Magazine article Records Management Quarterly

Reflections of a Founding Editor

Magazine article Records Management Quarterly

Reflections of a Founding Editor

Article excerpt

Many factors contribute to the success of ARMA International, but the most important is its membership.

The majority of ARMA's members are practitioners in the field of information management. These individuals support the information needs of management in business, government, industry, and not-for-profits. On a daily basis they provide guidance for the proper handling of records, regardless of media, and implement efficient and cost-effective systems for the creation, maintenance, protection, use, and disposition of those records. Their strength lies in their ability to utilize the valued theories that have become the foundation of the information management field. These theories have become standard applications today, and they come into play each time a new application or technology is applied (e.g., records scheduling, records centers, vital records, filing and retrieval systems, forms and reports management, and correspondence management). In fact, their value has only been enhanced by the appearance of complementary activities such as re-engineering and knowledge management. Information management has always been a repository for information and provides added value to the application of these concepts.

ARMA membership also includes educators. Their constant attention to the needs of newcomers to the field as well as to advanced training for the experienced practitioner has provided the continuity essential to any profession. Their involvement has resulted in the availability of textbooks that document the theories and practices that have given records management its status as a knowledge discipline.

An information discipline is also dependent upon the vendor community, whether the vendors are consultants, service providers, or product/technology specialists. These members provide innovative ideas, solution alternatives, and technology awareness that add a valuable dimension to the overall effectiveness of the records management profession.

All ARMA members - practitioners, educators, and vendors - assure their exchange of ideas through local chapter activities and by their support and participation in association activities on both the national and international level. These activities and contributions signify their commitment to a betterment of the field of which they are a part.

The success of a professional association also depends upon the leadership and services provided by its national headquarters. At ARMA, these services include practice attention to the issues facing the association and the field, providing learning resources in the form of publications, seminars, and conferences, and the sponsorship of special industry activities. While many members attend conferences and seminars and purchase ARMA publications at meetings or through the publication directories, not every member can benefit directly in these ways. However, the one indispensable information resource, the one professional contact that every member receives is ARMA's Records Management Quarterly (RMQ). Since 1967, when it replaced Records Management Journal, RMQ has provided a continuing bond between the individual member and its association leadership. There were three primary reasons for RMQ's introduction:

1. To provide a professional journal that would be representative of the aims and objectives of the records and information management profession

2. To provide a forum for its members to present concepts and case studies that pointed to the best methods for managing information

3. …

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