Our library needs to design and cost an electronic/ digital archive/records
management program for our union and we are asking the list for help. Here
are a few very basic facts.
We are a staff of two librarians. Our library uses SIRSI software for our
catalog. My colleague had experience in a records management file room about
twelve years ago. Several years ago we attempted a similar electronic
project using AskSam software. The project required filing uniformity from
the source offices. Most often records did not originate in the required
form which compromised the project.
Our new president has given us the task of 'digitizing' the records for our
union. He wants papers, correspondence and other documents generated by
respective offices in the union 'digitized.' He wants to be able to find
documents in 'digitized' form immediately. His vision is to provide more
efficient storage, retrieval and search systems for the union's documents
thus eliminating most file cabinets.
We want to design a new program that will fulfill the mandated requirements
and meet the needs of the union. Our union needs to manage and archive our
contemporary and historical document records. Hiring a professional
archivist or record manager would be ideal, but since we have a hiring
freeze, we must do the job. We are appealing to other information
professionals for advice.
We envision his mandate as an archives/records management project. We plan
to contact ARMA and visit several facilities in our area to discuss our
objectives with the professionals. We have two books by Skupsky on record
retention procedures (1990). What other publications would you recommend?
How should we continue? What software should we use?
This project may be a challenging for librarians, but given the opportunity
to design and initiate a new program is exciting. We will appreciate any
help from the list.
Evelyn E. Johnson
American Postal Workers Union
Library Information Center
1300 L St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
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