Thursday, April 30, 2009

April 2009 Update

ANSM Conference & AGM
The ANSM conference was held on April 23 & 24, and was very well attended. There has been a slight changing of the guard on the ANSM board:
Pauline Thomson – President & CB Regional Rep
Mac Mackay – Secretary-Treasurer
Janice Kirkbright – Central Regional Rep
Enid Cooper – NE Regional Rep
Sherry Griffin – SW Regional Rep
Janice Tulk
Robert Grantham
Bruce Bishop

The AGM was very interesting, and members made two important motions from the floor – that the new board be supportive of Passage, and that an Executive Director be hired within 3 months.
So now is the time to put on your thinking caps. The board is looking for input from the members on what they want/need in an Executive Director, and will be meeting on Monday to discuss this. Your questions, ideas, comments, concerns etc should be sent to your regional rep (listed above) so they can incorporate them into Monday’s discussion.

Steering Committee
The Passage dinner meeting was a huge success, with around 20 people in attendance. Thank you to everyone who came out, and we hope that you enjoyed it as much as we did. The next meeting will be held in July.

Passage Renewal
We are still waiting for renewal contracts and payments from some sites. The deadline for renewal was April 15th, and without renewal fees we will not be able to deliver that terrific 10 to 1 leverage on your individual annual renewal. The benefits of Passage renewal document can be found in the archived blog posts.
The next two sections outline a couple more reasons to renew your membership.

Database Upgrade
Richard is currently putting the finishing touches on the latest database upgrade, which will allow you to use the database from different computers. This means that more than one person can access it at the same time, which will hopefully help speed up the data entry process. The second part of the upgrade is that you will be able to duplicate a record. So if you’re working on entering a photograph collection, instead of entering the same information for each record, you can just duplicate the record and then adjust the info as needed. We will be releasing this upgrade as a beta-test first to ensure that no bugs or glitches show up, and a general release will take place by fall/winter.

Remote Assistance
In order to provide more extensive assistance to partner sites, we will be instituting a remote assistance program using Skype™ & Crossloop®. These are free programs that will let Passage staff communicate with members over the internet, and even work on site databases from the central office. So if problems arise, we won’t have to worry about site visits, burning cds or zipping & emailing files back and forth. This assistance will not replace the site visits, but will allow us to do more involved work in a much easier way.

Passage on the Road
Karin attended each of the four regional meetings in April, in Mahone Bay, Amherst, Halifax and Baddeck. All of these meetings were very well attended, and it was wonderful to have opportunity both to hear about what’s going on at members’ museums, and also to be able to report face-to-face on Passage activities. Passage staff and the Steering Committee always welcome the opportunity to meet with members, and so if you have any upcoming meetings or special events that you would like us to attend, just let us know and we will do our best to fit it into our schedules.

Lynn’s Contract
It was reported last month that a request was made to the ANSM to access some of the Passage-derived reserve funds in order to extend Lynn’s contract and complete the data cleaning process. We are very pleased to announce that the request was successful and Lynn will now be with us until the middle of July.

Data Entry Support
Do you have a backlog of paper records to be entered into your database? Melanie is starting work this week on the first site to receive this extra assistance, but we’d love to come up with a prioritized list of sites who could use the help. If you’re interested in receiving data entry support please follow the call for proposals that was sent out last week and send it to Karin. This does not have to be a formal application; you just have to prove that you could use some help. If you no longer have the call for proposals document, let Karin know and she can send it off to you.

New Passage Members
On behalf of the group, a great big welcome is extended to 4 new Passage sites: Charles Macdonald Concrete House in Centreville, Fort Point Museum in LaHave, Milton Blacksmith Shop Museum in Milton, and the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame in Halifax. These museums are all very different from eachother in their focus and mandates, which is very exciting in terms of broadening the scope of the Passage group. If you’ve never been to visit them, why not stop by to introduce yourself and check out their specialized collections. You won’t be disappointed.

Blog Polls
Only 17 members voted in the latest blog poll, so it has been extended as we are very interested in getting this information. If you haven’t already voted, please vote. If you have voted, thank you for your cooperation.

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