ECPN September Meeting Minutes

ECPN conference call

Monday, September 17, 2012


Molly Gleeson (Chair)

Eliza Spaulding (Vice Chair)

Stephanie Lussier (Board Liaison)

Ruth Seyler (AIC Staff Liaison)

Ryan Winfield (AIC Staff Liaison)

Lee Ann Barnes Gordon (OSG Liaison)

Emily Williams (ETC Chair)


1. Mentoring program discussion:

Eliza explained that after the matches were made following the June deadline, she has been reaching out to the matches to get a sense of how the process works. She said that the process is long and she has written up this process, which she has shared with the committee via email.  She would like to discuss the application processing time and the sustainability of the program, with the understanding that it is unavoidable that some of this work will be time-consuming. How can we make this program more efficient? For her as a leader it has been challenging to manage and see all of the matches through. Eliza said that the recent implementation of a dropbox folder for sharing the mentoring program applications has worked well.

As far as changes, Eliza raised the possibility of putting the program on hold for awhile to work on necessary changes. Ruth said that whenever something is put on hold it takes more energy to get it going again so if there are any matches that can be made, we should go ahead and make them. The match is important but it ultimately ends up being what both parties put into it. She suggested that we do the best we can to put time into the matches but we can’t promise a perfect match.

To address putting the program on hold for awhile, Stephanie suggested that we could establish a series of submission deadlines-so instead of saying that the program is on hold, we can say that we’ll be making the next round of matches on XX date, and that we’re not accepting applications at this point. Emily asked when the next regular deadline is, and Eliza replied that we just took in the September applicants and the next deadline is in December.

Eliza raised the possibility of another change that could be implemented, which is that we could bring on someone to head up the mentoring program. Ryan’s preference is to work with someone on the committee already and he also suggested that bringing someone new on board while the program is being revamped may also be a challenge. Stephanie reminded everyone that Eliza will be coming on as Chair at next annual meeting so she will need to turn these responsibilities over to someone at that point. Ryan said that one of the Professional Education and Training officers would make sense and Stephanie agreed and suggested that one of these officers could be in charge of education at the annual meeting and the other in charge of the mentoring program. Eliza said that this person could start off handling the match cycle. When Carrie steps down we could advertise that the person filling her role take on this role, or we could ask Gwen if she is interested in taking on this responsibility since she has been involved for awhile. Stephanie reminded everyone that we had a member-at-large position, which was Gwen, who was helping out with the mentoring program in this role. Ryan suggested that we consider inviting a former mentee to be a member-at-large on the committee and then take on this role.

Eliza brought up another suggestion, which is to divide the program into pre-program and post-graduate. For the pre-program mentees we could consider offering a series of resources-a reading list, suggestions for how to get more experience, etc. In Eliza’s experience many of the pre-program applicants are interested in the same things, so these customized documents could address the needs of the pre-program applicants so that the program could focus on the graduates and post-grads. Facebook could be a natural place for this information. Emerging Freelance Conservators have a similar set-up with docs and resources and their wall functions as a place for people to ask questions.

Ryan asked if it would make sense for 1 of the Professional Education and Training officers to be pre-program focused and 1 to be graduate/post-grad focused. Emily asked if ETC could take on a larger role with the post-grads. She isn’t sure if it would split the program too much-but having ETC work on this does fit into some of the professional development training that they already have an interest in. Eliza said that she sees the natural divisions being: someone being in charge of preprogram, someone in charge of making matches, and someone leading the program and in charge of making broad changes (and this could be divided into 3 or 4 positions). Stephanie said that we could look at the existing ECPN committee and see who might be able to take on different tasks-for instance, our Communications Officer could be in charge of promoting the program, one of our Professional Education and Training Officers could oversee the match process, and then possibly the Vice Chair could broadly oversee the program. Eliza said that she will write up descriptions for 3-4 roles, and then we can share with everyone on the committee and see what might make sense.


2. Next webinar: Next webinar in late fall. Tentative dates: Nov. 12-14 or Nov. 26-30. Topic is private practice and the idea would be to invite three private conservators from different specialties–Paul Messier, Rosa Lowinger, and Julia Brennan are the first group to ask. Possible format of webinar: Each speaker could speak for 10 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of Q&A. Ruth encouraged checking with Paul and Rosa early especially since they travel a lot. It would be nice to collaborate with CIPP in some way on this…Julia is a CIPP member. Eliza and Molly will draft an invitation to share with everyone this week. Roles for the webinar will be discussed over email since so many are missing on this call. Ruth and Ryan will check with Eric about these potential dates.


3. Student research database: Molly will ask Carrie if she can update everyone on the conversation via email.


4. PR Toolkit: Molly will be speaking to Rachael this week about restructuring the toolkit wiki so it can be navigated more easily. Recently, Stephanie recommended working towards creating mini toolkits, building towards a larger toolkit. Molly will work with the group to outline the structure for these mini toolkits with input from Ruth.


5. Letter to grad. directors: Megan began drafting a letter. Perhaps this could be sent out by the end of Sept.? Should we also encourage the PA application in this same letter? Molly will follow up with Megan about this.


6. Update from liaisons: Lee Ann communicated that she’s been thinking about how she can do more in her liaison role. Perhaps she could write a brief summary of ECPN’s calls to share with the OSG listserv, including information like check out ECPN’s meeting minutes and tease out highlights from the call. All agreed this would be great and she can feel free to do this independently, reaching out to ECPN with draft messages when there are questions. In July, ECPN talked about how the specialty groups could support emerging conservators at the annual meeting. Has there been further discussion about this? Not really, we need to follow up on this again.


7. Change in monthly call schedule: Discuss over email.


8. Annual meeting:

a. Informational meeting: Ruth will email Molly some suggested times. It’s difficult to find a time that doesn’t overlap with something else.

b. Angels project: Ruth is close to pinning down the Angels project, which will give us more time to promote it and solicit funds for supplies. She’s been working with the Franklin Historical Society–has 5,000 textiles, a large space, approximately 40 people would be ideal for the project, they are willing to accommodate a project on Sunday, the 2nd, so this doesn’t interfere with annual meeting activities.

c. Happy hour: Conference hotel has a sports bar with a private room–could be convenient for the happy hour, reasonable prices, has a nice look and feel, people could drop in easily. Would be good to include this info. in the annual meeting brochure, so by Oct. 1st.