This morning, a promotional email from ARMA came through my inbox, informing me of a Foundations of Information Governance seminar that is passing by me in a few months. Said seminar is explicitly aimed at newer records professionals, so as a 6-year veteran I’m probably past it already, but it looked comprehensive enough that I thought it was worth exploring/tweeting out to my followers. Then I saw the price of the seminar. Hmm. Maybe not. At least I wouldn’t have to pay for a hotel on top of it?
I’ve spent time elsewhere talking about problems I see with ARMA International’s pricing structure, so I won’t address that at length here. It does give me a useful point for a segue, though: where can Archivists/RMs, especially newer ones, go for professional development that won’t break the bank? Well, eventually, we want the RMRT to be able to provide additional low-cost or no-cost resources, but in the meantime, one answer is still in the ARMA domain, but at a different level. ARMA’s local and regional chapters have a long tradition of providing development activities dealing with local records management issues and concerns, in addition to being a great way to build relationships with your local RM communities. Most chapters still charge some sort of fee to attend their programs, but they are significantly lower than the ones charged by the parent organization– think $30 rather than $300. Especially if you’re just starting out in Records Management, attending local ARMA events is a great way to get the maximum professional development bang for your buck.
Don’t take my word for it, though! I have been spending some time going through some of the ARMA locals’ websites and soliciting information from some of the locals’ officers, and present here a sampler of some of the cool things the local chapters have to offer. If you don’t see your own local here, it’s worth your time to check out the Local/Regional main page (linked above) and make a connection with that group. Without further ado, and in no particular order:
Richmond-ARMA Chapter: A pretty typical array of activities (with, importantly, links to slide decks to a number of them), the exciting thing the Richmond chapter is doing in the near future is offering an all-day CRM Prep workshop for about half the price ($125) of the workshops held in conjunction with the national meeting. If you aren’t familiar with the Certified Records Manager exam, I can tell you that it is both extensive and demanding (and incidentally held in high regard in the RM community), so having relatively low-cost access to intensive prep is extremely valuable.
ARMA-NOVA (Northern Virginia): Yep, it’s another Virginia chapter– these are the people who wrote in to me!– but one with an *extensive* archive of past program slide decks and lots of useful links. Their next seminar will be Wednesday, February 5, with speaker Don Lueders on Next Generation Records Management. If that’s too short-notice for you, they also will hold a seminar on the same theme on February 28 at the Arlington Campus of George Mason University. See their website for more info.
ARMA-Kansas Capital: A newish chapter without a web presence yet, but not letting that stop them plan some interesting activities this year. I’ll quote the email I received from Jeni Sweatt: “our local Kansas Capital Chapter of ARMA International is planning a Spring Seminar for April 8, 2014 at the Ramada Inn Grand Ballroom, 420 SE 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS 66607; we will post registration information on the list serve pretty soon; thus far, our topics include Data Hoarding, CRM/IG Certification, Mock Deposition and Cell Phone Forensics Investigations. We expect our registration costs will be between $75 and $100, depending on ARMA membership status. Anyone interested in additional information can contact me at 785-559-7227 or via email at email@example.com.”
ARMA-Greater Cincinnati: In addition to their regular suite of professional development programs (at the lowest price I’ve seen for non-members– only $20!), the Greater Cincinnati chapter is notable for having a lending library of RM textbooks, monographs, articles, and recordings of national ARMA conferences (which is *really* a money-saver). Unfortunately, you have to be a member of the chapter to use the library, but lots of other locals have similar programs (The Chicago Chapter’s lending library will MAIL you resources if you’re a member in good standing.) A very cool perk of membership.
ARMA-Oregon: Arch/RM hybrids in the Pacific Northwest, you’re not being neglected! ARMA-Oregon (Based out of Portland) is but one of the many ARMA chapters in the region, and they also maintain a lending library (man, I have to convince my own local to get on doing this!). I highlight them here because their next seminar is entitled “Two of hearts: Advancing archives and records management “e-harmony”. Relevant seminar topic is relevant.
ARMA Connecticut:This New England chapter has its own Twitter feed! (A trend that I hope picks up on its example). In addition to that, I’m pointing out this chapter because of their extensive Newsletter Archives (a good window into what NE records managers have been concerned with over the years) and because they’re having William Saffady (of ubiquitous RM textbook fame) speak at their April meeting. Neat! (Obviously if you’re in the area the ARMA-NYC chapter is also worth your time, but you already knew that.)
ARMA-Mile High Denver: Lest I be accused of ignoring the flyover states, this Colorado chapter’s website is extensive, with links to past events/presentations, some relevant new upcoming events (the March 18 event is about eDiscovery and Social Media), and a career board that stacks up favorably against many, many sparser ones on other chapter sites. (I am also curious about what “Denver Dollars” are!)
If you didn’t see your chapter here and would like to, please comment or send a member of the steering committee an email– we would love to be able to highlight additional good resources for our members to use to further their RM education.
One last note– don’t feel like your own local is the only one you can attend! Even though I’m in Milwaukee, I’ve had a lot of luck with programming from chapters in Madison, Northern Illinois, and Chicago as well. The point is to find programs that speak to what you’re doing– and if you can expand your network of RM people to call on for help/advice, that’s a bonus.