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Merrilee Proffitt inducted as Fellow of the Society of American Archivists

OCLC Research Senior Program Officer recognized for outstanding contributions to the archives profession

DUBLIN, Ohio, 14 August 2014—Merrilee Proffitt, OCLC Research Senior Program Officer, was inducted as a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists during a ceremony today at the Joint Annual Meeting of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, and SAA in Washington, D.C. The distinction of Fellow is the highest honor bestowed on individuals by SAA and is awarded for outstanding contributions to the archives profession.

In her current role at OCLC Research, Ms. Proffitt leads an initiative that seeks new collaborative methods that will allow the unique materials found in libraries, archives, and museums to be effectively described, properly disclosed, successfully discovered, and appropriately delivered. In the process of shaping and executing this work, she has authored papers on the scholarly and teaching impact of digitizing collections, and organized events that help shape a new professional point of view.

“In OCLC Research, we try to create a place where making the difficult professional observation is encouraged, where impact on the profession is valued over personal interest, and where creativity in making change is honored. Merrilee does all of those things,” said Jim Michalko, Vice President, OCLC Research Library Partnership. “Merrilee is totally committed to the importance of archives and the archival profession.”

Ms. Proffitt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley. While pursing that degree, she discovered her passion for archives working as the office manager for the Regional Oral History Office at the Bancroft Library at Berkeley.

Throughout her career, Ms. Proffitt has embraced leadership roles in significant archiving projects. While serving in positions of increasing responsibility leading up to director of digital archive development at the Bancroft Library, she was a key project team member for a number of the library’s pioneering digital projects, including the California Heritage Collection, an online archive of more than 30,000 images illustrating California’s history and culture, and the Japanese American Relocation Digital Archives, which provides documentation of the experience of Japanese Americans in World War II internment camps.

In 2004, while working at the Research Libraries Group (RLG), Ms. Proffitt was part of a team that authored the RLG Best Practice Guidelines for Encoded Archival Description, a guide that went on to receive the 2004 C.F.W. Coker Award from SAA.

Ms. Proffitt is one of five new Fellows named in 2014. There are currently 179 Fellows of the Society of American Archivists.

OCLC Research is one of the world’s leading centers devoted exclusively to the challenges facing libraries in a rapidly changing information technology environment. Research staff work with the community to collaboratively identify problems and opportunities, prototype and test solutions, and share findings through publications and presentations. For more information, and to see recent reports and studies, visit the OCLC Research website.

About OCLC

Founded in 1967, OCLC is a nonprofit, membership, computer library service and research organization dedicated to the public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing library costs. More than 74,000 libraries in 170 countries have used OCLC services to locate, acquire, catalog, lend, preserve and manage library materials. Researchers, students, faculty, scholars, professional librarians and other information seekers use OCLC services to obtain bibliographic, abstract and full-text information when and where they need it. OCLC and its member libraries cooperatively produce and maintain WorldCat, the world’s largest online database for discovery of library resources. Search WorldCat.org on the Web. For more information, visit the OCLC website.

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