by William Ledoux
After 9 years on the ASB executive board, this is my final newsletter; counting the 8+ years I helped previous editors, I have been involved in about half of the total ASB newsletters. It is time for a change! As such, I am stepping down and Cara Lewis is starting this summer; she has been helping me edit for years, so you are in very capable hands. Further, with the assistance of our partners at Podium, we are migrating from a traditional pdf format to a more web-based, blogish arrangement. The exact format is evolving—the newsletter you see this summer will likely be very different from what Cara generates in the winter—in fact, we have named it the “ASB Newsletter (for now)”. We are both committed to improving the overall communication of the ASB, so our newsletter will likely be integrated with our monthly email blasts in some manner. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please let Cara know.
One more note related to a project I was working on. In the spring of 2019, 15 boxes of ASB archives, weighing some 450 lbs, were shipped to the Penn State Library to be cataloged and housed in their Special Collections archives. (The Penn State Library system generously covered the shipping costs.) Covid-19 created a backlog, but according to the archivists, they have “started the process of generating the ‘accession record’—who created the material, who sent the material, how much material exists, what contents the material contains, and any other details about the condition of the material that seem relevant. The next step is generating the ‘MARC record’—which involves creating a record of the materials in the Library’s catalog according to professional standards, stabilizing the materials in acid-free containers, labeling them, and providing a permanent location. Once the MARC record exists in the library’s catalog, any user can discover the materials online and/or request the materials in the library reading room. Since these are organizational records, the Penn State Library will also generate an online “Finding Aid” (again according to a set of professional standards) that includes more information to help users navigate the materials. The finding aid will typically take longer to publish and appear later than the initial record. This is because a finding aid will require the archivists on our campus to identify/describe materials which is a much more intensive process that results in a better tool for discovery.” This entire process might take years to complete, but in the end, as we have now transitioning to mostly electronic records, this catalog will provide a valuable look into the first 30 years of the ASB.
As I leave you, I want to thank Cara Lewis and Dan Gales for their help these last 9 years, and previous newsletter editors Michelle Sabick and Andy Karduna for giving me such a strong foundation. I am looking forward to my next chapter with ASB!
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