Posted by: stackedfivehigh | May 26, 2011

Records & Database Management

Records & Database Management is the latest of the records management classes that I’ve taken. I lucked out and found a mini “May-mester” option that was only 4 or 5 weeks long. Since it started pretty much between my main Spring and Summer classes, I focused on it and finished it out today – 2.5 weeks early. This is not usually possible, but since I just came off of an incredibly busy Spring semester, I was already used to doing quite a bit of school work every day.

It was a really useful class. We were taught basic and advanced filing rules and systems (alphabetic, geographic, numeric – pros and cons, and so on). The text touched on equipment, the records audit, disaster planning, and a whole slew of other useful topics. While I’ve actually been an office manager before, I didn’t have the rules for records management, filing rules, etc.  I’ve even created a filing system – looking back at it, it was a nice try for an amateur but I would have done much better after reading this textbook.

The surprising part of the class was that in the materials was a miniature file drawer, little guides, folders, correspondence, and so on. Each chapter had a practical, hands-on portion for using filing rules . Then we had a database portion, where we learned the similarities and differences between paper and electronic filing. Main difference – the computer doesn’t follow the same rules of alphabetizing that the industry has agreed on, such as ignoring punctuation. Your sort order will be different on the computer from what is in your physical file unless you add a field for the indexing name. I like playing with databases, so that was a good refresher and not too hard for me to complete.

In internship news – the hospital archives is closed Monday for Memorial Day, so I’ll be using that time to work on my co-op proposal. My university calls an internship in which you get college credit a “co-op” and of course requires a proposal explaining the goals of the internship. I’m hoping to do a comprehensive disaster plan, because the archives does not have one yet. I think that would be a great project for the summer, in addition to reference work and day-to-day activities.

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