#Auction4AWEfund #Take2 February 5th-10th!

The #Auction4AWEfund #Take2 is now live!

Join us between 6pm ET on Friday, February 5th and 9pm ET on Wednesday, February 10th. We will add new listings throughout the auction period this time, so be sure to check back daily to see what has appeared on the site — and keep an eye on those items you hope to snag for your very own!

Our fundraising goal for this event is $2,500.00.
Every bid and signal boost helps!

#Auction4AWEfund … Take 2!

#Auction4AWEfund logo with “Take 2” added in blocky red letters.

Calling all snowbound and stir-crazy archivists and crafters who support archival workers!

As we head into what is projected to be a difficult and hearbreaking season, in the midst of the raging COVID-19 pandemic here in the United States, the AWE Fund Organizing Committee has, once again, teamed up with the crafting collaborative Persistent Stitches to host a reprise #Auction4AWEfund online auction to benefit the Archival Workers Emergency Fund.

Our July 2020 auction raised $2,165.50 for the fund, with 24 crafters donating 62 items to the auction … we’d love to this amazing group of craftivists back for round two, and hope to see new crafters and their work as well! The auction coordinators are accepting submissions to the auction between now and Monday, February 1st at 11:59pm ET (UTC -5). The auction will take place February 5-10, 2021.

Between April 15 – December 15, 2020 the Archival Workers Emergency Fund approved 161 applications for assistance and disbursed $140,875 in cash grants to archival workers across the country who had been plunged into financial distress due to COVID-19. Initially approved by the Society of American Archivists for a pilot period ending on December 31, 2020 the fund has proven viable and clearly met a need in our community. Therefore, the AWE Fund has been approved for an extension until June 30, 2021 … and we want to ensure the fund will continue to be able to meet the needs of all qualifying applicants with cash assistance as swiftly as possible. You can help!

Submit your hand-crafted items to the auction today!

The auction will accept all items made by donors (excluding food or bath/body products for health and safety reasons). Examples of the type of items you might think of crafting:

  • Greeting cards, bookmarks …
  • Knitted scarves, hats, shawls, socks …
  • Crocheted baby blankets, washcloths, pocketbooks …
  • Jewelry
  • Original artwork in any medium
  • Quilted wall hangings, table runners, pot holders …
  • Cloth napkins, pillow cases, aprons, tote bags …
  • Toys
  • Pottery
  • Woodwork
  • Poetry chapbook, graphic novel, short story collection …

You also can check out the items we featured in our first auction for inspiration. Please let your creativity shine! 

Crafters should submit their items using this online form and will receive an email follow-up to confirm their donation details. Items will be posted to the auction site with a minimum bid. We will contact crafters after the auction closes and the donation is verified, so that they may send their item(s) to the donor(s). Crafters will be responsible for shipping within the United States.

Please direct any questions to auction coordinator Anna Clutterbuck-Cook at persistentstitches@gmail.com

Thank you for considering a donation to the auction, and please share the call widely!

Artwork CC-BY-SA 2020 C. DeSimone.

Coffee for Colleagues (Tea on Me): October 2020 Campaign Update

Cross-posted from our GoFundMe page.

The Coffee for Colleagues (Tea on Me) campaign is one month old today and we wanted to share some updates and a couple of reminders.

First, the important news:

Coffee for Colleagues (Tea on Me) raised $1,095 in our first month!

This surpassed our goal of $1,000 and as of this morning we are nearly 20% of the way toward our second $1,000 raised for October. Thank you all! The median donation amount given in September was $15 … the price of just three lattes! We truly mean it when we say every $5 donation matters and one by one will add up to ensuring our collective ability to meet our colleagues in financial crisis with funding to help them stay fed, remain in their homes, or access the healthcare they need to survive.

$132,550 and Counting!

As of September 15, 2020 the Archival Workers Emergency Fund has disbursed $132,550 in cash grants to 153 applicants. We continue to review applications and disburse funds to qualifying applicants on a weekly basis. These grants were made possible through donations from more than 750 individuals and organizations — including each and every one you!

Become a Monthly “Caffeinator”!

We all know caffeine is a powerful (often necessary!) fuel for social justice organizing. If you have a stable income right now and can afford to set up a recurring donation through the Coffee for Colleagues (Tea on Me) campaign, we would welcome a monthly donation at $5 or more. This steady income from our dedicated Caffeinators will help us act out of abundance when distributing funds to our colleagues in need.

How to Change or Cancel Recurring Donations

If you elected to set up a recurring donation when you made your pledge in September, your next donation will be automatically debited on the date you made the first donation (example: if you donated on 9/15 your next charge will be on 10/15).

