As we spend our last week with Patricia Smith-Mansfield we are reminded of the great work she has done for our institution. Over the years, Tricia has steered the Utah State Archives and Records Service through a number of difficult situations and we want to highlight some of the great initiatives she has spearheaded.
Tricia’s clear direction has pushed the Archives to new levels of professionalism among the staff, in our procedures, in our customer service, in our intellectual control of the collection, and in our planning for future challenges. She has navigated our agency through the budget crunches and staffing stresses of the “Great Recession.” She has also managed a number of major projects including the building process for our current Archives building on Rio Grande St., the overhaul of the new Records Center in Clearfield, and the expansion of our current permanent repository.
Most importantly, Tricia has successfully managed each of the legislative changes the Archives has faced during the last 14 years. During her tenure the legislature has worked to update our Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), created a Public Notice Website (a responsibility then assigned to the Archives), created an Open Records Portal, designated a government records ombudsman, and led the State Records Committee (SRC) during a period when the number of appeals before the SRC grew exponentially. With each situation, Tricia used her extensive knowledge of Utah’s laws related to governmental records, her understanding of governmental functions and the value of records, and her willingness to embrace the necessary concept of Open Government to influence the Archives in a manner that will be felt for years to come.
As our Archives and Patron Services Manager, Jim Kichas, has stated: “The programs and personnel of the Utah State Archives are all better off because we have been fortunate enough to have Tricia as our leader these past 14 years.”