We had a great conversation with folks last week about what has worked for them and what they need in the field of records and information management education. As is the case with most things in the RIM field, it depends — more specifically, what people need in a training/education sense depends on where they are professionally and what resources they have to devote to their own professional development.
Here are some interesting comments, suggestions, and evaluations that were shared:
- The content of most grad school RIM classes is too theoretical, so there’s a disconnect to RIM in practice.
- It would be great to see RIM systems demoed by practitioners instead of having to sit through vendor-supplied sessions that are more sales pitch than practical evaluation.
- Many existing training programs can be prohibitively expensive, especially for those new to the profession or without support for professional development.
- Some existing training programs are too superficial to be of much use while others are too rigid and go into topics in depth that may not be relevant to all participants. There needs to be a good in-between option.
- What’s the most effective way to allow emerging professionals to benefit from the expertise of more seasoned RIM professionals? Is it a formal mentoring program, or would something else work better?
Topics on which folks would like to see training opportunities:
- Creating/refining retention and disposition schedules
- Crossing over from traditional archives work into RIM
- Starting a new RIM program
- Conducting RIM outreach to colleagues and building alliances and mentoring relationships within the workplace
- Surveying records
- Developing RIM training for constituents and assessing its effectiveness
- Researching legal requirements for records (retention and confidentiality)
- Incorporating graduate assistants effectively into RIM work
- Advocating for the resources needed for RIM work
- Making RIM part of HR onboarding/offboarding
- Storage and carrying out paper/digital migrations
- Planning and carrying out a digitization initiative
Possible avenues to pursue:
- Our new case study series might help to bridge the gap between theory and practice. You can find the overview here. Be thinking about what experiences you can share that could benefit someone else in the profession.
- One suggestion was to have a Toastmasters sort of group that could get together to workshop training/workshops you plan to present to constituents. Let us know if you would be interested in participating in something like this.
- Now that more of us are conducting workshops virtually, should we try to publicize upcoming training events that could accommodate “guests” who might be interested in learning from another RIM colleague/seeing how they present similar content?
In the long run, taking a wide approach to answering this question about RIM education is probably the best. So expect to see everything from more coffee chats to webinars to new SAA courses — and maybe even a track or certificate program somewhere down the line.
As always, if you have thoughts or feedback, please feel free to reach out to the Steering Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.