Student perspectives: the changing role of records managers June 14, 2016

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One of the greatest issues facing Records Management is the changing nature of our role as Information Professionals. As systems, functions, departments, and technologies evolve and integrate, so too does the requirements of our work.

Gone are the days of endless paper-pushing and bursting filing cabinets; the Records Manager has become the Information Manager. Information Management encapsulates more than just the creation and use of corporate knowledge; it involves the application and refining of the electronic systems now in place to produce and manage that knowledge. The scope of a Records Manager’s skills and abilities has not only broadened, but also become more visibly prominent.

Members of State Records’ Digital Implementers Group recently discussed this progression, and suggested the real possibility of seeing paper-based records shift completely to digital format in the future. We are standing at an interesting junction, with under-skilled staff struggling to adapt to constant EDRMS system upgrades, and proficiently-skilled staff requiring review of basic Microsoft Word training.

Collaboration with other departments – particularly Business Analysis and Information & Communications Technology – is crucial for several reasons:

  • to maintain an organised, robust, and compliant Records Management system
  • to satisfy the requests of Government and Upper Management
  • to deliver quality services to the community and to shareholders
  • to enable internal employees to fulfil their recordkeeping responsibilities.

Increasingly, Records Managers are realising and accepting the shifting corporate and technological environment surrounding the Public sector – and the workplace in general. Besides their adaptation and flexibility, their interest and investment in upgrading their own skills and abilities will ensure the implementation of more effective and dynamic Records and Information Management.

This post was written by Joanne Carlos, who recently completed a practicum placement with the Government Recordkeeping team at State Records. Joanne is in her third year of the Bachelor of Arts (Librarianship and Corporate Information Management) degree at Curtin University.

Image credit: Mark Goebel – “ih1006.JPG” (CC BY 2.0)
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