Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Book Review - The Art of Relevance

from Amazon.ca
You know when you start reading a book and you can just tell it's going to be good? The Art of Relevance is one of those books.

In my Remembrance Day blog post, I shared that after I became a mother, I noticed a baby consignment shop in my neighbourhood for the first time, even though it had been there for several years. I went in because I was curious, and I am now a walking advertisement for this business. Why? Because inside, I discovered a place that would meet Allie's growing needs as well as my own. They have regular mom nights, and last spring and summer Allie and I were part of Baby Book Club. It became the highlight of our week. It was a place for Allie to socialize with other babies, preparing her for daycare. It was also a place where I could compare notes with other parents and feel supported and understood without having to put a lot of effort into explaining the realities of parenthood. And it is just a short walk from home.

I thought this place had nothing to offer me before I became a mother, so I subconsciously blocked it out. But this is how relevance works. It shifts with life. Nina Simon notes that as she researched relevance, she learned that it was more than just being able to connect. "Something is relevant if it gives you new information, if it adds meaning to your life, if it makes a difference to you. Relevance leads you somewhere. It brings new value to the table." There is also a correlation between the level of effort required to obtain the new information and how relevant you feel it is. The easier the access, the higher the relevance.

Simon cautions that there is a real danger in oversimplifying relevance or of just thinking about it as a means to boost attendance numbers or generate income. It is easy to get distracted by flashy and exciting things that don't actually have anything to do with your mission but might get people through the doors for a limited time or special event. This is one of the arguments against blockbuster exhibits. Sure you might have a few more people than usual, but does it add meaning or value or benefit to your community? Simon also cautions people to think outside their organization. It is easy to be so familiar and comfortable with your museum that you can think everything is relevant to everyone, and everyone should be able to easily access the facility, information, programs and services. This is a bad mindset. Simon uses the terms insiders and outsiders to explain this; "insiders are in the room. They know it, love it, protect it. Outsiders don't know your doors exist. They are uninterested, unsure, unwelcome. If you want new people to come inside, you need to open new doors - doors that speak to outsiders - and welcome them in." Now before you start screaming about maritime hospitality and that everyone is always welcome, let's keep in mind that these barriers and feelings can be perceptions, and they are valid. The doors that Simon references are not always physical, but just a means of accessing the museum.

I love this:
"If you're going to open new doors - especially doors to the heart - you have to start at the front door. You have to show that you are inviting people in on their terms, with generosity, humility, and a nod to what speaks to them. Effective front doors have greeters who look like your community welcoming them at the door. Speaking their language. Providing entry points that match the keys they use every day. Opening that first door is important. But if you only engage at the front door, your relevance will be limited...the front door is only the introduction to the experience within. If a newcomer opens the door and has a lousy time in the room, or if she only feels welcome at specific times or events, she may start questioning the value of the key in her hand."

Last month, ANSM opened a new door of our own by delivering 5 webinars on CollectiveAccess and collections management. It was a test for us; a way to dip our toes into online learning. We hoped people would participate, but we had no idea what to expect. What we learned was amazing. Museums that never participate in workshops or attend conferences were the first to sign up. We had museum workers from other provinces asking if they could participate. And people we do not know were spreading the word by sharing links and information about the webinars through social media. To use Nina Simon's lingo, ANSM outsiders were becoming insiders. We became relevant to people who would otherwise have walked right by us without noticing, just like I used to do with the baby shop. Having said all that, it is also important to acknowledge that opening these new doors is change, and change is hard. Especially on insiders. So not everyone in your organization may be really excited about these changes, or may question why these newcomers can't just love the museum the way it is/was/has been. Sentimentalism can make us grumpy.

If you haven't read her blog or seen her speak, Nina Simon has a bit of a reputation for telling it like it is. We need those people in our amazingly friendly and supportive museum sector. In her discussion about wants and needs, she exclaims, "it's not about you. It's not about what you think people need or want or deserve. It's about them - their values, their priorities." She goes on to say that in order to be a relevant organization, you've got to "shift from thinking about what's in it for your organization to considering what's in it for everyone." Your insiders will tell you they love things the way they are, but this won't let you grow and become more relevant to others". A key piece of this shift in thinking is your mission statement. I have been talking a lot about the need for museums to revisit their mission statements, especially if they are actually just the definition of museum (we aim to collect, interpret, preserve, exhibit...). While Simon doesn't talk about definition missions, she talks a lot about the need to have a specific, clearly defined mission. Otherwise people will argue about priorities and you'll spin your wheels in frustration rather than seeing clear answers to the endless possibilities of activities and programs. Your mission statement is your guide to serving your community - to considering what's in it for everyone.

Simon reminds that connecting to people and what they care about is not always a comfortable or neutral activity, ie not traditional museum work. It can mean taking positions on issues (the Coalition of Museums for Climate Justice comes to mind), including a heartbreaking rather than lighthearted story in an exhibit, rewriting exhibit labels to acknowledge racism, misogyny, colonialism, etc etc ad nauseam. One of the other tactics Simon promotes is learning about your visitors by asking simple questions like "how did you hear about us" or "what brought you to the museum today?" We have learned through the Museum Evaluation Program that most museums aren't gathering or using visitor statistics in meaningful ways. Boxes are checked, reports are sent in to government, and that's the end of it.  But think about how much easier it would be to relate to people if you asked them a few basic questions when they came in, and really listened to their answers. Rather than having an audience for a tour or program, you can start building a relationship by drawing connections that matter to people.

So how exactly do you start to tackle relevance? Define your community. Get out there and meet people; talk to people outside your usual circle and learn about what they are doing, what they care about, and look for shared goals and potential cross-over. Rather than assuming you have a good handle on the issues facing your community, ask people to weigh in on this - concerns, things they love, ideas for making the community better. More likely than not, you will find roles for the museum. "When you ask outsiders what is relevant to them, you don't just learn what matters to them. You learn what matters to you, what protocols you are able or willing to shift and which you are not. And that's a way to measure relevance: by measuring your own institutional tolerance for relevant activities that challenge traditional ways of working." It's going to take time, require commitment from all involved (insiders and outsiders), but once you get on that relevant pathway, the rewards can be amazing.

And I love it when I can do this. Read the book online! Or watch Nina's Tedx talk. And then, read the book!

