As Information Management Consultants we often get asked to share the knowledge and experience that we have built up through our work at The National Archives and with government departments. We do this in a number of different ways:
- We run training sessions in aspects of information management, such as digital continuity and appraisal, for central government
- We hold the Information Management Liaison Group one day event four times a year for central government which consists of workshops and talks around a particular theme
- We present at national and international events and conferences
- We speak to students, academics and representatives from other archives around the world
There is a huge value in having face to face sessions like these. They give us a chance to share important messages around best practice in information management. Those who attend get the opportunity to network and share their thoughts and experience with other like-minded people. It also helps us to promote the importance of The National Archives’ work and further advance our reputation in the field of information management.
Our speaking engagements take us the length and breadth of the UK and sometimes we get invited to present at events in Europe and beyond. For example, this year members of the team have given talks at the IRMS conference in Brighton, the DLM Forum Members Meeting in Dublin and a conference on digital archiving at the French National Archives and the Archives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of France.
Subjects can range anywhere from digital continuity, metadata and appraisal to information governance and the importance of the relationship between Information Management and IT. However, often people are most interested in the practical application of information management across government.
In July we were asked to speak to students on the Records and Information Management certificate/diploma course at Liverpool John Moores University about appraisal. Rob Johnson and I answered the call. After a long journey and a very welcome lunch we took the stand presenting to small group of eager students. It is a distance learning course, so these sessions are one of the few chances that all the students get to come together and share their learning. Having completed the course myself a few years ago, it brought back memories of the hard work and discipline it takes to study alongside your day job!
The first half of our talk covered finding out what information you hold, understanding its value and understanding the technology environment that supports it, documenting what you know and actively carrying out disposal. The other half focussed on appraisal and selection of records of historical value for permanent preservation and the guidance and tools that can assist with this process. It was a good session and those attending seemed keen to hear about things from a practical perspective (it complemented their learning on the theory of appraisal) and to find out about the guidance, tools and advice that we offer.
Sadly there was no time to take in the wonderful sights of Liverpool, though we did at least see the eye catching Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral and the famous Radio City Tower on the way to the train station.
Watch out for us at a venue near you….