Monday, February 29, 2016

February 2016 Update

Evaluation Program
As I mentioned last month, museums are busy preparing for their summer evaluation, and we continue to be busy assisting in those preparations and working on logistical and other details of the process. I'm pleased to say that the Steering Committee has chosen people to be evaluators and that we are very excited about this high calibre, knowledgeable team. We're also working on developing a new website so that you can submit pre-evaluation documentation online. Documents must be submitted electronically.

Museums that have not been in communication with us will be receiving letters over the next few days. We want to make sure that every museum is feeling confident about their preparations, gets all their questions answered, and gets the best possible score on the evaluation. With only 10 weeks left to prepare for the pre-evaluation, quite frankly we're concerned that a number of organizations haven't been in touch. If this is you, please pick up the phone or send me an email.

Your quick tip for preparations this month has to do with all those documents you'll be submitting. Don't forget to include the date that the document was last reviewed as a footnote on the cover page or elsewhere in the document. We will be looking to make sure the museum/board has reviewed the document within the past 5 years. It's important for you to make sure your policies & procedures are evolving along with your organization.

Collections Database Info
Great database work continues, especially as museums prepare for the dreaded Information Integrity Check of the evaluation. In terms of those preparations, this month has had me actively working with two museums on database and collections issues. This kind of work often feels like it is never-ending since it's often hard to see clear progress. As I've said before, it's something you pick away and just try to take solace in the knowledge that you are improving things.
As a group, we added 375 artifact records and 690 images this month. We've documented (or more accurately are in the process of documenting) 222,169 artifacts and digitized 106,773 of these, sharing what we know with the world. Sometimes the sheer amount of information amazes me, and today is one of those days.

Southwest - 120,368 artifacts, 49,163 images
Central - 42,863 artifacts, 25,228 images
Northeast - 30,982 artifacts, 21,673 images
Cape Breton - 27,956 artifacts, 10,709 images

Congrats to the Central region for adding the most records and images again this month. These museums are busy!!

A scarf...I think...
I skipped the image lesson last month, so I wanted to find a really compelling image and a brand-new lesson for this month. And I think this one is a good one. Let's talk about the importance of a contrasting background for your artifact photography. This is a white scarf on a white background. Or we could make the joke that it's a polar bear in a snowstorm. Just kidding, it's not that bad, but it is still next to impossible to see details or really understand this scarf in a visual way. If this scarf had been photographed on a dark background, we'd be able to see the tassels on the end, the weave, the width and length...our eye could really absorb the details to help us understand how it was made and used.

Odds and Ends
Our special project work continues. Fleming students are plugging away at their adopted records, and almost 200 businesses have been added to the Made in Nova Scotia database. We've got a lot of other irons in the fire, but I won't bore you with those until we have some serious information to share.

In ANSM news, we're excited that we've completed the 100 from 100 campaign, and that our workshops continue to benefit the museum community. Our Education & Training Taskforce met this month and we've got a very full plate of educational offerings to serve up this year. The CCI Storage Re-Org is in March, CMA conference and our Interpretation II workshop happen in April, our Museums & Security Symposium is in May...and that's just the Spring! This week we opened registration for Interpretation II - Exhibitions, and it filled up within 36 hours. If you missed registering, call the office and ask to be put on the waiting list. We always manage to get in a few people from the list, so it's definitely worth it.

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