We understand that peoples’ financial circumstances change. If you need to adjust or cancel your recurring donation, login to your Charity GoFundMe profile and go to Account Settings > Recurring Gift Plans to make any necessary changes. Here is the FAQ for donor if you need more information. 

Need (or Know Someone Who Needs?) the AWE Fund?

Remember that the Archival Workers Emergency Fund is open to all U.S.-based archival workers. As long as you have not already received funding through the AWE Fund since it launched in April 2020 you are eligible to apply. Information on how to apply and the online application form may be found on the SAA Foundation website.

And Finally … Check Out Our Online Programs!

Did you know that the AWE Fund Organizing Committee has partnered with other library, Archives, and museum folks to host  conversations about work in the cultural heritage field? Our July panel, Community at Work: LAM Mutual Aid and Solidarity, and our September panel, Making and Talking Money: LAM Salary Transparency are both available for watching/listening at our YouTube channel. 

In gratitude and solidarity,

Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook
On behalf of the AWE Fund Organizing Committee
Web: www.awefund.org | Twitter: @awefund2020

Coffee for Colleagues (Tea on Me)!


Remember when you used to spend your hard earned cash at your local café? Maybe those unspent dollars are starting to add up.

If so, we invite you to pitch in and help make the Archival Workers Emergency Fund more awesome and sustainable for the years ahead by treating a colleague to a virtual cup of coffee (or tea)!

Make a one-time or recurring monthly donation of $10 today!*

The sobering reality is that COVID-19, and the economic consequences of this pandemic, will be with us for months —  likely years — to come. Regular, monthly donations will make it possible for the AWE Fund to be a reliable source of assistance for our colleagues in crisis for as long as it is needed. For the price of a steaming-hot seasonal latte or a pot of pu’erh you can help us ensure that our colleagues on furlough can afford groceries, our colleagues between jobs make rent, and our colleagues whose hours and benefits were cut can stay on their health insurance plans.

Our goal for September is to reach $1,000 in recurring donations — just 200 cups of coffee or tea! 

One thousand dollars represents one additional fully-funded grant the AWE Fund can distribute each month to a colleague in crisis.

Can you help us reach our goal by donating a cup  or two  (or more)?

Make a one-time or recurring monthly donation of $10 today!*


After you donate, consider taking a selfie with a hot or iced beverage of your choice (self optional)  and posting it to social media with the hashtag #Coffee4Colleagues and a link to this campaign!  We are on Twitter (@awefund2020) but welcome the signal boost on Instagram and Facebook (and wherever else your archives and archives-supporting friends gather) too! Sharing with your networks really does help spread the word.


*If your budget currently cannot support a $10 donation your dollars still matter to us! We are working with Go Fund Me Charity to lower the minimum donation amount on our campaign page. So hang on to your wallets and watch for a campaign update. Thank you from the campaign team!

“We Have to Do This For Each Other”

CaptureThe July 14, 2020 panel discussion on LAM (Libraries, Archives, Museums) Mutual Aid & Solidarity, hosted by AWE Fund Organizing Committee is now available online on You Tube.

Participants included Callan Bignoli of Protect Library Workers, Anna J. Clutterbuck-Cook of AWE Fund, John Chrastka of EveryLibrary’s HALO Fund, and Paula Santos of Museum Workers Speak, which established the Museum Workers Speak Relief Fund. The event was moderated by Alison Clemens and facilitated by Jessica Chapel of the AWE Fund Organizing Committee.

Panelists discussed the origins of their mutual aid models of community care and community-building solidarity efforts among library, archives, and museum workers and principles guiding the development of their funds or collectives. More broadly, participants addressed the meaning of mutual aid and solidarity to them individually and as a group, and how mutual aid fits into a broader organizing strategy for LAM workers.

While originating in different LAM contexts, all mutual aid and solidarity efforts address the immediate need for material aid and community care during the long COVID-19 health, economic and solidarity crisis. “The legitimate agenda in a crisis like this is the human need,” said John Chrastka, highlighting how they retooled the EveryLibrary initiative to address not only the needs of the institutions, but also the needs of every library worker during the crisis. The panelists made clear that their efforts went beyond the immediate crisis and confronted much broader, structural problems and imbalances of power in the LAM fields that the COVID 19 crisis has exposed more clearly. Some institutions quickly furloughed workers, especially those in precarious positions, yet there is a gap around labor and solidarity organizing among library and other LAM workers. Protect Library Workers, the AWE Fund, Museum Workers Speak, and EveryLibrary’s HALO Fund thus all walk the line between addressing the immediate crisis, while working toward developing larger and lasting community care and solidarity structures for LAM workers. In the absence of larger structures, such as a National Library Workers Union, the organizing efforts made clear that, “there are things that we can do to bolster our own ability to pull ourselves up in these situations and protect ourselves from some of the more egregious abuses,” said Callan Bignoli.

