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I would like to get the communities opinion on something I have come across 
lately. 

As an employee in a sales and consultation role, it is my job to drum up new 
business. I prefer to network rather than cold call, so my approach is to join 
or sponser associations in different industries. 

Recently I joined an association relating to Water and Sewer Districts. While 
exhibiting at a recent tradeshow I was taken by surprise by what some folks 
were telling me in regards to permanent retention. The members relayed to me 
that the State Archivist still requires all permanent records to be submitted to 
the state in a microfiche form. The argument being that in a worst case 
scenario, "we can alway use a flashlight and magnifying lens." I was a little 
shocked because we typically think of microfiche as a dead medium and you 
are lucky if you can find a machine to read them. Most of the calls I receive in 
regards to microfiche, is how to get the records off of the film and into more 
relevant forms such as PDF files, or TIFF images. Needless to say I was even 
more surprised when more and more members relayed the same information. 

How does your organization tackle permanent retention records, and is 
microfiche still a preferred medium in the private sector? Can anyone on the 
state level provide some input? 

My goal is not to imply the state is doing something wrong, but to get some 
other's perspective on the practice of continuing to use microfiche for 
permanent retenion. I'll be the first to admit, I may be out of the loop on this 
one. 

Nick Naubert
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Seattle, WA

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