The last session of the ICA conference on “Accountability, Transparency and Access to Information” was a culmination of two busy days of idea sharing, relationship forming and coffee drinking. 7 members of ICA’s leadership and secretariat shared their thoughts and conclusions during a great Round Up session which closed ICA’s first annual conference.
See Rapporteurs' Summary of AC2013 in attachment below
The main conclusion drawn from all the panelists and from the audience is the imperative need for greater advocacy across all information professions, across all borders and to society in general. Archivists have an important role to play, and we have the skills, the knowledge and the experience to engage and solve the main information, records and archival issues of the day.
The issues were expertly summed up by Margaret Turner as: The confluence of Open Data/Open Government and Personal Data Privacy; Citizen Engagement to archives and government; and the evolving role of information professionals. And part of the answer to these questions is marketing, messaging, advocacy and cross-professional cooperation. As Mrs. Turner said, “The Archivist’s voice cannot be heard enough!”
The other panelists in the round up session, Christophe Martins, Claude Roberto, Didier Grange, Margaret Crockett, Henri Zuber and Geert Leloup, echoed these sentiments of reaching out, speaking up and linking together with allied professional organizations. And the comments from the audience, like Mrs. Nisbet from NARA, noted that groups of archivists should be sent to the conferences’ of other professions in order to start the conversation. Advocacy also means making our voice heard, in conferences, but also in newspapers, online, on the news, and getting involved, with citizens, lawyers, politicians and journalists. No one will write up a new role for us. In fact, if we stay quiet, we may found ourselves written out altogether. Think about what you, as an archivist, a records manager, an information professional, can do about it today, and act on it. To quote Mrs. Turner, who was quoting Galina Datstkovsky, “Information Governance is not an end goal-it's a journey and you, the Information Governance professionals, are in the driver's seat'.
Nicholas Roche, ICA volunteer