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ARSCLIB  March 2017

ARSCLIB March 2017

Subject:

Re: A/V preservation jobs

From:

Nathan Coy <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

ARSC Library and Archives Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:35:32 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (106 lines)

Richard,

  "I THINK at least some organizations see A/V preservation as finite when
the tapes are all done, there is no more job"

I think this is a really useful observation about ways we talk to decision
makers about the work. Clearly recordings are still being made, maybe even
more widely so, so if that's case it's a matter of it not be done but just
but also just another format type to add to the list of preservation
intervention. Also, it sure seems like there are a lot of tapes to still
do, with people interested in that area. More than machines, parts, and
repair people to keep them going. I'm not sure the incentives exist though
for people to enter the analog machine repair field? That is another aspect
I've been thinking about a lot lately (Not as a personal career path, but
as a need for the field).

the gig economy

historically part of media production but not libraries, although,
outsourcing to vendors is part of historical library process (binding,
etc).

I also am of the position that if we go with the gig economy, it needs
organized labor, gig economies needs to potentially pay more  (or some
other benefits) than the permanent positions due to job insecurity and
associated relocation costs, etc. But if the gig economy provides less, to
employers it provides the allure of cheap work that has ramifications for
fields tied to it. If senior and previous generations actively are engaged
in devaluing labor in the fields they manage, they are actively harming
subsequent generations and perhaps any associated fields. This is one of
the things I personally find sad about our current time and the differences
that are appearing in the workplace between generations in the workplace at
least partially as a consequence of management philosophy. It seems many of
the people working media preservation either go the library school or MIAP
route, neither of which seemingly advertise the associated fields as a gig
field, or the professional organizations for that matter, but I stand to be
corrected on this generalization. In libraries I see a lot Gen Xers (and
prior) being in permanent positions (for quite some time, perhaps at entry
to the field) but millennials not being offered the same opportunities.

I also am willing to admit to being susceptible to a certain amount of
Wishful vs. Is thinking. That said I don't think it invalidates some of
these positions.

Best,
Nathan

On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 11:54 AM, Richard L. Hess <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> Hi, Nathan,
>
> The vast majority of interesting projects that I see are either funded by
> re-release budgets or by grants. I THINK at least some organizations see
> A/V preservation as finite when the tapes are all done, there is no more
> job. I don't know for sure, but just my observations from being on the
> outside looking in for almost the last two decades.
>
> Another perspective is that for many institutions, the preservation of
> their holdings does not have a matching revenue stream. In fact some
> archives I know are choosing (a) to digitize a limited amount of their
> holdings--those that would likely be requested or (b) to do adequate but
> not superior digitization efforts due to lack of funding.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Richard
>
>
>
> On 2017-03-23 1:39 PM, Nathan Coy wrote:
>
>> As an avid watcher of the job market in the A/V preservation world and the
>> library field at large I am curious on thoughts about why A/V centric jobs
>> seem to be primarily term positions while many other fields of library
>> work
>> aren't. If there truly is no shortage of work to be done in the same way
>> there is no shortage of work to be done in cataloging, why then are
>> significantly more (and more professional level) jobs that are permanent
>> in
>> the cataloging field as opposed to A/V preservation work? Is this
>> attributed to lack of advocacy on part of professional organizations?
>> Managers involved in financial decision making? Organizations able to get
>> grant money for A/V and thus creating a cycle of term funding and hoping
>> from project to project and institution to institution? I am genuinely
>> curious about perspectives from individuals working in several different
>> capacities. It seems this is a problem in the archival field (as I
>> understand it an issue raised at the SAA convention somewhat recently
>> about
>> generational advocacy) in general, but is even more acutely present in A/V
>> specific work as can be attested to through a survey of job
>> advertisements.
>> If this is the case, is promoting the field as a profession while not
>> supporting it organizationally problematic?
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Nathan Coy
>>
>> --
> Richard L. Hess                   email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada                             647 479 2800
> http://www.richardhess.com/tape/contact.htm
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.
>

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