Over the past few years it seems impossible to open an archival journal and not read about the need for archivists to develop highly specific skills. A current example is the call insisting that we, as a profession, develop planning and managerial talents. Archivists have been challenged not merely to plan and manage, but to plan well, and manage our resources even better. Conservation is a second example of an area where proponents have spoken at length about the need for archivists to develop highly specific aptitudes. The need within an archives for an appreciation of abilities such as planning and management or conservation is incontrovertible. To say this, however, leaves as many questions unanswered as it resolves. There are many skills, some natural and some learned, that an archivist may have need to call upon in order to complete a particular day's work successfully. The critical question is not whether archivists must be aware of the need for such abilities, but where do they fit in the overall pattern of skills required by an archivist.



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