At the end of February, I submitted my President’s Message for the Spring newsletter where I spent most of my time detailing the upcoming 2020 Western Archivists Meeting (WAM) that was scheduled to be held in San Francisco from April 22nd – 25th. Much has changed in the world since I wrote that letter due to the COVID-19 pandemic including the official cancellation of WAM 2020 on March 16th. This was a difficult, but necessary decision given the impact of this outbreak worldwide and within the state of California. The health and safety of our members always remained at the forefront of our decision making and behind the scenes work to either cancel or postpone the conference began well before this official announcement. As you can imagine, it takes time to work through a scenario like this when there are four organizations involved and a hotel contract in place to contend with. At no point were any of the organization’s leaders willing to put their memberships at risk, though, even in the face of catastrophic financial losses that would have jeopardized the existence of all four organizations. For this I would like to commend my fellow members of the SCA Board along with the leadership of the Conference of Inter-Mountain Archivists (CIMA), Northwest Archivists (NWA), and Society of Rocky Mountain Archivists (SRMA) on their thoughtful and informed approach to a situation that none of us anticipated or were prepared to deal with.
At this point, I don’t have any information on when the western regional archival associations will come together for another joint meeting. Information on this will be communicated when it is available. Additionally, per the SCA bylaws there is to be a Members Meeting held annually which was scheduled for during WAM. The SCA Board is currently looking into available technologies to host this meeting online later in the year, so stay tuned for more information on that in the coming months.
My time as SCA President is nearing its end and this will be my last President’s Message. I would just like to say that I am proud of the work completed this year, specifically with regards to the ethics and inclusion policies/procedures established for our organization, the streamlining of some committees, and the attention we’ve started to direct toward labor issues within the profession. The foundation we’ve set this year will help carry this work forward in the years ahead. These are uncertain times and we are headed into an uncertain future, but I am confident that some things will remain unchanged. One of those being, that SCA will continue to serve as an outlet for archivists throughout California to come together in support of one another, our communities, and our profession. Stay healthy and stay safe out there everyone!
Eric Milenkiewicz, SCA President
Read more from the Spring 2020 SCA Newsletter