Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Benefits of Passage Renewal

As the Passage renewal deadline fast approaches, some of the partners have been asking how to convince their board to renew. To help with this, we decided to write up the following document, outlining the benefits of Passage and the monetary value of services that you receive for your $250 renewal fee.

The following is a list of service items as seen in your renewal contracts, with a short explanation of each:
1) Site visits from Passage Project Staff
Each partner receives at least one on-site visit from the Collections Coordinator. Additional visits by the Coordinator or other contract staff will be made as time and resources allow. The Collections Coordinator also attends each regional meeting in order to provide another face-to-face visit with partners.

2) Regular contact & communication with Passage Project Staff & Passage Steering Committee
Staff and PSC members are available to members on an as-needed basis and can be reached by phone or email. We will also be setting partners up with Skype, a free online system which would eliminate the cost of long distance phone calls. Updates are posted to the Passage blog on a monthly basis, and special reports or updates are added when needed.

3) IT, Collections Management & Conservation support for term of project year.
Passage staff are available to answer any and all questions relating to the database and general museum practices. Out IT Consultant is available to deal with any database programming issues that arise, and the Collections Coordinator provides advice on collections management and preventive conservation practices catered to the individual needs and goals of each site.

4) Data Enrichment training & research assistance on artifacts
Partnering with CHIN, project staff will provide one-on-one on-site training to partners on how to create collection records that bring the artifact to life. A digital image is taken of the chosen objects and research is undertaken in order to explain the importance and history of the object. This information is uploaded to Artefacts Canada in order to increase the museum’s online profile. Access to this funding & assistance is only possible because of the provincial scope of Passage.

5) Data Cleaning for Collections database undertaken by Passage Project Staff
This initiative was started in late 2006, and continues until each site receives this service. It is a one-time service where staff review each site’s database, ensuring that national standards and formatting are being followed. A comprehensive report is written that outlines trends and ways of improving methodology. This ensures that the database is operating at an optimal level, and that information uploaded to Artefacts Canada will be highly professional.

6) Inclusion in the examination of a province-wide marketing & exhibit campaign featuring
artifacts that were “Made in Nova Scotia”
This item was subsequently removed from the year’s Work Plan at the request of ANSM, as they felt it was more in the realm of their mandate to provide this service.

7) Database upgrade
This year’s database upgrade will allow the database to be networked, allowing multiple users to access and update information at the same time. It will also allow you to copy a record, saving time on data entry when dealing with multiple objects of a similar nature.

Given today’s economy, it is increasingly important to justify expenditures, especially for non-profit museums with limited budgets. By acting as a co-operative group and contributing $250, we are able to leverage funding and services of much greater value as shown below.

The following chart illustrates the value and cost-share of Passage services received by each site:

*This is how much it would cost for a museum or individual organization to receive the same services they currently receive through the Passage Project if it were a for-profit business.

**PastPerfect is a comparable proprietary database systems that might be recommended for use if someone wished to migrate from the Passage system. But its annual costs are clearly more expensive and the company offers less by way of service than Passage.

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