Friday, November 30, 2018

November 2018 Updates

Museum Evaluation Program
The biggest news about the MEP is that the big report for the Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage (aka CCH) is finished! It is a whopping 49 pages, but half of that is appendices. As in other years, we looked at the evaluation process, trends in scoring, what influenced these trends, and how we can move forward as a sector. Once CCH reviews and approves the report we will post a public version on our website. As in the past, we will not be naming names or sharing scores in the public version.
Thinking about the 2019 evaluations, I am really impressed by how proactive several museums are in their preparations. I`ve already sent out a couple Q&A messages to the group, and will be circulating one or two more before the holidays. We`re getting good questions and there seems to be a real eagerness to improve on previous results.

Strategic Planning
A huge thank you to everyone who responded to our consultants strategic planning survey. Over 60% response rate, wow. And thank you for sharing your ideas and suggestions and for giving ANSM such good reviews. You really made my and Anita`s day when we listened to the results at the planning retreat. The board spent two days talking and planning about how we can move forward as an organization and serve you in bigger and better ways. It was great, but also exhausting. The consultants are now incorporating everything into a new plan for us, which we will of course share on our website once it is ready and adopted.

CollectiveAccess Updates
In nifty CA news, we had a non-meeting via Google Hangouts with our counterparts in other provinces and territories who are using CollectiveAccess to deliver database services to museums. We`ve been sharing our experiences with other groups for years now, and decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and get everyone talking as a group. Wow, so worth it. Representatives from 7 provinces/territories joined in, and we`re going to keep the conversations rolling. I know that sometimes it's easy to focus on what's happening in our museum, or our province, but it's great to be reminded that we are part of something much bigger.

There are now 295,762 artifacts documented with 177,482 associated images, which means that 151 new records and 418 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month.

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:
Southwest -131,719 artifacts, 67,465 images
Central -100,329 artifacts, 50,566 images
Northeast - 33,575 artifacts, 43,533 images
Cape Breton - 30,139 artifacts, 15,918 images

Digitization Tip
Pictured here is a wooden sled. The photo can be improved if the sled was photographed on a 45 degree angle. The artifact tag on the handle should also be removed. Lighting can be improved here. You can try using natural light to diminish shadows lighting is not available. The scale is in the correct position, in the bottom left-hand corner.




Webinar Series Update
In November, ANSM offered a webinar series on collections management for the museum community. This was a new experience for us at the office and were excited to explore online training. We are very pleased with the positive response we have received from participants. Thanks to everyone that tuned in. If you were unable to attend the live sessions, do not worry! We filmed the series and it is now available on the ANSM YouTube channel - click here. Please share with your staff and volunteers. It is important to incorporate these sessions, the CollectiveAccess YouTube tutorials, and the updated CollectiveAccess manual during training in the new year.

SME Partnership Update
The SME pilot sites have been busy pursuing connections in their communities. If you missed our previous update, we invite you to meet Allison Magee, silverware expert, and Kim Troop, bottle expert who volunteered at the Kings County Museum. The SME partnership video series is now available.

Fleming Partnership Update
It is that time of year again, when we start prepping for our winter partnership with Fleming College`s Museum Management and Curatorship students. So members of the Advisory Service, keep an eye on your inbox for a message that its your turn to benefit from this great partnership. We typically get around 300 database records reviewed, cleaned and researched for 10 museums through this project, and I can`t wait to see what information and improvements we see in the coming year.



Happy Holidays! Please note that the ANSM office will be closed for the holidays from Saturday December 15th through Tuesday January 1st. We will reopen on Wednesday January 2nd! We will be checking emails and phone messages regularly throughout the closure, but there will be a delay in response time.


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Museums and Remembrance Day - 2018 Edition

It's funny how things tend to converge; how you will get the same message from a variety of unconnected sources. One of the messages I've been hearing lately has been, "old story, new angle". I think that taking the time to ponder such messages and apply them to our museum work is important.

One of the sources of this message is a book I'm reading about relevance. It has me thinking about my own life and how what is relevant to me has shifted a lot in the past 14 months. When I became a mother, my perspective on things really changed. I noticed a baby consignment shop in my neighbourhood for the first time, even though it has been open for years and I have walked by it countless times. I learned that the sidewalks and streets of Halifax are incredibly frustrating to navigate with a stroller and by extension have started to think a lot about mobility and accessibility issues. My brain is now always occupied with planning and coordination in order to juggle the requirements of work and home. Time and again my husband and I have commented on just how much hard and tiring work is involved in parenting, and how glad we are to be part of a team rather than single parents.

I know that single parenthood isn't the first thing that comes to mind when someone says Remembrance Day. If you are like me, you think of people in uniform fighting overseas. We think of the ones who didn't come back, like my Uncle Grenville. We talk about the home front, of women going to work for the first time, of Victory Bonds and rations. But as I started to think about my annual tradition of a Remembrance Day blog post, I got thinking about my Grandma, raising little Susan-Jane alone while Grandpa was serving in Europe and Asia. Sure she had family and friends around to help her, but caring for a small child on your own is incredibly difficult and extremely lonely. The weeks that Allie and I spent visiting my family in New Brunswick taught me that. Being surrounded by my family and being able to text with my husband was wonderful, but being the sole caregiver was still lonely and exhausting.

I am embarrassed to say that I have never seriously thought about Grandma's single parenthood during the Second World War. The photos and letters and our family stories are testimonies to Grandpa's dedication as a father. The recording that he made for Grandma and Aunt Susan in London includes a serenade for his baby girl and a loving reprimand for his wife to look after herself and her health so she can be at her best for their little family. He was as present and engaged as he could possibly be given the circumstances, so in looking at the archival evidence, it doesn't really feel like Grandma was on her own. But if you remove Grandpa's letters and photo album and record, the single parenthood is painfully obvious. A mother and her daughter on their own, time and again.

The photographs of Grandma and Aunt Susan also include beach trips and frolicking in the snow and having play dates with cousins and neighbours. It is clear that this little girl was receiving love and attention from everyone around her; that the village really was raising the child. And I think it is safe to assume that a lot of other mothers had similar experiences. Neighbourhoods and communities banded together to meet the needs of all the mothers raising their children alone while their husbands were away. And once these networks were established, support could continue as families adjusted to new realities when husbands and fathers returned home. The first night Grandpa was back home, Grandma woke up in the middle of the night and in her sleepy state was scared to find a man in bed with her, so rushed to Susan-Jane and hid with her in a closet. It may be a funny story now, but it is also a stark reminder of just how big an adjustment it was to have Grandpa rejoin the family after four years away.

