Congratulations go out to Gregory Jackson, archivist for Bryn Athyn College and the Glencairn Museum in eastern Pennsylvania, for winning a free registration for the upcoming SAA annual meeting.
Greg’s name was chosen at random from among forty entrants who responded to our Facebook challenge question, “What my archives users want most is . . .”
Greg’s response? “What my archives users want most is keyword searchable finding aids and an integrated reference and access system.”
Take a moment to view the other ways fellow archivists completed the statement by visiting us on Facebook at:
or stopping by our Atlas Systems booth at SAA, where we’ll have a banner featuring your submissions.
Following is a sampling of what you’ll find.
“What my archives users want most is everything digitized and keyword searchable.” (Alison Harris)
Not surprisingly, many respondents stated that their users want fully digitized collections. Others meanwhile recognized the ongoing importance of finding aids, for example:
“What my archives users want most is an accurate finding aid and to be satisfied that they have exhausted all information sources.” (Tom Mooney)
“What my archives users want most are finding aids that make sense to them and help them find exactly what they’re looking for.” (Alicia Reuter)
Comparatively few comments focused on the actual content of collections, but those who did spoke passionately about it:
“What my archives users want most is to find that ‘gem’ during their research that makes all their efforts complete and helps make sense of the past.” (Marty Tschetter)
Others addressed the service needs and environments in which the collections are used:
“What my archives users want most is making the best use of their time – whether this is easy on-line access or selected collections waiting for them upon arrival.” (Bart Ryckbosch)
Along the same lines, a number of respondents emphasized their user’s expectations for personalized reference services:
“What my archives users want is the personal expertise and attention that they get from an in-person reference interview available online and on-demand.” (Lauren Goodley)
Many comments also combined several of the above elements, some more simply, some more elaborately:
“What my archives users want most is the Netflix equivalent of access (i.e., the power to ship, stream, and personally queue archival materials online, regardless of repository borders). But, they’ll usually settle for thoughtful interaction that’s coupled with a smile.” (Mark Custer)
“What my archives users want most is personal service, well-organized collections, and everything online!” (Sophie Bella)