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How Monroe County Executed Its Paperless Initiative

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.

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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:

  • The situation storing 200 years worth of paper.
  • Top factors to consider when looking for a vendor to help go paperless.
  • Understanding state record retention rules
  • Workflow for digitizing a large collection of records
  • Changes in storing, and retrieving documents.

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.

CASE STUDY: The Paperless Initiative

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