We talk a lot about museums serving and meeting the needs of their communities, whatever these needs may be. Sometimes you may have a widespread issue like the temporarily single mothers of the Second World War. Other needs won't be as obvious, but are just as important to those experiencing them. So as we ponder our Remembrance Day exhibits, our biographies and profiles of the servicemen and women from our communities, and our programs and events that honour them, their experiences and their stories, I hope that we can take some time to really ponder the incredible information we are holding in public trust. Let's keep our eyes open and our ears to the ground as our lives change and priorities shift, and embrace what we learn from ourselves and others about what is relevant and why. As I embrace the newly relevant things in my life and community, I hope that I can pass on these old stories with new angles to Allie and her friends. I hope that I can take a lesson from these old communities and help to meet a need when I see it. And I hope that our museums can do the same.




Wednesday, October 31, 2018

October 2018 Update

Museums 101
We had a pretty full house for Museums 101 at the beginning of the month. There were a lot of new faces and some "new" museums represented, and it was really great to meet these people and learn about their museums. The Hooked Rug Museum of North America was a great venue for getting creative juices flowing. The deadline to submit homework is this Friday, so within the next few weeks we will get all the homework reviewed and certificates sent out to participants.
We've heard from a few people who are working through the Museum Studies Program and/or trying to plan for next year's workshops. Next year we will be offering Facilities Management, Interpretation II: Exhibitions, and Marketing & Revenue Generation. Dates and locations have not yet been set, but so long as you follow us on Facebook and are subscribed to the Beacon, you'll be sure to hear updates as soon as they are released.

Museum Evaluation Program
October was a pretty full month for evaluation work. The Working Group helped us to finish updating the evaluation documents and these are now available online (along with lots of other information and documents). We held four orientation sessions for museums that are being evaluated in 2019, and 27 museums were represented by staff and volunteers and board members. We also had a couple museums attend that are contemplating stepping into the program, so were there to learn more about it. It was interesting again to see a lot of new faces, and to hear how many people either were not involved in the 2016 evaluations, or hadn't been to an orientation session before. This really speaks to the turnover rate in museums, and more positively, to museums wanting to involve more people in the process.
So what's next? We are now rolling into prep mode, where I help museums get ready for the Documentation Review submission, due in May. It sounds like a long way off, but there is a lot of work to be done and it's obviously much easier to pick away at it than rush through things in the spring. I've got a group email set up to circulate questions and answers, as well as resources and helpful tips. If you are up for evaluation in 2019 but weren't at an orientation session and want to be getting these emails, please let me know and I will add you to the list.
For those evaluated in 2018, we've wrapped up all the responses to reports and I am actively working on the big report for CCH. It's great to see where museums have improved since 2016, and interesting to identify areas that are still a struggle.

Webinar Series
Things didn't get off to a great start with our webinar series on CollectiveAccess and Collections Management practices. Sandi has been working so hard to prepare and make sure everything was perfect, and then our building's internet went down mid-way through the first webinar. Ugh. Of all the days for something like that to happen! Thank you to everyone who sent supportive messages when Sandi emailed to explain. We have decided to do two webinars tomorrow, so the first one (how to enter data) is now going to take place Thursday at 2pm, and then the second one (monitoring work flow) will start at 3pm. We have developed a very brief participant survey to get some feedback on the webinars. This is our first foray into delivering online learning, but we're quite excited about it and the potential for really expanding and shifting how we share information. If you want more information about these webinars, contact Sandi.


SME Pilot Project
Our SME Pilot sites are continuing work with local subject matter experts. We recently received exciting footage from Kings County Museum, in which Allison Magee talks about identifying silverware. Here, he provides helpful tips on identifying materials when examining silverware.

Videos from this partnership will be released on our YouTube channel later this year. Enjoy the sneak peak!



CollectiveAccess Updates
There are now 295,611 artifacts documented with 177,064 associated images, which means that 242 new records and 361 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - good work everyone!

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest -131,656 artifacts, 67,228 images
Central -100,256 artifacts, 50,482 images
Northeast - 33,570 artifacts, 43,531 images
Cape Breton - 30,129 artifacts, 15,823 images

Exciting news! The CollectiveAccess YouTube tutorials have been updated - click here.

It's been a long time since I've done an image lesson of the month, so I found a nice and appropriate one for us to look at today; an invitation to a Halloween party! This is a simple 2-dimensional item, easy to pop into the scanner and get a nice, high resolution result. So how could we improve on this? By straightening the invitation. Sometimes when you place a document in a scanner it shifts when the lid goes down. This is why using the preview option can be handle. It lets you crop out your dead space and see if you need to make any adjustments to the placement of the document. Yes it takes an extra minute or two, but the results will be worth it. Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Book Review - Museums and Public Value: Creating Sustainable Futures

image from Amazon.ca
It feels great to be back into the swing of professional life after a year away, and to be reading books other than The Paper Bag Princess and Octopus Opposites (although those are both awesome and favourite books). In hindsight, this probably wasn't the best book to start with. It's a bit denser than others in our library, and as such required more focus and attention.

Published in 2013 by Ashgate and edited by Carol A. Scott, this book takes a look at Mark Moore's theory about public value. For those like me who were unfamiliar with his model, it asserts that there is a strategic triangle of public value, consisting of the authorizing environment (ie government departments, agencies, etc. that provide funding and other support), the operation environment (ie museums' organizational capacity), and public value outcomes (ie the shared purpose of relevant public service). The points of the triangle feed back and forth, so public value informs how a museum operates, which in turn informs how funders and agencies provide support. Or you can start with another point, such as a museum's capacity informing how it can serve its public, as well as which funding or support it can pursue from governments or other agencies.

Moore encourages us to embrace change rather than see it as a troubling challenge, and Scott captures this beautifully in her introduction, where she shares Moore's vision of seeing "public managers as proactive stewards of public assets that can be directed purposefully to making 'a positive difference in the lives of individuals and communities', and as leaders with influence to help governments 'discover what could be done with the assets entrusted to their offices, as well as ensuring responsive services to users and citizens'".

