DATE: March 14, 2013
MBLC Endorses Municipal Records Preservation Legislation
Although there are state standards in place for the storage of municipal records, compliance varies from community to community based on the size of the community, fiscal issues, and other factors. Some municipalities have appropriate vaults and storage conditions while others store records in conditions that may accelerate deterioration and hinder public access.
Staff from Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners (MBLC) and the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association has worked with Senator James Eldridge of Acton and Representative John Keenan of Salem to file H2835. This legislation establishes a special legislative commission to examine the preservation and storage needs of municipal records throughout the Commonwealth. The MBLC officially endorsed H2835 at its March 7, 2013 monthly board meeting.
MBLC Preservation Specialist Trinkaus-Randall has been an integral part of this process and was pleased with endorsement, “Working closely with the Massachusetts Archives, the Massachusetts Town and City Clerks Associations and our legislators, the MBLC is helping to move forward a long-term solution to municipal records retention in the state.”
Mr. Trinkaus-Randall and his colleagues are also planning training sessions for local officials who often arrive in office with no archival or records management experience. The MBLC and the Massachusetts Archives will present a one-day workshop, Essential Records, at the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association Conference in June and offer a follow-up course, Records Emergency Planning and Response.
In addition, these same organizations, along with the Simmons College Graduate School of Information Science have submitted a grant proposal to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to develop a model educational program in archives and record administration for municipal clerks.
The Board of Library Commissioners (mass.gov/mblc) is the agency of state government with the statutory authority and responsibility to organize, develop, coordinate and improve library services throughout the Commonwealth. The Board advises municipalities and library trustees on the operation and maintenance of public libraries, including construction and renovation. It administers state and federal grant programs for libraries and promotes cooperation among all types of libraries through regional library systems and automated resource sharing. It also works to ensure that all residents of the Commonwealth, regardless of their geographic location, social or economic status, age, level of physical or intellectual ability or cultural background, have access to essential new electronic information technologies and significant electronic databases.