Monday, November 30, 2009

November 2009 Update

Steering Committee & SDI

The Steering Committee held it’s final meeting under the auspices of the Wolfville Historical Society on November 5th. The final report to SDI has been submitted, and we are very pleased to report that we once again exceeded our funding deliverables. Renewals contracts are being mailed out this week, so please get these back to us as soon as possible.

CHIN Enrichment Project

Anna’s research contract has come to a close which means that Jen is now handling all of the enrichment work. We are well on the way to meeting all of our funding deliverables, and now need your help to make sure your records are updated and uploaded in time. This must be done by the end of January at the very latest. If you have never participated in this work, please contact us so we can make sure you don’t miss out on such a great opportunity.

Data Entry Support (aka Melanie’s work)

The Queens County Museum records have now all been entered. Thanks to Melanie for all of her hard work! We will be looking at other ways for Melanie to help out Passage participants, and will keep you posted about our volunteer’s activities. Once the enrichment work has been completed on their 20 art objects, all of the information will be uploaded to Artefacts Canada.

Skype & Crossloop

Need help but want to avoid long distance phone bills? Karin is now online via Skype every day, so you can either call or send a quick text message with your questions or comments. The online Passage skype community continues to grow, so if you aren’t signed up already, create an account and search for karinkierstead as a new contact.

Karin is also available to connect to your computer with Crossloop. This is the perfect thing for any contract staff who are working on the database, as Karin can be virtually by their side as they get acquainted with the Passage system. If something goes wrong, or they want to be shown something, Karin can control your computer and walk them through the steps. They can watch her enter records, attach photos, or otherwise use the database. It’s a great and efficient way to get a refresher course in the database.

Remote assistance is going to become an integral part of Passage services in order to cut down on travel costs and make troubleshooting more efficient. Here’s a little testimonial of how it’s working so far:

“Karin spoke to me about downloading Skype. I am so computer illiterate that it is embarrassing. So I asked a couple of questions and wow! Here I am talking away to her, getting answers to problems immediately. It even saves conversations for future reference when the same mistake happens.” ~Brenda, Cape Sable Historical Society

Equipment Survey

The Steering Committee has been calling and emailing all partner sites to determine your equipment needs for facilitating remote assistance. If you have not talked to your regional representative, let Karin know right away if you have the following equipment at your museum. We are currently negotiating a bulk purchase and wouldn’t want anyone to miss out on this opportunity.

  1. Microphone (for your computer)
  2. Webcam
  3. External Hard Drive

Blog Polls

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far in our poll about managing loans in your museum. If you haven’t yet voted, please scroll to the bottom of the page and let us know how you handle loans at your institution. This is a key piece of information that will be used to help us meet this coming year’s deliverables, so we need everyone to vote by simply clicking in the appropriate check boxes.

Artefacts Canada Tally

There weren’t any changes in the uploading tally for November, so the regional standings remain the same as last month:

Southwest: 59,196

Central: 29,015

Northeast: 24,623

Cape Breton: 21,134

Monday, November 2, 2009

October 2009 Update

Steering Committee & SDI
Due to illness, the PSC meeting was postponed until November 5th. This is to be the last meeting with the Wolfville Historical Society administering the project, and so we will be saying a special little thank you for Derek and his wonderful group in recognition of all the hard work they put in to the project over the past year.
Thank you to everyone who has returned their completed evaluation & self-assessment surveys. Remember that results will be discussed on Thursday and are part of our SDI funding obligations, so Karin needs these back asap.

Regional Meetings
Both the Southwest Regional Curator’s Group and the Iona Connection held their regional meetings this month. Since they were scheduled one day apart attending both would have been very difficult logistically, so Karin attended the Southwest one in Annapolis Royal and Anita Price, Managing Director of ANSM attended the Iona Connection meeting in Iona. Their respective reports were sent and shared with the groups, yet another example of the cooperation that continues to build between Passage and ANSM.

CHIN Enrichment Project

Jen & Anna are working hard to make sure all of our CHIN funding deliverables are met. While we are already close to meeting the required number of new & updated records being uploaded to Artefacts Canada, there is one deliverable that we cannot meet without certain partners’ participation. In order for the project to be deemed a success by CHIN, 8 new museums need to upload records to Artefacts Canada. If you have never uploaded records to Artefacts Canada, you meet this criteria and can help to ensure that our funding obligations are met. We also have to upload over 400 records, so now is the time to inundate us with objects to research.
On top of meeting our funding obligations, we really don’t want anyone to miss out on the opportunity to learn more about the art objects in their collection. We have a research assistant who specialized in paintings & prints at NSCAD University, and so this is a real opportunity for people to garner some expert knowledge. All you have to do is pick out your items and get in touch with Karin or Jen.

Data Cleaning
Now that site visits are completed I have returned to the task of data cleaning. There are only a few sites that have yet to receive this extra assistance, and in order to meet our SDI funding obligations we must complete this by the end of November. In order to meet our deadline, it is important that we move this along as swiftly as possible.

Data Entry Support
(aka Melanie’s work)
Melanie is still working on entering backlogged records, but is nearing the end. Once completed, the Queens County Museum will be finished the first two steps of the Passage game plan, having everything entered skeletally, and the entire database uploaded to Artefacts Canada.

Artefacts Canada Tally

Last month we saw the most records uploaded since we first installed the upload button in the database. So this month we’ve had a bit of a lull. 1,178 records were uploaded, giving us a new grand total of 132,690 records on Artefacts Canada.

Here are the current regional standings:
Southwest: 59,196
Central: 29,015
Northeast: 24,623
Cape Breton: 21,134

Congratulations to the Southwest Region for uploading 1,178 records this month, and for being the only region to upload!

Blog Polls
Thank you to everyone who voted in our most recent blog poll. We asked you who was doing the database work, staff, volunteers, students, or a combination of the three. While we were a little disappointed that only 16 of you voted, we hope that the results are reflective of the entire group. Here are the results:
Staff – 3 votes
Volunteers – 7 votes
Students – 3 votes
Combination – 3 votes
This suggests that 43% of Passage sites use volunteers to accomplish their database work

Check out our latest blog poll question about loans at the bottom of the blog page. Please check all applicable answers.

CNSA Training
Interested in learning more about copyright laws and how they affect your museum? The CNSA is holding a 2-day workshop on November 12-13th at NSARM in Halifax. The deadline to register is November 9th, and costs $50 for CNSA members or $75 for non-members. For more information visit the CNSA website.