17 contributors share their thoughts and experiences in three sections: The Operational Environment: Public Value Building Blocks, Case Studies: Implementing Public Value, and Working with the Authorizing Environment. While the chapters and content vary, the focus is always on public service and engagement, working together, and being good stewards of resources. Again and again, contributors mention the need to measure programs against community needs, to get rid of old top-down models and focus on grassroots collaborations where our communities tell us what matters to them and what services they need, to plan for social impact, and to think of ourselves as community strategists rather than managers or directors.

Depending on where you are in your work life, and what is on your plate, you will likely find something in this book you can identify with. For me, there is some great information about the value of evaluations and how these can inform a museum's work. In Munley's essay on evaluating public value, she reminds us of the need to focus on social impact, have a strategic focus, give attention to learning and change, extend beyond the views of our visitors and members and reach out to everyone (including people who don't visit or engage with the museum), view other organizations as partners rather than competitors, and be sure to align resources and achievements with social needs. I also really appreciated the final chapters, where Marsha Semmel discusses the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a US federal agency, and Sharon Heal shares the perspective of a national association (UK). An interesting point was made about accredited museums having a stronger lobbying voice, which is not something that we have been discussing as we develop an accreditation program.
As I mentioned earlier, there is a lot of talk about being good stewards, and none of the contributors shied away from making bold statements and harsh reminders of the current museum reality. Semmel shares some sobering thoughts that were first published by Morino in 2011, "the cold reality is that in our present era of unsustainable debts and deficits, our nation simply will not be able to justify huge subsidies for social sector activities and entities without more assurance that they're on track to realize results. Public funders-and eventually private funders as well-will migrate away from organizations with stirring stories alone, toward well-managed organizations that can also demonstrate meaningful, lasting impact." In a great call to action that ties in nicely with this, Heal shares part of the Museum Strategy for Wales, which states that "dismantling barriers to access, developing the learning potential of museums, and engaging existing and new users are critical issues to be addressed if museums are to fulfil their potential as organisations that contribute to their local communities". It's a good reminder that museums should not be defining what matters to their public without talking directly with the public. The answers are going to be different for each museum.

Another chapter that really struck a chord with me was Ben Garcia's "Creating Public Value through Museum Education", aka chapter 6. He encourages museums to plan strategically and always ask themselves "How will my community be different in positive and recognized ways because the museum exists and undertook this effort?" I wonder if asking that question would alter our programs, exhibits, online presence...everything that we are doing. What sort of impact would we have if we kept that question at the forefront. He also hit the nail on the head when he said that "evaluation is too often motivated by a funding opportunity and not by a strategic desire to test the value of museum programmes against the public need." We are still having those conversations with some museums, so it was reassuring to hear that this is not something unique to Nova Scotia.

For those working as interpreters or in exhibit development, there is a great case study about sharing 'difficult knowledge'. While it is slowly becoming more common for museums to share uncomfortable truths and information, the authors of chapter 7 share some encouragement from their experience in co-producing the London, Sugar and Slavery Gallery. The development was a community collaboration, and used a steering group, special training sessions, and other methods to ensure that real people and stories were being shared, rather than just dates and figures, and that the new gallery would be helping to address real issues in the community. A visiting teacher applauded the museum's efforts, saying "we are impressed by the courage shown in the description of what will stay as a dark period of our European history. I would like, and my pupils, to thank the museum for such a brilliant experience." What museum wouldn't want to get feedback like that? As the authors conclude, there is a "need to create a gallery that is authentic, complex, and nuanced."

Heal includes a great quote from a discussion paper by Davies, which seems like the perfect way to end this. "Museums of all types have vast potential to make a difference to individuals, communities, society and the environment. Yet in most museums, much of this works seems marginal, perhaps not core business. The [Museum Association] believes that having a beneficial impact is the core business of museums. The activities of acquiring, preserving, managing, researching, interpreting and displaying collections are all a means to an end."

Monday, October 1, 2018

September 2018 Update

ANSM Conference
Thanks to everyone who joined us in Annapolis Royal for the "Changing Tide" conference. While I (Karin) was only there for one day, it was still great to see all the familiar, friendly faces and to hear about the work of colleagues from across the heritage spectrum. As Krystal Tanner noted in her talk, we have really cool jobs.

Museums 101
This Thursday and Friday I'll be teaching Museums 101, part of our Museum Studies Program, at the Hooked Rug Museum of North America in Hubbards. There are two spots left, so if you have never taken this workshop or want to send someone from your museum, please contact me directly as online registration is now closed. I've got a few new things up my sleeve for this one and will be sure to tie evaluation expectations/requirements with the content. I promise it will be well worth your time.

Museum Evaluation Program
Notice has been sent to the museums being evaluated in 2019, and you can read the announcement and see the full rotation from 2019-2022 on our website. You will notice that we don't have the Documentation Review or Site Evaluation forms online anymore, as the Evaluation Working Group (formerly the MEP Steering Committee) is putting finishing touches on revisions. The group met again this month, and have been conversing by email on an almost daily basis in order to wrap this up and release the documents.
Orientation sessions are taking place in October for those that are on next year's list. If you were evaluated in 2016 and attended one of those orientations, some of the information will be familiar, but we are also going to spend some time talking about management practices and community engagement opportunities. These have been two areas in which museums have consistently struggled with evaluation, so our goal is to address your questions and set you up for better results this time around.

CollectiveAccess Update
There are now 295,369 artifacts documented with 176,703 associated images, which means that 135 new records and 674 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - good work everyone!

The Central region added the most images this month, good job! Also, congratulations are in order for the DesBrisay Museum for reaching the 10,000+ benchmark for images added. Great work!

We have run a report for the number of records created and modified since 2015. If you are interested in receiving these totals for your site, please email Sandi at advisory@ansm.ns.ca.

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest -131,595 artifacts, 67,141 images
Central -100,118 artifacts, 50,263 images
Northeast - 33,551 artifacts, 43,511 images
Cape Breton - 30,105 artifacts, 15,788 images

We are happy to report that there are new search options in CollectiveAccess to assist you with documenting the number of records added and/or modified per account. This is helpful if you wish to report to the board about progress being made. It is also extremely beneficial to have for staff and volunteer progress reports and exit interviews.

