About CoSA

Mission & Strategic Plan

CoSA MISSION

The Council of State Archivists provides leadership to strengthen and support state and territorial archives leaders and staff in their work to preserve and provide access to government records.

CoSA Mission Statement Adopted by the CoSA Board of Directors and Membership, December 2021.

Download CoSA's 2022-2026 Mission & Strategic Plan deafault-callout-box-img.jpeg

CORE VALUES STATEMENT

RELEVANT: CoSA anticipates and responds to developing trends, emerging research, and advocacy issues that meet the evolving needs of state and territorial archives leaders and staff.

INCLUSIVE: CoSA represents all state and territorial archives leaders and staff, encourages all agencies to provide equitable access to state records, and advocates for equity and inclusion within the government records workforce.

COLLABORATIVE: CoSA acknowledges, amplifies, and facilitates the creative strength and extensive knowledge of diverse members, partners, and stakeholders working together.

STRATEGIC GOALS, STRATEGIES, and SUCCESS INDICATORS 2022-2026

EDUCATION and TRAINING

Using the strength of collaboration and partnership to leverage resources, share expertise, and solve problems, CoSA provides scalable, flexible, equitable and inclusive education and training that meet the diverse needs of state and territorial archives leaders and staff.

Strategies

  • Sustain and nurture the professional development needs of state archives and records management leaders and staff.
  • Develop and implement education and training programs that balance issues-based explorations (relationships with other organizations, societal issues, professional issues, etc.) and broader workplace issues with practical/technical instruction.
  • Advocate for state archives and records management careers within undergraduate and graduate archival programs, and internships, emphasizing the need for diverse talent and leadership skill development in the context of government environments.
  • Continue support of SERI’s work to meet the educational and training goals of its strategic plan (see Appendix).

Possible Success Indicators

  • A stable and diverse audience is maintained for programming and training over each programmatic year
  • Programming and training results in demonstrable growth among participants

RESEARCH

As the source of reliable information about state archives and records management programs, CoSA conducts relevant, current, and useful data collection and analysis appropriate for understanding the evolving field of state and territorial government archives and records management, and for informing professional and public policy development.

Strategies

  • Develop and promote a biennial research agenda addressing research activities that are relevant, current, and useful to members and the field.
  • Continually survey/monitor the current diversity and inclusion landscape to identify its impact on the work of state and territorial archives, records management programs, and programmatic partners. Research will be used to amplify best practices that can guide decision making and inform professional development.
  • Raise awareness among stakeholders, allied organizations, and others about the research work CoSA undertakes.

Possible Success Indicators

  • Are we hitting the topics our audiences want?
  • Are research activities relevant, current, and useful to members and the field?
  • Are links up-to-date?
  • How does our research track back to Calls to the States?
  • # of downloads of published research

ADVOCACY

CoSA represents member needs among policymakers, funders, allied organizations, and the media in a consistent and timely way, pursuing strategic partnerships relevant to its mission.

Strategies

  • Assist CoSA members as they promote diversity and eliminate bias in their policies and institutions. (From CoSA’s Statement on Cultural Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access, 2020)
  • Expand CoSA’s advocacy efforts and resources by helping members elevate the importance of their work within state governments.
  • Participate in strategic partnerships to increase federal funding for archival programs.
  • Increase relationship-building with the media and special-interest groups to raise awareness about state archives and records management programs.
  • Advocate for state archives and records management careers within undergraduate and graduate archival programs, and internships, emphasizing the need for diverse talent and leadership skill development in the context of government environments.

Possible Success Indicators

  • Number and extent of collaborations CoSA creates or joins per advocacy issue
  • How much the media and allied organization reach out to CoSA for information, seek strategic and tactical advice, and quote us

CoSA SUSTAINABILITY and EXCELLENCE

CoSA meets the evolving needs of state and territorial archives and their staff by being an inclusive, equitable, valuable, and agile resource of information and support, and a financially viable organization.

Strategies

  • Conduct a successful executive director search and leadership transition.
  • Determine the most sustainable organizational structure for CoSA, addressing governance, leadership, management, staffing, and volunteer structures to better align with accepted nonprofit organizational practices and to support staff and volunteer success.
  • Clarify the focus and language around who CoSA serves and why, paying particular attention to needs of young and under-represented professionals to underscore the importance of diversity and inclusion to the future of state archives and records management programs and to CoSA.
  • Commit to examining our work and supporting our member organizations as we address societal inequities and build a diverse and inclusive future. (From CoSA’s Statement on Cultural Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access, 2020)
  • Strengthen financial viability by pursuing new or expanded income streams from new/expanded partnerships, programming, product development, and membership.

Possible Success Indicators

  • Projects, activities and initiatives will have a positive return on investment (ROI), which will be measured in impact and/or income
  • Demonstrate reach to all 56 state and territorial archives
  • Build relationships that translate into greater resources and reach for CoSA and our members

The Case for Sustainability

In an effort to plan for the future, a task force was formed in 2016 to investigate future operational and financial directions for CoSA that would ensure its viability in an increasingly challenging funding environment.

A preliminary task force report was presented to the Board of Directors at is 2017 Mid-year Meeting. A final report was presented to and approved by the membership at the Annual Meeting in Boise in July 2017.