RACO Chicago 2010 Summary

raco-logo10-chicago-sRACO Chicago 2010 was held August 24 at downtown Chicago’s landmark Palmer House Hilton Hotel, recently and splendidly renovated to combine late-nineteenth-century grandeur with twenty-first century convenience. It was hosted by NARA’s Great Lakes Region.

The theme, “Managing Records of an Open Government,” brought 134 records management professionals from the Greater Chicago area, the Great Lakes states of Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Minnesota, and further afield from Massachusetts, the District of Columbia, Virginia, Kentucky, South Dakota, Colorado, Arizona, California and Oregon. Attending NARA staff ably represented all of NARA’s regions as well as College Park.

A vivacious and informative keynote address was given by Dr. Beth Noveck, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer and Director of the White House Open Government Initiative. Her address on “Open Government and the Implications for Federal Agencies” was well received. Al Vincent, Director of the Department of Commerce’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences, gave a highly technical yet understandable presentation about cloud computing, defining it and outlining the records management challenges implicit in its construction and use. David Simmons, Knowledge Management Specialist with GSA Region 5, gave an entertaining and upbeat address on the topic “What Do We Do with This Stuff? Understanding and Archiving Social Networking Content.”

Deputy Archivist Adrienne Thomas represented Archivist David Ferriero and spoke on NARA’s Leadership Perspective on Collaboration and Open Government. Other NARA speakers were Meg Phillips on the status of the ERA project, Arian Ravanbakhsh on NARA’s FAQs and Bulletin on managing Federal records in cloud computing environments, and David Weinberg on Federal Records Center program updates. All conference presentations that are available have been uploaded to the main RACO Chicago 2010 page on our website.

RACO Chicago 2010 also broke new ground for NARA in having its evaluation by conference participants done after-the-fact on line rather than on the traditional paper at the day’s conclusion. Regional RACO conferences have been held to complement the conference in Washington, DC  since 2004.

NARA Great Lakes Region staff member Galen Wilson provided the content for this post.