You can search for a list of records modified or created after a certain date with the following keyword search: modified: "after year" (ex. modified: "after 2016") or created: "after year" (ex. created: "after 2016"). Looking for results from a particular month? Simply add in the month: modified: "month year" (ex. modified: "June 2016" or created: "month year" (ex. created: "June 2016").

You can use this to determine productivity levels per account by adding in the username. The username will vary depending on what was chosen during the time of set-up. If you are unsure what the usernames are for your accounts, please contact us. Let's use student1 for this example. The key word search would be modified.username: "after year" or created.username: "after year" (ex. modified.student1: "after 2016" or created.student1: "after 2016"). You can take this one step further and look at monthly results. The keyword search would be: modified.username: "month year" (ex. modified.student1: "June 2016") or created.username: "month year" (ex. created.student1: "June 2016"). It is crucial that you follow this format in order to see results. Do not exclude the period, semi-colin or quotation marks from your search.

MyNovaMuse Galleries
Everyone now has log-in information for the myNovaMuse-Galleries. Remember to feature records from your museum in your galleries space when logged into the museum account. Looking for fun projects for your volunteers? Why not ask them to get involved with this initiative! Click here to watch the YouTube tutorial.

Check out this neat addition by the Kings County Museum - Fashion Through the Ages.


Photo Kit
Right now is the perfect time of year to work on digitization. Spots are still available this fall! The kit contains a light and dark backdrop set-up, lighting, and tripod (camera not included). Please contact Sandi if you would like to borrow it (available for a 3 week period). Pick-up and drop-off is at the ANSM office in Halifax.


Allison Magee, SME
SME Pilot Project
Staff at both the Kings County Museum and Colchester Historeum are continuing work with SMEs in their area. Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame has also joined in on the fun! Pictured to the right is Allison Magee, SME at the Kings County Museum, working on silverware records.

Keep an eye out for a new resource on how to connect and share stories found in your records later this year.

Interested in forming these sort of partnerships with subject matter experts in your area? Check out our 'Working with SMEs' tip sheet here.

Practice Exercise
Webinar Update
We will host a webinar series on collections management soon. We will review CollectiveAccess features and best practices in detail. The webinar series is currently in development. A schedule will be released mid-October. We are excited to offer members of the Advisory Service online training that will be both interactive and engaging. Those who tune in will also be provided with practice exercises that Sandi will review and provide feedback on. Stay tuned for more information! In the meantime, check out a sneak peak of one of the practice exercises for storage locations to the left.


Friday, August 31, 2018

August 2018 Updates

Changing Tide - Heritage Stewardship and Sustainability Conference
For our annual fall conference, we are partnering with the Town of Annapolis Royal and Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia. Gathering in Annapolis Royal from September 26-28, the program is jam-packed with great content. Some of us are especially excited about the workshop and keynote address by Douglas Worts. We would love to see you all there. Learn more on our website.

Museums 101
The first course in our Museum Studies Program, Museums 101 is taking place on October 4&5 in Hubbards at the Hooked Rug Museum of North America. If you are new to museums (whether your role is on the board, as staff, or as a volunteer), this is a great place to meet some colleagues and get some foundational training about museology. It is also a great place to learn about trends and changes in the field. We've had a number of people participate who have worked in museums for 20+ years but found the discussions and topics very helpful as they work to keep their museums relevant.
previous M101 workshop
The last time we offered this workshop we got some pretty nice comments from participants - "Great opener / introduction to Museums. Excellent help to someone new to museum life. Thanks!" "Everything was valuable because our museum has had some change, also we are so new this information will help us for years to come." 
There are only 8 spots left, so for more information and to register online, check out our website.

Museum Evaluation Program
I know that everyone is eager for updates here. For those that were evaluated this year, the scoring is all done and we are putting the final finishing touches on reports. They will definitely be ready to go in the mail next week.
We had a debrief with the evaluators on August 7th, which garnered some great suggestions on how to further improve the program and evaluation process. We continue to be amazed by this corps of professionals. They are so dedicated to Nova Scotia's museums...that fact really can't be understated.
We've started running statistical analyses now, checking out trends in scoring and identifying issues that affect a wide variety of museums. This is very valuable information, and as we prepare for the Museums 101 workshop, some updates will be done on the content to address these commonalities.
We are also looking ahead to future evaluations. The MEP Steering Committee met yesterday and hashed through a lot of evaluation business. We are making some slight tweaks to questions that still felt awkward to either the museums or evaluators, have a draft rotation schedule that will be released very soon, and are planning another meeting in the coming weeks to continue the work and look more at accreditation. Just like the evaluators, this is a very keen and dedicated group.
We will shortly be announcing the roster of museums to be evaluated in 2019.

New Resources Online
As we've been working on evaluation stuff, we've also been looking to make sure that our online resources align with evaluation requirements. Special thanks to Chestico Museum & Archives for letting us use their volunteer goal review form as inspiration for a new template. You can download it here. We have also updated our exhibition policy template (thanks to the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame for helping with this one). We've also shifted the collections seasonal work calendar to docx format, so you can now download and customize it to your unique situation. There are more on the way, so stay tuned. And remember that we take requests, so if you are in need of a particular resource, let us know.

CollectiveAccess Update

There are now 295,234 artifacts documented with 176,029 associated images, which means that 2,545 new records and 4,005 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - great work everyone! Congratulations to the Southwest region for adding the most records and images this month.

Congratulations are also in order for the Central region for reaching 100,000+ artifact records & the West Hants Historical Society for reaching the 10,000+ benchmark for images. Great work all around!

We have run a report for the number of records created and modified since 2015. If you are interested in receiving these totals for your site, please email Sandi at advisory@ansm.ns.ca.

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest -131489 artifacts, 66,988 images
Central -100,099 artifacts, 49,791 images
Northeast - 33,558 artifacts, 43,479 images
Cape Breton - 30,088 artifacts, 15,771 images

Now we need to have a little chat about supervising students. For some reason, this has been a very bad summer for student work. We've had multiple instances of students renumbering artifacts, and multiple instances of students inputting very dirty data in CollectiveAccess. We make jokes about being omniscient, but the fact is that we can't actually see everything going into the databases in real-time. We're good, but we're not that good. It is so very important that the students be supervised, have regular meetings to discuss their work plans and associated progress, and feel comfortable asking questions instead of making up their own answers and "solutions". We can absolutely help with answering questions and providing collections management and database guidance. We understand how busy museum life is, and that it just isn't possible to be watching or working with students every hour of every day. But the last thing you want is a massive clean-up project because the students were just let loose on your database. So as this summer wraps up, and as we look to the future, let's try to plan for better student support systems and mitigate these kinds of headaches.

