Her is our second post in the Resourceful Records Managers series!
If you are interested in sharing your journey as a Records Manager please contact me at jgd1(at)williams(dot)edu.
Institution and Job Title:
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC). Vice-President, Records Management.
1. What led you to choose your current career in Records Management?
I didn’t really choose Records and Information Management (RIM), I drifted into it. My academic degree is in archaeology and art history. I ended up working in micrographics, one of the leading edge technologies of the 1970s and 1980s. In the early 1990s, almost by accident, I took on a new technology challenge: organisation-wide deployment and support of personal computer systems (whilst still working in micrographics). That’s when the drift to RIM began, as large-scale programs in both micrographics and computer systems accumulated vast quantities of records. I had been a member of micrographics and photographic professional societies since the late 1970s, so now I joined ARMA and, eventually, the IEEE Computer Society, and thus began the trek to RIM.
2. What is your educational background?
I have a “licence ès lettres” (the equivalent of a BA) in Classical and Gallo-Roman Archaeology and Medieval Art History from the University of Dijon (France). I began coursework for an MLS at Columbia University in the early 1980s, but moved to West Germany before i completed the degree program.
3. What is your role at your institution?
I preside over the 4 full-time staff of the RM Department, which means I try to give them what they need and then get out of their way.
4. What do you enjoy most about your job?
“Satisfied customers” but, really, watching my staff thrill NYCEDC with their sleuthing work. They are truly amazing!
5. What would you consider to be your career highlight or greatest success?
Bringing together people who share common needs, in any profession.
6. What type of institutional settings have you worked in? Corporate? Government? Higher education? If more than one, how do they differ?
Primarily government and quasi-governmental, but also academic (teaching). RIM in government is often an exercise in frustration, but can also be tremendously effective when it works. Teaching is really a two-way street: the teacher learns as much as she/he teaches.
7. What advice would you give to an individual considering Records Management as a career?
RIM is always about people and institutions. And no educational, working or life experience is EVER wasted; learn to use them all.
8. Do you belong to any professional organizations (SAA, ARMA…)
ARMA, ART, IEEE Computer Society, IS&T, and SAA.
9. Thoughts on the future of records management?
Whether you call it RIM or Information Governance, it has a HUGE future (and a decently-paid one, at that). And it’s FUN!
10. What do you perceive as the biggest challenges in the Records Management field?
Convincing Executive Management and IT that it’s about more than shuffling boxes of paper…..
11. Besides focusing on work, what are some of your other interests or hobbies?
I have an amazing (2E) son and a wonderful wife who is a freelance classical musician. All three of us love reading (HUGE book collection!). Watching interesting movies (recently: “The Queen of Katwe” and “Arrival”).
12. Do you have a quote you live by?
“Who will watch the guards?” (“quis custodiet ipsos custodes” Juvenal, Satires 6.347-48)