How do you preserve a Park in a Library or Archives?

How could we preserve a park for future generations?  Actually, this discussion pertains to a person who has taken photos on a park, documenting a history of a park during specific time periods.   The end result is a book that contains a pictorial documentary of an amateur naturalist’s ten-year travel throughout Lake Artemesia.    Due to an increasingly large number of buildings being built, with the result of less natural areas being saved, deer and other wildlife have started to move into human neighborhoods.  What happened to their natural areas?  Ten years ago, an amateur naturalist started to walk in different parks around the Maryland area.  He pointed out wildlife and plant life that I would never have noticed if I were walking around the park while listening to my mp3 player as I would exercise.  He had shown me how to stimulate my mind with the life all around me. This amateur naturalist wanted to find ways to document information about the park through pictures in case it were destroyed due to floods and other natural/unnatural events.  After ten years walking through Lake Artemesia in Berwyn Heights, Maryland, Ulysses Weldon developed a four-step process to capture different aspects of a park (https://sites.google.com/site/lakeartemesiapark).  This process could be expanded upon to fit many other parks that we never would want to forget.

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Picture by Ulysses Weldon, Taken at Lake Artemesia, Berwyn Heights, MD

Continue reading “How do you preserve a Park in a Library or Archives?”

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Enter the Personal Health Records Librarian (when Managing Patients’ Records, Part 3)

In Part 1 of this discussion of Managing Patients’ Records, a mobile healthcare digital assistant was identified.  It could help patients to be more engaged with managing their medical issues.  In Part 2 of this discussion, the patient, Anne, was described.  Her healthcare was not managed well due to miscommunication or no communication.  It was not because she did not want to follow-up.  She did not know when and for what to follow-up on in her healthcare until it was almost too late.  In order for the patient to understand what is going on, there has to be true patient engagement.

Continue reading “Enter the Personal Health Records Librarian (when Managing Patients’ Records, Part 3)”

Location, Location, Location: Where Does Your RM Program Live?

A question was posted recently to a college and university listserv: Where does your records management program report? What is your program’s administrative location? While many of the responses indicated that records management programs were still located in university archives, as would be expected in a college and university environment, some programs now report to general counsel, information technology, and business services units.

The variety of responses raised this question for me: what is the “best” place to manage your records program and develop relationships with stakeholders? Where can your records management program grow, thrive, and be the most effective for your organization?

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How do you use ideas from other data repositories in the 21st Century?

Today, data repositories have been divided into at least three institutions.  They are museums, archives, and libraries.  J. Trant has defined these as “Museums most often have unique collections. Rarity and preciousness remain key to the attraction of their objects; it gives them their aura… Museum collections protect and reserve. Contrast this with public lending libraries, grounded in access and in public literacy.  Their goal is to make materials available; their collections are predominantly books, printed in many copies, inexpensively produced, often weeded regularly. Archives consist of items that are not generally intrinsically valuable but essential as evidence, especially in context.” (http://www.archimuse.com/papers/trantConvergence0908-final.pdf).

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Revisited Communication Problems through SharePoint

Introduction

How many of you are still feeling the growing pains of Microsoft SharePoint?  Is it a knowledge management application or a document management solution?  Can it get you fired at a moment’s notice by management because they have an inconceivable notion that SharePoint has artificial intelligence?  Out of the box (OOTB) there is no Watson here.  There is, however, a lot of confusion about what to do with this software called SharePoint.

SharePoint is an organizer for your intranet.  Assume, for the sake of argument, that it helps your workplace’s IT Department manage the file server and the communication channels to all of the departments.  Management defines what it will do for the workplace.  Those under management would define what their department’s SharePoint site would do for their department.  Depending on the governance structure of the SharePoint site, a business could have a clutter-free SharePoint portal with related departmental sites.

Question:  Why would I want to build a SharePoint site?

Answer:  OOTB, SharePoint, has great web parts.

Using SharePoint without Coding

SharePoint uses a technology of programming without coding. This would allow Non-IT librarians, who would not be familiar with database management, to be able to create a web part from within MS SharePoint that would not require any programming knowledge.   The end-user does not have to code to put a fully functional SharePoint site together.

