Our staff profile series continues with Carie Chesarino of the Government Records Section, Records Analysis Unit.
Tell us a little about your job.
As a records management analyst, my day-to-day in the Government Records Section varies widely. Primarily, I serve as a resource for government employees figuring out how to organize, preserve, make available, and/or destroy their office’s records. I advise on retention periods, the Public Records Law, confidentiality, electronic records management, and archival appraisal.
I also help coordinate the security microfilming of major decision-making boards’ meeting minutes from across the state. The meeting minutes of town, city, and village councils as well as county boards of commissioners record North Carolina’s rich history. Hence, we ensure that these records are preserved so future generations may access explanations for how and why their city, town, village, county, or agency developed the way it did.
How long have you worked for the Division of Archives and Records?
I started in April 2012.
Describe your educational or career background prior to working here.
I have a heavily liberal arts background. I graduated with a B.A. from John Carroll University–The Jesuit University in Cleveland–in 2009 with majors in history and German studies and minors in philosophy and modern European studies. I followed that with a M.A. in public history from North Carolina State University, which concentrated on American history and archival studies. Finally, I recently completed a M.S. in library science from UNC-Chapel Hill, where I studied archives and records management as well as digital libraries.
Previously I worked and interned as a student archivist at the following repositories: North Carolina State University’s Special Collections Research Center; University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Southern Historical Collection; and the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Gardens.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
Besides the sheer variety of job duties, it is truly rewarding to work as a consultant for public employees. More often than not, they are generous with their gratitude and quick to help me out when I have questions.
Is there an aspect of your job that you never thought you would end up doing?
I work with microfilm so much. As a millennial–even as one who wanted to work at the Archives–I never fully appreciated the value and sustainability of microfilm as a storage medium until now. The State Archives has quite the treasure trove of information available on these innocuous reels.
What would you want people to know about our collections or services that may not be widely known?
The State Agency records have tons of interesting information – of particular interest to me are the records in the Department of Public Instruction’s related to the construction and administration of African American schools. Something I have had to get used to is translating research topics into government functions in order to find records. In a similar vein, researchers should feel comfortable turning to Public Services archivists with help in determining which records series correspond to their research interests.