June 9 is International Archives day, celebrated annually all over the world but don’t take my word for it, click on International Council on Archives IAD Map.
The UWI Archives team jumped out of the blocks a little early but logistics dictated that International Archives Day (#IAD17) Do More with Records workshop would be scheduled for June 6 and 7. So we reached inward and engaged staff at the Regional Headquarters that create records for our institution, our secretarial staff.
University Registrar; C Will Iton, the principal custodian for all records of the University of the West Indies, was moved to contribute to the DO More with Records workshop and congratulated the move to focus inward. The participants were engaged and lively as they discussed the role of records management in their daily tasks. University Archivist Mrs Alexander-Gooding had her audience thinking on ways to update and improve their work flow as she shared a number of considerations and complimentary strategies. Her presentation invoked some serious queries and some were posted on the UWI Archives Facebook page during the ongoing session.
UWI Archives Do More with Records Workshop is in full flight. #IAD17
Participants ask some interesting questions:
Suzie: Is our university going paperless?
UA: Going paperless is inaccurate, we can reduce paper in certain instances but paper continues to be preferred for permanent records and record with legal standing
UWI Archives Do More Workshop heats up as Ms Rose-Parkes asks “What steps have UWI taken to safeguard our institution in light of the cyber security threats and breaches affecting other countries and institutions?
Kemar (CIO rep): Staff members are being educated on steps to manage data within their purview. Our CIO continues to manage the security of our network closely, and we ensure continued back up of electronic files for quick restoration.
Dr Cherri-Ann Beckles was the next presenter and her presentation drilled down into the various standards and processes involved in creating, managing and caring for records as well as disaster preparedness in day to day activities. Now I must apologize to Cherri Ann because in case that description sounds rather bland, the truth is actually in the tasting or lets just say her participants were spellbound. Many regularly remarked on how much they learnt and were eager for more.
Dr Beckles did not mince words when she revisited the question of a paperless system.
Dr Cherri-Ann Beckles presenting Active Records Management.
Dr Beckles insists Paperless systems cannot be supported without greater evidential proof that electronic records can stand the test of time. [She also reports that] Our earliest paper record is from the 1400s.
As part of the push to update the Management of Active Records both Dr Cherri-Ann Beckles and Mrs Sharon Alexander-Gooding reiterated for our participants that correspondence as records needed to be arranged in the order they were received with corresponding date stamp.
Dr Stanley Griffin focused on the life of the record, as it transitioned from active to archival preservation. Archival records are accessioned into the archives once once they have been appraised as having enduring value which simply put is long term value to the workings of the institution. He also reminded participants of the appropriate process and guidelines to access archival records
The Do More with Records workshop was a success based on participants feedback, thanking all our participants for the lively and stimulating discussion. Also our presenters Dr Cherri-Ann Beckles, Dr Stanley Griffin and Mrs Sharon Alexander-Gooding for condensing and making palatable Records Management Principles, Disaster Management for Records and Active to Archival Records and their value, these represent chunks from the UWI taught Records Management programme, hats off well done. To our Facebook participants thank you and keep the conversation strong and on record.