eRecords Conference 2013: Transitioning from Paper to Digitized Images

erecordsslogo-300x261This is the fifth post in a multi-part recap of the 2013 e-Records Conference. Some presentation materials from the e-Records Conference are available on the e-Records 2013 website.

By Michael Reagor, Government Information Analyst

At any conference the speaking slot right before lunch can be a daunting assignment.  And to add to the pressure, this slot was the first of our new “condensed” presentations in which the speaker only had fifteen minutes to cover their topic.

But fortunately we had Jed Rogers, Records Manager for the Infrastructure Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, ready to keep us all focused and entertained.  Those of us who hadn’t seen Jed, a former Government Information Analyst here at TSLAC, give a presentation in a few years were reminded once again why he was always a crowd favorite at TSLAC trainings thanks to his high energy and friendly manner.

The digitized master plan for Garner State Park.  The ability to access this document quickly saved valuable time in the recovery efforts.

The digitized master plan for Garner State Park. The ability to access this document quickly saved valuable time in the recovery efforts.

Jed discussed how Parks and Wildlife’s digitization of architectural records has helped the Infrastructure Division respond quickly to information requests from other agency staff in response to disasters like fires at Bastrop and Buescher State Parks in 2011, flooding at Garner State Park in 2012, and flooding again at McKinney Falls State Park in 2013. Thanks to his digitization project, in which nearly 1 terabyte of data was digitized, Jed was able to provide maps and architectural drawings to staff within minutes to help them in their recovery efforts.

Jed’s presentation underscored why transitioning to electronic processes can be so important: you never know when you are going to need immediate access to your records to be able to respond to a disaster.