3 Replies Latest reply on Mar 31, 2016 6:13 PM by Meredith Stewart

    Join us for a webinar on Open Government - March 29 at 2:00 PM

    Meredith Stewart Adventurer

      Please join us for a webinar with the Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, and other National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) executives on Tuesday, March 29 at 2:00 PM Eastern Time. We will discuss the agency's next Open Government Plan and seek your suggestions, ideas, and feedback on how we can improve.

      Share your ideas in advance and during the webinar in comments on this post below. You'll also be able to make suggestions by chat or phone during the webinar, but we'd love to have your contributions here on History Hub.  

      Do you have ideas on how to improve the researcher experience?  Do you have suggestions for better ways for NARA to collaborate, encourage public participation, or innovate? Can we provide greater transparency to our records or our processes? Let us know!

      Learn more about our efforts by reviewing our previous Open Government Plan.

      Register for the webinar today!

      Registration is not required to join the webinar.  You can join at the time of the webinar by following the instructions below.

      Webinar Login: http://ems7.intellor.com/login/703482

      Webinar Dial-in: After you have connected your computer, audio connection instructions will be presented. You will be connected to the conference with the AT&T Connect Web Participant Application - there is no software download or installation required.

      If you are unable to connect to the conference by computer, you may listen by telephone only at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-668-3633 using 0996865# or Find an Alternate Number.

      If you need technical assistance, call the Help Desk at 1-888-796-6118 or 1-847-562-7015.


      • Introduction - David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
      • Open Government Plan Process - Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer
      • Innovation - Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer
      • Research Services - Ann Cummings, Access Coordinator
      • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) - Gary M. Stern, General Counsel and Chief FOIA Officer
      • Declassification - Sheryl Shenberger, Director of the National Declassification Center
      • Records Management - Laurence Brewer, Acting Chief Records Officer for the U.S. Government, and Director, Records Management Operations Program
      • Ideas, Comments, and Suggestions - Participants of the webinar are asked to share their thoughts on what NARA should do to strengthen open government
        • Re: Join us for a webinar on Open Government - March 29 at 2:00 PM
          Maarja Krusten Adventurer

          Thanks for providing information about the Webinar on March 29, 2016!  I have a suggestion for you to consider for the next Open Government Plan.


          The work that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) does in preserving and providing access to the records of government benefits citizens in many ways. They see the result as genealogists and other researchers; as listeners to public programs; as participants in workshops. And visitors to exhibits--I saw so many people streaming in to the museum in Washington this week to see "Amending America."


          But there's so much that happens before those results benefit citizens!  Over the years, I've answered questions on the fly about so many areas of the life of records. Reading news stories and talking about archival work to friends outside NARA suggests it would be helpful to have a one-stop place on archives.gov that complements and places in context the topical information now on the site. A roof with some big skylights that shine light into the rooms inside.


          My suggestion is to put up a web page--perhaps in the "About Us" section--that tells the story of how access happens. A single page on archives.gov that proactively provides context to journalists, researchers, partners, educators and government officials outside NARA. To anyone who now turns to different parts of the site as questions come up. Something readers could use either as a big picture story or as a gateway to additional information--as they themselves choose and need.


          An example of a question the page could cover would be this: do officials of the records creating agencies or departments screen records for disclosure as they send them to NARA to become part of its historical collections? Answer: Permanently valuable records are to be to be sent to NARA "as is." NARA's officials take on the responsibility for ensuring that public releases from material it takes into its legal custody occur according to laws and regulations.


          Having a web page on the website that tells the story of how access happens would open to the public the doors to the offices and processing areas throughout NARA. Something that tells that story not in lists of statutes and regulations. But rather in relatable language--in the form of the records' story. With links to other portions of NARA's site so readers at home or in offices can chose to check out more details (records management, declassification, obtaining a researcher card, etc.) as needed.


          Something that starts with the first steps when citizens send communications to the officials of their government in departments and agencies. And those officials create records during the course of government business. And what happens to records from the moment that NARA takes them in until a citizen reads them in digital form on a screen or looks at physical records in a research room.


          Added bonus, this would acknowledge the contributions of the NARA employees who work on appraisal, records scheduling, records policies, preservation, processing (including review), enabling digital and physical access, as well as exhibits and public programs. And link everyone inside NARA with the members of the public they serve!

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