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”

RMRT Annual Meeting Roundup, ft. @rlayel!

Hi all,

With SAA’s annual meeting a bit more than a week away, we here at The Schedule thought the time was ripe to post some of the things you’ll want to know about if you’re going to be attending the RMRT meeting in New Orleans.

First of all, if you haven’t yet checked out the new SAA Scheduler app, you really should– the interface is much more intuitive and fluid than it has been in the past, and you can create your personalized conference schedule by “starring” events you’ll be attending. You can also see who else is going to be at a given session, which is nice if you’re looking to meet up with people. The link to the RMRT meeting on Friday, August 16 is here.

Now. Having said that? The information about the presentation at that link is not quite right, due to a few communication errors. Luckily, we have an updated blurb for you all straight from Ron Layel, who will be talking about his work all over the federal government. Better yet, unlike the SAA program template, he has more than 50 words in which to describe it! Take it away, Ron:

This presentation summarizes current thinking and future prospects for the programs and practices of archiving electronic records by federal government agencies. It discusses and seeks to clarify the meaning of “archiving”, as used by government Records/Information Management (RIM) professionals, and as distinguished from how the term is used by IT managers and practitioners. Also discussed and analyzed are the overarching goals of the November, 2011 Presidential Memorandum and last year’s new NARA/OMB Directive, “Managing Federal Records”, as it relates to significant reforms being made in how federal agency RIM programs will update policies and practices for proper capture and life-cycle management of all government electronic records. Focus will be on how these reformed RIM programs will enhance openness/accountability of government by making records more easily accessible to the public, and on how federal records having long-term/permanent historical value will be digitally “archived” to ensure preservation and accessibility for future generations.

Responses to the Presidential Memorandum, the NARA directive stemming from it, government transparency, and digital archives? Sounds good to me! Particularly if you were at last year’s joint session with the Government Records Section on the Presidential Records Memorandum, this should be a good opportunity to hear about how some agencies are working to put it into practice.

Also at the meeting, we will be voting to confirm (or confirm the nomination) of some potential new steering committee members. As noted in my email last week, we’re recruiting some additional nominees to round out the Steering Committee, and hopefully to add some breadth to the types and sizes of the covered institutions. Here, I’m going to quote myself from an email I answered about the time and nature of the commitment:

Generally, your time commitment is no more than about 2-4 hours a month. We have one 45-60 minute teleconference each month with the whole steering committee, and then similar time commitments working with the various subcommittees (Education, ARMA Outreach, Student Outreach, Resources, etc.) that each SC member is responsible for. There’ll be bursts of activity– for example, we’re putting together a webinar for SAA, which takes a lot of time to write outlines, powerpoints, etc.– but mostly the committment is pretty minimal.

The biggest thing about the RMRT Steering Committee is that we are traditionally very democratic– there are a few projects we try to set in motion at the beginning of the term, but other than that we’re very open to suggestions about new directions in which we can take the activities of the roundtable. The downside to this, of course, is that it’s very easy for us to run in place without guidance on some of these initiatives. So if you’re interested in the Steering Committee, it is a big help if you come in with some idea of what it is you want to focus on for RMRT– we can then work within the committee to see if we can make that idea a reality.

Joining the steering committee is a great, low-impact way to get involved with SAA leadership– we have a number of steering committee alumni who have gone on to chair other sections, roundtables, and other SAA component groups– and to help promote the records management field within the SAA framework. If you’re interested, or if you just want more info, please send me an email. we’ll be taking self-nominations up to August 15, so there’s still lots of time to decide.

Last, but not least, the RMRT will be holding a short happy hour get-together for its members the evening of Thursday, August 15, after the last session but before the alumni mixer. We don’t have a place in mind yet, but we’ll be looking for someplace with food so if people want to eat dinner or get a pre-mixer snack, the option is there. Watch this space for the official announcement of venue. Suggestions are both welcome and appreciated.

We look forward to seeing you in New Orleans!


Meet the RMRT Steering Committee: Kris Lathrop

Hello! My name is Kris Lathrop and I am the Archivist/Records Manager for Thorndale Farm LLC, a privately held single family office in Millbrook, New York. I have been a member of the Steering Committee since spring 2012 and am also a member of the ARMA Metro New York Chapter.

When I started at Thorndale in 2008 we were located in Chicago, IL and the company had no records or archives management program in place so I’ve built and implemented our program from scratch. My duties include electronically filing our day to day records as well as going through a backlog of documents to decide how and where they should be kept. I’m a Lone Arranger, so I also do all of the scanning, filing and box moving!

I have a B.A. in Art History from Northern Illinois University, where my concentration was early medieval material culture and I recently began the Masters of Archives and Records Administration program at San Jose State University to fill in some of the gaps of learning records management on the job.  On the personal side, I love to read, bike, do needlepoint and watch the Chicago Blackhawks *insert sad face here*. I also volunteer with Operation Paperback, an organization that sends books to our troops stationed overseas.

As a steering committee member I am on the education committee with Alexis and am the Roundtable’s ARMA Liaison. My goal as liaison is to let you know of any ARMA events or seminars that may be helpful to you, and to answer (or find the answer to) any questions you may have about ARMA. If you have any questions, or need info please feel free to contact me or post here or on the listserv… we are here to help you!

Meet the RMRT Steering Committee: Beth Cron

Hi, my name is Beth Cron and I have been a member of the RMRT steering committee since September 2011. I am currently heading up the group to develop and complete a functional thesaurus for use by records managers to aid in the classification of records. If you are interested in joining us, let me know!

Cron Headshot

I work at the National Archives and Records Administration on records management policy within the Office of the Chief Records Officer. I am located in Ann Arbor, MI at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, but I have colleagues all around the country. My team has produced guidance on social media records, cloud computing, and email archiving applications.

I graduated from the School of Information at the University of Michigan in 2008 and I specialized in Archives and Records Management. While in graduate school, I worked at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and served on the board for the SAA Student Chapter.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the annual meeting in New Orleans. I do look forward to getting to know more members virtually!

Beth  @bethcron