Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spontaneous Scholarships for SAA Annual Meeting

Kate T. over at ArchivesNext is a font of amazing ideas that would never in a million years cross my mind. A few days ago, she asked her Facebook friends and Twitter followers to contribute $20.00 each to help a grad student attend this year's annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA). The contributions quickly exceeded the cost of a single registration fee, and the Spontaneous Scholarships were born.

Here's the deal:
  • If you would like to attend the annual meeting but don't have the resources to do so, contact Kate at info[at] no later than midnight on Friday, 8 July. You do not need to explain why you are requesting one of these scholarships, but you must be an SAA member and note whether you are a regular or student SAA member. Kate will select scholarship winners -- and create a "waiting list" of applicants who will be funded if more donations are received -- by drawing applicants' names from a hat.
  • If you are in a position to make a donation -- large or small -- to this effort, you can do so via PayPal (there's a handy link on the ArchivesNext homepage) or via snail mail (e-mail Kate for a physical address). Kate will accept donations received after 8 July, but please keep in mind that recipients will need some time to make travel arrangements and that 11 July is the Early Bird registration deadline.
Please note that the Spontaneous Scholarships are meant to defray the annual meeting registration fee and that recipients will be responsible for all travel and lodging costs. However, this is a great opportunity for people whose careers are just starting or are between jobs at the moment, and, as always, I'm once again astounded by the inventive way in which Kate identified a problem and unhesitatingly took practical action. The Spontaneous Scholarships won't fix the larger problem -- the manner in which the annual meeting registration fee inhibits students' and new archivists' participation in SAA -- but they will help several people who might not otherwise be able to attend this year's meeting.

I realize that times are tough and that donating to the Spontaneous Scholarships fund isn't an option for everyone. However, if you are able to do so, please consider making a contribution.

Image: Fireworks over the Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York, 4 July 2011, 9:03 PM.

1 comment:

records management said...

Very nice and thoughtful act. Hope it will contribute to the people that need it.