Strategic Plan 2020-2025

Director's Message

”The Utah State Archives and Records Service has adopted the concept and vision of creating ‘One Archive,’ a re-envisioning of processes and procedures to maximize productivity and provide value to the people of Utah. Our team ensures government records are maintained and preserved and made accessible to future generations. This vision will be achieved through the implementation of this strategic plan with goals and milestones that will transform the Archives into ‘one Archives’ (not just component parts).

This plan meets the challenges of preserving and managing government records—records that document government actions, promote and celebrate our unique history, and document the rights of all citizens.

We recognize that the records within our care are essential to providing information that protects life, property, and basic rights. Our historical records provide context, enrich future generations, and provide communities a connection to their past and a historical foundation from which to build their future.

To accomplish our goals the State Archives works with all of Utah’s governmental entities to identify and manage their records, while also seeking to preserve the permanent records of enduring value. We collaborate with allied state and local entities, and collaborate with public and private organizations that have similar missions. We remain firmly committed to providing access to this information and strive to meet our patrons where they are.”

Ken Williams
Director
November 2020

Division of Archives Administration
Training for records access

Why Records Matter

State laws provide that government meetings, decisions, and records be made available to the public (Utah Code 52-4-102 63G-2-201). The Utah Division of Archives and Records Service, or State Archives, holds Utah’s documentary history as a public trust. This history belongs to the citizens of the state and they have a legal right to open and fair access. According to Utah Code 63A-12-101, the State Archives is mandated to provide this transparency and accountability in government.

State records are essential to protecting life, property, and the rights of citizens.

  • Birth and death records are essential for individuals in proving legal identity and ancestry. These records are also used by thousands of family historians.
  • Military service records permit veterans to receive benefits such as military pensions, VA medical care, and military funerals.
  • Divorce records provide proof of marital status, name change, and length of a marriage when applying for such things as passports and Social Security benefits.
  • Court records document individual rights, legal status, and legal identity. Name change and adoption decrees are important for citizens in documenting legal identity. 
  • Naturalization records provide evidence of citizenship and are useful in family history research. 
  • School records provide proof of educational achievement for individuals who are seeking jobs or further education.
  • Land and property records document land ownership, transfer of legal rights, and evidence of mineral, water, and surface rights.

State records provide the informational infrastructure necessary to maintain order and accountability in government.

  • Legislative records are used to understand the history and intent of laws and are accessed by lawyers and their clients to assert legal rights.
  • Incorporation records provide proof of the existence of a company when an individual is seeking legal redress, such as in cases of radiation or asbestos exposure.

State records collections provide documentation of the infrastructure of society and government. 

  • Architectural records document important structural infrastructure, necessary for seismic data, renovation, and other purposes.
  • Transportation records document essential infrastructure to assess environmental impact, evaluate infrastructure damage, and roadmap infrastructure construction.
  • Municipal records retain a sense of continuity with the past on which to build a future.

The Utah State Archives preserves and makes available the documentary evidence to all citizens of the state.

Archives Building

Agency History

The roots of the Utah State Archives and Records Service extend back to the earliest days of state government. The seeds were planted in 1917 when the Utah Legislature passed legislation establishing the Utah State Historical Society as a government agency. The law stipulated that the Historical Society serve as the custodian of all records, documents, relics, and other materials of historic value, which “are now or hereafter may be in charge of any State, county, or other official.” The Historical Society itself had been formed twenty years earlier as part of the 1897 Pioneer Jubilee.

The next step in the evolution of the (future) Utah State Archives came in 1936 when the nationwide Historical Records Survey was created within the federal Works Progress Administration. The intention of this was to inventory and publish a record of the government records found on the federal, state, county, and city level. The Utah State Historical Society took over administration of the Historical Records Survey in 1939 and oversaw its work until the program was shuttered by the federal government in 1943. All of the finished (and unfinished) inventories created as part of the survey became part of the Historical Society’s growing collection.

As the archival profession began to take shape nationally, Utah continued to grow its own state archives program. In 1947, William Palmer (a former member of the Historical Records Survey) was appointed by the State History Board  as the first state archivist. Initially, Palmer worked with counties in southern Utah before his work was halted on advice from the state Attorney General, who recommended that the Historical Society obtain legislation that mandated archival practice as part of the agency’s authority. Legislation that spelled this out was passed in 1951, and in 1954 the Historical Society received funding that allowed the agency to hire the first “official” state archivist, Dr. Everett Cooley.

The state archives program took its largest steps forward in 1957 with two separate events. The first was the designation of the archives as a division with the Utah State Historical Society as part of the “Historical Society – Powers and Responsibility” act of that year. The second event occurred when the military records section of the National Guard was transferred to the new archives division of the Historical Society.

