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Interpreting the Library General Records Schedule. Brad Houston, University Records Officer July 15, 2008. What is a record?. Records : Recorded information, in any format, that allows an office to conduct business This includes emails and IMs! Also documents business processes

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interpreting the library general records schedule

Interpreting the Library General Records Schedule

Brad Houston, University Records Officer

July 15, 2008

what is a record
What is a record?
  • Records: Recorded information, in any format, that allows an office to conduct business
    • This includes emails and IMs!
    • Also documents business processes
  • Value of Record determined by content, not format!
  • Ask: “Does this document help me perform my job description?”
uw system library grs
UW-System Library GRS
  • Produced by UW Records Officers Council (UWROC), in conjunction with library staff
    • Department heads here were consulted for input
  • Covers 44 records series (functional groups) in 9 categories
  • Effective immediately and retroactively
    • Example: records with 10 years’ retention created in 1998 can be destroyed immediately
  • Prescribes MINIMUM retention periods
    • Be aware, however, of legal liability
using the grs finding schedules
Using the GRS: Finding schedules
  • Organized into 9 categories
    • Administration, Collection Development, Special Collections, Circulation, Interlending, Information Systems, Publicity, Reference, Surveillance
  • Within each category, find the record type you need
    • Examples: Call Slips, Donor Files, Registration Forms
    • Record series names may not correspond to the names YOU use– read the description to determine functional similarity
using the grs official records
Using the GRS: Official Records
  • Official Record: The copy of record for audit purposes, record requests, etc.
  • Usually, author of document is the official record-holder
    • Exception: Committee chairs are official record-holders for minutes, etc.
  • Only official records need to be retained for full period
    • Convenience copies usually have shorter period, if any
using the grs reading schedules
Using the GRS: Reading Schedules
  • Record Schedules consist of:
    • Description of the Series
    • Retention period (original)
    • Retention period (copies)
  • Retention periods include ‘triggering event’, i.e. when you start counting (creation, end of fiscal year, etc.)
  • If retention is marked “Destroy confidentially”, materials MUST BE SHREDDED or put in records management shred bins
electronic records
Electronic Records
  • As with paper records, need to be scheduled and retained appropriately
    • Includes E-mails, instant messages, webpages, etc.
  • For long-term retention e-records, convert to neutral format (PDF/A, text) before transfer
  • For short-term retention e-records, do not format-switch unless appropriate
    • E.g. software upgrade, etc.
  • Printouts of computer records are copies
    • Can be destroyed once no longer needed
a note on email
A Note on Email
  • Yes, this is a record, too! (Wis. Adm. 12)
  • Most email is transitory and can be destroyed after small period of time
  • Some email (reference requests, etc.) is routine, and should be retained 60 days or specific schedule length
  • Small amount of email of historical value– save and send to Archives (via PantherFile, etc.)
sending records to the archives
Sending records to the Archives
  • In general, Archives is interested in records that provide unique historical perspective on library activities and operations
  • Series specifically included for archives in GRS include:
    • Director’s Subject Files
    • Library Strategic Plans
    • Newsletters
    • Programming/Events Files
sending to the archives cont
Sending to the Archives, cont.
  • Fill out records transfer form (available on Records Management website)
  • Contact Brad for records center boxes
    • 1 file cabinet drawer=1.3 records center boxes
  • Put documents in folders; remove binders if possible
  • Create inventory of boxes
    • Box-level is OK; folder-level is better
  • Arrange for pickup/transfer
confidential shredding
Confidential Shredding
  • UWM now contracts with Kard Recycling and Shredding for confidential shredding
  • Pickup is 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month
  • Contact Brad to have shreddables taken to the shred bins/shred room
  • n.b. There is a limited amount of space in the shred room, so send shredding a little at a time if possible
  • Shredding is for confidential material only– NOT an all-purpose garbage pickup!
why isn t x on this schedule
“Why isn’t X on this schedule?”
  • May be covered by existing GRS
    • Examples: Fiscal/Accounting records, annual reports, payroll information
  • May be covered by existing Library schedule
    • Example: Cataloging/Statistical Files are scheduled at UWM, but do not appear on the GRS
  • May have been missed by both UWM RM and UWROC
    • Often the case for specialty program files
    • If so, contact Brad for records scheduling
litigation holds and records requests
Litigation Holds and Records Requests
  • Received by Brad and Amy Watson, UWM Public Records Custodian
  • Supersedes ALL active records schedules
  • Records from series affected by Litigation Holds MAY NOT be destroyed until hold lifted
  • Most likely will affect email; probably does not affect most library records
office cleanup rm checklist
Office Cleanup: RM Checklist
  • Am I no longer actively using this record?
  • Is it an official or unofficial copy?
  • Has the triggering event for this series occurred?
  • Has the retention period for this record passed?
  • Does this record need to be sent to the archives?
  • Does this record need to be destroyed confidentially?
when in doubt look it up
When in doubt, look it up!
    • The Library/Archives GRS itself
    • UWM Record Management, with tips (and this presentation!)
    • Records Management Guidelines from UWSA