Thursday, March 31, 2011

March 2011 Update

Membership Renewal
If you have not yet sent in your Passage renewal contract & payment, it must be done asap.  As mentioned in the renewal letter, we will only migrate your data to the new system if we have a valid contract and payment.  If you have not sent in your renewal, please contact me immediately so we can discuss this.

Database Renewal Project
Beta-testing has taken longer than expected, but datasets are now being migrated and museums are finally able to move ahead with their database work.  To date, three museums are actively using the system, and another 12 have been cleaned and are ready to be migrated.  The duration of the migration process is slightly different for each site; textual records can be migrated fairly quickly, but processing the images takes much longer.  This means that the larger the database, the longer it takes us to move it to CollectiveAccess.

Phase II of this project is to develop and launch a public website for Nova Scotia collections.   We have just gotten the first mock-up of this website, which means that IMAC will be addressing this at our upcoming meeting.  We want to make sure the design is clean and intuitive, and that it has all the features and functionality that we require. 

Documentation continues to be developed for the new system.  A user manual has been written that will look fairly similar to the old Passage database manual, with lots of screen shots and easy-to-understand language.  We have also created a number of instructional videos which are available on ANSM's YouTube channel.  Initial feedback from beta-testers suggests that the videos are preferred to the textual manual, so we will be adding more of these as time and resources allow. 

Museums Studies Certificate
The Education & Training Task force met on March 22nd to discuss the development of the core curriculum and upcoming annual conference.  We recently found out that our application to CCI was successful and we have been awarded the regional workshop - a new one that addresses artifacts in aboriginal cultural centres

I've been dividing my time between database renewal work and workshop development.  The first workshop in our new core curriculum is called Museums 101 and will be taking place on May 26th in the Halifax area.  While I could review the old FNSH curriculum, it requires a lot of updating.  This means a lot of researching to find good background readings for participants and develop a workshop that will give a great overview of the museum field.  Later this year we'll be offering two more workshops as part of our new certificate program; Museums & Community and Museum Management & Governance.

Brochures about the certificate program will be available at the spring conference.

QR Code Usage Statistics
As promised, here are the latest qr code usage stats.  As I alluded in an earlier post, the numbers aren't very impressive yet but they are growing and we are hoping to see them skyrocket over the summer months.  To date, we've had 581 views.  Keep in mind that this is only from 4 sites and the codes have been launched very recently. 

ANSM Online
I also want to remind everyone about how you can connect with ANSM online.  Our Facebook page is increasing in popularity - on March 30th we reached 100 fans.  This is a professional development resource where ideas, tips, resources, and other knowledge is shared. 
As previously mentioned, we now have a YouTube channel as well.  This is where a lot of the qr code content is hosted, and where our database tutorial videos can be found. 

Goodbye Alexandra
Alexandra finished up her contract with us on March 16th.  We went out for lunch at a local Thai & Vietnamese restaurant to say thank you to Ala for all her hard work, but I'd like to say another thank you here.  Alexandra was instrumental in the success of our qr code project, as well as our ongoing database renewal project.  She did some very thorough beta-testing of the new system, wrote the user manual and created the tutorial videos.  She has helped us move miles ahead over the past six months and will be greatly missed.  We wish her all the best in her summer Montreal adventure, and look forward to connecting again when she begins grad school at Dalhousie University in the fall.  

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