Welcome back from SAA! Thanks to all who were able to attend the Records Management Roundtable meeting on Friday. I have a lot of topics to talk about from the meeting, some of which may end up spinning off into new posts. However, for the moment we’re just going to do one long one. Hold on to your hats (below the jump)!
Session livetweets and recaps!
So! Livetweeting happened for many, if not all, of the sessions, as promised, though we only had an official livetweeter for one of the RM-related ones. Hopefully you were able to follow along anyway. If not, worry not! I, as a borderline paranoiac re: future Twitter accessibility, was able to collect most of the #saa13 tweets with the help of the TAGS Google Spreadsheet, meaning that you can go back and revisit the tweets weeks after they scroll off Twitter search. Go here for the searchable archive (give it some time to load), though note that because of a scripting error on my part Tweets from 8/16 are not in there. For the 8/16 tweets, you’ll need to go to the spreadsheet proper and click on the tab for the 8/19 collection (which is when I noticed the problem and quickly scraped the tweets from Friday). in either case, you can search on the sessions quickly by searching for the hashtag for that session (e.g. for the session on RM in the Cloud, you can search for #s101).
Meanwhile, if you don’t have patience for reading through tweets, Mimi Dionne wrote up her thoughts in recap form on a number of the records management sessions, including on the State Electronic Records Initiative , the RM in the Cloud session, and a couple of others that are not strictly RM-related but are interesting nonetheless. You can see them all at her CMSWire author page. I also am going to at some point write up my own thoughts on some sessions, and we may have some guest bloggers doing the same; stay tuned.
RMRT Business Meeting Recap
We had about 40 attendees at our annual business meeting on August 16, at which we welcomed our new Steering Committee members (Caroline Curtin and Matthew Farrell) and confirmed two more volunteers (Christie Peterson and Kate Stratton). All of our new Steering Committee members will hopefully be posting introductory posts here sometime in the future. We also updated our members on the main projects that we have been working on for the last year and that we hope to complete in the year ahead. In summary for those:
- The development of a potential webinar series on RM for Archivists is ongoing. We’re still waiting to hear back from the Education Committee, but once we get approval in principle we hope to get the “Records Management Basics for Archivists” webinar up and running by the end of the year.
- In the meantime, the RMRT Google Hangouts remain a key part of our professional development strategy. We hope to have more of these with more consistency in 2013-2014 on a variety of topics, preferably using the multi-user format of Hangouts to as much advantage as possible. In an effort to avoid the technical problems which have plagued our previous offerings, we’re planning on pre-recording the next few, which will hopefully let us get some of the bugs out (but also means pre-submitting your questions for panelists is that much more important).
- The Functional Thesaurus (which the RMRT started work on WAAAAAY back in 2007… it’s been a long haul) is making good progress, in particular looking at exploiting the possibility of a dynamic document rather than the static resource as it was initially envisioned. More info on this to come.
- We’re looking for ways to integrate SAA’s strategic plan into our activities, which (I think) will be less hard than it looks because a lot of their actions line up nicely with what we’re doing already. Goal 3.3.4 (“Reestablish an alliance with the records management community nationally”) is the most obvious place where we can play a role, but there’s also lots of room for us to contribute in the other three goals (Advocacy, Professional Growth, and Meeting Member Needs). The Steering Committee will discuss the Strategic Plan in depth, but we also encourage members with ideas of their own to chime in–comment, email, whatever! We work best when we hear from you all.
Following the business meeting, Ron Layel gave his presentation on Records Management, Archives, and their intersection in policy-building, particularly as relates to the Presidential Records Memorandum and subsequent NARA directive regarding electronic records. One thing I didn’t realize before the presentation is that Ron hadn’t had a lot of experience with the Archives world before his research for this presentation, and so his talk was an interesting look at how the outside records management community views archives and their responsibility for preserving historical records. Slides from Ron’s talk are available here (look for them on the Microsite later).
The Future of the Business Meeting
RMRT has been using the “business meeting followed by a speaker” model for at least as long as I’ve been a member (6 years and counting), but this year it seemed more outmoded than usual in comparison to some other sessions I attended. We discussed some ways to liven up the business meeting a bit in some of our steering committee meetings this year, but probably didn’t start thinking about it early enough and so ran out of time before copy was due to SAA for the program. We can, and should, do better (and if I’m being honest with myself we’re long overdue for a change).
I want to make it a major priority this year to make the business meeting useful and interesting to as many of our members as we can. There’s a certain amount of inevitability to the business portion of the meeting, but I think the programmatic session can be improved significantly by, to take only the examples linked to above, looking at formats like breakout sessions, unconference submissions, lightning talks, etc. I was also intrigued by the Archivists’ Toolkit/Archon Roundtable’s use of UStream to broadcast their meeting, thus engaging their members remotely; obviously the usefulness of this would depend on the format we decide upon, but allowing our remote members to participate even if they can’t attend in person seems like it would be a great value add to many of you.
Again, the steering committee will be discussing all of these questions, but we’ll be more effective at building a meeting that works for everyone the more we hear from you, the members. Please do share your thoughts on either topics to cover or meeting formats, whether here, on the RMRT listserv, or to one of our officers/SC members personally. We can’t wait to hear from you!
RMRT Endorsements for SAA 2014
Last but not least, now that SAA 2013 has come to an end, it’s time to start thinking about your proposals for SAA 2014! (Yes, already.) As always, the Records Management Roundtable is able to endorse up to two sessions for inclusion in the SAA 2014 program, which is perhaps not the major consideration for acceptance but never hurts! Last year, both of the sessions we endorsed were accepted by the program committee (though in fairness, both were really good proposals on their own merits)! We’ll send out reminders on both A&A and the listserv, but we’re currently looking at a date of October 4, 2013 as the deadline to submit proposals for potential endorsement.
In addition to formal endorsement, we want to encourage as many of our members as possible to develop and submit records management proposals, since we want to really push the importance of records management to our archives colleagues. We appear to be making some progress with this (at least one records management session this year was apparently standing-room only!), but we can always do more, especially since SAA is already considering making Records Management a formal Annual Meeting track. Let’s give them more reason to do so! If you have an idea for a session or presentation but don’t know where to start, put something on the RMRT listserv or email the steering committee; we may be able to help you find some appropriate panelists. (And now this song is in my head…)
Thanks in advance for your feedback/proposals/ideas. Looking forward to a great 2013-2014!