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Attending the 86th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA)

From August 25 to 27, Skilltypers Christine Quirion (Head of Product and Partnerships) and I, (Content Librarian and Talent Analyst) attended the 86th Annual Meeting of the Society of American Archivists (SAA) in Boston. This conference was a chance for us two remote colleagues to meet for the first time in person. Also, it provided the opportunity to learn more about the trending skills and products in the world of archives, special collections, and records management and to make connections with potential content partners. 

Personal Highlights & Reflections

As an archivist, I have always enjoyed attending the SAA Annual Meeting as it is a great chance to meet colleagues in the field and hear from experts who are conducting research into new and emerging technologies and trends within the profession. Holding the meeting in Boston, the home base of some of my coworkers, added icing to the cake. I got the wonderful opportunity to meet another Skilltyper, Jasmine Pogue (Head of Customer Success and Sales). As remote workers, it’s always a treat to be able to interact with each other in person. 

Christine and I split our time among the dozens of SAA paneled sessions offered (both in-person, hybrid, and virtual). I would like to highlight in particular a few sessions that I attended that piqued my interest in the future of libraries, archives, and records management and also might be translated into new content that will complement skills on Skilltype.

  • The use of technology in order to provide access to born-digital or digitized collections with a focus on communities of color
    • Using Computational Archival Science
    • Tools such as Jupyter online notebooks
  • A grant-funded project by ArtCenter College of Design, which focused on how digital archives and special collections can more adequately service users with disabilities
    • Inclusive technology design to ensure accessibility for all users
    • Tools such as screen readers, such as Capti and Speechify, for those with sight disabilities
  • AImachine learning, deep learning, and natural language processing and their relationship within the world of GLAM
    • Utilizing these advancing technologies to process large amounts of data for collections
  • Experiences with qualitative and quantitative research
    • Topics such as conducting research as an MLIS student, what to do with data after the project is completed, and how to collaborate with others
    • Demystifying research to help those who want to engage but don’t know where to start

A Common Thread: Technology & Expertise

Throughout all of the panels that I attended, there was an overarching theme revolving around the use of evolving technologies to augment and complement the expertise of librarians, archivists, and records managers. Without the physical or born-digital records processed by people and their expertise, the software would have no content to display, preserve, or analyze.

Skilltype’s Road Ahead Post SAA

Attending this conference taught us more about current skills, products, and technology trends for libraries, archives, and records management communities. In the upcoming weeks, users will be able to see new items and tags appearing in Skilltype as a result. 

Partner with Skilltype to increase the visibility of training and development resources. Cultivated for libraries and archives through indexing and applying controlled vocabulary of skills, products, etc. Email our Content Team at to learn more. 

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