Friday, May 27, 2011

Museums 101 Workshop - Halifax edition

You knew it was coming, and now it has come and gone.  We just completed our first workshop of our new Museums Studies Program...Museums 101.  For the past two days I've been hanging out and talking shop with some great people from across the province.  We had a diverse group of 18 participants - some were brand new to museums, and others have been working in the field for years.

Museums 101 was designed to introduce people to the complexity of the museum world, so we touched on a lot of subjects.  We talked about the public perception of museums, and what implications this has on our work.  We went back in time and discussed how museology has evolved over the years, and we looked at the current lay of the museum land in Nova Scotia.  We talked about the laws, policies, and ethics that guide us in our work.  On day two we looked at the five key functions of museums, and how the lessons learned on day one play into the way we collect, preserve, research, interpret and exhibit.  We also admitted that there are a few challenges in the museum world, but we stayed positive and focused on how to overcome them.  To top it all off, we looked at where the museum field is headed, and what trends and opportunities exist.

Participants were very positive and we had a lot of great discussions over the course of the
two days.  I know there will be things to adjust before the next Museums 101 delivery, but given the feedback, I think we're on the right track.

Here's what people had to say:

"The basics were really valuable to me as I have not had much museum experience - so knowing the ethics and formats of collecting was very good to know."

"Made the responsibilities of museums much clearer."

"All information was helpful. The importance of basic established policies and mandates to operate your site stood out as important. The ideas of engaging, provoking and revealing were great and I will use more of that. Great 2 days. The sharing of ideas was very important."

"It showed me areas that need a lot of improvement."

"An overview was most valuable to me. I am new to museums and needed the basics. It was great! I look forward to more workshops."

"Everything I found was interesting and relevant."

"Great content, good pace, interesting range of participants."

"It was nice to see how ethics can apply to the museum work. I also enjoyed going over the process of how to take artifacts from donation to exhibit/interpretation using examples of artifacts. Well run workshop. Looking forward to attending more."

"The history of museum collections was fascinating. The activity about accepting donations, research & display of artifacts was also very engaging. I found all of the info given very useful/valuable. The course was very informative & time well spent."

Thanks to the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 for hosting the workshop! 


J Goreham-Penney said...

Well done to ANSM for putting on this museum studies program. Sounds like the participants learned a lot, can't wait to see what future training opportunities are coming down the pipeline.

Karin said...

Thanks J! We are definitely ramping up training, so stayed tuned for more workshops.