest Archives Conference in Detroit gathered for drinks and dining at Townhouse, a restaurant 10 minutes away from the conference hotel.

    CAA @ MAC at Townhouse Detroit on April 5, 2019. Photo by Derek Potts.

    The event was very well-attended, so much so that the accommodating staff at Townhouse had to add another table so that everyone could fit! All together, 30 people joined the gathering: 27 CAA members and three guests. It made for a convivial evening, and a great time was had by all.

    The staff at Townhouse Detroit did a wonderful job of ensuring all 30 guests had a great time. Photo by Jerice Barrios.

    If you missed out on this event, don't worry, there are other events planned throughout the year, including the Business Archives Group Happy Hour on May 9. If you have an event or program you'd like to suggest, please send it to

    For more of what CAA members did at MAC, see our Twitter and Facebook accounts and check the hashtag #CAAatMAC2019. Also, if you attended MAC and have photos to share, please consider uploading them to the CAA Image folder on Google Drive.

  • 03 Apr 2019 10:31 AM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    The 2019 Midwest Archives Conference has begun! If you’re already in Detroit or heading there soon, there are lots of ways to virtually connect with fellow CAA members at the conference.

    We will be posting on Facebook and Twitter about conference activities, including CAA members’ participation in workshops and panel and poster presentations.

    We invite everyone to share and connect their own MAC-related social media posts by using the #CAAatMAC2019 hashtag.

    You can also easily share any photos you take in the CAA photo folder.

    If you can’t make it to MAC this year but want to keep up with what’s going on, just follow #CAAatMAC2019!

    And for those who are interested in making in-person connections with CAA at MAC—we will see you at the CAA @MAC Meet-up!

  • 25 Mar 2019 2:19 PM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)

    Kara Jefts, Chair of the CAA Steering Committee, leads the Annual Members' Meeting. Photo by Brittan Nannenga.

    On March 13, 2019, 34 CAA Members gathered at UIC's Richard J. Daley Library to attend the Annual Members' Meeting. Kara Jefts, Chair of CAA's Steering Committee, opened the meeting by introducing the rest of the steering committee and talking about the governing structure of CAA and how the various committees work together to keep the organization running smoothly. She also celebrated the spirit of volunteerism that makes CAA such a vibrant resource for the Chicago archives community.

    2019 CAA Annual Members' Meeting. Photo by Brittan Nannenga.

    The 2018 Annual Report was unanimously accepted by the membership. Some highlights from the report include the increasing importance of communication via social media and the possibility of raising membership dues to account for rising expenses. All subcommittees made calls for new members, especially the Special Events Subcommittee that runs Chicago Open Archives. Meeting attendees offered ideas on how to make Chicago Open Archives sustainable, as it has traditionally been an ambitious and labor-intensive event. One idea was to make it a virtual event via podcasts. If you would like to volunteer to help with Chicago Open Archives, Programming, or Outreach, please contact

    Candidates for Steering Committee were given a chance to speak at the meeting, and the election was held from March 14-March 21. The 2019-2021 Steering Committee cohort are Rene AranzamendezDan Harper, Michelle McCoy, and Rebekah McFarland. Kheir Fakhreldin has been appointed to serve from 2019-2020. Thank you to all of the candidates for supporting CAA leadership.

    For more details on the Annual Meeting, please read the minutes.

    2018-2019 CAA Steering Committee, from left to right: Andrew Bullen, Kara Jefts, Nathalie Wheaton, Ashley Gosselar, Hathaway Hester, Megan Keller Young, Jerice Barrios [Laura Alagna not pictured]. Photo by Brittan Nannenga. You can find all of the photos from this article in the CAA Photo Folder. Consider uploading your own photos from CAA events there!

  • 18 Mar 2019 8:00 AM | Brittan Nannenga (Administrator)

    The election for 2019-2021 Steering Committee members is now open. Any CAA members in good standing may vote, and the election is open until Thursday, March 21, 12:00 pm CST.

