Association of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers
At the 2011 AGM, the Chairman of ACARM, Mr Charles Farrugia, proposed the establishment of a Strategic Review Working Group. The members in attendance at the AGM welcomed this proposal, and the Strategic Review Working Group was established.
The Strategic Review Working Group made a questionnaire available to current, former and prospective members between November 2011 and July 2012, to examine whether the associationís current strategy meets the needs of archives and records professionals across the Commonwealth. Current ACARM members were also interviewed by members of the Working Group to understand their views on the future of the association.
A Short-Term Strategy for ACARM
The results of the questionnaires and interviews formed the basis of a short-term strategy that was developed to reinvigorate the association. Amongst the priorities identified in the strategy are:
The posts of Chair, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Treasurer must be filled by members who are dedicated to implementing the strategy and reviving the association. The Strategic Review Working Group proposed that the Chair should appoint Mr Kelvin Smith to the post of Honorary Secretary, to re-establish administrative processes so that proper nominations and elections could be reinstituted for a 2013 AGM.
Website and Publications
The website should be updated immediately with current contact information. In the longer term, the website should be fully redeveloped to include a members-only area with resources, including past copies of newsletters, and a blog. The Honorary Secretary should create a schedule for the production of the newsletter and takes steps to ensure that a newsletter is issued regularly, four times a year, beginning with the Autumn 2012 edition.
An Honorary Training Coordinator should be appointed to put together a training programme that addresses the needs identified by the strategic review. The Coordinator should propose a series of seminars in each region of the Commonwealth, according to the funds that are available for training. In doing this work, the Coordinator should establish a standard and open process for arranging and advertising seminars, including a means of identifying suitable trainers.
After the Autumn 2012 edition of the newsletter is issued, and the training programme is established, a membership drive should be undertaken. This could include notices being sent to list-servs and press releases sent to relevant journals and magazines across the Commonwealth.
The Strategic Review Working Group reported the findings of the group and presented the Short-Term Strategy to the Chair of the Association at a meeting with the Hon Secretary, Dr Teresa Bastow, and her predecessor and successor, Kelvin Smith. The group agreed to take forward the recommendations by the Working Group ahead of an AGM, to be held in 2013.
As a result, the Chair, Charles Farrugia, will be supported by Kelvin Smith as Honorary Secretary until an AGM can be held, in 2013. Kelvin is organising the records and accounts, and preparing issues of the newsletter. James Lowry will be acting as Honorary Training Coordinator until the next AGM. I will be preparing a training programme for the Association that I hope the members will find helpful. Steps are also being taken to redevelop the website.
We hope that this work will enable the Association to move into a new phase of activity in 2013 and beyond. ACARM has a valuable contribution to make towards strengthening record-keeping and supporting archivists and records managers across the Commonwealth. The Strategic Review Working Group also hopes that its efforts will encourage members to become involved in reinvigorating ACARM.