In 1960, Dr. Cooley left his role as state archivist to accept a position at the University of Utah, but he returned as director of the Historical Society in 1961. In this position he appointed T. Harold Jacobsen as the next state archivist in 1963. Jacobsen’s training and experience was in the microfilming of records, and under his leadership the archives program began an aggressive campaign to microfilm and preserve the state and local government records of Utah.
In 1966, Governor Calvin Rampton commissioned a study on the reorganization of Utah’s government. The commission was modeled on the federal Hoover Commission and came to be known as the “Little Hoover Commission.” Among the many recommendations made by that commission was that the state archives program be removed from the Historical Society and made its own independent agency within state government. In spite of the controversy this move engendered (particularly within the Historical Society), the Utah State Legislature moved to act on this recommendation, and in 1969 the Utah State Archives and Records Service was born as a division of government within the Department of Finance. This move became official in 1969 when the “Archives and Records Service Act” was passed and the Utah State Archives and Records Service joined the Department of Finance.

In addition to creating the State Archives, the Archives and Records Service Act had several other important provisions that established the functions for this new government agency. The act provided for the centralized administration of the State Archives, specified the duties of the State Archivist, created the State Records Committee and prescribed its duties, and provided for the issuance of rules and regulations.

The move of the archives out of the State Historical Society certainly wasn’t without controversy, particularly among staff and supporters of the State Historical Society. The director of the State Historical Society at the time, Charles Peterson, was determined to do what he could to reunite the agencies via legislation in the 1971 Utah Legislative session. Peterson was ultimately unsuccessful in that effort, and the agencies remained separate, evolving independently of one another.

Throughout the 1970’s, while housed in the Department of Finance, the archives took early steps to improve preservation and access through the creation of a robust microfilming program. In 1979, the archives was given the responsibility of administering the Information Practices Act, which was a precursor to the modern Government Records and Access Management Act (GRAMA).

With the dawn of the 1980’s, the archives underwent several changes. The first occurred in 1981 with passage of the Administrative Service Act that created a new Department of Administrative Services. In its earliest iteration, this new department included the divisions of finance, central services, data processing, facilities construction and management, archives and records services, purchasing, and personnel management.

Change was a constant for the agency throughout the 1980’s as there was a push to professionalize staff and services, while at the same time the agency’s archival holdings were moved out of the basement of the State Capitol and into a warehouse on Salt Lake City’s west side. Permanent records weren’t the only thing on the move, as 1984 saw the agency offices, microfilming services, and Research Center move into a renovated building on Capitol Hill, originally built for the Department of Agriculture.

A major touchstone of our history came in 1991 with a revision of the Information Practices Act that culminated in passage of the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA). GRAMA (and the Public Records Management Act, or PRMA) provides the framework for how government records are managed and accessed and provides the State Archives with its mandates to facilitate the management and access of government records.

At the turn of the 21st century, major changes were on the horizon for the State Archives. In 2003 the state legislature appropriated funding for the Archives to move off of Capitol Hill and into a specially designed building south of the Rio Grande Depot in downtown Salt Lake. This move provided the opportunity to reunite staff with the permanent collection, which had previously been stored offsite at a warehouse near Decker Lake in West Valley City. The new building also provided the benefit of bringing State Archives and State History closer together (both physically and in partnership). In spite of being administered by two separate departments, in 2005 the agencies moved into a shared Research Center in the Rio Grande Depot that they co-administer to this day.

Major societal changes born out of the rise of the internet and the information age have also left their mark on our agency. In 2006 we launched the Digital Archives program which, to date, has put over 1.5 million government records online for 24/7 access. In 2007, the State Archives became part of a new era of open government and transparency with administration of the Public Notice Website. In 2012 we were tasked with providing the support for the newly created Government Records Ombudsman. And in 2014, new legislation selected the State Archives to serve as administrator of the Open Records Portal.

With the perpetual and rapid shifts of technology, any projection of the next 50 years is bound to a little naive (but still interesting). That said, the work we accomplish in our institution today will definitely have an impact down the road.

Currently the Utah State Archives and Records Service is working hard to modernize its approach to records management, including the advice and training we supply to other governmental entities. As this continues to evolve and we begin to see more buy-in from users, it is easy to imagine the future impacts that will have. With sound records management taking place across all levels of government, agencies will discover new efficiencies, information will transparently flow where it needs, and our institution will be well-equipped to capture the history of government in Utah.

Hand in hand with an emphasis on modernizing our approach to records management is a shift we are undertaking to fully embrace the digital age. It is a long-term goal of the Utah State Archives to build robust programming that will allow us to be certified as an ISO-standard Trustworthy Digital Repository, a designation that will demonstrate our institutional capacity to manage, preserve, and provide access to electronic records according to professional standards. Building into this future will fundamentally change our institution and the skill sets of future staff.

