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ARSCLIB  March 2017

ARSCLIB March 2017

Subject:

Re: A/V preservation jobs

From:

Brecht Declercq <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

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

Date:

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 11:32:27 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (252 lines)

Dear Nathan,

Thanks for your interesting question.
Considering the amount of replies I think we can conclude you touched a
sensible point here.

Many replies given already by others imho make sense, although it is hard
to say to which extent they contribute to the full truth, which is always a
combination of factors.

A few remarks from my side:

- keep in mind that you're talking about a North-American situation; I'm
not sure the same phenomenon occurs in other regions. For example in Europe
the vast majority of audiovisual archivists works for (public)
broadcasters. Employment rules typically for them are not job domain based,
but (to a large extent) company based. That impacts things in the sense
that public bodies in Europe have a traditional (but slowly disappearing)
preference for contracts with an indefinite duration.

- my best guess would be that indeed preservation is considered a temporary
and finishing activity (and so employment is more project-based than
long-term based). And I agree with this in the sense that at least in audio
and video preservation, the job is shifting rapidly to digital. On the
other hand, imho e.g. digitisation operators can be perfect digital
preservationists too, but in any case the job description does / will
change, and that might cause HR officers to opt for shorter term contracts.

Best,


2017-03-23 23:47 GMT+01:00 Nathan Coy <[log in to unmask]>:

> I want to thank everyone for replying so far. I just want to circle back,
> my intention is/was not to necessarily go after any one specific situation
> but raise some of the concerns and questions I've come to having watched to
> job market regularly in A/V preservation and library work in general for 6
> years or so now. Hopefully it's not too clumsy.
>
> Then solicit what people have found to be effective, not so effective, and
> observations on organizational structure related to the A/V preservation
> field.
>
> These are concerns I genuinely have about the types of jobs in the field,
> how they are handled in organizations, and how we present the professional
> opportunities of the field. I admittedly have been fortunate than some in
> these respects.
>
> I hope to continue to read more insights,
>
> Nathan Coy
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 3:12 PM, Paul Jackson <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > "
> >
> > 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."
> >
> >                 I have to agree with you. I've had gig jobs; one, a
> > private grad school, with very little compensation, and one, a very
> wealthy
> > corporations, with fairly generous compensation (compared with standard
> > library salaries.)
> >         The saddest offer, was when a law library wanted to hire me to
> > work in Seattle, but wanted me hired as law librarian in a different
> > facility only 14 miles south, because the Bureau of Labor Statistics
> shows
> > the librarians' salaries are lower there because of lower costs of
> living.
> > How they figured working in Seattle would lower my cost of living because
> > my "job" was designated somewhere else? Dumb and dumber. It was the
> biggest
> > crap I've run across in my many years (81). I've written to Senators and
> > Representatives about this, since, to me, having certain credentials and
> > experience should be paid the same amount no matter where you are doing
> the
> > service. BTW, as much as I needed that job and could have performed
> well, I
> > told the library group I was too good for them and left the interview.
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > Paul T. Jackson
> > Trescott Research
> >
> > On 3/23/2017 12:35 PM, Nathan Coy wrote:
> >
> >> 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.
> >>>
> >>> ---
> >> This email has been checked for viruses by AVG.
> >> http://www.avg.com
> >>
> >>
>



-- 

[image: VIAA]
     Brecht Declercq
     Manager Digitalisering & Acquisitie

     VIAA vzw* | Sassevaartstraat 46/209 | 9000 Gent | BelgiĆ« | www.viaa.be
<http://www.viaa.be/>*
     T: +32 9 298 05 01 *|* M: +32 474 25 04 67


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