REMOVING BARRIERS TO ACCESS
"Many of our records were literally crumbling apart from overuse. OIB significantly reduces the amount of handling and helps preserve our records.”
— Brenda Roberts, Clerk of Probate and Juvenile Court, Monroe County, Ohio
DIGITAL RECORDS PRESERVATION WITH OIB
MONROE COUNTY: At a glance
Located on Ohio’s eastern border with West Virginia, Monroe County is a heartland community with a large Amish population and a thriving oil and gas industry.
CHALLENGE: Overloaded staff and overused records
The Probate Court in Monroe County was faced with inadequate space and limited resources to handle requests for public records. Struggling to meet the demand, the staff was stretched thin dealing with copying issues, tracking documents, and collecting fees. Irreplaceable, aged documents were often damaged due to handling and overuse. “We had a lot of traffic in and out of the office. People were literally on top of each other looking for records,” said Brenda Roberts, Clerk of Probate and Juvenile Court.
SOLUTION: Digitally recreating a familiar analog system
Cott Systems worked with the Monroe County Probate Court to implement an Online Index Books (OIB) solution tailored specifically to their office. By combining digital images of their indexes and related record books with unique retrieval software, OIB replicated the indexing system that staff and the public have used for decades. "Many of our records were literally crumbling apart from overuse. OIB significantly reduces the amount of handling and helps preserve our records,” added Roberts. “I feel better knowing our records are stored electronically and will always be available.”
RESULTS: Anywhere access, every time results
Monroe County staff can now focus on cases and essential projects instead of filling requests for records. “It has worked out great. Researchers can now do a lot of searching without coming into the office. When they do, they can go straight to pulling records,” said Roberts. “We even have an online request form that accepts credit card payments. They don’t need to come into the office at all. The best part is that we don’t have to lift the books, pull them apart, and copy them anymore. OIB is so much more convenient.”