And finally, we anticipate that the Utah State Archives and Records Service of the future will continue to serve as a central hub for government transparency and accountability. While systems come and go, and laws change and adapt to meet present needs and circumstances, our institution is well-equipped to continue serving as a central stakeholder in all discussions pertaining to records access and ongoing efforts to make Utah government transparent and accountable to its citizens.

The Utah State Archives and Records Service in 2069 will look and behave very differently than the institution that operates today, just as the institution of today has made incredible strides and transformed itself from the agency that first emerged in 1969. It is an exciting time to be an information specialist, and the Utah State Archives stands at the forefront of a path toward the future.

Archives staff visiting an agency

Vison

To create powerful solutions that meet the immediate and long-term records needs of Utah government and its citizens.

Mission

The Utah State Archives’ mission is to create innovative solutions that will assist Utah government agencies in the efficient management of their records, to preserve those records of enduring value, and to provide quality access to public information.

Values

Responsive to preserving the historical record of Utah government

A complete understanding of Utah and its people depends on an enduring historical record. This history belongs to the citizens of the state. Government records are essential to protecting life, property, and the rights of citizens; providing documentation of the infrastructure of society and government; and providing the informational infrastructure necessary to maintain order, accountability, and transparency in government. The Utah State Archives is responsive to capturing and preserving this historical record, regardless of its format.

Proactive in providing comprehensive and quality access to information

State laws provide that government meetings, decisions, and records be made available to the public appropriately. The State Archives holds Utah’s documentary history as a public trust. This history belongs to the citizens of the state and they have a legal right to open and fair access. The Utah State Archives is committed to providing quality services to its customers and proactively seeking out new avenues to increase access, expand its audience, and enhance the research experience.

Predictive in meeting emerging needs of government and citizens in the 21st century

Accountability and transparency in government begins with good records management. The Utah State Archives provides guidelines, standards, tools, and resources necessary to state and local governments and the state’s archival institutions so that they can be more effective and efficient in their recordkeeping. The Utah State Archives is committed to meeting the various recordkeeping needs of Utah’s governmental entities and establishing the necessary framework and services that will ensure effective management and preservation of electronic records.

Productive in providing leadership

The Utah State Archives is a resource to its partners and customers and is committed to providing effective leadership to state and local governments and archival institutions throughout the state. Working together as partners, we can accomplish more, and accomplish it more efficiently.

Archives Staff in front of Rio Grande depot sign

How We Are Organized

The Utah State Archives organizes itself into cross-functional teams that are tasked with meeting the needs of our users and/or providing support services to teams making direct contact with users. These teams and working groups are composed of staff members who bring different skills, knowledge, and expertise to their respective team(s). 

The general features of teams are described below. Teams are empowered to create their own strategic plans in alignment with the broad goals spelled out in this strategic plan. In practice, “teams” is a descriptor that is often interchangeable internally with “program” and/or “committee.” This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, as teams evolve and grow to meet evolving needs.

Our Audiences

The Utah State Archives provides a broad array of services to a wide variety of audiences. As a division within the Department of Administrative Services, we are mandated to provide records management and archival services  to Utah state government agencies, Utah’s local governmental entities, Utah’s special districts, Utah’s courts, and Utah’s elected offices. These service offerings include: records management resources, training, and certification; inactive records storage at the State Records Center; administration of the Records Management Committee; and preservation and access services for the permanent records created by these various entities.

In addition to providing administrative services to Utah's governmental entities, the Utah State Archives is also responsible for providing public access to the preserved permanent records of Utah's governmental entities.

Finally, the Utah State Archives is mandated to act as a hub for a host of transparency services that are intended to make Utah’s government more transparent and accessible to its citizens. These services include: administration of the Open Records Portal, administration of the Public Notice Website, administration of the State Records Committee, and Government Records Ombudsman services (such as mediating record requests and disputed denials).

Foundational Skills and Values

At its foundation, the Utah State Archives embraces and cultivates a culture of communication, collaboration, pragmatism, leadership, innovation, flexibility, self-sufficiency, responsiveness, and listening. It is expected that every staff member of the Utah State Archives embraces and embodies these cultural values and principles in their daily work.

Layered on top of the foundation of cultural values espoused by the Utah State Archives are the unique professional competencies and skill sets that allow staff members to appropriately do the jobs they are tasked with. Members of the Utah State Archives staff are skilled professionals in the fields of archives and records management, and they utilize their professional competencies to meet the broad records needs of governmental entities and the general public. Staff are also encouraged to develop and utilize other unique professional competencies relevant to their work, such as: digital asset capture, management, and preservation; marketing, communication, and branding; and warehouse management.

