Society of American Archivists Council Resolution Honoring AWE Fund

The Society of American Archivists (SAA) Council recognized the AWE Fund organizing committee’s efforts ahead of this year’s annual conference.

The SAA Council also acknowledged the ad hoc committee’s efforts during the SAA Annual Membership Business Meeting on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. In her remarks, SAA Executive Director Nancy Beaumont stated:

You’ve heard the story: a committed group of members brought to the SAA Foundation Board an idea to establish a fund to support archives workers who are unemployed or precariously employed due to the pandemic… The review group was established. Turns out that part was easy. The hard part was developing a rubric for evaluating applications, promoting both the availability of the fund and donations to it, compiling applications doing the emotionally challenging labor of evaluating them weekly, and then figuring out how to get funds into the hands of individuals experiencing precarity, all in the midst of a pandemic. It pretty much does take a village.

Nancy Beaumont, SAA Annual Business Meeting, August 5, 2020

SAA President Meredith Evans remarked:

We honor 22 individuals today who collectively are known as organizers of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund… These folks came together to propose creation of a fund to provide financial assistance for archival workers experiencing difficulty unanticipated financial hardship due to the pandemic their extraordinary efforts from proposing the fund to the SAA Foundation Board to raising more than $106,000 from nearly 800 donors to distributing the much needed funds to more than 140 archival workers leaves us in all, we thank them for their truly extraordinary efforts.

SAA President Meredith Evans, SAA Annual Business Meeting, August 5, 2020

The AWE Fund started four months ago as a proposal to help archival workers experiencing hardship due to to the COVID-19 crisis. Thanks to nearly 750 generous individual and organizational donors, the AWE Fund has distributed more than $123,000 to 143 archival colleagues in need to date. Thank you to the 26 SAA Sections that contributed more than $6,100 and to the SAA Foundation for the seed funding of $15,000. Thank you to everyone who contributed and if you are in need, please apply! Thank you, SAA Council, for this recognition of our community, creativity, and resolve in the face of a pandemic!

Read the full text of the resolution below or on the SAA website: https://www2.archivists.org/news/2020/council-resolution-archival-workers-emergency-fund

Society of American Archivists Council Resolution Honoring Organizers of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund

WHEREAS the Archival Workers Emergency Fund (AWEF) was established in 2020 by the SAA Foundation to provide financial assistance for archival workers experiencing acute, unanticipated financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS the AWEF was created based on a proposal developed by an ad hoc group of concerned archivists led by Jessica Chapel and Lydia Tang and comprising Steven D. Booth, Alison Clemens, Anna Clutterbuck-Cook, Jennifer Coggins, Courtney Dean, Steve Duckworth, Carady DeSimone, Rebecca Goldman, Irene Hauzinger, Katharina Hering, Hayley Hinsberger, Valencia Johnson, Carli Lowe, Bridget Malley, Sarah McLusky, Rebecca Thayer, Lauren White, Jen Wachtel, Amy Wickner, and Katrina Windon; and

WHEREAS the ad hoc group also gathered resources relating to remote work, archival labor, mutual aid, access to unemployment benefits, and other relief efforts for archival workers based in the United States who are navigating rapidly changing conditions during the COVID-19 emergency; and

WHEREAS since the launch of the fund 740 donors have contributed more than $105,000 (as of July 2020), in addition to the SAA Foundation Board’s contribution of $21,000 in funding; and;

WHEREAS the AWEF Review Committee, comprising individuals from the ad hoc group and SAA Foundation Board members, has provided, as of July 2020, more than $121,000 to 141 applicants;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the organizers of the Archival Workers Emergency Fund be honored with a 2020 SAA Council Resolution for their work in creating a relief aid program designed to support archival colleagues affected by the COVID-19 crisis.  

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.

Supporting our colleagues: Black archives, libraries, museums, and related organizations

The AWE Fund was established by archivists to help archivists. We stand in solidarity with our Black colleagues. As we head into an extremely challenging fiscal year for memory workers and organizations, please consider supporting the institutions and organizations, listed on this Google sheet, that collect material related to Black history and culture and/or support Black archivists and librarians.

This list includes a mixture of standalone archives/libraries/museums, collections/programs housed within larger institutions, and consortia/collectives/groups. The list is not complete. Please leave a comment in the Google sheet with the name and website or contact info for any organizations you believe should be added.

For further reading, we recommend the google doc BLM PROTEST ARCHIVING RESOURCES, and (for those in the UK) Anti-Racism Resources for UK Archivists.

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.