AWE Fund, One Year Later

Infographic summarizing the amount of money raised and distributed by the AWE Fund.
Infographic summarizing the funds raised and disbursed by the AWE Fund, created by Carady DeSimone

Dear friends,

It’s hard to believe that a full year has passed since COVID changed our lives. The Archival Workers Emergency Fund Organizing Committee members want to sincerely thank every one of you for your solidarity through this difficult year. On March 13, 2020, Jessica Chapel first sent the call out for organizing on the SAA Leader List and social media, you answered, and we built the fund and the associated fundraising and other efforts together. In the midst of uncertainty and anxiety, layoffs and closures, you said, how can we show up for our colleagues who are hurting the most?

Our grassroots organizing to help archival workers in need during the pandemic offers example after example of generosity, resilience, and collaboration. Thanks to the generosity of the SAA Foundation and more than 900 donors, $146,625 has been distributed to 175 archival workers affected by the COVID crisis.

As the pandemic continues to stretch onwards and budgets for archival repositories continue to flex and flux, we remain committed to helping our colleagues through these difficult times.

Birthday fundraising campaign

To celebrate the one year birthday of AWE Fund, the AWE Fund Organizing Committee has set the goal of reaching $1,000 a month in recurring donations and 100 recurring donors by the end of the AWE Fund’s birthday week, April 8th-15th. Making a single or recurring donation to Coffee for Colleagues (Tea on Me) is easy to do, and the minimum single or recurring amount is $5, which we hope means that many donors will be able to participate. Recurring donations can be cancelled at any time, especially given that those who are financially secure today may find themselves in a different situation tomorrow. 

If you choose not to participate, you can still help us spread the word about AWE Fund’s one year birthday. Follow our birthday celebration on Twitter @AWEfund2020.

Panel Discussions

We are planning our 2021 season of panel discussions and seek speaker self-nominations! We hope to organize panels on topics including:

  • Students and new professionals during the pandemic
  • Pandemic impacts on archival workers
  • Labor and union organizing
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Alternative archival career paths
  • Possibly other topics TBD

We seek a diverse representation of perspectives and experiences on our panels from student to administrator level workers, rural to urban settings, and a variety of archival institutions and archives-adjacent fields. BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

If you or any archival worker you know would be interested in participating in a panel discussion, please fill out the Speaker Self-Nomination Form. Submissions will be received on a rolling basis but we encourage anyone interested in possibly participating to please submit their information as soon as possible, since it takes several months to plan and prepare each session. 

In solidarity,
Members of the AWE Fund Organizing Committee
awefund@gmail.com

Disclose This! Advancing Disability Awareness in Libraries and Archives Panel Recap

Flyer promoting Disclose This! Advancing Disability Awareness in Archives & Libraries

The recording of Disclose This! Advancing Disability Awareness in Libraries and Archives is now available on YouTube.

This October 26, 2020, panel discussion included Jasmine Clark, chair of the DLF Digital Accessibility Working Group; Michelle Ganz, chair of the SAA Accessibility & Disability Section; and Karina Hagelin, librarian, activist, and organizer. The conversation was moderated by Bridget Malley and facilitated by Lydia Tang of the AWE Fund Organizing Committee.

Panelists discussed disability awareness and representation in libraries and archives, the intersection of race and disability, the politics of disclosure, and advocacy for self and others, and answered questions from the audience during the Q&A portion of the event. Additional questions submitted via chat were answered following the event.

Community at Work: LAM Mutual Aid and Solidarity

Take Care / Care Take.” Art by Peter Railand, sourced from Justseeds.

Join the AWE Fund Organizing Committee, EveryLibrary’s HALO Fund, Protect Library Workers, and Museum Workers Speak for a conversation about community care and organizing on Tuesday, July 14 at 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PT.