Customer-Facing Service Teams

The following front line service teams engage directly with specific audiences to deliver best outcomes for the unique needs of that audience.

Local Government Team: The Local Government Team is tasked with working to meet the records management and archival needs of all of Utah’s local governmental entities (county, city, and municipal). The team is also responsible for working with local schools and education entities, transit districts, interlocals, local and special service districts, law enforcement agencies, and the Utah court system.

State Government Team: The State Government Team is tasked with working to meet the records management and archival needs of Utah’s state government agencies, the State Board of Education, the State Legislature, Utah’s elected offices, independent agencies, and boards and commissions.

Open Government Team: The Open Government Team is tasked with collaborating to streamline and deliver high quality services related to government transparency. This includes administration of the Open Records Portal, the Public Notice Website, the State Records Committee, and Government Records Ombudsman services.

Reference and Access Team: The Reference and Access Team is tasked with delivering access to Utah governmental entities' historical records that are held in the custody of the Utah State Archives. The Reference and Access Team collaborates with other institutional teams on initiatives and projects to further this goal.

Records Center Team: The Records Center Team is responsible for overseeing the operation of the State Records Center and execution of the Utah State Archives’ inactive records program. This includes interfacing with governmental entities regarding the storage and management of inactive records at the State Records Center, managing and destroying records according to properly-approved retention schedules, and transferring permanent records that have reached retention to the Archival Repository for permanent storage.

Training and Education Team: The training and education team is responsible for developing and delivering educational content on various records management, records access, and records preservation topics using a variety of platforms to a diverse audience. The training and education team is also tasked with operating the records officer certification program. 

Support and Service Teams

The following support and service teams provide internal support to customer-facing service teams. They may also periodically act as front line service teams and engage in direct interaction with our various user groups.

Administrative Services Team: The Administrative Services Team is responsible for providing administrative support and services that further the strategic goals and initiatives of all of our teams. This includes procurement of goods and services, administrative approval, policy formation, budget and accounting, legislative tracking, and other administrative functions for the agency. 

Building Committee: The Building Committee is an internal service team tasked with overseeing building(s)-related issues and coordinating with appropriate partners to remedy problems as they arise. The Building Committee is mandated to engage in long-term planning for our work spaces that will be developed into formal recommendations for administrative consideration and approval.

Records and Data Management Team: The Records and Data Management Team is responsible for ensuring continuity for a wide variety of data elements that are cross-sectional. Led by the Chief Records Officer (who is also responsible for overseeing the records management of all records created by the Utah State Archives in pursuance of its functions, and for responding to record requests from the public in accordance with Utah Code 63G-2), this team maintains customer contact information and alignment of governmental entity hierarchy information. The Chief Records Officer is also tasked with creating the model version of records management for a state government agency in Utah and partnering with the State and Local Government Teams to effectively scale that model to meet the varying needs of our distinct audiences.

Digital Initiatives Team: The Digital Initiatives Team is responsible for overseeing the preservation, reformatting, and access of both born-digital and made-digital records at the Utah State Archives. This includes oversight of digital reformatting services, the online Digital Archives, and digital preservation. It is expected that the digital reformatting services also retain internal competencies that will allow for the ongoing maintenance of the substantial analog microfilm collection that our institution has spent decades building.

Outreach and Advocacy Team: The Outreach and Advocacy Team is responsible for working with all teams and programs at the Utah State Archives to deliver professional outreach services that promote those teams/programs, and the institution at large. This includes overseeing all communications, branding, event planning, and intern services for the institution. The Outreach and Advocacy Manager is a member of the Web Committee and the Training Committee, and takes on roles assigned by those committees as needed.

Archival Repository Team: The Repository Team is responsible for providing ongoing support and maintenance for the Archives' permanent collection and storage space. This includes ongoing maintenance of the Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS), daily tasks associated with its performance, and long-term planning that ensures that the system remains viable over the long-term. It also includes maintenance of the climate control systems and fire suppression system, as well as repository security, cleaning, and other maintenance concerns.

General Retention Schedule Team: The General Retention Schedule Team is responsible for updating the general retention schedules and user experience, gathering and reviewing feedback from stakeholders, consolidating duplicate and contradictory schedules, working with the Records Management Committee to get the schedules approved, and communicating changes to customers.

Record Appraisal and Retention Team: The record appraisal and retention team is responsible for researching, discussing, and making recommendations regarding the appraisal of permanent and non-permanent records of governmental entities in the state. The team meets regularly with the Appraisal Committee in order to facilitate the internal approval of retention schedules, which then go before the Records Management Committee for final approval.

Systems Administration Team: The Systems Administration Team is composed of all staff members tasked with the administration of a technical system in our institution. This team meets regularly to discuss system issues, coordinate response, develop long term system(s) strategies, and develop recommendations for system improvements or procurements.

