Magazine article Information Management

ARMA's International Community Looks to the Future

Magazine article Information Management

ARMA's International Community Looks to the Future

Article excerpt

Since the 2000 ARMA conference in Las Vegas, a special day has been designated for international members to meet and discuss issues of particular relevance to them. International Day in New Orleans this year was the best ever, as evidenced by the energies of more than 40 participants. It was heartwarming to hear delegates from all over the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Australia, and the Caribbean, give an overview of the development of records and information management (RIM) in these regions. Claudette Samuels, international director, welcomed the group and described the importance of the day not only for international members, but also for all ARMA members who recognize the importance of the global economy in which we all work.

The RIM Responsibility

The state of RIM varies significantly from country to country. Trends in the international community indicate that progress has been slow in developing the profession, but there have been gradual, significant changes. In most cases, RIM is not sophisticated and because of the lack of trained professionals, archivists and librarians are the ones to step up to the plate and organize initiatives for developing RIM programs. Nevertheless, the need for improved access to information legislation and the increase in multinational corporations, e-commerce, and globalization dictate that this modus operandi cannot continue. There is every need to formalize and develop the infrastructure for RIM in these areas, and ARMA, as the leading association in the field, has a responsibility to assist in this thrust.

Despite achievements over the past 10 years, RIM resources are still lacking. Efforts by archivists are mainly focused on historical documents while the state of current records systems is chaotic due to the practice of "keeping everything," and IT has not delivered what it has promised. RIM practitioners are clamoring for information to address issues that were previously regarded as the archivists' domain. This presents a tremendous opportunity for ARMA to promulgate best practices and international standards, provide training, and develop and sustain an international market for its services. …

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