A new records manager quickly establishes a network of records liaisons in their municipality, county, or state agency, one for each functional unit. A records liaison is an employee with detailed knowledge of the operations and records of that unit. A records liaison can:
- Advise the records manager on the unit’s records
- Coordinate with the records manager on the application of records retention schedules applicable to their unit
- Create an inventory of their unit’s records
- Appraise records for retention and disposition
- And assist the records manager when needed for training, responses to public records requests, and other records tasks.
A records manager can spot potential records liaisons by looking for:
- Interest in knowledge management, technology, classification, organization, and public records issues
- Knowledge of the unit’s records, roles, workflows, and history
- Enthusiasm for being organized, finding the right piece of information at the right time, transparency, good customer service, and learning
- Prior experience with filing, records management, and/or information management
- Good communication skills, to promote policies and procedures to other staff members
- And the confidence to brief senior managers on the importance of records management and train colleagues on how it works.
New records liaisons can get further training from the State Archives.
Finally, once the records liaison network is established, the records manager should announce the members of the network and let everyone know that the liaisons have senior management’s full backing. Records liaisons will need this authority to make decisions about the unit’s records.
Records management is a big job, and not a one-person job! If you don’t have one already, start your liaison network today.