In May, Archives New Zealand launched the beta version of the new Records Toolkit website. The Records Toolkit is an initiative aimed at getting the information and resources Archives New Zealand produces to the people who need it.
Until now the standards and guidance that we issue has been made available exclusively through the main Archives New Zealand website. But users had difficulty finding information on the site. And we had difficulty with the pockets of outdated information and references that have a bad habit of lingering in long-neglected corners of the site. We explored a number of fix-it options and eventually it became apparent that one option offered advantages that others did not.
For the Records Toolkit we decided to adopt the Common Web Platform (CWP). The CWP will put control of the site into the hands of Government Recordkeeping Directorate staff. CWP's greatest advantage is that it puts control of the site structure and the content in the hands of the staff who understand it best.
The Records Toolkit is not simply a platform for advice on Archives issues: it's designed to be a community resource for anyone in the public sector with responsibility for records. It uses a blog and a Twitter feed to let users know about additions and changes to the Records Toolkit itself as well as related events of interest to anybody in the information and records management field.
We encourage comments and feedback on the Records Toolkit. Already content has been edited, blog posts have been written, and new guidance has been published. Our new guidance on records management and social media and records management and cloud computing resulted from early feedback.
This is not something that will end when the Records Toolkit moves out of the beta phase. User feedback is integral to how we develop and produce content for it. Whether the feedback questions the phrasing of a sentence or requests guidance on a particular topic it will be used to tailor the content to the needs of the users.
As we continue to develop the Records Toolkit we need to be careful that we are not prematurely removing content from the “Advice on Records & Archiving” section of the Archives New Zealand website. Eventually the Records Toolkit will be the exclusive home of our standards and guidance but most of the old content is located on the Archives New Zealand website. As we add new and refresh existing content, we'll update the links pointing to the Records Toolkit versions. The old pages will be kept up until we see, via web analytics, that there is no longer good reason to maintain them.
If you have any thoughts about what is on the Records Toolkit, what should be on it, or what should not be on it please share your thoughts with us at the Recordkeeping Directorate in Archives New Zealand. Add a comment or email us.