Latest Edition of SAA’s The Records Manager newsletter, Winter 2016 issue is published

Dear RMRT Members:

Here are the Highlights from the Winter 2016 issue of The Records Managernewsletter of the SAA Records Management Roundtable:

  • In the Winter 2016 issue, Bethany Cron talks about the Next Virtual Hangout: Processing Capstone Email Using Predictive Coding on March 3.
  • Brad Houston also covers how to  desensationalize Public Records reporting
  • Hillary Gatlin reaches out through a Records Management Program.
  • A new series about managing Patients’ Health Records is introduced and explained by a Patients’ Health Records Manager.

One Year In: Reflections on the First Year as Records Manager

I have had a foot in the archives world for some time, but I’ve only recently stepped into the world of records management. Like many of us, I have a dual title job – “Digital Archivist/Records Manager.” I started my position just over a year ago. My university’s records management program has been around for a long time, but the digital archives part is new, and a large part of my position is determining how we’ll manage born-digital archives. A frequent challenge I’ve found since arriving at my position is educating university offices to make the mental leap from thinking of their paper records as “potentially archival” to thinking the same thing of their electronic records. People are pretty good about calling us up when they’re performing a physical records cleanup (often triggered by a facility move or running out of space) to archive records as instructed on their retention schedule. However, our decentralized university environment means we have fewer triggers to encourage people to voluntarily cleanup (and subsequently transfer) electronic records.

This is the first position I’ve had in which I’ve had significant records management duties. Because I’m still learning so much about general records management practice, this has given me a lot of insight on how to effectively communicate similar messages to the people I work with and educate. In my first year, I’ve conducted several campus training workshops, and what I’ve realized is that the majority of people want to maintain their records according to our program guidelines. What becomes difficult is university staff workload often prevents people from having adequate time to tackle their records challenges. Because implementing any type of EDRMS is so unlikely I can barely entertain the thought of it, I have embraced the message of telling people that they can send me a calendar invitation any time for any reason if they feel stuck and don’t know where to start.

This means that most of my meetings are for things like record cleanups and retention schedule revisions. But it also means that I have received interesting requests, like reviewing an RFP draft for a new asset management system. Like Christie, I have found success in framing my offer of help as something other than “records management.” If people leave my workshops and the only thing they remember is there’s someone out there to call for assistance, I consider that a successful outcome.

Since I started, I have had several meetings a month with many different colleges and departments across the university’s campuses. Not only does it mean I have a better sense of the recordkeeping landscape of our university, but it allows me to build relationships and create connections that improve my larger understanding of the community and how to operate in it. In a decentralized university, the biggest challenge of all is figuring out who to talk to about any given matter. Job titles and org charts give you a starting point, but rarely tell you who the most responsive person is when you need an answer. Thanks to my frequently full calendar, I am embarking on my second year with a much broader set of personal connections and ideas to tackle the challenges I began to face in the first year.

The Records Manager Newsletter Fall issue is Ready for your Reading Pleasure….

Dear RMRT Members:
You can retrieve the current issue of the newsletter at
Here are the Highlights from the Fall 2014 issue of The Records Manager, newsletter of the SAA Records Management Roundtable:

In this issue, our chair, Beth Cron discusses how RMRT will help the members through Google Hangouts and other projects centered around records management topics.

Our new RMRT Steering Committee Members share their Long-Term and Short-Term goals during their term.

Jennifer Mundy, one of our RMRT Steering Committee members, announces the new format that the RMRT membership has voted on for the RMRT newsletter, The Records Manager.

Enjoy the Fall 2014 issue of The Records Manager.

Please remember that the RMRT website can be found at

The newsletter archives can be found at

Lorette Weldon

Newsletter Editor, The Records Manager (

Getting to know the RMRT – Virtual Hangout – November 7

Join SAA’s Records Management Roundtable for the first installment of the year of RMRT’s Virtual Hangout series, airing Friday, November 7, 214 at 3:00PM EST (12:00PM PST).
The RMRT Steering Committee Members will introduce themselves, talk a bit about their work, and answer your questions. We also want to hear about your work, any challenges you face, and your lessons learned. This will be an opportunity to actually hang out and get to know each other a bit better!
The session will be broadcast live via the RMRT’s YouTube channel. We’ll also update post an update here with links to the archived YouTube video. If you have any questions or topics you would like us to discuss, you can post them here. View past Hangouts here.
I hope you will be able to join us!

Service Accounts for Email Retention

Email. By this point, everyone knows that email can be a record and that it should be classified, scheduled, and ultimately retained or destroyed like any other record. However, despite everybody knowing this, almost nobody has come up with a rigorous yet realistic way of doing it that works in the real world with real people.

In my current environment, we’re slowly moving from a culture in which no email was systematically retained (other than for legal holds) to one in which email’s potential administrative and historical value is recognized, and in which some systematic retention is starting. To accomplish that, we’re using a strategy similar to NARA’s capstone approach, in which the accounts of key individuals are, by definition, held to contain historically valuable material worthy of permanent retention. To supplement that record, though, I’ve also started pursuing another technique with select offices and groups: the creative use of service email accounts.

Continue reading “Service Accounts for Email Retention”

PUBLISHED: Spring 2014 Issue of newsletter, The Records Manager, is now Published!

Dear RMRT Members:

Here are the Highlights from the Spring 2014 issue of The Records Manager, newsletter of the SAA Records Management Roundtable:
In this issue, our chair, Brad Houston, discusses how RMRT will have a Records Management Webinar on October 7, 2014  in the Chair’s Message.  He also reminds members that  August 15, 2015 will be RMRT’s Annual Meeting Unconference.

One of our Steering Committee Members, Meg Tuomala, reports on the RMRT’s virtual discussion about the National Archives and Records Administration’s Capstone Email Initiative.

Jennifer Hoover, one of our members, discusses her graduate research on records management of electronic health records in small, rural healthcare practices.

Our Vice-Chair, Beth Cron, calls for volunteers to work in the Functional Thesaurus.  They will be creating an electronic thesaurus for use in functional classification.

Finally, another one of our members, Lauren White, discusses Purdue University’s Records Project.
Enjoy the Spring  2014 issue of The Records Manager.

You can retrieve the current issue of the newsletter at

Please remember that the RMRT website can be found at

The newsletter archives can be found at

Would you like to contribute a paper, story, or event to the newsletter? Please go to this link and submit:


Lorette S.J. Weldon, The Records Manager Newsletter Editor

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Welcome to Wine Dance County (

Newsletter Editor, The Records Manager (

Letting Go of Comprehensiveness

When I interviewed for my current position of Records Management Archivist about 16 months ago, I was asked to present my vision for a records management program in a “modern university.” Although I stand by that vision and believe we are making good progress toward most of the ideals I enumerated in that presentation, there is one that leaps out to me today as particularly naïve:

“Records management services are integrated into and actively support the operations of all records-producing offices, departments and groups.”

Through this characteristic, I was attempting to encompass both the ideal of comprehensiveness and the value of records management to the daily activities of the campus. It is the former of these, comprehensiveness, which now feels the least realistic of all my stated goals. In fact, I would go so far as to say that I have nearly abandoned it in favor of a strategically limited approach that, while it makes sense for my context, I have struggled to find support or guidance for in the records management literature. Continue reading “Letting Go of Comprehensiveness”