A key principle for all mutual aid funds has been to keep barriers to the funding and support networks low and, “believe people when they say they need a hand. That is incredibly radical,” said Paula Santos, comparing it to the process of means-testing common for most funding applications. All efforts are united in their approach to support all workers in libraries, archives and museums, not only those with professional degrees. “We were all really united on this idea that we wanted the fund to be open to all archival workers,“ said Anna Clutterbock-Cook.

While fundraising has been a key component for HALO, AWE Fund and the Museum Workers Speak fund, the panelists made clear that money was only one component of mutual aid and community care. The mutual aid and solidarity efforts have highlighted the need for establishing formal and informal networks, for conversations across professions and hierarchies and for gathering knowledge about organizing. Participants discussed the benefits of leveraging existing structures, such as labor unions or the Society of American Archivists, for inspiration and practical support. The efforts also opened up possibilities of emulating at a grassroots level models of how we can organize and work together. “How do we think together? How do we work together? How do we imagine together?“ asked Paula Santos.

Alison Clemens concluded the panel with an open question from the Q&A: “How do we unite all of these wonderful but disparate efforts?” The event was one important step of uniting the L and A and M in a larger effort of creating informal and formal networks of mutual aid and solidarity during and beyond the long COVID-19 crisis, and the proceeds from optional donations from attendees were split among the organizations.

#Auction4AWEfund in 3, 2, 1, …


The Persistent Stitches #Auction4AWEfund begins today, July 1, 2020 at 6pm ET (5pm CT / 4pm MT / 3pm PT)! We have a total of 22 crafters participating who have donated over 60 hand-crafted items for the auction block! With a goal of $3,000 we hope you will think ahead to your end-of-year gift giving, any special birthdays or other anniversaries coming up, and bid on an item or two (or more!). 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the Archival Workers Emergency Fund, and 100% of the dollars donated to the Fund go directly into the hands of our colleagues in financial crisis. Here’s a sneak peek at a few of the many items available!PinkDrops3 - Carli LowePink Drop Earrings by Carli Lowe. These earrings hang off of copper ear wires (can be replaced with silver upon request) with one section of pink and amber beads followed by a larger pink bead with a dark brown edging that mimics the look of a cross-section of log. Top beads are glass and plastic with brass spacers. Larger bead is a plastic piece derived from a vintage necklace. Earrings hang three inches from top of ear wire. Bidding begins at $40.00. IMG_4755 - Becky Briggs BeckerCrochet Llama Amish Puzzle Ball by Becky Briggs BeckerThe Crochet Llama Amish Puzzle Ball, or Amamani Puzzle Ball, is a plush toy llama that measures 12 inches tall from ears to feet and 8 inches wide from front to tail. This customized plush is adapted from a pattern by crochet Amish puzzle ball designer Dedri Uys. Amish or Amamani puzzle balls are made with wedges sewn together into rings, then fitted together to construct the plush. It is made with Red Heart Super Saver Fair Isle Derby yarn, a 100% acrylic worsted weight yarn with white, navy, magenta, spring green, and tan stripes and flecks. Plush contains 3 segments. Plush contains small parts that when broken are not suitable for children under 3 years. Machine washable. Bidding starts at $35.00.IMG_3072 - Diana SandersonHand-Stitched Blank Journal by The Crafty Tiger. This hand-stitched, leather cover black journal has 5 signatures with fountain pen & ink-friendly paper. Each signature is wrapped with colorful, textured cardstock. A decorative beaded accent on the spine and closes with a braided string and button. Bidding starts at $25.00.20190518_073636-e1558184962241Curious Crows Embroidery by Anna Clutterbuck-Cook. Cotton print in green with white vines and black birds embellished with pink embroidery floss down the center. Ready to hang in a 6″ bamboo embroidery hoop, backed with wool felt. Bidding starts at $10.00.F887E4FF-E2FD-4244-B8E0-8AFED790F6BD - Jessica JohnsonNotorious Dissent Cowl by JessicaA cowl reminiscent of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent collar, worked in Ancient Arts Nettle DK “Fog Warning“ (blue) and Manos Del Rio Feliz “Autumn” (multicolor), both wool blends. Pattern is by Carissa Browning. Bidding starts at $30.00. IMG_6269 - Sarah McLuskyAssorted Bookmarks by Sarah McLusky (5 packs available). Set of 6-7 bookmarks made from postcards and decorative greeting cards. Size varies; most are 1″-1.5″ wide and 5.5″-7″ long. All bundles are different but contain bookmarks with a variety of patterns. Bidding starts at $3.00. baby - Michelle SweetserBaby Quilt by Michelle Sweetser. 37″x41″ baby quilt featuring alternating 9-patch and square in a square blocks in magenta, pink, teal, and gray. 100% cotton, made in a smoke-free, pet-free home. Bidding starts at $35.00. 