Web Committee: The Web Committee is responsible for keeping content on all agency web platforms updated and in-line with the mission, values, and services of the organization. The Web Committee is tasked with analyzing unique user seeking behaviors and modifying web services to meet those behaviors. In addition, the Web Committee plays an important role in planning for future web needs and making recommendations for those needs to administration.

Advisory Boards

In addition to the cross-functional teams described above, we are mandated to provide administrative support to the following committees and boards:

Records Management Committee
State Records Committee
Transparency Board
Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board

Intern with records

Transformation Outcomes

The Utah State Archives is committed to embodying the vision, mission, and values of its parent agency, the Department of Administrative Services. By adhering to the vision of creating powerfully, the mission of creating innovative solutions to transform government services, and the values of being responsive, proactive, and predictive, the Utah State Archives will transform itself into a dynamic and modern government agency.

Transformation is a powerful act that requires a commitment to listening, collaborating, and learning. It requires the cultivation of an organizational culture that is adaptive, non-judgmental, well-informed, willing to take risks, and capable of rewarding innovation and high-quality work. The Utah State Archives is guided by five transformational outcomes that embody how we will work and stay in alignment in the midst of transformational change in our organization.

  1. One Archives: We will work as one team, not component parts.
  2. Be Predictive in Our Practice: We will embrace technology and professional standards, and use both to best meet the needs of the organization and our users.
  3. Listen and Learn: We will take the time to listen and actively engage each other and our stakeholders as we evolve services and foster best outcomes.
  4. An Agency of Leaders: We will invest in our staff and foster a culture of leadership and accountability that leads to the collective success of the organization.
  5. Create and Collaborate: We will engage with our stakeholders and professional communities and look for opportunities to collaborate and advance both our mission, and the records management and archival professions at large.

Strategic Goal 1: Meet Users Where They Are

Meeting our users where they are affirms our commitment to modernizing our services and offering them effectively and efficiently to our users wherever and whenever it is most useful to them. We are being predictive in moving beyond the traditional role of simply making information and services available to our users, and instead investing in ways to deliver high quality information and services rapidly, wherever a user might be.

1.1 Build a Digital Initiatives Program that consistently delivers high use content for 24/7 online user access.

To meet our users where they are, we will create a new Digital Initiatives Program that will oversee the reformattting, preservation, and online presentation of an ever-increasing number of digital items with a high use value.

Strategies

  • Commit to systemic change that will fold the Digital Archives Program, Reformatting Program, and Digital Preservation into one streamlined service.
  • Collaborate with other teams for programmatic digitization that identifies records to create high quality digital collections for access to those records with robust discovery tools.
  • Professionalize digital reformatting services and programming according to professional standards and best practices.
  • Build digital preservation capacity to meet the needs of preserving both born-digital and digitized objects managed long-term by the Utah State Archives.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Digital Initiatives Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team

1.2 Create an online customer portal that delivers all relevant records management and government records access information and corresponding services to governmental entity administrators and records officers.

To meet our users where they are, we will create an online portal for Chief Administrative Officers and Records Officers that provides them with instant online access to the tools, information, and services they need to best perform the important work of managing Utah’s government records. The design and implementation of such a portal will adhere  to professional standards and best practices.

Strategies

  • Identify the core records management needs of our users and recommendations for how to best deliver.
  • Determine the methodology and systems for personalizing users' experience and providing them with the ability to verify and manage their agency and records information kept by the Utah State Archives.
  • Include this portal in a holistic view of all of online access, anchored by the division website, in consideration of design, navigation, and a seamless user experience.
  • Create focus groups of users to ensure the highest level of usability within a portal environment.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Local Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; State Government Team; Records Center Team; Open Government Team; General Retention Schedule Team; Training and Education Team

1.3 Promote transparency and meet the access needs of government and citizens.

To meet our users where they are, we will proactively evolve our government transparency services and facilitate citizen engagement and interaction with government. We will do this by improving the breadth and depth of information we make available, simplifying services wherever possible, and promoting use of resources such as: government records ombudsman, open records portal, public notice website, and the State Records Committee.

Strategies

  • Improve transparency services, including the Government Records Ombudsman and State Records Committee that allow citizens to easily access those services effectively and efficiently.
  • Develop Open Records Portal functionality to better allow Utah’s governmental entities to immediately meet user requests for government information by providing them with an easy-to-use platform to post that information online.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team

1.4 Strategically plan for website design that incorporates enhanced access tools (catalog, indexes, etc.) and places premium focus on users and their individual information-seeking behaviors.

To meet our users where they are, we commit to an ongoing, holistic review of all our websites that result in user-centered design and experience to provide immediate access to information and services.

