SNAC-A-Thon Toolkit

SNAC-A-Thon Toolkit
This SNAC-a-thon toolkit has been developed based on events carried out by Houghton Library and Harvard University Archives. The toolkit is intended to provide customizable templates that can be used by repositories of various sizes and scales for carrying out SNAC-a-thons
The first step to organizing a SNAC-a-thon event is to plan out its timing and participants.
Things to consider from the start:
  • Purpose/focus
    • SNAC-a-thons can be focused on particular areas of interest or subjects
      • Some examples have been: underrepresented groups, women, entities involved with certain academic fields, local corporate body names (i.e. Harvard-related corporate names)
    • They can also be more generalized: backlog reduction, staff introduction to the system, etc.
  • Partners
    • Are you organizing this at a single repository or making this more broad?
    • If it will be more broad, how are you engaging partners and participants?
  • Who all will be editors and their SNAC training status
    • If they will need to take SNACSchool prior to the SNAC-a-thon, this must be considered
    • If not all your participants are trained and there will be many new trainees for the event, contact Jerry Simmons and Dina Herbert to let them know your plans and needs, to see if it’s workable
  • If participants will be new to the system and need reviewers, or if your subject focus demands subject expert review
    • If you don’t have a local SNAC reviewer who can help with this, contact Jerry Simmons and Dina Herbert
  • Timing
    • It’s important that all participants can take SNACSchool training, but recommended that you don’t plan an event too far out from that training. SNAC-a-thons can be very helpful for familiarizing new editors with the system
  • Documentation
    • What local documentation do you need: shared sign-up sheet, local or specific topic workflows or best practices, tips documents
It is possible that developing local documentation may be helpful, but always look at SNAC to see the materials the SNACSchool team has already prepared that may help you.
Recommended documentation:
Three days has proven to be successful for the structure of each event. We have also had great luck holding the events Tuesday-Thursday, so participants have Friday to wrap up any work. Participants should block off some time during these days, including concurrent meetings in the mornings of day 1 and day 2, to work in SNAC. The rest of the work is done independently, though it’s recommended that leaders and/or reviewers be available to help virtually either by message or video call/screenshare.
Recommended Schedule
If many of your participants are new to SNAC and still in training and if your SNAC-a-thon will likely include more editing of existing records than creating new, pre-merging is recommended. New users usually do not have permissions to merge, and merging should be done with care and caution. 
Setting a list of the entities to be included can be useful with this, as well, so that the SNAC-a-thon leader can have time to check if entities need merging in the system.
  • Start with an opening, online meeting - this is often helpful to record should not all participants be able to be there
    • Go through the schedule
      • Meetings
      • Methods for communications with the group and reviewers
        • Teams/Slack is a very handy tool for discussion and to reach local reviewers
      • Schedule reviewers are available to help and to do review
    • Discuss the goals of the event - how many SNAC records each participant will aim to create/edit (we have done goals of 5 or 10 records, depending on the event and the experience level of the participants)
    • Walkthrough any local documentation and bring attention to SNAC’s relevant documentation
    • Live demonstrate editing in SNAC, with time for questions
    • Conclude with discussion/q&a
  • The rest of the day is open for work in SNAC - typically participants won’t spend all their time but will block off some portion 
  • Reviewer will be available as much as possible to do reviews with 2 hours
  • Start with an online meeting - this is an informal check-in
    • Go through the remaining schedule
    • Check in to see if any questions have come up
    • Live demonstration of merging in SNAC if you have many newer participants - this reiterates what they learned in SNACSchool and will set them up to merge independently once they are more exp
  • The rest of the day is open for work in SNAC - typically participants won’t spend all their time but will block off some portion 
  • Reviewer will be available as much as possible to do reviews with 2 hours
Day Three
Day three is fully independent work time in SNAC. Participants can use messaging system (Teams or Slack channel) to discuss what is coming up for them and communicate with the leaders and reviewers. Participants will hopefully complete their goal by the end of day three, but may wrap up work the following day(s).