The knowledge of how to do those things would not be the biggest link to success in SharePoint usage in the library. The biggest link would be the connection that the librarian would make with co-workers and project team members.
The Key to Using SharePoint
The key is embedding your organization’s library services into the regular workflow of projects and assignments without anyone noticing this action. It has to be a natural merging of research that would slowly link to other research that would need to be performed for a project. Eventually, it would branch out to a department which would lead to other related departments due to their assigned projects.

Another great reason is that the web parts allow each department to share their “know-how” about how to complete that task more efficiently or how to work software that does not have a manual.  It can also help you manage various file formats for documents and other artifacts from a project.

Bibliography

Weldon, L.S.J. (2012).  Librarians Using SharePoint.  Create Space, SC.  [Distributed through Amazon.com].

Weldon, L.S.J. (2011).  SharePoint without Coding, Volume 2.  Create Space, SC.  [Distributed through Amazon.com].

Weldon, L.S.J. (2010).  SharePoint without Coding.  Create Space, SC.  [Distributed through Amazon.com].

Editor’s Note – this article first published in Computer Savviness – and republished with the author’s permission.

SharePoint Information Literacy (A Sampling from the course, Microsoft SharePoint for Non-IT Users)

Your department has been given access to the new intranet based on the SharePoint platform.  Should you panic or relax?  Perhaps, do both but not enough to raise your blood pressure.  SharePoint is not the culprit for department clutter on the intranet.  Before you start making plans on moving your collection into your department’s SharePoint site, find out the following:  Point of contact for the SharePoint site; Metadata; Metadata structure; Type of permissions that  exist on the SharePoint site; Collection format.

Point of Contact  

Departments look to the Records Manager, Library Director, and Knowledge Manager, for example, to be the main person who will be instrumental in organizing the collection on their department’s SharePoint Site.  Unfortunately, many times it hardly goes to the next step and clutter begins to grow in the department’s site.

PointOfContact

The next step would require you to find out who created the basic SharePoint site for your department.  Who would the Records Manager, Library Director, or Knowledge Manager talk to about their department’s site? Hopefully, your organization already has a contact list for the many different facets of the SharePoint intranet.  Then, your job would be easy because you can go straight to that person on your SharePoint maintenance or structure contact list.  Even if you do not have a “contact list”, your contact will usually be found in IT.

If the contact is not in the IT department, you will have to trace how the SharePoint Intranet was created for your department.  Find out who the technicians, architects, or developers were of the intranet.

Metadata

Once you locate them, then you will need to get them to share how they have defined the metadata and if it meets with your department’s definition.  It is essential to understand how the records for your department will be organized.

Chances are that your metadata will not match with the enterprise metadata.  It depends how closely your collection has been identified with your organization.  Can you easily export your metadata in the record format from your integrated library system into the database (Oracle, SQL, MSDE,etc) used for SharePoint?  Will your records have to be changed to fit the new platform?  Can you just embed a web part to display your integrated library system to save you from a lot of grief?

Metadata

The best way to compare your organization’s metadata against your department’s metadata is to create an Excel Spreadsheet. This will help you not to duplicate any folder structures and avoid “other” folders of information that may clash.  Through the Excel Spreadsheet system, you will avoid adding or changing terms. This would allow uniformity from within your organization.  This will really avoid clutter.  Here is an example of the Excel method.

Metadata_ExcelStructure

The Excel method helped me match the organization’s subject areas with the library collection’s subject areas.  This could also work with records of the organization with matters related to HIPPA, HR; Legal; Management and Support; Projects.

Metadata_Code

Matching up the concepts into a code could help you further connect subject areas and data associated with it.

Permissions

The type of permission you have can help or hinder your progress into getting your library collection available to the organization’s staff.  In order to be able to do anything to your department’s site, you will have to find that point of contact for the intranet.  Ask for the site owner.  The site owner can assign permission levels (or called site groups before Windows SharePoint Services 3.0).   Take this chart to the site owner  and then you will be able to know whether you can do anything with your department’s SharePoint site or will IT have to do whatever you need completed for your department‘s record or library collection.

