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Records Management: Preserving the Past to Make the FutureAs an intern in the Records Management Office at NASA, I have learned the importance of records management and teamwork. I work in building 60 with Kevin Coleman, the Records and Forms Manager and History Officer, and Deborah Demaline, the senior records specialist. Prior to my internship, I had never paid attention to records and their role in operating a business. However, after my first assignment of identifying files and filling out a C-277 form, I realized the importance of preserving each file. Since NASA is a government agency, keeping our records in a safe and easily accessible area is a major priority. As the records have accumulated over the years, and the destruction of records has been put on hold due to the fairly recent tobacco litigation; the amount of NASA s records has been quickly accumulating. Currently, our records are stored at Plum Brook in Sandusky, Ohio. Recently, rain has leaked through the bunkers and caused damage to some of our records boxes. Plum Brook has been experiencing difficulty in finding the funds to repair the damage. NASA Glenn is reluctant to give Plum Brook more money because the staff at the Sandusky site has not shown us a detailed summary of what they are doing with the funds we give them annually. Even though storing our records at Plum Brook comes with little cost, there are plenty other companies that offer a records storage area and a special software database for easy record retrieval. My assignment is to do a feasibility study on these companies to see how they compare in providing the appropriate criteria for NASA Glenn's needs. Other research I am doing is on which companies will allow us to convert our physical records into an electronic database for quicker retrieval and to eliminate the cost of storing our records in a facility altogether. The two studies have required me to not only work closely with the Records Management Department, but also the Information Technology staff. It has been important for me to thoroughly understand the criteria both departments here at NASA Glenn need in order to make the system effective for the entire organization. The interaction that I am experiencing with different organizations within NASA Glenn and the various companies we are looking at has enhanced my communication skills. Without proficient communication skills, it is difficult to seek how each company meets all of NASA's standards. This includes webx conferences, teleconferences, face-to-face meetings, knowing the appropriate time to ask questions, knowing what those appropriate questions are, and most importantly, being a good listener. During the meetings and conferences I attend, I ensure that I understand where each party is coming from and listen carefully to the points people make. In addition to working with the feasibility study, I will later work on a marketing plan to encourage employees to take care in storing their records and learn the importance of the History Office. Also, the department is trying to develop a special presentation for new employees during their orientation. Assisting Deborah Demaline in taking inventory at Plum Brook is another task that must be done to ensure that the records have been properly placed.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Petro, Kathryn
(Miami Univ. Oxford, OH, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Documentation And Information Science
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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