Archival Studies Community Partner Panel Discussion

– Alexandra Smith, (MLIS ’18): Digital Archivist, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
– Kevin Bailey, (Archival Studies Certificate ’20): Digital Archives and Collections Coordinator, UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society
– Bob Friedman: Founder/Director, Birmingham Black Radio Museum
– Dr. Alan Blum, MD: UA Center for the Study of Tobacco and Society

Hosted by Dr. Robert Riter on September 1, this panel was arranged to give students insight into what day-to-day operations are like for students that graduate from the archival studies program. SLIS alumni Alex Smith and Kevin Bailey highlighted the importance of digitization and the role that it will increasingly play in archival practices.

Dr. Alan Blum was delighted to speak about the University of Alabama Center for Tobacco and Society. He explained the transition from physical exhibitions to digital ones, and the challenges of making their website aesthetically pleasing but easy to navigate. Dr. Blum has had more than thirty SLIS students work as interns for the Center and appreciates the relationship he has with the program.

Bob Friedman, previously a radio host and now the Founder and Director of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM), also has a strong relationship with SLIS and began coordinating with the program in 2009. He loves working with SLIS students and is happy to serve as a community partner for the archival studies program. His goal is to broaden the understanding of the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, with regard to radio and the role it played during a time of civil unrest.

Most recently, Dr. Riter and Mr. Friedman were awarded a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. Those funds will directly contribute to the BBRM’s “Building Alabama Support for Preservation Statewide” initiative.┬áThe goal of the project is to develop a network of community partners to support preservation within their institutions and local communities.