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Subject: Re: Nitpicky Terminology Question
From: "Jones, Virginia" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Records Management Program <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 8 Jun 2005 08:00:59 -0400

text/plain (66 lines)

I've always known the term to be a Records Retention and Disposition
Schedule.  If the schedule contains retention data only (retain 3 years
after closure), then drop the "disposition."  If it contains both
retention and disposition data (retain 3 years after closure, then
destroy), then use both.  Unless there is specific disposition
instructions for ALL the records listed on the schedule (retain 3 years
after closure, then destroy by shredding or retain 5 years after case
closed, then return to client), including those assigned permanent
retention (permanent - retain in office 25 years then transfer to XYZ
Archives), then it would NOT be only a dispostion schedule.

Ginny Jones
(Virginia A. Jones, CRM)
Records Manager
Information Technology Division
Newport News Dept. of Public Utilities
Newport News, VA
[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Records Management Program [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On
Behalf Of Charis Wilson
Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2005 5:58 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Nitpicky Terminology Question

I'm posting this after a colleague and I recently had a discussion
regarding the appropriate terminology for retention schedule.

It has been proposed by this colleague's organization that they rename
their retention schedule and call it disposition schedule.  My argument
is that ultimately the purpose of the schedule is to tell the
organization how long to RETAIN records, hence it should be called a
retention schedule.  As I see it, any disposition instructions within
the schedule are a secondary function only.

I checked the glossary for the Society of American Archivists and for
the term disposition schedule it says, "see retention schedule."

I'm also concerned that by calling it disposition schedule non-records
management people may focus on the root word of "dispose" and think
records are disposable and therefore not that important.

I know it's probably a nitpicky semantic argument at best, but in the
words of the philosopher Herbert Spencer, "How often misused words
generate misleading thoughts."


P.S. Yes, I was an English major!!

Charis Wilson, MLS, CRM
Records Manager / FOIA Officer
National Park Service - DSC
Technical Information Center
PO Box 25287, Denver, CO   80225-0287

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