California is my home state. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and have spent much of my adult life in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Over the years I have witnessed the growth and evolution of California from both ends of the state. While most changes have been positive others have proven challenging for residents, most notably the high cost of living found in our state that many Californians are struggling with today.
As a non-profit organization operating in California, SCA has not been immune to these rising costs and is beginning to feel the pressure of supporting the needs of an ever growing membership that currently stands at more than 500 strong. A core tenet of SCA has always been to provide members with high quality benefits at an affordable price. In line with this, the SCA Board has worked diligently over the past fifteen years to not increase membership dues, while providing low-cost workshops to members, financially supporting member initiated events, and keeping AGM registration rates as low as possible for attendees. However, with the considerable rise in costs over the past few years we are beginning to experience shortfalls in our annual operating budget. Increased costs associated with the AGM have resulted in significant losses over the past two years and with the high cost of meeting in San Francisco for the 2020 Western Archivists Meeting (WAM) we anticipate additional losses this year.
Discussions on how to stabilize the budget are currently underway by the Board as we look toward a solution to reverse this course. We are planning to conduct an assessment of services, with input from membership, later this year to see where adjustments can be made to increase revenue and lower operating costs. One of the main areas that we’ll be focusing on pertains to the high hotel, reception, and audiovisual costs associated with the AGM. Due to our organization’s size we are heavily reliant on large hotel chains as they typically are the only available option to accommodate our meeting space and hotel room needs. The Board is interested in exploring alternative, non-traditional solutions for the AGM in order to keep associated costs manageable for both the organization and its members. At this point we’re not sure which direction this will take us in, but we do recognize that the AGM might need to be drastically reconceived in order to gain the necessary cost savings.
The Board’s goal is to minimize the financial impact on members so that SCA remains an affordable professional association for archivists, librarians, and other allied professionals in the state of California. To be fully transparent, the Board is currently reviewing the cost of membership and exploring the idea of a modest increase to membership dues. Updates on this will be communicated to members as our discussions progress. I am confident that with some minor adjustments on a few fronts we can collectively ensure that SCA remains affordable and maintains a solid financial footing moving forward.
Eric Milenkiewicz, SCA President
Read more from the Winter 2020 SCA Newsletter
The Awards Committee of the Society of California Archivists (SCA) is still accepting applications and nominations for its annual awards and scholarships through the application deadline of Saturday, February 1, 2020. For more information about these opportunities to support and recognize excellent work in the archival field, please see https://calarchivists.org/Awards_Scholarships and the brief descriptions below.
Archives Appreciation Award
The Archives Appreciation Award recognizes an agency, organization or institution which has provided extraordinary support for archival programs. These can include arrangement and description programs, public service programs, reference, exhibits, or outreach. The award is sponsored by our longtime partner Hollinger Metal Edge, Inc.
Career Achievement Award
The Career Achievement Award recognizes SCA members who have had an outstanding career in the archival endeavor. Nominees must have contributed in significant ways to the profession, such as establishing archives, teaching, and/or writing in the archival field.
Sustained Service Award
The Sustained Service Award is given to SCA members to recognize them for their prolonged and quality service to the Society of California Archivists over a period of 12 years.
James V. Mink was the first president of the Society of California Archivists, and a long-serving archivist at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a passionate advocate of archival education. The scholarship promotes professional development and enables archival studies students or recent graduates to attend both the SCA Annual General Meeting and a pre-conference workshop at the April 22-25, 2020 conference in San Francisco.
Gray and Bonfield Education Fund Scholarships
The Walter P. Gray III Scholarship is administered by the Awards Committee and funds travel and registration for SCA Workshops and other related training and educational opportunities offered in California. All SCA members in good-standing who have limited or no access to institutional funding for continuing education may apply. Up to $500 may be awarded per workshop, and 4 scholarships are available each year.
The Lynn A. Bonfield Scholarship is administered by the Awards Committee and funds travel and registration for members to attend non-SCA sponsored continuing education events outside of California to enhance their professional training. All SCA members in good-standing who have limited or no access to institutional funding for continuing education may apply. Up to $1000 may be awarded per event, and 2 scholarships are available each year.
The application for the 2020 Western Archives Institute is now available. Applications are due by March 2 for the June 7 - June 19 Institute at San Diego State University.
We are excited to announce the publication of the Winter 2020 SCA Newsletter! It is now online at http://www.calarchivists.org/Publications/SCANewsletter. Thank you to all those who submitted articles and news items for this issue. Another issue will be coming out this winter, so please consider submitting an article or some news about your work. A call for submissions will go out shortly.
Members of the recently created SCA Task Force on Labor Issues in Archives seek your input for a broad survey of labor issues in archives throughout the state of California: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5WLJCY6
The survey, which will inform and direct the future work of the Task Force, asks questions concerning demographics, certification and employment history, salary, temporary positions (grant-funded or otherwise), workplace safety, union membership, job satisfaction, and future directions for the task force and for the Society of California Archivists. It seeks responses from a wide range of archival workers at various types of institutions (academic, museum, corporate, state, religious, etc.) and across a wide range of employment categories (tenure-track, librarian, temporary, student, volunteer, etc.). Anyone who identifies as an archivist and who is working, or has worked, in the state of California is encouraged to participate. You do not need to be a current SCA member. No names or other personally identifying information will be collected, and participants will remain anonymous.
We thank you sincerely for your input. We understand that reflecting on workplace issues can be emotionally difficult, and urge you to prioritize your own health and well-being. The survey has 45 questions and should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. All questions are optional, and you can save the survey partway through and return to it later. Additionally, once the survey is submitted you may return to the link to edit and/or complete additional questions.
The survey will remain open until January 15, 2020. For questions or concerns please contact the SCA Labor Task Force co-chairs: George Thompson or Courtney Dean.
Please share the survey link widely! https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/5WLJCY6
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Society of California Archivists is a non-profit organization. c/o California State Archives, 1020 “O” Street, Sacramento, CA 95814