Abstracts of Previous ALI Practicums

An essential part of your application to ALI, and your ALI experience, is your practicum. This required project is something you choose as a vehicle to practice what you have learned at ALI and to provide value to your institution and the world of archives. Your project may be limited to your own unit, department, or institution—or it may be a statewide or national project. In the end the project has to be something valuable that you want to do to improve the state of archives. To help you think of practicums you might work on, the following are provided: one-sentence abstracts of many of the practicums over the last three years. These have been put into categories to help you search for projects fitting your interests and needs, but keep in mind that each of these projects could fit under multiple categories.


1. Initiate a sustainable and strategic social media program to engage users and increase use of our collections.
2. Work with partner organizations to pilot the posting of full-length oral history interviews on partners’ websites and increase access to these records.


3. Develop a sustainable archives advocacy program in our state that would serve as a model at the national level.
4. Develop and implement a plan to advocate for the development of a legislative archives within our repository.

Archives Management Systems

5. Implement and roll out an instance of an archives management system, while providing training to and getting buy-in from a diverse set of users, and then extend the service to our other campuses. 
6. Plan for and put in place a repository application that would support the ingest and management of born-digital institutional records.

Collection Development and Documentation

7. Develop a succession and sustainability plan for our university’s initiative to document human rights activities across the world.
8. Develop a program to document the history of hops production and the craft brewing industry in our state.
9. Develop and implement a project to document the LGBTQ history of our university through oral history interviews, accessioning of collections, and the development of a timeline of LGBTQ history at the university.


10. Develop, initiate, and complete a plan to provide online descriptions of the university’s presidential records, while regularizing the level of description across each of these collections. 
11. Develop a standardized comprehensive process for description of audiovisual records, one that includes preservation and appraisal metadata. Digital Archives
12. Codify all aspects of our digital collections management plan, including the training curriculum, succession planning, and sustainability planning.
13. Implement a digital records pilot project for two departments in our university to begin to develop the ability of university departments to manage their digital records until the point of disposition. 
14. Integrate digital records responsibilities within the roles of all staff in the archives and address the lack of direction that has governed digital records for many years.

Digital Libraries

15. Implement an assessment project focused on our state’s digital library, one that evaluates navigability, the value of social media sharing within that library, the accuracy of search results, as well as the overall patron experience.

Donor Relations

16. Establish a personal digital archives program to help all of our Archives’ potential donors better manage their digital materials before their destruction or transfer to the Archives. Emergency Preparedness
17. Conduct emergency preparedness training across the state and help institutions develop individual emergency preparedness plans.

Facilities Management

18. Plan for the construction of a significantly larger archival storage facility, develop a new collections management unit to oversee the facility, and use this opportunity to coordinate control of all archival collections in our institution whether held within or outside of the archives.
19. Relocate the entire archives, which has outgrown its current space, to another campus. Management and Administration
20. Assess how students’ use of primary sources impacts their learning and also determine how well special collections and its archivists enrich our library and university.
21. Conduct a strategic planning effort that will change the structure of library divisions and the allocation of responsibilities for key archival functions.

Outreach and Collaboration

22. Establish a partnership with a local historically black university to formalize an internship program that will teach basic archival principles and lead to the completion of finding aids to all our African-American resources.
23. Develop a collaborative relationship with a regional repository to expand access and establish workflows for our digital assets.


24. Initiate electronic records management and digital preservation planning in a more programmatic way within the Libraries and the University.

Records Management

25. Develop a campus-wide records management training program to improve compliance with records management guidelines and to ensure more archival records make it to the archives. 
26. Develop and receive approval to promulgate guidelines for the retention and disposition of records based on our records management policy.

Strategic Planning

27. Draft and implement a strategic plan that promotes efficiency and standardized procedures by consolidating all arrangement, description, and processing activities within a central collections team.
28. Develop a technology training strategic plan to improve staff technical skills and improve compliance with records management and archives policies.