It is my great pleasure to be involved in such an incredible community of intelligence and diversity. I'm Elizabeth Dill, and I actually *just* graduated with my MLIS (Master of Library and Information Science) under the wire to be allowed to participate with you all. My first degree, an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts was in Film/Video, and I had initially envisioned a career as a film school/performing arts librarian, but we’ll see where life takes me.
Right now I’m involved in something pretty exciting. I reside in the state of Georgia and last month our Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced he was closing the Archives for open, public access.
“ After November 1st, the public will only be allowed to access the building by appointment; however, the number of appointments will be limited based on the schedule of the remaining employees.” (SOS website.)
The closing of the Archives has serious ramifications. Besides access to historical, genealogical and governmental records, closing the Archives prohibits the citizenry from keeping a watchful eye out on its elected officials. Graduate students in Georgia history programs are having to regroup and even switch theses topics as the historical data they require to finish their education will be too difficult to retrieve. I’ve heard from high schools students whose favorite subject in school is history, worrying that they can’t achieve the college education they desire in Georgia.
This cause has gained global attention. I’ve heard from Amsterdam, France, Germany, Italy and South Africa. This issue has been reported in the New York Times, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Chronicle of Higher Education and Atlanta Business Chronicle. Letters appealing to the Governor of Georgia have been submitted by numerous special interest groups. We keep pushing for national attention; media coverage remains a constant struggle.
There are certainly other groups involved in the efforts to keep the State of Georgia Archives open. My efforts have revolved around social media, primarily Facebook and very limited use of Twitter (most fans of my page don’t have Twitter accounts). My main goals are providing steady, quality content to the Facebook page and keep awareness and motivation up for followers. I plan on updating my progress here as possible.