As the Publicity Officer for ARA Scotland I was lucky enough to attend the Officers’ Training Day that this year was held in London. The day acted as both an introduction to all things ARA and as an update for more seasoned members. The latter seemed particularly thrilled with the first activity of the day: an ARA quiz… Whilst I can’t admit to thanking our host for that surprise, my role in Scotland ensured I at least aided my team in one question (answer: ASLAWG) and it certainly broadened the knowledge of even the members of the board!
We then heard from the John Chambers (Chief Executive) who updated us on what had been happening in ARA for the last year. There are too many highlights to mention them all but everyone should look forward to the digital preservation training which is to be held jointly with IRMS and Preservica around the country. I am particularly excited to get my ARC Magazine in app form which will also be happening soon.
A central part of the day was hearing from Grant Taylor, who spoke about committees and communication. Everyone was keen to improve their skills in this crucial area and Grant’s talk helped us consider how we could work better in our various nations, regions and sections. It’s all too easy for a committee to meet and have a long discussion which leads to little action but this practice can now be consigned to the archive!
Throughout the day we had more updates about the ARA records management project, what was happening in external relations and advocacy from Jon Elliot (Head of Public Affairs) and we also heard from David Mander (Chair of the Board) about a forthcoming Code of Ethics for recordkeeping professionals.
Finally we finished the day with a pecha kucha (20 slides of 20 seconds each) session in which, as the day was hosted by former ARA Scotland chair Karl M, I participated. This was an informal way of hearing what everyone had been up to but was perhaps made more nerve wracking if your topic is publicity and an expert in publicity is sat in the room! It was interesting to hear from some other regions and sections and is hopefully something that will be repeated at other events as it is an easy way to get to speed with the successes of ARA that are happening around the UK and Ireland.
I very much enjoyed my day in London and feel more involved in ARA now and more at ease with who does what and where. It has left me feeling ready to do more in my role as Publicity Officer, as I feel equipped with more skills, including general communication skills which I will be sure to use in my career. Now to go and see if I can download that ARC app…
ARA Scotland Publicity Officer