Staff Spotlight: Emily Sienkiewicz

Amanda Meeks

July 27, 2023
Emily smiling at the camera

We’re taking a moment to shine a spotlight on Emily Sienkiewicz, our Communications Specialist. This post is co-written by Amanda Meeks, our Community and Partnerships Manager, and Emily.

Amanda Meeks:

It’s hard to believe that Emily first joined the Permanent team almost a year ago, in September 2022, as a part-time intern on the Experience team. She was recently promoted to our Communications Specialist and is helping us with a wide range of community engagement work. The community at Permanent exists solely online, which means that people from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences can all participate and take part in our mission. Emily spent the first several months at Permanent working to better understand our membership and their needs and thinking through strategies to engage members further, along with the rest of the Experience team.

Now, Emily enthusiastically contributes to and supports community engagement at Permanent, which is a dynamic multimedia effort–from the podcast we produce, video tutorials, our blog, live community calls or events, and newsletters. All of these activities are aimed at improving our community’s experience on Permanent. 

Emily is dedicated to our mission, to preserve and provide access to the digital legacy of all people, and she does a great job of articulating her vested interest and dedication below!

Emily Sienkiewicz: 

I first found Permanent while looking for a place to store my own family photos and files. Over the years, I’ve become the de facto keeper of family stories after many conversations with my grandmother, aunts, and uncles. This meant I’ve also inherited the overwhelming task of keeping their stories and our photos safe (over 10,000 of them!). After digitizing a large chunk of the collection, finding Permanent was a lightbulb moment for me. Previously, I’d been overwhelmed with recurring subscription fees and was worried about the sustainability of my file management. The preservation-minded longevity that Permanent promises was really what made me put my trust in them. This trust has grown even more recently with the introduction of new legacy planning features that allow me to set a plan for my files after I’m gone.

Outside of my family history journey, I also have a background in library and archival spaces. I’ve worked at a variety of libraries and have served a diversity of needs and patrons along the way. At a fellowship at the Library of Congress, I was given the chance to create my own project and chose to enhance the accessibility of a WW1 audio archive through the use of transcripts and descriptive metadata. My work in these spaces has given me a passion for archival standards and an overwhelming ambition to make collections as accessible as possible for all users. Like Permanent, I believe that everyone has a story worth preserving. 

At Permanent, you can usually find me behind the scenes updating our social media channels to improve the experience of our members or editing our podcast, Our Digital Futures. Lately, I’ve been working to improve our social media channels by adding alternative text and growing our audience on Mastodon, a platform where we’ve encountered like-minded users interested in digital preservation, history, and genealogy to name a few. 

Looking forward to the future, I am excited to watch Permanent add enhancements guided by archival and accessibility best practices. And personally, I hope to finally get all my photos scanned and organized so that I can store them safely on Permanent for generations to come.