My Experience at the NAGARA 2017 Spring Regional Forum
When I heard that NAGARA was hosting their Spring Regional Forum in Columbus, Ohio, I was excited and signed right up. I had recently rejoined NAGARA after several years away with the hopes of attending last year’s Annual Meeting in Lansing, Michigan. While that did not pan out for me, the quality of the NAGARA webinars I’ve enjoyed since then justified my rejoining. The Annual Conference in Boise, Idaho, this year is too far away for me to attend, so the announcement from NAGARA that they were bringing their Spring Regional Forum someplace within driving distance to me seemed like the opportunity to gain some of the education I would be missing in Boise. Plus, the price was right and meeting looked great.
I had a great time at the Forum! I will admit that at first glance, a couple of the program offerings seemed like they might be way over my head. As County Records & Information Manager at the Montgomery County Records Center & Archives in Dayton, Ohio, I rarely have the opportunity to work with data analysis or SharePoint. However, I decided to listen to these sessions with an open mind. After enjoying a wonderful breakfast at the buffet (great spread!), the sessions began and I was pleasantly surprised that the speakers, while knowledgeable, introduced their subjects in a way even I could understand! I learned a great deal about information governance subjects that will help me down the road as these new records management techniques move from the business world into local government. I even walked away with a few new words of jargon that I can deploy at my next meeting with IT. I hope to dazzle them with “R.O.T.,” “Cost of Ownership,” and “Technology Wand.”
The other sessions dealt with problems I have every day on the job, such as what to do with e-mail (will we ever figure it out?), how to make your voice heard, and what records are confidential or not. I was so glad to hear these issues addressed. While listening to a webinar on these subjects can be beneficial, being in person at a meeting with others who nod knowingly when you talk about similar problems rather than stare at you in bewilderment was really refreshing and encouraging. I was grateful to be in the same room learning with other people in the same boat as me rowing against the same tides.
Thank you NAGARA for bringing the Spring Regional Forum to Ohio! I’ve recently attended events and webinars hosted by other organizations that were like living death to me, but your events are consistently lively, interesting and educational. I’m glad I went and hope all members have the opportunity to attend a seasonal Regional Forum near them in the future.
|| Tina Ratcliff
County Records & Information Manager
Montgomery County Records Center & Archives (Dayton, Ohio)