The LAM Mutual Aid and Solidarity Panel — hosted by the Archival Workers Emergency Fund Organizing Committee — will include Callan Bignoli of Protect Library Workers, John Chrastka of HALO Fund, and Paula Santos of Museum Workers Speak. Panelists will discuss mutual aid models of community care and community-building solidarity efforts. 

The event if free to register and open to the public, however donations are being accepted for these collective efforts to support LAM workers.

About the Panelists

Callan Bignoli is the director of the library at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, Massachusetts. With support from many others, she has been organizing resources to help with advocacy and safe reopening efforts at libraryworkers.net. She also co-manages the New England Radical Reference Collective and the LIBREV community (librev.info), is a member of Library Freedom Project, and serves on the executive board of the Massachusetts Library Association as the Library Information Technologies Section chair.

John Chrastka is a founder and executive director of EveryLibrary, the first Super PAC for libraries, and the EveryLibrary Institute, a public policy and tax policy think tank for libraries. Since 2012, EveryLibrary has provided pro-bono support to over 100 library communities with ballot measures and tax referendums, helping win over $328 million in stable tax funding. The EveryLibrary Institute supports individual library workers through the HALO Fund and libraries through the FundLibraries crowdfunding platform along with publishing the journal “The Political Librarian.” He is a former Board President of the Berwyn (IL) Public Library and RAILS, the Reaching Across Illinois Libraries System.

Anna Clutterbuck-Cook is a historian, reference librarian, writer, and crafter. She works as a reference librarian at the Massachusetts Historical Society and is a volunteer organizer with the Archival Workers Emergency Fund. She is the founder of Persistent Stitches, an all-volunteer an all-volunteer collective raising money for resistance, social justice, and anti-oppression work through crafting, and recently coordinated the Persistent Stitches #Auction4AWEfund event. As a historian, she is interested in the intersection of gender and sexuality, religion, and political activism. Michigan born, now Boston based she lives in Roslindale with her wife and two cats. 

Paula Santos is a museum educator, cultural organizer and podcaster. She has held positions in major art museums in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. In addition to her museum work, she is the host of the Cultura Conscious podcast and a founding member of the Museum Workers Relief Fund. She is a graduate of the Leadership in Museum Education masters program at Bank Street College and earned her B.A. in Art History from Williams College. Currently, she is the Senior Manager of Learning and Engagement at Intuit: The Center for Intuitive Art in Chicago.

Moderators: Jessica Chapel and Alison Clemens.

This panel is the first in a series of semi-regular panel conversations hosted by the AWE Fund Organizing Committee.

COVID-19 Impact on Archival Workers Survey Launched

The Archival Workers Emergency Fund organizers have created an anonymous survey to continue to keep a pulse on the scope and extent of the impact of COVID-19 on precariously employed archival workers.

As libraries and archives respond to the spread of COVID-19 and take steps to reduce the impact of the epidemic and prevent transmission of the virus, many institutions have closed, reduced hours, or required staff to work from home. Additionally, many libraries are currently facing or anticipating budget shortfalls in the coming year due to ongoing repercussions in the economy due to COVID-19.

Please take the survey by July 31!

Double Your Donation

Make your donation to the Archival Workers Emergency Fund go further!

When you give to support your fellow archival workers on Wednesday, April 22, the AWEF Organizing Committee will match every dollar, up to $5,000.

To date, 70 applications have been received for AWEF support, with new applications submitted each day. The Review Committee is completing the first round of evaluations this week.

Your generosity means that the AWEF can aid more archival workers experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19.

Help us reach our goal to unlock the full $5,000 match. Any amount helps! Donate now.

SAA Foundation Launches AWE Fund

The Society of American Archivists Foundation announces the creation of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWE Fund) to support archival workers experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 crisis.

Grants of up to $1,000 will be awarded to financially vulnerable and at-risk workers. All U.S.-based archival workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply to the fund. Applications will open on April 15 at 3:00 pm CT.

Continue reading the announcement from the SAA Foundation.