Strategies

  • Establish a framework that clearly defines roles and responsibilities for in-house web support and external vendors.
  • Engage/invest in ongoing planning and systems development that results in Archives data appearing “live” on the website to create technology flexibility and serve the most up-to-date information.
  • Commit to sharing, integrating, and linking entity information as software systems are added and evolve. Embrace our role as the “source of truth” for the history of governmental entities and the changes that have shaped them over time.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Records Center Team; Reference and Access Team; Reformatting Team; State Government Team; Record Appraisal and Retention Team

Strategic Goal 2: Modernize Our Methods

Modernizing our methods affirms our commitment to evolving in order to meet current and future needs. We are being proactive and predictive by acknowledging that the archival and records management professions are in the midst of radical change brought on by technology, and it is incumbent upon us to modernize how we do business in order to remain a relevant and high-performing 21st century State Archives.

2.1 Inventory and manage permanent collection in order to make evidence-based decisions.

We will modernize our methods by conducting a comprehensive inventory of the Utah State Archives permanent collection. This inventory will bring improved intellectual control to the 50,000+ items currently in the collection and result in the capture of critical item metadata to better describe the collection, to proactively plan preservation and access activities, and to report progress through effective performance measures.

Strategies:

  • Complete an  inventory of the permanent collection by planning inventory days when staff will complete inventory and data gathering work in a planned, consistent way.
  • Analyze data captured as part of the inventory and use it to define the current characteristics of the collection.
  • Based on the current characteristics of the collection, plan individual preservation and access initiatives, especially targeting at-risk formats as they are identified.
  • Archivally process record collections and enhance record creator and collection descriptions to facilitate best preservation and access outcomes.

Contributing Teams: Archival Repository Team; Chief Records Officer; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team; Record Appraisal and Retention Team

2.2 Create standards-based and scalable digital preservation program.

We will modernize our methods by fully implementing a standards-based and scalable digital preservation program that is capable of performing the complex work associated with managing and preserving born-digital and digitized records. This program will meet the needs of our users, who are increasingly looking for viable solutions to manage and preserve the digital records that are ubiquitous in our world. This will ensure the Utah State Archives is capable of fulfilling its fundamental mandates to preserve and provide access to government records, regardless of their format.

Strategies

  • Follow recommendations from the 2019 Digital Bedrock performance audit to modernize the digital preservation program. Utilize the NDSA levels of preservation methodology to strategically plan and improve preservation services.
  • Commit to systemic change that will integrate the Digital Archives Program, Reformatting Program, and Digital Preservation into one streamlined service.
  • Increase digital preservation capacity to meet the future needs of preserving both born-digital and digitized objects managed by the Utah State Archives.
  • Train current staff,  and further evolve job descriptions and hiring practices to build a skilled staff capable of specialized electronic records management and digital preservation work.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Chief Records Officer; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Records Center Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team; Training and Education Team?

2.3 Evolve our training and certification methods.

We will modernize our methods by improving the training and mandated certification options we provide to records officers and GRAMA responders. This includes improving the overall quality of training and online certification testing, developing flexible testing options that meet the various skill levels and needs of our users, and utilizing technology to offer testing digitally and remotely.

Strategies

  • Develop online training options, webinars, and training videos for users.
  • Build certification tests on one technology platform that is easily accessible to both state and local government entities.
  • Take a holistic approach to training that includes all teams and services. Create training that speaks to all parts of the records life-cycle (both active management, access, and archival preservation).
  • Modernize training and guidance to include information on the effective management and preservation of electronic records.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team; Training and Education Team; General Retention Schedule Team; Records Center Team

2.4 Develop guidance and self-assessment tools for government RIM programs.

We will modernize our methods by developing a comprehensive self-evaluation tool that governmental entities can use to measure and assess their internal records management programs, as well as strategize improvement. This tool will provide a valuable core service to our users while also offering the Utah State Archives information that we can use strategically to target stakeholders with the highest level of need.

Strategies:

  • Draw on the recommendations in the 2018 RIM performance audit from iMerge to develop RIM self-assessment tools and scoring for state and local governmental entity RIM programs.
  • Include annual self-assessment scoring and methods for improvements as a core accessible service offering in a new online portal.
  • Release an annual report on progress made in self-assessment.
  • Develop internal strategy for drawing on assessment data to create targeted projects and initiatives that deliver specific services to our users when they need them.
  • Create a campaign to introduce and educate records officers regarding the RIM program self-assessment tool.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Chief Records Officer; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Records Center Team; State Government Team; General Retention Schedule Team; Training and Education Team; Outreach & Advocacy Team

2.5 Integrate the Open Records Portal and Public Notice Website into a seamless user experience.

We will modernize our methods by integrating the Open Records Portal and the Public Notice Website into seamless user experiences for posters/responders and general users. These improved services will be integrated as core features within the larger online customer portal described in goal 1.2. Improving these mandated services aligns with our strategic goal of evolving government transparency to better meet government and citizen needs, as well as promote better direct citizen engagement with government.

