When the topic of records retention comes up, most people think, “How long do we need to hold on to records?” An equally important aspect of this topic is, “How do we store the records while we’re holding onto them?” We have a responsibility to properly manage the records in our departments. This includes storing them in proper containers, in the proper environment and with proper security measures in place.
The LCC Paper Records Storage Guidelines document explains the guidelines and best practices in place at LCC for records storage, including which containers are appropriate for storage and which are not, recommendations for arranging materials within storage containers, standards for the environment the records are stored in, and important aspects of security and safety in storage spaces that should be taken into account.
A few highlights:
- Records should be stored in containers designed for records storage purposes, such as filing cabinets or records boxes. The ideal box is a 10” x 12” x 15” bankers-style box. These boxes can be ordered from Office Depot (Item#: 198802). Printer/copier paper boxes are not sturdy and should be avoided. Two-foot records boxes should also be avoided due to their increased weight and lack of structural support in the middle.
- Records should be arranged in a manner that allows for easy retrieval and disposal.
- Prolonged exposure to extreme heat or cold or excessive temperature variations should be avoided, particularly for archival, audio visual and other sensitive materials, or for records that require long-term retention.
- Avoid the storage or consumption of food near records storage areas to limit the potential of attracting pests to these areas.
- To avoid intentional or unintentional loss of records, it is important to know who has access to the records storage space and to take appropriate precautions to restrict access as necessary.
- The storage space should have sufficient lighting to allow staff to work in the space safely.
The full, official LCC Paper Records Storage Guidelines document is available for your use. Please take time to read through it to ensure LCC’s records are properly protected and stored while under our care. For questions about the records storage guidelines or other records topics, contact records information specialist Linnea Knapp at firstname.lastname@example.org.