In recognition that advocacy is integral to AMIA’s mission, in 2018 the membership committee on advocacy was transitioned to the Advocacy Committee of the Board.
AMIA recognizes that advocacy is essential in supporting the preservation of our media heritage and in championing a multiplicity of voices in the historical record. The Advocacy Committee aligns with AMIA’s mission in supporting public and professional education in relation to the preservation and use of moving image media, and furthering professional communication and collaboration.
Working with members, committees, and the board, AMIA’s Advocacy Committee develops strategic recommendations and actions to further the interests of the field and represent those interests to the wider community, resource allocators, policy makers, and to the public. The Committee works to identify and promote opportunities to shape public perception and raise awareness of archives and archival professionals, explores ways that AMIA can be responsive to and advocate for the resources needed by archives and archival professionals; and suggests strategic collaborations and partnerships as methods of amplifying advocacy efforts.
In November 2020, the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) launched the AMIA Annual Salary & Demographics Survey of the Field. This study was a continuation of research conducted by AMIA in 2019 and it was also informed by similar surveys commissioned by the Society of American Archivists and American Library Association. Like other studies from allied cultural heritage professions, the AMIA survey demonstrates that diversity is lacking in the audiovisual archives field and that serious and deliberate effort must be made to address this. AMIA has already taken some actions in response to this, such as the development of the AMIA Pathways fellowship program that will fund young professionals from diverse backgrounds in paid internships and mentorship activities. Additionally, the 2020 survey showed some issues with archivists’ costs of living and workplace conditions, especially in the wake of the COVID–19 pandemic, that should inform the AMIA’s future advocacy efforts.
Take the 2021 Survey – it is intended for media archivists and all people in related fields whose primary work is with audiovisual materials.
A primary initial responsibility of the Advocacy Committee of the Board (ACOB) was to conduct a first-ever survey to gather information on advocacy concerns as they affect the moving image archive community. The report was developed using the qualitative information from respondents from the survey, but also from the open forum and roundtable discussions the AMIA Board and ACOB co-organized at AMIA 2018.
The goal of this report is to be a first step in dialogue around the need to develop strategic recommendations and actions to further the interests of the field and represent those interests to the wider cultural heritage community, resource allocators, policy makers, and the public.