'Thought-provoking papers on recordkeeping theory and practice' promised at ARA Conference

Lee Pretlove, from the ARA Conference Committee, shares his thoughts onthe ARA's 2014 Conference

leepretlove_-_Copy'This year’s conference theme has generated thought provoking papers on recordkeeping theory and practice from across the recordkeeping community. The papers will explore how we can stay relevant, develop our knowledge of new, relevant skills whilst continuing to provide services in tune with today’s digital environment and financially straitened times. For records management and information governance members not yet signed up as a day delegate, I’ve  hand-picked some of the papers and events you can expect from each day.


On Wednesday morning Daniel Scott-Davies from Barts Health NHS Trust will address the issues of ‘Digital Access and Management in an Age of Austerity’. His colleague, Laura Hynds, will follow with a talk on the diversity of recordkeeping roles at their organisation in order to keep their information managed. 


Wednesday afternoon will see Geoffrey Yeo, co-author of the seminal textbook Managing Records: A Handbook of Principles and Practice, question how we manage and arrange digital records in response to users’ needs rather keeping digital records within traditional recordkeeping frameworks. Certainly a talk of cross-discipline appeal here which all recordkeeping professionals can engage with, drawing on their own organisational contexts.


Thursday sees the arrival of the Information Marketplace including an afternoon slot for David Jenkins, Chair of the ARA’s Section for Records Management and Information Governance and Margherita Orlando and Laura Hynds, Joint Training Officers for the section to discuss the ‘Don’t Risk It! Know Your Records campaign. Of course, other workshops and breakout sessions will be available but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t point that particular session! It would good for the committee to meet you and hear your thoughts and views of records management and information governance within the ARA.

Friday offers talks on the impact of the information revolution on the profession ranging from Jane Stevenson, Manager of the Archives Hub, taking us on a journey through time on the uses of data from index cards through to Linked data; Lee Pretlove’s perhaps more abstract approach to thinking about information security and Dr Francis Garaba, from the Lutheran Theological Institute Library, South Africa, will be examining how new technologies can ‘empower’ archivists and records managers to adjust to the changing information environments so that we remain a relevant profession within ‘the information society’.


Friday afternoon continues to look into the future where new skills, priorities and the ways in which we think about the development of a professional recordkeeping career. Academic perspectives on this will be from Dr Andrew Flinn, Reader in Archival Studies at UCL and Giovanni Michetti, Assistant Professor of the School of Library, Archival and Information Studies, University of British Columbia. The practitioner’s perspective will be from information security consultant Craig Moore.


The Conference Committee hopes to see you in Newcastle, it’s going to be BIGG. However, if you can’t make Newcastle, pencil Dublin 2015 into your diaries instead. As always, conference bursaries will be available and if you would like to submit a paper, delegate costs and travel expenses are included!'

Read all about the ARA 2014 Conference here.