Nestled in the Poconos, 90 miles from New York City, the historic county has seen significant growth over the last couple decades. Pennsylvania also has one of the longest record retention requirements for coroner’s offices. Storing, preserving, and accessing these documents has become a logistical challenge. The county needed to rent more space to accommodate the additional 1,700 records a year, these documents were subject to decay, and it could take weeks to access them. When Tomas Yanac, Jr. was elected as the county coroner in 2017, he saw this problem and new they needed to digitize county records.
In the Spring of 2021, the coroner’s office found out that Avenu’s Digital Processing Services team was already scanning documents for other departments in the county. They jumped at the opportunity to utilize the DPS services, and the process began.
Avenu digitized roughly 481,000 pages and 31,650 case files. This included historical documents dating back to 1837 that had to be handled with care. All these documents were preserved so that they could be searched and accessed digitally. Now when members of the public need files, they can accessed in seconds instead of weeks without any risk of damage to the documents.
Learn the steps taken to digitize almost a half million pages, and how this transformed how the coroner’s office serves the public.
Monroe County, PA Coroner’s Office
How a Countywide Project Tackled over 14 Million Paper Records and Entered the 21st Century
Monroe County, PA was founded in 1836, is the home of the Pocono Mountains and is a mere 76 miles from New York City. Like all local governments, Monroe County is required to keep detailed records of everything from land grants and property deeds to court filings and tax data. These documents provide vital information and are an indispensable resource for both government employees and constituents.
Simple enough at first, but as time marches forward Monroe County has grown along with its population and court cases, which means that the number of records that need to be preserved has grown EXPONENTIALLY. The County had thousands of boxes of files overflowing in multiple physical storage locations across six different buildings.
This made retrieval of documents an additional challenge and required going to an off-site location, looking down long rows of files stored on shelves, and sifting through boxes to locate the desired file.
Some of these paper artifacts are 100 years old. Over time, paper experiences deterioration that occurs from usage, sunlight, oxidation, mold and storage. Even ink was not engineered to last 100 years. Fast forward to present times where counties across the country are facing insufficient storage and the cost of archiving paper records is a growing issue coupled with the need for immediate anywhere access.
Ultimately, Monroe County’s challenge was to efficiently preserve records for long-term use, being able to easily access records while reducing storage requirements, provide a disaster recovery plan while staying on budget.
Learn the steps taken to tackle over 14 million paper documents and create a digital archive for the county.
Monroe County, Pennsylvania
Monroe County was established in 1821 and the amount of papers that was accumulating from the span of 200 years was exponential…leading the County to embark on the Paperless Initiative. Today we’re going to discuss what drove the county to venture towards this initiative and the steps they’re taking to achieve it.
As the County Archivist, Kelly Smith , is responsible for managing the long-term storage and preservation of official records and ensuring that the public has access to them.
Together we discussed:
This discussion was taken from our show Local Government Insights. If you want to hear more episodes like this one, check us out on Apple, and all your other favorite podcast platforms. Take a moment listen on your favorite platform. We would appreciate your reviews and feedback as we continue to release upcoming episodes.
How Avenu Built IT Solutions for the Digital Age
The digital transformation of government is an imperative today. Digital citizens increasingly demand the convenience and efficiency of digital services from their local governments. Paper processing, manual data entry and in-person bureaucracies hamper government’s ability to deliver best-in-class solutions that can keep up with the pace of modern life.
But digitizing and modernizing isn’t always easy. There’s a lot for local governments to process. To fully digitize their operations, governments need effective and secure IT infrastructure, as well as access to the expertise, resources and tools of dedicated IT specialists.
Since the 1990s, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, has sought to stay on top of the latest trends in digital government. But Monroe County didn’t want to be just one step ahead; they wanted to build a digital government that would last for the long term. To do so, they needed help. And Avenu was there to help them.
Avenu’s decades-long partnership with Monroe County has effected a total digital transformation of the county’s government.
Learn the steps taken to implement this transformation and enable Monroe County to be a leader into the future.
Monroe County, Pennsylvania