Test Yourself: How NOT to Redact a PDF

(Update: See the answers in this blog post) Can you identify the authors of the four “redacted” documents below? Do you understand how to effectively redact information from a PDF? Before you say yes, take a look at these PDFs and see which redactions you can “crack”. With some technical savvy, a careful reviewer should be…

Local Records Unit Travels

After a quiet December, the Local Records Unit has been back on the road offering training and consultations to Local Governments. Yesterday, Emily Hanna, Jason Woolf and Tom Vincent met in Iredell County to present some training to a municipal office. We also had time to visit with the Iredell County Clerk. Next week the…

Stacks Shift

I feel like the stacks is a mystery to most patrons. It is a place that employees go to retrieve those valuable county, state, and private collections. I always see the excitement in new visitors as they hand over a call slip and wait for those gray fibredex boxes or volumes. Well, we are continuously…

What’s essential?

Local government employees who have attended one of our workshops on disaster preparedness have probably heard the term “essential records” before.  Unexplained, however, the term can be a little unclear.  Other publications have used the terms “vital records” or “business-critical records” to describe these same records. What are essential records?  Simply put, they’re the records that…

Trade Secrets and Confidentiality

When we give our workshops around the state, we often mention that trade secrets can be some of the most complicated types of records to determine if they qualify as confidential records under the law. Today I will take an in depth look at the conditions that must all be met for a trade secret…

Records Management Workshops for 2013

The Division of Archives and Records is kicking off the new year with a series of informative workshops for state agency employees dealing with managing the public records in their custody. The workshops begin on January 8, 2013 and end on April 16, 2013. They will be given in the State Records Center building located…

To Scan or Not to Scan…?

A number of state agency offices are involved in scanning records (also known as digitization) as part of their office record-keeping program. Of course if a state agency initiates scanning as a means of record-keeping for their offices, it should consult with the State Agency Records Analyst assigned to the state agency (the list of…

Records Retention: Out With the Old, In With the New

With the New Year often brings thoughts of making plans for the upcoming year, perhaps making some changes, or dare I say, resolutions. One of those resolutions may be keeping your office and/or the departmental, city, or county file room in better order and cleaner. Your Local Government Records Retention and Disposition Schedules are one…