Site Visit Update
Randall House Museum
Sandi is off the road for another year. She had a wonderful time visiting Advisory Service sites across the province to review CollectiveAccess features, digitization methods, new ANSM resources, and exciting NovaMuse features. She met with 100+ staff and volunteers.

This year, we custom tailored the site visits to suit your needs. Some members decided to focus primarily on CollectiveAccess training, exploring additional features like creating displays while others asked for a refresher on digitization methods and basic data entry. There was great interest in exploring the new features on NovaMuse. Many site visits involved an overview of how to add galleries under the museum's account. There have been many additions since then, which is exciting to see! A few of our sites opted for a conference call this year, which worked well for those who felt they were in a good place with database work.

Everyone now has log-in information for the myNovaMuse-Galleries. This is a wonderful opportunity for your site to build its online presence and celebrate stories that connect items in your collections. Want to learn more? Click here to watch the YouTube tutorial. Remember to feature records from your museum in your galleries space when logged into the museum account. If you wish to create your own account, you are more than welcome to do so! The galleries feature can be used for research purposes as well.


Digitization Tip - Do you have larger artifacts left to photograph but do not have the photo studio on-hand? No problem! Using white or black fabric as your backdrop works well. Try to find a space with lots of natural light and try to avoid shadows when positioning your artifact. You can pin the fabric in place against a wall or ask a few friends to help if space is limited. Also, avoid wrinkles or creases in your fabric, these can be very distracting in photos. Once the photo is edited and the surroundings cropped out, you should be left with an image similar to the after photo to the right. The staff at the Annapolis Valley Macdonald Museum assisted Sandi with this shot.
Before
After

Photo Kit - Speaking of the photo kit, spots are still available this fall. The kit contains a light and dark backdrop set-up, lighting, and tripod (camera not included). Please contact Sandi if you would like to borrow it (available for a 3 week period). Pick-up and drop-off is at the ANSM office in Halifax. Planning a travel route with sites in your area has worked well for others in the past. Check out the Contributor Map on NovaMuse to see who is in your area.

SME Pilot Project
- Staff at both the Kings County Museum and Colchester Historeum are busy forming partnerships with SMEs in their area. As they begin to make these connections, staff are creating lists of potential records for data cleaning. We are excited to hear more about their findings as the project unfolds!

Stay tuned for more updates on the Webinar Series!






Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 2018 Updates

Hello from Karin
I'm back! Huge thanks to Cathy Blackbourn, Valerie Lenethen, and ANSM's own Anita, Sandi, and Jen for covering off on my various responsibilities while I was home with baby Allie (who isn't such a baby anymore!). Also thanks to everyone for their lovely messages welcoming me back to work. They were a great reminder about why I love my job and why the museum field is so wonderful. It is good to be back, and I look forward to catching up with all of you. It sounds like it's been a busy year with lots of changes.

Museum Evaluation Program
Nothing like diving headfirst into a task, July was very busy with site evaluations and everything that
Evaluators Extraordinaire
goes along with them. On my second day back at work we held orientation for evaluators. What a great group of dedicated professionals, 7 of whom have evaluated with us at least one other year and loved it so much that they wanted to do it again. In teams of three they were deployed across the province where they got to meet staff, board members, volunteers, and summer students at 17 museums. As in other years, the evaluators reported back that they were impressed by the hospitality, knowledge and passion of the people they met, and the amazing work that is being done to share Nova Scotia's history and serve communities. Now that the site evaluations are finished, it's time to do the scoring and reporting for all the sites. Our goal is to have reports out to the museums by early September, after which we will start working on the big overarching report for the Department of Communities, Culture & Heritage.
We are still receiving photos from everyone but stay tuned to our Facebook page for an album of evaluation pics. It will be up shortly.

CollectiveAccess Update
There are now 292,689 artifacts documented with 172, 024 associated images, which means that 1,902 new records and 3,158 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - great work everyone! Congratulations to the Southwest region for adding the most images this month.

A special shout out to the West Hants Historical Museum who reached the 10,000 benchmark for records entered in CollectiveAccess - fantastic work!

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest -129,953 artifacts, 65,030 images
Central - 99,499 artifacts, 48,808 images
Northeast - 33,430 artifacts, 42,705 images
Cape Breton - 29,807 artifacts, 15,481 images


CollectiveAccess Tip

Enriched Tab in CollectiveAccess - Made in Nova Scotia field
Made in Nova Scotia on NovaMuse.ca
In CollectiveAccess, you will find the 'Made In Nova Scotia' field under the Enriched Tab. This allows you to choose from over 8,000 entities. We encourage you to use this feature to tag the manufacturer or individual (i.e. carver, boatbuilder, weaver, etc.) to your record. This will also appear on NovaMuse. It allows users to search for artifacts that were made in the province, very exciting stuff! 

We add manufacturing information in the back-end and continually strive to enrich the narratives featured on NovaMuse. By completing this simple step in the database, you are helping us share this knowledge with the public and celebrate connections in your collections!






myNovaMuse - Contributor Galleries

Did you know you can share interesting items in your collection on NovaMuse? Why not group together artifacts that tell a story about your community? Is this feature new to you? No problem! Learn how to create your own galleries by watching our YouTube tutorial - click here. 

New galleries to view! To browse new additions, click here.

Did you know that this feature is available to general users as well? All you need to do is create an account. Encourage your visitors to join in on the fun at the end of your tours this summer! It's a great way to encourage the public to explore items in your collection after their departure. Who knows? Maybe they will even share with a friend and spread the news.




Exciting things to come!

SME Pilot Project - this year, our goal is to continue to help Advisory Service sites connect with SMEs in their area. We have partnered with Colchester Historeum and Kings County Museum who have agreed to be the host sites for the project. The staff are excited to work with those in their area to make key connections, learn more about their SMEs' expertise, and enrich their records in the process. Their goal is to link together related items in their collection that tell stories connected to local history. The museums are making connections with SMEs as we speak! We are excited to provide guidance and support throughout this process. The Kings County Museum team plans on examining bottles and silverware with two local experts. Exciting stuff!