Strategies

  • Secure the necessary funding.
  • Streamline design of the Open Records Portal and the Public Notice Website into one site that is coherently branded, user-friendly, and responsive to government and citizen users.
  • Reorient the purpose of the Open Records Portal as more than a place for GRAMA requests by offering solutions that allow responders to directly post government information online when it is requested.
  • Build in functionality that allows the Utah State Archives to preserve electronic records that have permanent value as they are submitted on these platforms.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team

2.6 Modernize reference and access in our 21st century Research Center.

We will modernize our methods by developing a 21st century Research Center and reference services that focus on enhancing ease of access through digital technologies, while still providing high-quality access to our analog holdings. Dual-format access to Archives holdings will help meet the strategic goal of meeting our users where they are, as well as promote strategic planning to identify highest use records for online access (based on evidence and data).

Strategies

  • Centralize ease of access as our primary customer service goal. This includes simplifying services for users, improving user friendliness, and building feedback systems that provide an opportunity to solicit ideas for ongoing improvement(s) from our users.
  • Modernize request tracking systems to ensure that we have clear usage data,  collection security, and high-quality communication with patrons.
  • Regularly survey patrons in order to gather feedback for service improvements that will inform several other supporting programs as well. Gather both quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Commit to systemic change that will integrate the Digital Archives Program, Reformatting Program, and Digital Preservation into one streamlined service in support of enhancing access.
  • Use best evidence and collaborate with other teams for programmatic digitization that identifies highest use collections for access and discovery based on advanced program planning. Find ways to make this decision making, and subsequent actions, transparent to our users, and provide ways for their feedback to be incorporated into the planning and decision making process.
  • Continue to build digital preservation capacity to preserve both born-digital and digitized objects in order to provide future access.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team

2.7 Modernize Archives systems and technology to meet ever-evolving needs.

We will modernize our methods by partnering with the Department of Technology Services (DTS) and the Division of Purchasing to request, analyze, and procure systems solutions that best meet the current (and future) needs of the Utah State Archives. This will include taking a holistic view of our systems, putting a premium on efficiency and return-on-investment, and establishing clear functional requirements that all potential system solutions must meet.

Strategies

  • Partner with DTS and the Division of Purchasing to act on the FY 2020 engagement model analysis (conducted by DTS, the Utah State Archives, and Goldratt Consulting) that will result in a best value RFP that will gather critical information on vendor system solutions and options.
  • Be predictive and proactive by engaging in ongoing systems strategic planning that clearly documents the current systems environment and maps out systems planning (and anticipated needs) over the next 5-10 years.
  • Align all systems with an online or web component to user-centered design and information architecture similar to the website (1.4) and customer portal (1.2). 
  • Meet the strategic goal of developing a scalable and standards-based digital preservation program by procuring a digital preservation system that meets the core functional requirements of the institution.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Archival Repository Team; Chief Records Officer; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Records Center Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team

2.8 Modernize and simplify general retention schedules

We will modernize our methods by ensuring all new and updated general retention schedules are inclusive of electronic records, continuing to update and create general retention schedules to be more usable and logical, and creating a simplified method for records officers to view and update their own retention schedules.

Strategies:

  • Continue to consolidate and update general retention schedules using more transparent processes developed in FY2020.
  • Expand methods for gathering stakeholder feedback, including increased involvement of each RIM specialist and leveraging the Records Management Committee’s experience and expertise.
  • Publish general retention schedules online once needed consolidations and updates have been identified and completed.
  • Implement retention schedule software that will enable customers to view and update all of their retention schedules (series-specific, local, agency-specific general, and selected general retention schedules) in one place, as recommended in the findings of the 2018 RIM performance audit by iMerge.
Contributing Teams: General Retention Schedule Team, Local Government Team, State Government Team, Outreach and Advocacy Team; Records Center Team

Strategic Goal 3: Act as the Professional Leader for Utah

Utah State Archives is a trusted source for records management and archival guidance within the state. As a professional leader for Utah, we look for opportunities to collaborate effectively with our partners to deliver dynamic, cutting-edge services to our users.

3.1 Establish cross-functional teams that deliver the full spectrum of RIM and archival services to users across the state.

We will act as a professional leader for governmental entities by utilizing teams made up of diverse skill sets to meet the needs of our users. This approach is an evolution of an organizational hierarchy that has too often resulted in a siloing effect and limited our ability to meet user needs rapidly and effectively. Cross-functional teams will be empowered to lead and will be expected to collaborate to get the job done.

