INTRODUCTION TO STRATEGIC PLAN
Founded in 1968, the Society of Ohio Archivists was one of the first statewide archival organizations in the country. In the past thirty years, hundreds of archivists networked at SOA conferences, presented workshops, and participated in Archives Month. Building on this strong foundation, this strategic plan will establish a framework for a 21st century organization.
The strategic planning process began with discussions by SOA Council regarding the 30th anniversary of our organization. In an effort to bring in the membership into the planning process, Council held a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) session at the April 2008 Annual Meeting. More than 35 SOA members participated in the session. Council then met in August and October 2008 to draft the plan. As archives continue to face the combined challenges of reduced funding, rapid technological change, and increased responsibility within our organizations, the Society of Ohio Archivists serves a critical need. Through its training programs, networking opportunities and advocacy efforts, SOA will continue to serve a necessary role for Ohio’s archival community.
To improve the state of archives in Ohio by promoting the archival profession and providing professional development and networking opportunities for Ohio’s professional and aspiring archivists.
Education: The Society of Ohio Archivists strives to create and support continuing education, mentorship, and training opportunities for its members as well as those with basic archival education needs within the community.
Collegiality: Our organization fosters a spirit of camaraderie that accepts, welcomes, and includes a diverse membership from all areas of the archival community and provides them with supportive networking and fellowship opportunities.
Advocacy: SOA actively promotes and supports the field of archives and the work of archivists.
Historical Record: The society’s members are passionate about collecting, preserving, and increasing the accessibility of historical records to improve the public’s quality of life and improve accountability of institutions to the people.
Collaboration: SOA seeks and creates opportunities for partnerships with and between organizations and institutions for the betterment of the society and the profession.
By 2013 SOA will become the primary organization for professional development for the majority of archival professionals and historical practitioners in Ohio. SOA will be a leader in providing educational and collaborative programs, designed both for new and experienced professionals. Through these services archives professionals and others who work with historical resources in Ohio will become more experienced and knowledgeable in their field, thus substantially improving archival services and historical resources in Ohio. Historical documents and information will become more accessible to the public, and therefore enhance the historical memory of the state and its communities, which improves the quality of life for all Ohioans
Goal I: Strengthen the organization to ensure a sound financial and governing foundation.
Obj. A.: Increase funding base for SOA and improve its financial administration.
Task i. investigate and make recommendations for creating an endowment
Task ii. Evaluate and (as-warranted) increase all earned revenue areas.
Task iii. Explore ways to retain members and increase membership of the organization by 20% in the next five years
Obj. B: Improve governance structure for the organization.
i. Change structure of Council and Officer terms to allow for additional terms of office.
ii. Examine Council and Committee structure to increase participation of members and continuity of leadership.
iii. Develop a manual for Council and Committee guidelines and procedures.
iv. potential SOA partnership with OHS
Goal II: Ensure the promotion and support the preservation of historical records in Ohio.
Obj. A: Promote historical records in Ohio.
i.Create an Advocacy Committee to evaluate and develop advocacy efforts.
a.Implement advocacy strategy for SOA.
ii.Improve Archives Month program.
a. Evaluate effectiveness of current programs.
b. Seek funding sponsorship to support Archives Month activities.
Obj. B: Support the preservation of historical records in Ohio.
i. Investigate holdings of archives in Ohio.
a. Partner in Connecting to Collections grant through IMLS.
ii. Participate in Statehood Day.
a. Increase the number of members who participate in Statehood Day.
b. Work with Advocacy Committee to develop platform for archives advocacy.
iii. Participate in History Day
a. Provide monetary awards for students.
b. Increase participation among archivists as judges and content providers and increase communication with the History Day office.
Goal 3: Promote and strengthen the archival profession in Ohio.
Obj. A: Provide high-quality programs and publications for archivists.
i. Evaluate current workshop offerings and create realistic list of offerings.
ii. Expand newsletter to include practitioner articles, spotlights on institutions, and student articles.
Obj. B: Provide opportunities for networking and collegial events.
i. Hold events at the annual meeting and fall workshop that provide networking opportunities.
ii. Have Council contact new professionals and students.
Goal 4: Actively seek out partnerships.
Obj A: Collaborate with allied groups.
i. Identify other organizations for potential collaborations.
ii. Promote SOA by attending and participating in regional meetings of other professional organizations.
Obj. B: Work with faculty and student groups at academic institutions to increase participation in SOA.
i. Send membership brochures to history and library science departments.
ii. Recruit students by attending orientations and meetings and developing electronic tools to connect with students.
1995 Strategic Plan
Members of the Society of Ohio Archivists drafted this strategic plan at a retreat held in Columbus on February 26, 1995. The SOA Council approved the plan on June 9, 1995.
1. The Society of Ohio Archivists will do whatever feasible to advance archival institutions and the archival profession in Ohio.
- The society should not squander its limited resources pursuing unreachable objectives.
- The society should try to balance its programs to appeal to both professional and amateur archivists.
2. The Society of Ohio Archivists will make a concerted effort to recruit members from similar organizations and from the ranks of the amateur archivists of Ohio.
- The society should have at least one member from every archival institution in the state.
- The society should target related organizations like the Ohio Genealogical Society for members.
- The society should gain access to these groups by targeting educational programs to their needs.
3. The Society of Ohio Archivists Education Program should continue to provide quality continuing education to the state’s professionals while seeking to provide basic archival education to the state’s amateur archivists.
- Nationally recognized experts should be recruited for continuing education programs.
- Every amateur archivist should be given the opportunity to attend an Archives 101 workshop in his or her region.
- A standing education committee should be established to create new programs and workshops, to create a calendar of programs, and to develop an information packet on how to start an archives.
- The education of those using archival institutions is outside the scope of the society, and should be left to individual institutions.
- The creation of educational packets of primary sources for teaching history is likewise outside the scope of the society.
- The SOA council should write a letter to the Ohio Board of Regents expressing concern about the lack of advanced archival education courses in the state, and to encourage funding for undergraduate internships in archival institutions.
4. The current procedures for dealing with legislative concerns and similar issues are adequate and do not need to be changed.
- The role of the council is to inform the membership of significant legislation and to encourage the membership to take appropriate action on their own.
- The council should poll the membership on issues if possible, but may make recommendations without consulting the membership if time does not permit.
5. The Society of Ohio Archivists should seek to enhance its visibility through Archives Week.
- The focus of Archives week should include: what are archivists and archives and what purpose do they serve?
- SAA and MAC should be encouraged to implement a national and regional Archives Week.
- A speakers’ bureau should be created to respond to outreach opportunities.
- The membership should be encouraged to participate in Archives Week.
6. The Society of Ohio Archivists should adopt administrative measures to encourage the completion of long-range goals.
- Committees should be adopted and headed by council members to facilitate activities that have recently grown in scope.
- Among the activities that may need new administrative structures are education, legislation, and Archives Week.
- A public information officer might facilitate the dissemination of important information.
- Council should act with great deliberation so that the administrative structures chosen for these tasks endure the test of time.