This blog is part of a special behind the scenes series for Archives Month.
Kit Carson, Government Services Manager
If you’ve ever been to the research room, you’re probably familiar with members of our public services and record services staff. These are the people that prepare and service the records from our holdings for the public to use. Perhaps you’ve wondered how we get these records in the first place. They don’t just appear – our Government Services staff works with agencies daily to make sure that records are kept for the correct amount of time and then are either transferred to DPA for permanent storage or are safely destroyed.
Government Services staff carefully trains agency record officers to properly handle their agency’s records through a series of three courses. These courses are a great way to train new employees who handle records or to refresh seasoned record managers who might need a refresher on best practices. Courses are scheduled regularly throughout the year through the Office of Management and Budget’s State Training and Development Office. These courses include:
Files Management: Provides basic instruction on creating and maintaining an effective filing system, the types and uses of filing systems, standard filing procedures and introduces the DPA Retention Schedule and explains how it is used.
Preparation of Records to Transfer to DPA: Provides step-by-step instruction of the process of preparing transfer documents and boxing records for transfer to the DPA for temporary storage, permanent preservation, or destruction.
Records and Information Management: Explains the benefits of proper records management, the use of retention schedules, the process of making changes to a records series, managing electronic records, technological maintenance requirements, their life cycles, and retention periods.
Record keeping can be made more effective and less costly through the use of efficient techniques. The information provided in the courses assist agencies in creating a foundation upon which their records system should be built. These courses are not intended to present a universal formula or the ultimate system. Rather, they are provided so that agencies can identify their needs, assess available resources and then develop a plan that is tailored to their operations.
Do you want to know more about what happens behind-the-scenes at the Delaware Public Archives? Send us your questions and we may feature them here for Archives Month.