Session 26 - Discover Your Potential: Implementing Records Management and Archival Programs from Scratch

Two case studies will be presented during this session:

The first Case Study, from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, will walk session participants through how the presenter's office was trasnsformed from having multiple rooms of unlabeled boxes and zero management to constructing a sleek storage room with a library-grade organization scheme and corresponding records database. The presenter will discuss how they used archival and library methods to boost their records management program.  The strategies they will go through include: taking a records survey, creating an inventory process, building/implementing a records database, creating an accessioning process, designing an appropriate records storage room, designing a records organization scheme, creating a workflow to monitor retention, and utilizing tools and technologies to boost your records management program.

 Using similar steps, the second Case Study, from the City of Huntington Beach Archives, will describe transforming a massive amount of unlabeled, disorganized material discovered in basements and buildings throughout the city (including an abandoned facility one step ahead of the wrecking ball) into an organized, accessible and popular archive. Beyond paper or documents, the presenter discovered invaluable architectural drawings, hundreds of photographs and negatives, and thousands of tapes. They will share how they reached out and received help and advice on handling these materials.

 Finally, discovering what we don’t have – material about the lives and contributions of women, people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community – have led to an innovative accessioning and outreach plan. We hope to help improve other member’s records management and archival programs by providing step-by-step processes and innovative ideas to help accomplish this. We want to inspire the audience to design and tackle big projects that will innovate their programs and to advocate for records management. We will involve the audience by providing policies, checklists, learning materials, and other resources to take home and use in their own offices.

 This session will be particularly helpful for professionals who are new to records management or archives, are transitioning from archives to records management, are seeking a better understanding of the relationship between RM and archives, and those who have inherited a dysfunctional system in their job.

 This session will provide members with practical strategies and resources for designing and implementing a records management or archives program. We will provide step-by-step processes and resources they can use to be successful.

 Target Audiences: Federal, Local

 Focus Areas: Archives, Records Management

 Presenters: Christine Zielinski, Records and Information Management Specialist, FEMA, and Kathie Schey, City Archivist, City of Huntington Beach