This post was written by Collections Services Archivist Amanda Fisher.
One of the foundational tenets of professionalism here at Baylor University and the W. R. Poage Legislative Library is professional development through continued education. Director Mary Goolsby eagerly promotes and supports an atmosphere of learning and personal growth befitting of a university setting. As archivists and librarians, each of us strive to better ourselves; to perfect our crafts so that we, in turn, can help our patrons find the information they seek more efficiently. This education can take a variety of forms including conferences, workshops, and advanced degrees.
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Director Mary Goolsby was fortunate to be one of 119 library leaders who participated in the Harvard Graduate School of Education Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians (LIAL). Along with colleagues from the United States, librarians from Dubai, Greece, and India also attended. The week was packed with learning, dialogue, networking, and personal reflection. As Mary strives to lead the Poage Library to a place of increased use by researchers, collaboration with teaching faculty, and meaningful donor experiences, the skills and self-awareness she gained last week will serve her and the library well.
Society of American Archivists
Archivists Amanda Fisher and Thomas DeShong attended the 2019 annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in Austin, Texas at the beginning of August. They spent one day attending the Congressional Papers section of SAA, which included a profitable discussion about ways to handle electronic constituent mail and how to locate committee records in personal papers that should ultimately be returned to the National Archives. During the two plenary sessions, they heard from University of Delaware Vice Provost for Libraries and Museums Trevor Dawes and Archivist of the United States (AOTUS) David Ferriero. Dawes spoke about equity, diversity, and inclusion in archives and Ferriero answered questions about his experience as the AOTUS. As certified archivists, Amanda and Tommy also participated in the Academy of Certified Archivists’ 30th Anniversary celebration. They also attended sessions on military archives, archival history, government records, teaching with archival materials, copyright policies, and exercising historical empathy through archives.
In December 2018, Library and Graduate Research Center Operations Manager Jonathan Tomes earned his Master of Science in Library Science (MSLS) from the University of North Texas (UNT). Not long after that, Jonathan commenced work on a doctorate in historical theology. In January 2019, Collection Services Archivist Amanda Fisher also enrolled in the MSLS program at UNT, and this fall, Processing Archivist Thomas DeShong will begin the same program.
Education is important to the faculty and staff at Poage Library. It is a never-ending endeavor, we will admit, but we whole-heartedly believe the time and effort is worth the end result of making us better, stronger, more knowledgeable professionals.