Watch Wednesday Hangout on ePADD for Email Archives

Please join the Society of American Archivists’ Records Management Roundtable (RMRT) for the next installment of RMRT’s Virtual Hangout series, airing Wednesday, May 4 at 10:00AM PDT (1:00PM EDT).

Join the project team from ePADD as they talk about their open source and freely downloadable software that harnesses machine learning, including natural language processing and named entity recognition, to support the appraisal, processing, discovery, and delivery of email archives.

As always, we’ll be accepting questions for our speakers from you. If you have a question or topic for discussion please leave it as a comment on this post or use the #saarmrt hashtag on Twitter. 

Watch the ePADD for Email Archives broadcast live here. We’ll also update the blog with links to the archived YouTube video.


A (probably doomed) attempt to desensationalize Public Records reporting

So, I suspect that Journalists on a political beat pay more attention to potential changes in public records law than is warranted by public interest in the topic. This is not altogether surprising– Freedom of Information-like acts have a direct impact on journalists’ ability to do their jobs properly by collecting key information about the actions of state government and bureaucracy. Because of this impact on their livelihoods, however, stories about potential restrictions to public records access tend to be… um… a bit overexcited. We saw this on this very blog a few years ago with the Franklin County Brouhaha, and now we’re seeing it again closer to my own home with some stories about a change to retention schedules in Wisconsin.

On the one hand, great! Happy to see Public Records Law and retention scheduling in the news. On the other hand, both of these stories get a lot wrong about what is really going on in this situation. If only there were someone on a group blog who was informed about how Records Retention and Disposition worked in the State of Wisconsin…Hmm… Well, if there is such information I bet it’s past the jump.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am technically an employee of the State of Wisconsin, and while the schedule mentioned in these stories does not apply to UW, I do work with the Public Records Board to approve our local schedules. Because of that position I am also not going to comment on the political implications of these retention changes. (Much.)

Continue reading “A (probably doomed) attempt to desensationalize Public Records reporting”

RMRT Meeting Agenda at SAA 2015 – Please attend!

Please join the Records Management Roundtable at SAA 2015 for a series of lightning talks on various records management topics. We have a great lineup and look forward to having good discussions. The meeting will be held Friday, August 21 from 4:30 – 6:00pm in the Grand Ballroom A at the Cleveland Convention Center. If you can’t attend follow along with #rmrt #saa15.

For the agenda, we will have a brief business meeting with announcements followed by these lightning talks:

  Speaker Topic
1 Anthony Cocciolo, Ed.D.
Associate Professor
Pratt Institute, School of Information and Library Science
A study that explores options for expediting the appraisal of email records for permanent retention, using a New York art museum as a case.
2 Sarah R. Demb
Senior Records Manager/Archivist
Harvard University Archives
Records management as a tool for risk mitigation that can be embedded into university governance structures.
3 Lori Ashley
Principal Consultant
Tournesol Consulting
How to better leverage the appraisal and records scheduling process to advance active preservation while records remain in the custody/control of the records producers.  
4 Sarah Wagner
Historical designation on Corporate Records Retention Schedule: Amway’s process of ‘purging’ to the Archives
5 Janice Schulz
Records Manager
Omya Inc.
The records manager’s role in legal discovery. How to leverage your knowledge to increase your visibility and value
6 Josh Schneider
Assistant University Archivist
Stanford University
ePADD as a tool to appraise, process, and provide rich access to email archives
7 Jessica Williams
Utilities Records & Info Management Coordinator
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Hiring student work – job descriptions for graduate assistants, undergrad/graduate hourlies, expectations for those roles, etc.
8 Christine Schmid Engels  
Archives Manager
Cincinnati Museum Center
How do you fit in records management when you’re also running an archive of other historical material, doing exhibits, working at the reference desk, etc. Or address administrative support or the lack thereof.
9 Arian Ravanbakhsh
Office of the Chief Records Officer
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
2016 or Bust: Updates on Federal Records Management

Step 1 to Information Literacy

When I was new to the library world, I learned how to do “reference service work”. The library customer would walk through the doors and ask for a subject. Whether it was too broad or too narrow in focus, it was my job to find the answer. I noticed every day that the people whoReference Service Work were asking the questions were the same people every day. Repeat business meant you were doing the job right but something was missing. Even though I found the answers, the sources that the customers were looking for, the researching model seemed one-sided. The repeat business was not learning how to remain information literate. The customers were just learning how to ask me questions.

