Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Secret Lives of Interns: The AOTUS

Twitter and Flickr and the Archivist of the United States?

A blog post by Kristin Davidson

Wednesday July 14 was a particularly exciting day for this intern. For one thing, we celebrated Bastille Day here at JMM.

Vive La France!!

Also on Wednesday, I had to leave work a little early to go to a class at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I am working on my Master of Library Science. On this particular day we had a very special guest in class, David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States. And what do you think the Archivist of the United States came to my class to talk about? Social Media! Facebook, Flickr, Blogs, YouTube, just to name a few. In fact the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has implemented over 60 social media tools in this past year. Check out NARA’s Social Media page to discover the array interactive web tools they’re using.

David Ferriero, 10th Archivist of the United States

David Ferriero wants to use Social Media to bring the government to the people. In accordance with President Obama’s Open Government Directive, Mr. Ferriero has drafted a plan to increase transparency, collaboration, and participation at the National Archives. Mr. Ferriero is using Social Media to encourage participation not only among NARA staff members, but also among all of us regular citizens. Yes, that’s right, YOU can tell the Archivist of the U.S. what you think about Open Government.

In fact, Mr. Ferriero may be returning to my class in a few short weeks to hear our group presentations on certain Social Media pilot projects that may be launched in the near future. He mentioned that NARA had used ideas from student presentations from this class in previous years. No pressure, kids!

Some things about the Archivist of the United States:

• 1st Librarian to be appointed Archivist of the US (when asked about the difference between managing a library and an archives, he noted that both librarians and archivist, at the core, do the same thing, that is “collect, protect, and encourage the use of their materials.”

• He turned down the appointment as Archivist of the U.S. twice before finally accepting.

• Draws on his Naval experience in Vietnam to keep perspective in crises

• Walked the halls of NARA at College Park to meet and talk with staff members when he first started.

• Has his own Blog

• And his own Twitter page

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