Visit the auction site to view all available items.
The auction will close at 9pm ET on July 4, 2020.

AWEsome Organizers! Sarah McLusky

How and why did you get involved as an AWE Fund Organizer?

In early April, I read on an SAA email list that they were looking for volunteers. I was nearing the end of a two-year contract and I was already receiving emails from places where I had applied for other jobs, letting me know that they had suspended their searches or frozen hiring. The AWE Fund seemed like a good way to help other people in similar situations, and to feel a little less powerless in the face of the pandemic. My own employment worries have been resolved for now, but I know many people are not so lucky – I hope the AWE Fund can help as many of my fellow archival workers as possible weather the pandemic’s effects.

What is one cultural shift you would like to see come out of this crisis?

When people try to think how to respond to future crises or disasters, I hope they value strategies that include helping others and asking for help, rather than assuming that everyone must go it alone.

What is one public policy shift you would like to see come out of this crisis?

I’d like to see those who were declared essential workers – especially those like grocery store employees and home health workers, who often don’t get paid much – given greater respect and fairer compensation. Ditto for those who work customer/public service or hourly jobs that put them into greater contact with the public, as more workplaces reopen.

What’s an archival item you’ve worked with that you love to share with people, and why?

Honestly, I don’t have a favorite item so much as a favorite patron reaction: getting to see the moment when documents help a researcher realize that the past was different/more diverse/stranger/happier/sadder/more complicated than they thought. One of the best things I discovered while processing a collection, though, has to be a Darth Vader action figure with a tiny image of the donor’s face pasted onto Vader’s. (Presumably it was a gag gift from one of his – many – critics).

What’s one thing — archives related or not! — that you’re proud to have created or accomplished?

I am proud of (and grateful for!) the friendships I’ve made and sustained. That goes for both friendships with other archivists and friendships with non-archivists who are willing to listen to me talk about primary source literacy for longer than is reasonable.

Sarah McLusky is the Project Archivist for Reference and Academic Programs at the University of Michigan’s Bentley Historical Library.

AWEsome Organizers! Carady DiSimone

Smol Carady

How and why did you get involved as an AWEfund Organizer?

For me, AWE Fund grew out of my work with the independent Salary Transparency Group. I saw the original AWEF survey go out and responded; as a recent grad two semesters deep in the job hunt, I was terrified. I may or may not have ‘preached to the choir’ in my responses, and J recognized this. She reached out and asked if I would like to lend my voice to the cause and represent my peers in an effort to help others.

 While my household makes ends meet, it is not always comfortable; and I find myself in the position of being able to volunteer time more than donate funds. I have the relative luxury of a fixed income due to military benefits. Others of my cohort are not so lucky. And I have been there, too. I know first-hand how small problems blow up into big problems when you don’t have the resources to make the ‘smart’ choice – the anxiety of not being able to plan past your next paycheck and juggling bills. I know the desperation, fear, and frustration of having one’s life exponentially impacted by outside forces beyond our control. This pandemic is not the fault of the students, interns, or early professionals, yet as the most vulnerable in our profession they bear the brunt of the risk and financial disruption.

 One of my best friends (and constant mentor) is a professor in social work and was (pre-covid) awarded a grant for a community resilience program. Her research often illuminates the root causes of issues such as poverty, substance abuse and misuse, lack of mental and physical health education and resources, chronic homelessness, and un/under-employment. We see these themes (and more) echoed throughout the veteran community.

As Brene Brown argues in “I Thought it Was Just Me,” our support networks are crucial to our wellbeing as functional members of society. It is our duty to future generations to combat the early employment precarity resulting from this crisis and continue to investigate related labor issues within our profession and our related industries. 

What is one cultural shift you would like to see come out of this crisis?

Culturally, I would love to see an overall shift to self-reliance and realistic expectations. Maybe we don’t need everything we think we do – and maybe we can do a little more ourselves. Modern civilization affords a number of perks, but we have also become complacent, lazy, spoiled. I would love to see the next generation avoid predatory lending, live within their means, and spend their earnings smartly and ethically. We need to reach out to our young folks and teach them resiliency skills; especially those of us who have learned them the hard way – by practicing them in the face of personal trials and crises. We need to figure out, together, how to #UpcycleTheAmericanDream in efforts to phase out corporate (and private) greed.

