Sunday, June 5, 2011

Provincial Museum Association Meetings - Day 1

Ok, so technically tomorrow is day 1, but I'm going to cheat a bit in order to remind people about the PMAs.  For the past few years I've been making an annual pilgrimage to Ottawa in order to meet with CHIN, CCI, CMA, and other provincial & territorial museums association staff members.  Having all these museum people and key stakeholders in the same place at the same time means lots of talking, listening, brainstorming, the end of the three days our brains are fried and sleep is at the top of our "to do" list. 

waterfall wall...ooooh!
Having said that, I think I speak for all attendees when I say that these meetings are crucial.  We're all so busy in our own work that we sometimes forget to look up and compare notes with the other provinces and territories.  Sitting around a table and learning from eachother always sparks new or borrowed ideas that can be brought back to Nova Scotia for the benefit of our museums.  This is also a chance for ANSM to bring Nova Scotia's issues to the national table.  The stakeholders we meet with are funding and service agencies, and advocacy associations.  And what we find more often than not, is that when an issue is raised by one province, it is echoed by others.  For instance, over the past two years we have been raising the issue of Young Canada Works not allowing you to hire the same student twice.  For museums in rural areas the candidate pool is often too small to accommodate this restriction, and from the perspective of the employer, it means losing valuable time retraining instead of being able to hit the ground running with an interested individual whose expertise can be built up over several years.  This year, those restrictions were finally lifted.  Many voices carry much power.

Anita getting cozy with Macdonald & Cartier
Anita and my adventures began at the Halifax airport where we learned that the flight had been overbooked and so there was a small chance that one of us wouldn't get on board.  I managed to get through security without setting off the metal detector, and even avoided the random laptop swab test.  The guy behind me was not as lucky.  In the waiting area we ran into Janice and Lynn from Association Museums New Brunswick.  Janice trained me in collections management databases back when I lived in New Brunswick, which means we share many acquaintances and always enjoy catching up on the latest news.  The ensuing shop talk helped pass the time as we waited and hoped that the plane had enough seats.  Luckily, we all made it on the overbooked flight, arrived with all our luggage, and got to the hotel safe and sound.

So we're here, we're settled, and we're almost ready to go.  Tomorrow I'll be presenting on our recent QR Code Project, and we're having a roundtable on digital preservation.  So it's time to review my presentation and speaking notes.  And after that it will be time to review the digital preservation questions.  After that I think sleep might be in order.  Stay tuned for daily recaps!
view of parliament from my hotel window

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