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ACA 2023 Belonging: An Interview with Shadreck Bayane

15 Jun 2023 10:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

The ACA 2023 Annual conference is fast approaching! The ACA blog, In the Field, is featuring the profile of a few members who will be presenting at the 2023 conference. Today we are featuring the profile of Shadreck Bayane, Records Specialist at the Botswana Investment & Trade Centre.

Q: What is the title of your conference presentation? Tell us about it in 1 or 2 sentences.

Shadreck: Titled “Access to information for visually impaired people: Artificial Intelligence (AI) to assist the cause?” my paper will be delivered through a panel discussion. It examines key issues of accessibility to records and information for people with disabilities (visually impaired) when or if AI is deployed as a possible assistive technology.

Q: Can you walk us through your academic and professional path?

Photograph of Shadreck Bayane

Shadreck: My professional journey dates back to two decades ago when I joined the Botswana National Archives & Records Services as an Assistant Records Officer in the Attorney General Chambers and Office of the President, respectively, after graduating from the University of Botswana with a diploma in archives and records management. I worked with revered technocrats (high ranking government officials) whose wisdom and sense of duty rubbed off on me and sharpened my intellectual pedigree from that early stage of my career.

I have since spent the better part of my career in the corporate sector with an archival science degree, after working for the Government for a year. I am a certified records analyst and currently work for the Botswana Investment & Trade Centre (BITC) in Gaborone, Botswana as a Records Specialist – having previously worked for the Botswana Public Officers’ Pension Fund (BPOPF), Public Procurement & Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) and Botswana Savings Bank (BSB) in the same capacity.

I also serve as an International Correspondent for the Institute of Certified Records Managers (ICRM)’s Newsletter, covering areas outside USA and Canada.

Q: What brought you to the field of archival studies and practice? 

Shadreck: Prior to my dive into archival studies, I had a short stint in the law enforcement field – working with legal documents. When I was contemplating what to study at the university, a friend suggested the records management course, which struck a chord with my records experience. The rest, as they say, is history.

Q: What does the theme of the ACA 2023 conference, “Belonging: Considering archival bonds and disconnects,” mean to you in terms of overall archival orientations and practice?

Shadreck: As part of my preparations for presenting at the conference, I recently attended a PWD (people with disabilities) function whereat a question was asked as to how the rest of us can contribute to economic empowerment of people with disabilities. In the instance of archival practice, I understand this question, as read with the ACA conference theme, to be calling upon us in the profession to perform our functions and research in a manner that promotes inclusivity, diversity, and connectivity of the people we serve.

So, the ACA’s view of belonging as a fundamental human need is apt, and relatable.

Q: Can you tell us about your research approach and perspectives?

Shadreck: My research is currently focused on archives, digitization, and artificial intelligence, and the interest is bolstered by my current participation in the international scholarly project InterPARES Trust AI where the resources and expertise are world-class. I am a strong proponent of impactful research which contributes to both the academic body of knowledge, and the practical advancement of society – with a particular concentration on our marginalized communities.

Q: What are you mostly looking forward to at this year’s conference?

Shadreck: No doubt it is going to be an interesting and successful conference. Take a look at the credentials of speakers, venue, activities, the messaging around the event, and the vibe. Alluring! I look forward to joining a diversity of archivists and other allied stakeholders from all corners of the universe as we feast on the archival discourse.

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