Julie LaSeure has been working with records for over a decade. She began in the field in 2001 when working at an outpatient behavioral health clinic in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Since then she has continued to create, manage, and maintain records. In 2012 Julia began working primarily with records management for Ogden City.
As the Deputy Records/Records Specialist Julia has taken responsibility managing the records at the City’s secure Records Center, as well as those housed at the State Records Center in Clearfield. She maintains the inventory of all of the records stored and handles the destruction of records once they have met retention. Twice a year she destroys anywhere from 40 to 100+ boxes.
In addition to managing records, Julia is proactive in helping the City employees understand the unique records their divisions create and how to manage them. She creates mandatory training presentations, reference guides, and monthly articles for the employee newsletter. She also meets regularly with staff from the various city divisions to review their records and assist as needed.
Julia has also been instrumental in re-activating the Ogden City Records Management Committee, which begins meeting January 2017! She has spent a significant amount of time finding committee members, preparing and collecting information for training new members, and creating an outline of topics/subjects to ensure efficient and and brief meetings.
With all that she does, we asked Julia to provide us some helpful tips for other records officers trying to balance all of the different requirements of their job.
- What have you found to be the most challenging part of being a records officer?
A lot of the work that I do is to bring people onboard and help them understand the importance of records management, best practices, our duties under the law, and the fact that this is our history. People are busy and have their own jobs and responsibilities so it can be difficult to get them excited and involved. We got wonderful responses from the employees we asked to be on the Records Management Committee so I am really hopeful that we can turn things around…
2. What tools have you found to be the most helpful in your job?
Some of the things that have been most helpful to me include: incredible trust and support from my supervisor who allows me to make a plan and take time away from my desk to work on these projects, 8” x 8” x 40” boxes for rolled plans (WE LOVE THEM!), Smead Smartstrip labels are amazing too, I think the Records Management Committee will be quite an asset too once things get rolling on that front. Now is an exciting (stressful, terrifying, and very rewarding) time to be working in this field.
3. What do you hope to be your legacy as a records officer?
I have been researching records policies and procedures of other organizations and would like to create a plan for the City including requirements for current best practices, staying up to date on best practices in the future, electronic records, digitized records, migration, metadata, etc…
4. Do you have any advice for other records officers?
Go ahead and make a plan but be prepared for and open to change. It’s OK to revisit it if something isn’t working the way you thought it would. Keep plugging away and know that you are going to make a much bigger mess of things before it all starts falling into place. It’s totally worth all the sweat and stress to see the progress and ultimately the finished product.