    You can find out more about the candidates by reading their statements of interest.

    Check your email for a link to your ballot! If you cannot find the email in your inbox, please check your spam filter.

    If you have election questions, feedback, or want to be removed from future ballot lists, please let us know:

  • 28 Feb 2019 12:45 PM | Kara Jefts (Administrator)

    During CAA’s Steering Committee election, we will share comments from current Steering Committee members about their work with CAA. Today we hear from Nathalie Wheaton. Nathalie was elected to a 2018-2019 term and currently serves on the Steering Committee as the Special Events Committee Liaison.

    After serving on the Chicago local arrangements committee for last year’s Midwest Archives Conference Annual Meeting, I welcomed the opportunity to keep that camaraderie going by serving on CAA’s Steering Committee. Serving on the Steering Committee has been especially rewarding for me as a lone arranger because I have enjoyed being part of a team of archivists making important decisions and plans. Whether you join the Steering Committee with years of archives or CAA experience, or you are just getting your feet wet, there is room at the table for a variety of perspectives and viewpoints and ideas.

    The deadline to submit your Statement is Friday, March 1.

    Service on the Steering Committee is open to all CAA members in good standing.To volunteer, submit a brief (1-2 paragraphs) Statement of Interest outlining your background and motivation for serving on the Steering Committee to Please include your full name, title, place of work (if applicable), and preferred contact phone and email address.

    Statements of interest will be distributed to CAA members prior to the Members Meeting on March 13 and candidates will also have an opportunity to introduce themselves in person at the meeting. Candidates for the 2019-21 term will be elected by a vote of CAA members cast electronically after March 13.

  • 27 Feb 2019 3:59 PM | Jerice Barrios (Administrator)

    Thanks to the support and generosity of the Chicago Area Archivists community, the Archives and Archivists of Color Interest Group raised $1600 and are able to support the travel and participation of two early career colleagues to this year's MAC conference in Detroit.

    The winners of this year's Archives and Archivists of Color Travel Fund Awards are Kheir Fakhreldin and Rebekah McFarland:

    Kheir Fakhreldin - Kheir is a 2011 graduate of the University of Michigan's School of Information program. He currently works at the Newberry Library and at WBEZ. Kheir has found the CAA community helpful as he pursues his career in archives and hopes that " attending the Midwest Archives Conference, I will be able to meet more archivists of color as well as non-minority archivist allies who are working toward making our historical record reflect American cultural diversity."

    Rebekah McFarland - Rebekah is a 2014 MLIS graduate of Dominican University. She is currently archivist for Sisters of the Living Word. This will be her first MAC conference and already she has jumped in with both feet! Look for her among the panelists on the Imposter Syndrome session.

    Thanks again to everyone who contributed towards this award. Your generosity and participation has supported five colleagues' attendance of MAC's annual conference in the last two years. If you're headed to MAC in Detroit, please be sure to say hello to Kheir and Rebekah.

  • 25 Feb 2019 3:04 PM | Kara Jefts (Administrator)

    During CAA’s Steering Committee election, we will share comments from current Steering Committee members about their work with CAA. Today we hear from Andrew Bullen. Andy was elected for a 2017-2019 term and currently serves on the Steering Committee as the Treasurer.

    Being a part of CAA's Steering Committee has vastly expanded my horizons. I have worked closely with professionals whose collections and work histories are completely different from my own as well as professionals whose responsibilities closely mirror mine. In its own way, Steering has allowed me to simultaneously broaden and focus my professional contacts and experiences. This is a valuable community and helping to steer it has been a rewarding experience. Being a part of the Steering Committee has rewarded me ten fold

    To volunteer, submit a brief (1-2 paragraphs) Statement of Interest outlining your background and motivation for serving on the Steering Committee Please include your full name, title, place of work (if applicable), and preferred contact phone and email address.

    The deadline to submit your Statement is Friday, March 1 at 5:00 pm

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