What is one public policy shift you would like to see come out of this crisis?

Overall, the American labor market needs a huge overhaul. I think it would be amazing if the flexibility afforded to remote work that has been explored would /continue/ throughout the future. Folks with accessibility requests that have had been previously denied as “impossible” or “too difficult” should have their requests reconsidered by administrators, even after state and county level reopenings. I am totally on board with the #DoBetterLoveUs mission and would love to see unpaid internships and exploitative volunteer positions eliminated. We were beginning to see positive trends in internships, such as providing housing for short-term projects, or NWA’s new paid fellowship program. Continued transitional support and flexible contracts could provide both higher employee morale and wellness /and/ potentially cut financial costs for both individuals and companies. I want to see and feel more compassion in the workplace, especially in administration and HR.

What’s an archival item you’ve worked with that you love to share with people, and why?

One of my favorite resources is the Newberry Library in Chicago. Their Modern Manuscripts Collection is a fantastic primary source collection for American History and genealogy, and is open for crowdsourced transcription volunteers. They have fantastic policies in place and are a great example for other institutions to model programs such as virtual outreach, collection digitization, and collaboration with indigenous communities. Transcribing these materials, often letters or journals, has reinforced my own personal archival habits concerning research and project planning.

What’s one thing — archives related or not! — that you’re proud to have created or accomplished? 

Carady and her father in uniform.

I’m writing this on the seven year anniversary of the end of my second deployment. I ‘manned the rails’ for our transit into port in Bremerton, a Naval tradition. Stepping off the ship to meet my dad, retired but still rocking his flight suit, was pretty awesome; but not quite as moving as saluting him for the first time after completing bootcamp. I made my final run by only 5 seconds, so it was a major personal victory.

Carady is a recent MLIS/archives graduate with current research interest in labor practices and human resources throughout the arts and humanities. She has always had a knack for records management and documentation, and has explored those practices through work in theatre, radio, electrical engineering, military administration, research, and historical applications.

AWEsome Organizers! Valencia L. Johnson

Valencia L. Johnson

How and why did you get involved as an AWE Fund Organizer?

I saw the call on the SAA Leaders listserv and was glad someone else was thinking about supporting archival workers through a tough economic period. I wanted to support an effort that I would’ve needed not that long ago.  

What is one cultural shift you would like to see come out of this crisis?

That the profession really evaluates our labor structure and we come out on the other side with less precarity. Overall cultural shift, that more people realize that the inequalities magnified by the pandemic will still be issues we need to solve after it has subsided. 

What is one public policy shift you would like to see come out of this crisis?

There are so many. 

Dr. W. R. White sugar portrait.

What’s an archival item you’ve worked with that you love to share with people, and why?

I processed the W.R. White Paper at Baylor University and inside the collection was a portrait of Mr. White made of sugar. This sugar portrait was a surprise to us all and felt like a brick inside the manuscript box. The reason why there was a sugar portrait was to commemorate the Sugar Bowl (an important football game).   

What’s one thing — archives related or not! — that you’re proud to have created or accomplished? 

My program Amp Up Your Archives! I love working with students and helping people archive their stories.  

Valencia L. Johnson is the Project Archivist for Student Life at Princeton University. She engages with student organizations on managing and preserving their records, in analog and born-digital formats.

Be a #Craftivist: Join the #Auction4AWEfund!

Do you make things with your mind, heart, and hands? Do you have a stash of crafting supplies? Whatever your medium, we are calling on you to put your creativity to work on behalf of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund! In less than two months, the AWE Fund has raised nearly $100,000 and disbursed cash grants to over 100 archival workers in crisis due to covid-19. As the end of the fiscal year approaches and many organizations are preparing to implement austerity budgets amidst the pandemic, the AWE Fund Orgaanizing Committee anticipates another wave of need in our community.

The Persistent Stitches #Auction4AWEfund online silent auction will be held July 1-4, 2020 to help us raise the funds to address this need. We are currently recruiting crafters! The deadline to submit items for auction is Monday, June 15th.

Submit your auction items here

We currently have eight crafters with a total of eighteen items ready to list for auction. Our goal is to have no fewer than 30 crafters with a total of at least 50 items on offer, raising no less than $3,000 during the four-day auction. Can you help us? 

  • Create items to donate for auction!
  • Spread the word far and wide through your networks!
  • Save those auction dates and prepare to signal boost our craftivists‘ offerings!

Questions? Reach out to the auction coordinator Anna Clutterbuck-Cook at persistentstitches@gmail.com.