A couple of Fridays ago, Mark and Zazil we were asked to present at the Knowledge River Annual Meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to bring together students, faculty, alumni, and board members to talk about the state of the program and to highlight the current cohort’s progress. Yesterday, they sat down to talk about their experience.
Zazil: What was your favorite part of the meeting?
Mark: Lunch!! Cheesecake pops!
Zazil: I liked the mango dessert thingy better. What about our presentation?
Mark: What would you say?
Zazil: I thought it went well! Do you think the audience liked it?
Mark: Yeah, I think they really enjoyed it. Especially when they saw the photos you had from Community Digitization Day (CDD).
Zazil: That’s true, they did like those.
Mark: Also, when you showed the picture of the little boy with his mother and then showed the picture from CDD of him as an older man now.
Zazil: That was fun! I had gotten to see that comparison when I met him, and I wanted to share it with the group.
Mark: I also liked how you tied in what you were currently working on with the audio tapes and some of the classes we’ve taken like 550 and 557.
Zazil: How do you think those classes in particular prepared us for the job?
Mark: They were the first ones that showed me the power of community-based archives, which ties in with both the CDD and the Pachuco/Caló tapes.
Zazil: That’s so true! We had a whole unit in 550 about community-based archives and how radical they can be in terms of complicating and reclaiming history.
Mark: Dr. Jamie Lee has also done a good job in that class by showing how fuzzy the line can be between archival experts in institutions and community historians and leaders.
Zazil: Yeah, that was huge for CDD because we were interacting with members of the community and they were coming into Special Collections with their treasures. It was a moment that I had read about in Identity Palimpsests, which is a collection of stories about ethnic and community archiving initiatives in the US and Canada.
Mark: Exactly. I also enjoyed talking about how LIS 540 tied into my main collection, the Joseph E. Howard Papers.
Zazil: What was the biggest take-away from that class?
Mark: Everything. Mostly because when I first started this job I didn’t know much about Special Collections, so it was nice to have a class that was teaching me theory alongside a job that was showing me everyday applications.
Zazil: Do you feel like it’s been a crash course?
Mark: Uhhh yeah, but like I said the 540 class helped relieve a little pressure from having to know all the terms like appraisal and acquisition; even just learning the history of archives and processing was helpful in understanding what I was doing on a daily basis.
Zazil: I think a crowd favorite was when you played the frog video.
Mark: Yeah, how many people were in that room, like 40?
Zazil: Yeah, maybe 30.
Mark: Out of those 30, none of them raised their hands when I asked them if they knew who Joseph Howard was. But after showing the video, about 80% of them said they recognized that song, “Hello, My Baby!”
Zazil: Why is that song so popular?
Mark: ‘Cause it was on Looney Tunes. Also it’s a good song.
Zazil: That’s big. That’ll launch a song into stardom.
Mark: Especially considering that song was written in 1899—two centuries ago! And people still recognize it.
Zazil: History is so dope!