Webinar Series this Fall - to discuss collections management best practices, including digitization and use of CollectiveAccess. Advisory Service members have expressed interest in more online content for learning. One of our ongoing goals is to make content more accessible and we think this is a great way to do so. More information to follow, stay tuned!

photo credit Kai
CollectiveAccess updates - we recently had a visit from our friend Seth of Whirl-i-gig (the brilliant people behind CollectiveAccess). It was great to have an in-person meeting! Many exciting plans are in the works as we tackle our current MAP grant deliverables and brainstorm about future ambitions. More on this soon!

In Other News

Photo Kit - available to ANSM members to borrow for a 3 week period (camera not included). Spots still available this summer! Please express interest by email: advisory@ansm.ns.ca

Save the Dates! The AGM will be held at 2pm on September 27th at Kings Theatre, Annapolis Royal. The AGM will be held in conjunction with our annual conference this year held in partnership with the Town of Annapolis Royal and the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, and will take place September 26-28 in Annapolis Royal.

Monday, July 2, 2018

June 2018 Updates

I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend and had a fantastic Canada Day! I have many exciting updates to share from last month.

Advisory Service Update

Digitization at Colchester Historeum
It's that time of year again! The summer months are upon us and many of ANSM's member museums are opening for the season. I will be busy once again providing support for our Advisory Service members. In May, we circulated a survey to our sites asking what they would like to gain from participating in the Advisory Service this year in an effort to customize content. Many asked for further CollectiveAccess training, an overview of ANSM resources and templates, and a tour of the new and improved NovaMuse. Others are looking for more guidance with digitization and database cleanup work. We have taken this feedback into consideration when planning for this summer! We have already seen an increase in digitization activity, good stuff! The team at Colchester Historeum are looking for marks and labels in the photo above to enrich the artifact record in CollectiveAccess as they upload the new photographs - a good best practice to follow.

CollectiveAccess Update 

There are now 290, 787 artifacts documented with 168, 866 associated images, which means that 945 new records and 2,408 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - great work everyone! Congratulations to the Southwest region for adding the most images this month.

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest -128530 artifacts, 63460 images

Central -  99314 artifacts, 47716 images
Northeast -  33354 artifacts, 42588 images 
Cape Breton -  29589 artifacts, 15102 images


As you prepare for database work this summer, it is important to contact me by email: advisory@ansm.ns.ca to set up accounts for your students and volunteers. It is important that they use their own account so that you can monitor changes. A friendly reminder that the curator level accounts have more features, which should only be accessible to the curator. Please do not share logins.

Looking for a refresher on data entry? Please review the CollectiveAccess manual and YouTube tutorials.

Digitization Tip

Let's do something a little patriotic shall we? Here's a beautiful maple leaf patch. For items like this, you can digitize them with and without the scale, using the non-scaled image as your primary image for NovaMuse, and keeping the scale image in your database for quick reference. You can see how a scale would be very distracting in this shot. In terms of 'fixing' this shot, you'll notice a sort of greyish line that runs through from the top left to bottom right. Play with your lighting and camera settings to make sure that your image is evenly lit and doesn't have shadows in any areas.



myNovaMuse - Contributor Galleries

Check out the Beach Days gallery created by the NovaMuse team! Browse the galleries by clicking here.

Is this feature new to you? No problem! Learn how to create your own galleries by watching our YouTube tutorial - click here. Your usernames and passwords were sent to your emails late last year.







Handy Resources available on ANSM website to assist you this summer:

Collections Seasonal Work Calendar
Managing Your NovaMuse Presence
Working with Subject Matter Experts
Working with Military Museum Collections Tip Sheet
Artefact Photography Tips

Click here to download!

Exciting things to come!

SME Pilot Project - this year, our goal is to continue to help Advisory Service sites connect with SMEs in their area. We have partnered with Colchester Historeum and Kings County Museum who have agreed to be the host sites for the project. The staff are excited to work with those in their area to make key connections, learn more about their SMEs' expertise, and enrich their records in the process. Their goal is to link together related items in their collection that tell stories connected to local history. The museums are now looking for SMEs and once these connections are made, they will narrow down a list of artifacts related to their SMEs expertise. The museums will share these records in a series of myNovaMuse galleries on NovaMuse later this year! We will also release a guide to creating stories using online collections later on. Very exciting stuff!

For those of you that would like to start making these connections in your community, please check out our 'Working with Subject Matter Experts' handout (link listed above).

Webinar Series this Fall - to discuss collections management best practices, including digitization and use of CollectiveAccess. Advisory Service members have expressed interest in more online content for learning. One of our ongoing goals is to make content more accessible and we think this is a great way to do so. More information to follow, stay tuned!

CollectiveAccess updates - we are working with Whirl-i-gig to develop an online assistance tool within CollectiveAccess, as well as, data violation reports. This will improve online support and data entry controls in CollectiveAccess. More on this soon!

Membership Update

June 1st marked the start of a new membership year (2018/19)! Check your mailboxes to find your membership renewal package; it contains ANSM updates, information on how to renew either online or by cheque, award information, and more. Thanks for everyone who has sent in their renewal forms so far! Please note that site visits this year will not be made without prior receipt of your 2018/19 Advisory Fees.

Museum Evaluation Program 2018 Update

Site visits by evaluation teams are on the horizon for museums scheduled in 2018. Site evaluations take place July 9 – and will be happening all over the province. Prior to the sites' visits the Evaluators gather for a day’s training and orientation on July 4th. This year’s orientation will include a new “Guide for Evaluation” which will also be available as a resource for the sites. Karin Kierstead returns from maternity leave on July 3rd and rejoins the small but mighty crew at the ANSM office. Our Thanks to Cathy Blackbourn for serving as lead contact and co-ordinator for the Evaluation Program during Karin’s leave.

Click here to learn more about the program!

In Other News

Photo Kit - available to ANSM members to borrow for a 3 week period (camera not included). The summer is the perfect opportunity to work through photographing items in your collection, spots still remaining! Please express interest in borrowing it by email: advisory@ansm.ns.ca


Save the Dates! 2018 AGM & Conference - September 26-28

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Nova Scotia Museums will be held at 2pm on September 27th at Kings Theatre, Annapolis Royal.

