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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

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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

Library grs crosswalk

Library GRS Crosswalk

Library grs crosswalk cont

Library GRS Crosswalk, cont.

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

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