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archives society of alberta
March 1997    Volume 16 Number 4


On 8 February, over twenty members of the Archives Society of Alberta met at the University of Alberta's Book and Record Depository in Edmonton to network, report on activities and to begin the business planning process for 1997-1998. Representatives and several members of each of the Education, Public Awareness, Newsletter, Membership, and Executive Committees joined with contract staff Elizabeth Denham, Terry Delorme and Dr. Sandra Thomson of the Vision 2000 Task Force and the ANA Task Force, to review progress made since the first planning meeting held last February.

After introducing each other, Committee Chairs discussed their current activities and future priorities. These activities and priorities were then placed in the context of the larger cyclical three year planning process introduced last year. Committees then met separately in various break-out rooms with Executive Liaison representatives in attendance to work on Committee activities. After several hours, the group reassembled with each committee reporting on its activities during the day and if there were any changes in their respective plans for 1997-98. Finally, each person was asked to comment on the Planning Session process. All agree (even one doubting archivist from Glenbow!!) that this annual meeting was most beneficial and should be continued.

The Business Planning Process is key to the development of on-going commitment and sustained effort. It enables the Society to organize its volunteer, financial, and staff resources to effectively promote the objectives of the Society and the Archival enterprise in Alberta. However, it must always be kept in mind that business planning is a means to an end not an end in itself. The ends or objectives of the Archival community: in encouraging the preservation of the archival record, in educating and training archival workers at all levels (whether volunteer or paid staff with masters degrees), in promoting public awareness of the archival enterprise and in developing networking and communication tools and opportunities, must always be kept before us. The rest is merely process - an important process - but a process none the less. A means to an end, not the end in itself!