SAA Student Chapter, St. Catherine University
Note: This Meeting was convened primarily for our guest Deb Torres to discuss details of attending the SAA National Conference, August 1622, 2015 in Cleveland.
- SAA has just started to branch out into “second tier” conference towns (possibility it might come to the Twin Cities one year in the future). It ordinarily would be hosted at a conference hotel with most attendees staying overnight at the same venue where the sessions are held. This year, the conference proper will be at a convention center, with attendees staying at surrounding hotels.
- SAA is smaller than the ALA conference (Deb estimated around 5,000 people).
- Sessions start in full on Thursday.
- Some specialty groups have workshops, with preconferences on Monday.
- Tuesday & Wednesday: SAA committees meet and there are some roundtables.
- Consider that expenses will vary depending on which/how many days you attend.
- It is possible to attend for just one day, or buy a walk-up registration at the door.
- Don’t try to do everything. Think about what you most want to get out of the conference in advance
and focus on that one thing (e.g. networking, archives tours, or a particular topical theme for sessions
- During the conference: take breaks. Drink water. Don’t be afraid to step out and spook around the host town a bit or socialize with other attendees, even if it means missing a couple of sessions.
- Each student is responsible for arranging their individual travel and accommodations and for covering expenses – Consider coordinating with fellow students to share flights, taxis, hotel rooms etc.
- If you are considering participating in the Student Poster Sessions, think carefully! It’s a fantastic networking opportunity, but a lot of work. Apply by February for next year.
- Apply for funding/scholarships through ArchivesNext, TCART, etc.
- Things to bring:
- Business cards!
- Copies of your résumé – there are usually revision sessions at the conference that are also great networking opportunities
- Presentable clothes with comfortable shoes – you will be on your feet A LOT.
- Hand sanitizer
- Get active on Twitter and follow live tweets about the conference – there should be a common hashtag (or several). Learn about what sessions are getting the most buzz.
- Connect with other SAA student chapters for after hours hangout time, but branch out and get to know/interact with the pros when you have the chance
- Introduce yourself to panelists/speakers even if you don’t have a specific question – just thanking them is a great way to open the door for conversation – be friendly!
- Remember it’s a pretty small community, and these are your colleagues
- Most of the professionals have a genuine interest in helping newcomers/students
- Try to get to sessions early, and have backup plans for your schedule – some sessions will get full fast and you may want to shift gears. There’s a conference app you can use to plan out your time and pick options between concurrent sessions
- Audio recordings are available of many sessions after the conference
- Attend the Student Welcome Session
- Watch for the “Archives in the Movies” evening activity – clips of archives on the silver screen with clever narration
- Consider attending roundtable sessions if you can arrive early.
Other opportunities to consider if you can’t make it to SAA this year:
- ACRL’s Rare Books & Manuscripts Section has a special preconference (RBMS)
- MAC (Midwest Archives Conference) – the new president, Jennifer Johnson, is great with students and attended our student chapter happy hour last year!
- TCART membership is only $10, and their meetings are local & engaging
Email Deb (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any other questions about the conference!
- Jessica will follow up with Molly on our community partnership with Mississippi Market for this summer
- Possible future community partner: Soldiers & Pioneers Cemetery Archives (Minneapolis)?
Andrea Hoff, president
Kate McManus, secretary
Allison Spies, secretary