Monday, March 30, 2009

March 2009 Update

ANSM Conference & AGM
If you haven’t yet registered for the ANSM conference, please do so. Make sure that your membership is up to date so you can vote at the AGM and let your voice be heard. You have all expressed your thoughts and wishes for the Association to the Steering Committee and in some cases to the board itself, and we encourage you to continue that dialogue in order to ensure that the ANSM is meeting your needs.
Call the office at 1-800-355-6873 or 423-4677, or visit the website for more information.
Early bird registration deadline is April 5th. You have to be a member at April 14th in order to be eligible to vote!

Steering Committee
The next Passage Steering Committee meeting will be held on Thursday April 23rd from 4pm-7pm in Dartmouth, during the ANSM Conference. With Thursday’s dinner being “on our own” the Steering Committee thought that this would provide an excellent opportunity for a meeting. Also, since we hope to see all of our partners at the ANSM Conference, the meeting will be open to any and all Passage members who wish to attend. The meeting will be held at MacAskill’s Restaurant at 88 Alderney Drive, where there is lots of parking and we will be close to the Dartmouth Heritage Museum for the evening wine & cheese event. The restaurant will begin taking dinner orders at 5pm, giving us an hour to take care of business before food gets in the way. The Steering Committee is confident that their meeting will not take the full hour, and will get through their formal business as quickly as possible in order to allow for a lot of informal discussion and feedback from you, the partners.

If you would like to attend this meeting, please RSVP to Karin by April 15th as she needs to tell MacAskill’s how many people to expect. It would also be helpful to know if you will be there right at 4pm or will arrive a bit later. For those of you going on the bus tour, feel free to join us after it ends at 430pm.
We unfortunately are not in a position to pay for your meals, but still think that this is great opportunity to talk about whatever you want to talk about as Passage partners.

Passage Renewal
We are still waiting for renewal contracts and payments from some sites. The deadline for renewal is April 15th, and so the Steering Committee’s regional reps will be contacting those sites who have yet to renew in the very near future. For those sites who have yet to renew, please contact Karin and let her know what your intentions are, as we are financially dependent on renewal fees and also have a waiting list of other sites wishing to join the group.

CMA Conference
Karin has just returned from the CMA Conference in Toronto, and as promised, will be writing a full report on the sessions she attended. It will be posted on the blog asap.
During a meeting with the CMA Executive Director John McAvity, a request was made for digital images of crumbling collections. This is not meant to embarrass museums, but to show the government that museums need to be invested in, or important pieces of Canadian history will be lost forever. So, if you have anything in your collection that is really falling apart, snap a photo and email it to Karin, along with a quick little blurb about why the object is important.

SDI Interim Report
Our interim progress report to the Strategic Development Initiative has been submitted, and will be posted to the blog shortly. Since the biggest focus is on having all records uploaded to Artefacts Canada, we have listed our partner sites in this report, outlining the percentage of your collections that are online.

Lynn’s Contract
Unfortunately, Lynn’s contract with us is at an end, which means we are now at a stand still with the data cleaning & uploading assistance. A proposal was submitted to the ANSM, in accordance with the recent ANSM-Passage agreement regarding Passage-derived funds held in their bank account. This proposal would see Lynn’s contract extended until July at which time we hope to be able to hire her through another CHIN partnership. We have been advised that the application is currently under review and will let you know as soon as we hear anything more.

Artefacts Canada Tally
With Lynn’s contract coming to a close, the number of uploads this month doesn’t meet February’s, but we still managed to get another 4,825 records online. This gives us a grand total of 63,656 records on Artefacts Canada!
At the beginning of the new Passage year (December 2008), we had 43,707 records online, which means that since that time another 20,000 have been uploaded. Excellent progress everyone, and let's keep that momentum building!

Here are the current regional standings:
Southwest: 23,654
Northeast: 19,932
Central: 12,527
Cape Breton: 7,543

Congratulations to the Northeast for uploading the most records this month! It looks like they have their eye on the top spot.

Blog Polls
Just a friendly reminder to everyone to take part in the latest poll. This question is one of great interest to the Steering Committee and will help the committee to plan for next and future years. Results will be reviewed at the next Steering Committee meeting on April 23rd, so please vote before the poll closes on the 22nd. To find the poll, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

mid-March Update 2009

Association of Nova Scotia Museums

The ANSM conference and annual general meeting is fast-approaching. If you have not renewed your membership we strongly encourage you to do so. While the membership year was extended, just because you were a member last year does not mean you are still a member. This is your provincial association, and the AGM is where you can make sure that your voice is heard. Given recent events and current circumstances, it is imperative that the board of directors receives a clear message about your wishes for both Passage and the ANSM. Without you, there is no association.

Call the office at 1-800-355-6873 or 423-4677, or visit the website for more information.

You have to be a member by April 14th in order to be eligible to vote!

Passage Renewal

Thank you to everyone who has paid their Passage renewal fee and sent in their signed contract. The deadline for renewal is April 15th, and all renewal fees and contracts must be received by the Wolfville Historical Society by this date.

CMA Conference

Karin will be in Toronto next week for the annual Canadian Museum Association Conference (March 24-28). The conference program is filled with a wide range of workshops and information sessions that promise to be very beneficial to the Passage Steering Committee and partner sites. As with the CHIN meetings, a full report will be written and sent out to Passage partners on her return. Please contact Lynn for assistance while Karin is away.

SDI Interim Report

Our interim progress report to the Strategic Development Initiative is due at the end of the month.

The following funding deliverables will be reported on:

· 100,000 records uploaded to Artefacts Canada

· Data Cleansing for 15 sites

· 50 site visits

· 500 enriched records

· Regular contact & communication with member institutions

· Increased communication & co-operation

· Improved management practices

As you can see, the biggest deliverable is having at least 100,000 records uploaded to Artefacts Canada. To date we have uploaded over 60,000 records, making the completion of the "funding deliverables" seem far less formidable, and with all partners’ active and full cooperation we can certainly achieve them. We cannot, of course, fail without the prospect of consequences, but we do not want or need to dwell on that. Lynn has been hired and we are looking at the ways and means of extending her employment until mid-July at which time we hope for a CHIN grant to keep her on after that. So, with both Karin and Lynn focusing on that level of uploading production for the remainder of the year, we are making available considerable resources to assist you all to do that. We believe that by reaching a total of 125,000 records uploaded, the Heritage Division will be well satisfied with the project results.

Uploading to Artefacts Canada

For those of you who still have reservations about uploading information, please enjoy as we did, this video created by Michael Edson, Director of Web and New Media Strategy at the Smithsonian Institution. It is slightly interactive and we encourage you to share it with others in your Society. The nature of public ownership of collections and access to property cared for by institutions is rapidly changing (in fact has changed) with the universal uptake of the internet and this is increasingly where our stakeholders, whose numbers have suddenly multiplied overnight, look for and expect to find information. The video playfully rebuts the traditional view of museum stewardship. As statistics indicate (counter intuitively to some) that far from diminishing museum visitation, sharing information of all kinds actually increases it.

If you can't access the video through the hyperlink, paste the following into your web browser:

Leave us your thoughts and comments on the Blog.