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Presentation Review: Records and Information Management -- An Overview.

TITLE: Records and Information Management (RIM) -- An Overview (Microsoft PowerPoint 2000)

PUBLISHER: Benedon & Associates


LENGTH: 114 Animated Color Slides with Sounds and Transitions

40 Pages Presentation Notes (MS Word 2000)

2-page Slide Listing With Reference to Presentation Notes Pages (MS Word 2000)

PRICE: $ 20 members & non-members

SOURCE: ARMA International Bookstore, or 888-241-0598

Explaining in an engaging way the fundamentals of records and information (RIM) to one's managers and colleagues -- who are likely to find an overview of the information life cycle as stimulating as watching cement dry -- can be daunting. However, with William Benedon's Records and Information Management -- An Overview, such presentations now can be made with confidence.

A certified records manager, fellow of ARMA International, and an industry icon for almost 50 years, Benedon has advanced the profession as a practitioner, a teacher, and an author. With this PowerPoint presentation, he has created an engaging introduction to the concepts and objectives of RIM that will be useful for those entering the field, instructors and trainers at all levels, consultants who need presentation material, and practitioners needing a review.

The presentation begins with a concise but comprehensive review of the RIM field and its objectives, beginning with a brief review of RIM practices. The presentation segues into the roles of information managers in ISO9000 -- an international standard for quality -- as well as the evolution and significance of standardization to the RIM field. The presentation is not limited to the U.S. perspective on RIM but rather makes us aware of the field's global evolution by mentioning contributions of the International Congress on Archives and the International Records Management Council, among others.

Although he notes that "computer and telecommunications systems have become the dominant influences in managing information needs today," Benedon focuses on durable RIM concepts, leaving to others the problem of addressing information technologies that evolve and change with lightening speed. He gives little credence to the idea that technology has the power to rewrite the role of records management anytime soon. "The prophecies of the Paperless Society that captured most business magazine headlines in the '50s and '60s unfortunately remain a myth," he writes.

Among the "valued theories" covered are records retention, vital records, filing systems, retrieval systems, records centers, image management, and archival records programs. These core topics are presented in just enough depth to help the audience understand but not lose attention. For example, he discusses the three approaches an organization can take in the preparation of the records inventory necessary to develop their retention schedules and follows them through the approval process, but he does so in only 10 slides -- concise but effective.

Benedon is knowledgeable in every issue of planning, building, and operating a centralized onsite record center, addressing everything from facility standards to why records centers measure records volumes in cubic feet. He also offers criteria for outsourcing records center services based on the company's need to stick with core competencies. This area of the presentation, in particular, would appeal not only to records managers but also to facility and office administrators.

While this presentation is in read-only format, a presenter has flexibility in designing presentations for specific audiences. For example, subsets of the 114 slides can be developed for specific topics and time-limited presentations. Slides not needed for a given presentation may be "hidden," the order of slides changed, sounds turned off as desired, and transitions modified as needed. The changes cannot be saved, however. The CD is accompanied by 40 pages of clear, detailed presentation notes, with individual notes running from a paragraph to two pages in length. The notes package also includes a two-page list of slide titles with page references.

This presentation is a guide to classic RIM theory and practice. Benedon does not overemphasize what the future might bring to the rapidly changing field of records management. Rather, he works from a real-world approach to the subject and displays a rare ability to extract the essence of a broad, complex subject and communicate it in a lucid and coherent fashion. This presentation is undoubtedly something RIM professionals will use again and again.

James Higdon is Records Manager, Hilton Hotels Corporation, where he is responsible for onsite and offsite records activities nationwide. The author may be reached at
COPYRIGHT 2001 Association of Records Managers & Administrators (ARMA)
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
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Publication:Information Management Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2001
Previous Article:Electronic Mail: From Computer to Courtroom.
Next Article:CD Review: Imaging Professional.

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