Strategies

  • Create a new organizational hierarchy that embraces the cross-functional team approach..
  • Identify key initiatives and projects for cross-functional team collaboration in order to increase communication, break down silos, and advance records management and archival priorities.
  • Provide customers with consistently high quality service, regardless of which services they take advantage of. 
  • Identify points in our services/processes where we transition from one team to another and design procedures that will make the transitions seamless for the customers.  

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Open Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Records Center Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team; General Retention Schedule Team

3.2 Engage in a uniform institutional approach to outreach that streamlines all messaging, communication, and branding.

We will act as a professional leader by investing in institutional outreach and advocacy. This includes: linking outreach and advocacy with cross-functional teams to expand our reach; streamlining outreach activities through a centralized point to ensure coherent and consistent branding and messaging; and, looking for opportunities to partner with other entities to spread knowledge and resources throughout Utah.

Strategies

  • Develop program-specific outreach strategies that deliver information and services to users where they are.
  • Raise awareness of the Utah State Archives, our mission, and the value of archives in our society through ongoing outreach campaigns and targeted marketing strategies.
  • Engage partners and stakeholders to raise awareness, disseminate information, and demonstrate the importance of professional records management and archival work.
  • Develop the next generation of archival leaders by administering intern and volunteer programming.

Contributing Teams: Archives Administration Team; Digital Initiatives Team; Local Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Open Government Team; Records Center Team; Reference and Access Team; State Government Team; Training and Education Team; General Retention Schedule Team

3.3 Collaborate with private and public partners to preserve Utah’s history and advance our institutional mission, values, and goals.

We will act as a professional leader by collaborating with regional partners (private and public) to preserve Utah’s history. This coalition-building will raise awareness, demonstrate our institutional value, deliver services to our users where they are, inclusively engage traditionally marginalized communities, increase the overall professional quality of Utah’s cultural heritage community, and preserve the records and artifacts of ALL of Utah’s peoples and institutions.

Strategies

  • Secure needed funding
  • Pool limited resources
  • Actively share expertise and develop new skills regionally
  • Engage in shared activities that wouldn’t be possible alone
  • Achieve greater visibility and influence statewide, regionally, and nationally
  • Enhance access and engagement
  • Develop and/or expand partnerships
Contributing Teams and Organizations: Ancestry.com; Archives Administration Team; Conference of Intermountain Archivists; Department of Heritage and Arts (Division of State History and Utah State Library Division)Digital Initiatives Team; FamilySearch; Local Government Team; Outreach and Advocacy Team; Reference and Access Team; SNAC Cooperative; State Government Team; Utah Manuscripts Association; Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB)

Strategic Goal 4: Build Our Future Through Our People

Building our future through our people demonstrates our commitment to investing in the staff of the Utah State Archives, empowering them to be proactive leaders who can innovate, collaborate, and make strategic decisions that further the institutional goals of our organization. The staff of the Utah State Archives are our single greatest resource. Committing to this goal will ensure that we continue to deliver high quality service to our users, build staff skills and capacity to meet future needs, and guarantee succession planning and continuity of operations.

4.1 Develop a skilled staff of leaders who are proactive and responsive to change.

We will build our future through our people by investing in staff and empowering them to act as leaders who are proactive in solving problems and responsive to the evolving needs of our users. This includes investing in staff training and professional development, encouraging professional service and networking, rewarding innovation, and creating a culture of communication, collaboration and accountability.

Strategies

  • Commit to investing in professional development and skill building for staff.
  • Begin working to adapt job descriptions and recruitments to meet evolving needs.
  • Give staff the tools and resources they need to do their work.
  • Commit to the strategic use of bonuses, adjusted step increases (ASI’s), and other tools to reward skill development, professional service, and innovative and effective work.

4.2 Create career paths with clear expectations for advancement.

We will build our future through our people by creating clear career paths that encourage and reward hard work, innovation, and longevity with the institution. Career paths will be responsive to individual circumstances, providing opportunity for advancement of those in manager tracks as well as subject specialists.

Strategies

  • Work with DHRM to create position classifications that facilitate better defined career paths.
  • Create clear expectations for advancement along certain career paths.
  • Begin working to adapt job descriptions and recruitments to meet evolving needs.

4.3 Ensure continuity of operations and succession planning.

We will build our future through our people by being predictive and proactive in planning for change and disruption. This includes ongoing continuity of operations planning and training and succession planning for each member of our staff. Doing this work will ensure that operations continue in the face of staff change or unexpected disruption to our services.

Strategies

  • Task an internal COOP Committee to conduct ongoing emergency planning and prep, which includes routinely training staff on emergency management processes and procedures.
Create and update red books and succession plans that ensure staff continuity and ongoing performance in the face of change and/or unexpected disruption.

Page Last Updated November 3, 2020.