Working with Associate Professor Patricia Franks and the ARMA International Educational Foundation, MLIS student Greg Gardner developed a database and website designed to provide an overview of all Records Management programs available in English speaking countries.
“The database is directed toward anyone who wants to learn about Records Management,” said Gardner. To begin developing the database, Gardner researched all the records management programs he could find based on conversations with ARMA International Educational Foundation members, his own online research, and an outdated Excel spreadsheet once developed by ARMA to compile program information.
Gardner began working on this project as a contract employee with encouragement from Dr. Franks. “I had interviewed with Dr. Franks for a student assistant position, which I ultimately didn’t get,” he recalled. “However, she liked my qualifications, and when this project came up, she contacted me. It’s an example of how even a failed interview worked out for me in other ways.”
Once he had identified active Records Management programs, Gardner developed a structure for how to present his findings online. “I wanted the user to have a good experience searching for records management programs,” Gardner said. “I created the web pages to pull from the database I designed. Both the web pages and the database were a challenge – I had some experience from classes I had taken, like LIBR 202 Information Retrieval, but I also had to learn a lot on my own by reading books.”
Gardner began the MLIS program in Fall 2011 and plans to graduate in December 2013. He has been leaning toward elective courses in Archival Studies. He lives in Santa Cruz County, California, and volunteers at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, where he creates finding aids for unprocessed collections.
Gardner’s database and website, entitled The International Directory of English Language Courses in Records and Information Management, can be found on the ARMA International Educational Foundation website.
LIBR 240 Information Technology Tools and Applications: “Even if you don’t know anything about website design, you’ll know by end of the course.”
LIBR 242 Database Management: “I took this course while creating the database, so that helped build on my experience.”
“SAA Annual Meeting in San Diego last year. It was a great experience, and the networking is a plus. Even the business meetings were interesting, learning how the organization operates. I definitely recommend it to anyone at least once.”
“Don’t be afraid to explore new technologies! That’s how you learn.”