I started to notice that what I was telling them started to form a record based on what each customer had asked for over the days and weeks. The customer records kept building with relationships to sources in the library collection. The records of customers started to help me create record connections to each type of source. The record relationships showed the customers’ library usage habits. Those habits started to mirror a learning method that was discussed in Bringing Out the Best: A Guide for Parents of Young Gifted Children. In one section of the book, Saunders and Espeland correlate information literacy to talking, tinkering, and traveling—“The Three T’s”.

Even though this book was primarily stressing a bond between parent and child, I realized that it could also define the bond between librarian and customer. Each customer that I had helped, I had talked (discussed) with them about the problem that they had. I offered some insight into sources that could possibly help them. I showed them how to use the library catalog database in the library and also how they could continue their searching from their own homes or businesses.

The customTalkingers were performing another “T” called “tinkering”. The “tinkering” aspect of information literacy allowed the customer to expand upon my discussion via a training exercise on the library catalog database. The customer then was left to “tinker” on their own.

Sometimes what the customers found would prompt them to travel, the third “T” of The Three T’s method, to other sources, whether it was a source in the library collection in another branch orTravel names of contacts, they were willing to “travel” to get more information on their problems. They would e-mail me when a source was found to not be helpful or when the source had led to another source. Our interactions continued to go to my reference service work records.

I continued this process throughout my management of the following collections and archives: disability issues; health sciences; transportation services; business solutions; higher education governance issues; higher education course lesson-plans. All of these experiences have helped me in my current position.

Today, I have built upon The Three T’s to not only include reference service work record relationships but also lesson-planning records in higher education. As a college professor, I must also instill the learning method of The Three T’s in my students. The Three T’s allows not only librarians and records managers to be on the same researching page of their customers but allows teachers to be on the same page with their students. This is a much needed occurrence which promotes information literacy in another educational setting—the college classroom.

Stay Tuned for the next steps I experienced with information literacy through The Three T’s method.

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

Archiving Email: Two Innovative Projects Video Posted

Our most recent virtual Hangout, Archiving Email: Two Innovative Projects, is now available via the RMRT’s YouTube channel.

A special thank you to our participants from the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the Library of Virginia for volunteering to talk with us about these two projects. And of course to our moderators from both RMRT and ERS for leading such an interesting and inspiring discussion!

Archiving Email: RMRT, ERS join forces for next Virtual Hangout

Please join the Society of American Archivists’ Records Management Roundtable (RMRT) and Electronic Records Section (ERS) for Archiving Email: Two Innovative Projects the next installment of our Virtual Hangouts series, airing Thursday, April 10th at 1 pm EDT.

Lynda Schmitz Fuhrig, Electronic Records Archivist at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, and Ben Bromley, Roger Christman, and Susan Gray Page from the Library of Virginia will be discussing two innovative email preservation and access projects.

Schmitz Fuhrig will give an overview of The Collaborative Electronic Records Project (CERP), a collaboration with the Rockefeller Archive Center to develop, test, and share technology to preserve email.

Bromley, Christman, and Page will discuss The Kaine Email Archiving Project @ LVA, which focuses on processing the approximately 1.3 million email records received from the administration of Governor Timothy M. Kaine, and making the identified public records searchable and viewable to users.

We’ll start with an overview of both projects, and then dive into a moderated question and answer session.

As always, we’ll be accepting questions for our speakers from you. If you have a question or topic for discussion please leave it as a comment on this post.

Archiving Email will be broadcast live via the RMRT’s YouTube channel. We’ll also update The Schedule with links to the archived YouTube video.

View past Hangouts here.