Lecturer Lisa Daulby Uses Real-World Examples to Teach Electronic Records Management

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San José State University School of Information Lecturer Lisa Daulby shares her experiences as an archivist and records manager to help her students understand the rapidly evolving field of electronic records management.

Daulby has worked in the archives and records management profession for 12 years, and is currently a Records Manager/Archivist at the Royal Bank of Canada in Toronto. Her daily responsibilities illustrate many of the theories and principles she teaches in her INFO 284 and MARA 249 classes.

“I find that sharing my own experiences as a records manager really resonates with students,” Daulby said. “They appreciate the theory we learn in class, but what they really love is learning about what it’s like in the real world. I tell them about how I implemented a new version of our software or what I had to do to create a records retention schedule, and that practical knowledge adds to their learning.”

Daulby began teaching an Electronic Records seminar in the MLIS program in 2009, and added a similar course for MARA students in 2010. She is also serving as the MARA Student Advisor. Both of her courses focus on the application of archival and records management principles to electronic resources like multimedia, email, networked information, and electronic document management systems. The course looks at issues like authenticity, information security, records management policies, and electronic recordkeeping standards. “We have lots of great discussions about privacy and information security, which students apply to both their professional and personal lives,” Daulby said.

Encouraging student discussion is one of the ways Daulby tries to support diverse learning styles in the online environment. She provides opportunities for live participation and explorations with interactive tools like quizzes and video downloads. One of the more popular assignments in both her courses is the student-led discussion forum, which focuses on current electronic records management issues in the news. These informal posts are akin to classmates chatting together over coffee during a class break, and they give students a chance to share their opinions and develop a sense of community.

Daulby has a great sense of how to support online learners, because she is one herself. As a doctoral student in Capella University’s Information Technology distance education program, “I can sympathize with my iSchool students,” she said. “I know what it’s like to sit at my laptop on a Sunday and think ‘Oh, my discussion posts are due, and I have to turn in my assignment at midnight!’” Daulby is currently working on her dissertation, which will examine the Diffusion of Innovation Theory to learn how information technologies like social networking spread throughout an organization.

Daulby chose a career in archives and records management while she was earning her MA in History from the University of Windsor in Ontario. She was able to take courses at Wayne State University’s School of Library and Information Science through the University’s exchange program, and discovered a love for archival work. Her focus on electronic records preservation eventually led her to her current work in electronic records management.

Daulby sees a wide range of opportunities for MLIS and MARA graduates in the electronic records management field. “Electronic records management is becoming even more important for organizations and regulatory agencies, and there’s a real need for professionals with expertise in this area,” she said. “The wonderful thing about working in the field is that it’s ever-changing. It’s challenging, but it’s also what I find exhilarating about the profession. You have to be at the top of your game, keep current, and be constantly learning. Right now the major issue is figuring out how to apply traditional records management and archival theory to areas like social media. Next year there will be a new challenge, and new opportunities.”