Current issues in archival reference
August 14, 2014 8:40 AM   Subscribe

I'm interviewing tomorrow for a reader services position in an archives and need some help thinking about what current topics the committee might want to talk about.

I am currently in another job in an archives and I do about 24 hours/month in the reading room, so I'm not completely out of the reference loop. Still, I'm nervous that I'm missing something obvious going on in the field that they might ask me about. Reference archivists: what's happening right now in the field that I should be aware of before my interview? (This question was inspired by the FPP on the Folger releasing images under a CC BY-SA license). Thank you!
posted by CheeseLouise to Work & Money (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This isn't quite what you are asking about - current topics in the field - but, since it sounds like a public-facing job, they may ask something like "Tell us about an experience you had with a difficult customer (client, user, whatever) and how you handled it"
posted by thelonius at 8:45 AM on August 14, 2014

Maybe be prepared for a question comparing user's pros and cons for different digital archiving platforms?
posted by mmiddle at 8:53 AM on August 14, 2014

Best answer: I think the general sense of places opening up their archives in various ways is something people have been thinking about. How do you assign rights (some people were peeved because the Folger stuff was "only" CC for example) and how do you ensure that people use them fairly? Some places worry about this effect on the revenue stream. Some places are more and less concerned with use versus preservation which are often somewhat at odds. Also there are a lot of seemingly-arbitrary rules about how a collection can be used and a public-facing person would need to diplomatically both explain this to people and also uphold these rules which can be challenging at times. The Society of American Archivists meeting is happening RIGHT NOW so you can view their hashtag on twitter to get an idea of what some people are talking about.
posted by jessamyn at 12:17 PM on August 14, 2014

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