Through the Looking-Glass, and What Bonnie Will Find There

In my first few years at TSLAC, I wasn’t sure about my path as a librarian veering off in the direction of Records and Information Management. I had experience in the field in both the private and government sectors, but I didn’t know if the work felt really satisfying. Reviewing and approving retention schedules was not among my favorite tasks, but once I began to develop and deliver training about the purpose and usefulness of retention schedules, I felt that I had finally found my place in the RIM world.

Making records management fun has been easy. Working in RM is not trying to sell a product or idea, but rather sharing the established best practices and legal obligations that apply to state and local government records. A lot of the information we provide is not up for debate—retention schedules are administrative rules and the law is the law—so that gives us an opportunity to humanize it, translate legalese to plain language and common sense. Through developing and delivering training, we are able to show how following our guidance will only benefit everyone. And aside from the content, we spend many hours polishing the PowerPoint presentations we use for classes and webinars because we believe that if dry topics are packaged in good design, people are more likely to enjoy and remember it.

Amarillo training trip 2016
Amarillo Training Trip 2016

I had many great relationships with current and former TSLAC colleagues over the years, but there’s one in particular that inspired me to stay curious and to apply the traditional library science to records and information management. Megan Carey joined the analyst team during a time of transition at the agency and her professional approach has pushed our team forward.

I’m proud to be following one of the longstanding traditions in TSLAC records analyst history—moving over to the other side as a practitioner and working for one of the local government entities to whom TSLAC provides assistance. Time spent learning and teaching the theory of records management will now be translated into putting those best practices to the test. Hopefully I will come across complex issues in my new role that necessitate reaching out to my own TSLAC analyst, whoever that lucky person will be!

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