INFO 680 (Winter 2013) Week Eleven Archival Outreach Exercise


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A handout for an exercise in week eleven of INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013).

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INFO 680 (Winter 2013) Week Eleven Archival Outreach Exercise

  1. 1. INFO 6800 Archives – March 18, 2013 Week Eleven Archival Outreach ExerciseIntroductionThe purpose of this exercise is to provide an opportunity to discuss the variousapproaches that can be taken to promote archives and raise public awareness ofarchival resources and services. Students will form groups of three, choose anoutreach topic, and develop a plan for promoting their chosen topic.Instructions 1) Form groups of 3 2) Select one of the following topics: a) New acquisition of 19th century photos of Halifax b) New mass digitization program c) Special event (e.g., anniversary of Halifax Explosion) d) Impact of recent funding cuts e) Direction of Library and Archives Canada 3) Choose a hypothetical archives setting (e.g., university archives, church archives, government archives, etc.). Consider the suitability of the topic to the archives setting (e.g., how likely would it be for a church archives to use the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion to promote itself?). 4) Discuss the situation and develop a plan for promoting or raising awareness about the chosen topic. The plan should touch on: a) Objective b) Goals/outcomes c) Message (i.e., what are you trying to communicate?) INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Archival Outreach Exercise | 1
  2. 2. d) Media (e.g., radio, social media, print newspaper, etc.) and method (e.g., tweets with links to digitized archival material, print advertisements, interviews, open letters to policymakers, petitions, etc.) e) Target audience(s) f) Budget5) You may wish to approach the task by asking a series of questions: a) How have other archives promoted this topic or related topics? What about libraries and museums? b) What resources will be required to carry out the outreach campaign? Do average archives in the chosen setting typically have those resources? c) What are the short- and long-term implications of promoting the topic? d) Will promoting the topic or expressing an opinion about the topic put the institution at risk? Will it put its employees at risk? What kind of risk? e) Does the chosen method of promoting the topic typically work with the target audience(s)? f) Will the chosen method require any training (e.g., media training, IT training, etc.)? g) How will the outreach campaign affect the core functions of the archives? Is the archives prepared for any changes (positive and negative) that may result from the outreach campaign?6) Use the worksheet to jot down your group’s findings and discuss with class INFO 6800 Archives (Winter 2013) – Archival Outreach Exercise | 2