Default permission levels in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0

Permission Level Description
Full Control This permission level contains all permissions. Assigned to the Site name Owners SharePoint group, by default. This permission level cannot be customized or deleted.
Design Can create lists and document libraries, edit pages and apply themes, borders, and style sheets in the Web site. Not assigned to any SharePoint group, by default.
Contribute Can add, edit, and delete items in existing lists and document libraries. Assigned to the Site name Members SharePoint group, by default.
Read Read-only access to the Web site. Users and SharePoint groups with this permission level can view items and pages, open items, and documents. Assigned to the Site name Visitors SharePoint group, by default.
Limited Access The Limited Access permission level is designed to be combined with fine-grained permissions to give users access to a specific list, document library, item, or document, without giving them access to the entire site. However, to access a list or library, for example, a user must have permission to open the parent Web site and read shared data such as the theme and navigation bars of the Web site. The Limited Access permission level cannot be customized or deleted.

NOTE   You cannot assign this permission level to users or SharePoint groups. Instead, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 automatically assigns this permission level to users and SharePoint groups when you grant them access to an object on your site that requires that they have access to a higher level object on which they do not have permissions. For example, if you grant users access to an item in a list and they do not have access to the list itself, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 automatically grants them Limited Access on the list, and also the site, if needed.

https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Permission-levels-and-permissions-49d456eb-d3c8-4402-86b1-deb911224afb

Digital, Physical, Hybrid Collection

Once you know how much you can do with your department’s SharePoint site, then you will have to tackle how your collection will be represented in your organization.  Do they want your department to eliminate paper copies or can you have backups making your collection into a Hybrid collection of Physical paper and digital copies.

Each item will need to be identified by a unique identifier like a bar code.  That would help link the physical and the digital records.  SharePoint can help you track who has what record through workflows but if you will have to re-catalog your department’s collection, size and time will have to be considered for you helping your department to avoid the “clutter effect” in your department’s SharePoint site.

Conclusion

No matter how you look at it, in order to have a great information literate staff under your department’s subject of interest, you will need to plan and design policies, taxonomy, governance, imaging for your records. An audit will be required to make sure everything fits together.  You want to avoid the folder called “other”.  You want everyone to be able to know what is in the collection and how to access it.  Hopefully, to keep everyone SharePoint Information Literate, you can work with the “site owner” of the SharePoint site or the IT department to help you use the “Out of the Box” features that SharePoint provides before any customization is needed.

About the Author

Lorette Weldon is the teacher and creator of the online course, Microsoft SharePoint for Non-IT Users (Enroll today at  https://www.udemy.com/microsoft-sharepoint-for-non-it-users/?couponCode=XL04bc ).

Editor’s Note – this article first published in Computer Savviness – and republished with the author’s permission.

The Records Lifecycle: Moving Permanent Records from the Records Management Phase to the Archival Phase

For those of us working in a university or institutional archives setting records management is not just about risk management and efficiency, but also about documenting the history of our institution. This happens through the scheduling of records that have been appraised by archivists to have enduring historical value.

Examples of records that are often scheduled for permanent retention because of enduring historical value include annual reports, executive correspondence and memoranda, even photographs.

My own institution, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), has created a list of the most common types of permanent records found in our university’s departments and offices for quick reference. That list can be found here.

Take a moment to enjoy these digital photographs from December 2002, when an early winter storm encapsulated UNC in a layer of ice. You can easily see why an archives would want to acquire and preserve this type of material, and why archivists and records managers should work together to ensure that these types of records are scheduled as permanent and transferred to an archival repository.

 

[Digital photographs of ice storm, December 2002, in Medical Illustration and Photography of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Records #40307, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill]

And just to map this process to the records lifecycle, these photographs were (1) created by the Department of Medical Illustration and Photography in UNC’s School of Medicine, (2) maintained and used by that department until they had met their retention period, at which point they were (3) transferred to the University Archives at UNC, and then (4) accessioned into the archive’s holdings.

Then, they were (5) arranged and described by archivists and (6) ingested into the Carolina Digital Repository (CDR), UNC’s digital preservation repository. Today, we are able to (7) access them through the CDR and even share them through a blog like this!