The AGM will be held in conjunction with our annual conference, this year held in partnership with the Town of Annapolis Royal and the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, and will take place September 26-28 in Annapolis Royal.

Friday, June 1, 2018

May 2018 Updates

Advisory Service Update

Planning for site visits is in full swing! Thanks to everyone who filled out the survey and provided feedback so far.

Please remember that the deadline to confirm your interest in receiving a site visit this year is June 15th. If you haven't already done so, please contact me as soon as possible to express your interest. This ensures we have an opportunity to plan the best visit possible that caters to your site's needs. I have done my best to accommodate the majority of the blackout dates but please remember that I visit 50+ institutions across NS. The routes are planned with museums in close proximity in mind to make the most of the trips. Thanks in advance for your understanding if I was unable to accommodate your request. Again, the schedule will be circulated by email very soon. We are in the process of planning your customized visits and have lots of great things in store!

*Please contact me by email (advisory@ansm.ns.ca) to confirm interest in receiving a site visit if you did not fill out the survey in time.*


CollectiveAccess Update

There are now 289, 842 artifacts documented with 166,458 associated images, which means that 288 new records and 754 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - great work everyone!

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest -127252 artifacts, 62330 images
Central -  99861 artifacts, 46670 images
Northeast -  33146 artifacts, 42495 images
Cape Breton -  29583 artifacts, 14963 images

As you prepare for database work this summer, it is important to contact me by email: advisory@ansm.ns.ca to set up accounts for your students and volunteers. It is important that they each use their own account so that you can monitor changes. A friendly reminder that the curator level account has more features that should only be accessible to the curator. Please do not share this account.

Please share the CollectiveAccess manual and YouTube tutorials with your team before assigning database work.

myNovaMuse - Contributor Galleries


New galleries are starting to appear! The most recent is from the Atlantic Canada Aviation Museum. This feature is a perfect way for you to build your museum's online presence. It is an opportunity for you to work with your summer students and volunteers to make something great to share with your online audience.  Is this feature new to you? No problem! Learn how to create your own galleries by watching our YouTube tutorial - click here. Your username and passwords were sent to your emails late last year.

Browse the galleries by clicking here!


Membership Update

Our current membership year is coming to an end! June 1st marks the start of a new membership year (2018/19)! Check your mailboxes to find your membership renewal package; it contains ANSM updates, information on how to renew either online or by cheque, award information, and more.

For Advisory Service Members: Please note that site visits this year will not be made without prior receipt of your 2018/19 Advisory Fees. 


Museum Evaluation Program 2018 Update

The Museum Evaluation Program 2018 continues along in the documentation review phase. Cathy Blackbourn is working with us during Karin's maternity leave to help museum organisations participating in this year's evaluations. Evaluator teams are selected and the schedule is set! Evaluations will take place this summer between July 9-27, 2018.


In Other News

Photo Kit - we have a new addition to our photo kit! Available to members to borrow for a 3 week period. Please let me know if you'd be interested by email: advisory@ansm.ns.ca


The Canadian Association for the Conservation of Cultural Property (CAC) and the Canadian Association of Professional Conservators (CAPC) invite you to contribute to a nation-wide survey on heritage collection health in Canada. The objective of this survey is to collect data that can be used for advocacy campaigns, fundraising, programming or planning by a variety of associations and organizations.
Who should answer this survey:  Staff from museums, libraries, archives, art galleries or cultural centres with heritage collections that are accessible to the public. Only one response per institution please. The respondent should be familiar with the collection and facilities, and be able to obtain basic financial and staffing information.

Follow the link here to answer the survey
It is 30 questions in length, and should only take 15 minutes to complete – a small time commitment to make an impact!
For more information, or for a .pdf version of this survey, please visit the News section of the ANSM website, here.


ANSM is pleased to announce the 2018 nomination call for the Award for Excellence in Museum Practices. 

Each year since 2013, ANSM has presented the Award for Excellence in Museum Practices Individual Contribution to a museum employee or volunteer who has gone above and beyond to make a significant contribution to the museum field. Recipients of this award have made remarkable efforts to increase knowledge about Nova Scotia’s history through exemplary museum practices. Nominating someone from your museum is a great way to acknowledge their efforts to enrich our museum community.

To learn more and to print a copy of the nomination form, please visit the Awards section of the ANSM website, here. Deadline for nominations is June 30th 2018.


Save the Dates! 2018 AGM & Conference - September 26-28

Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of the Association of Nova Scotia Museums will be held at 2pm on September 27th at Kings Theatre, Annapolis Royal.

The AGM will be held in conjunction with our annual conference, this year held in partnership with the Town of Annapolis Royal and the Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, and will take place September 26-28 in Annapolis Royal.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

April 2018 Updates

CollectiveAccess

There are now 289,554 artifacts documented with 165,704 associated images, which means that 221 new records and 2,489 new images have been added to CollectiveAccess this month - Congratulations to the Central region for adding the most images, with the Northeast region coming in a close second - great work everyone!

Here's what the numbers look like at the regional level:

Southwest - 127155 artifacts, 62110 images
Central -  99717 artifacts, 46181 images
Northeast -  33142 artifacts, 42486 images
Cape Breton -  29540 artifacts, 14927 images

When your summer students and volunteers join you, please reach out to me by email: advisory@ansm.ns.ca and I will set up accounts for them in CollectiveAccess. It is important that everyone uses separate accounts so that changes can be monitored by senior staff. Also, please share our YouTube tutorials and CollectiveAccess manual with your team. 

In preparation for summer months, we invite you to utilize the Collections Seasonal Work Calendar available to download on our website - click here. I urge you to share this during upcoming meetings and training sessions so that there is a clear plan in place for collections work this summer. This document will help you start off on the right foot!



Site Visits

It is hard to believe that summer is right around the corner! We are preparing for upcoming site visits and will circulate an email shortly with details. This year, we will include a link for a survey so that Advisory Service members have the opportunity to provide insight/comments on what they would like to gain from the experience, etc. Think about specific questions about database work and digitization that you would like answered. Also, please check in with your team to see if there are any blackout dates. We will be as accommodating as possible with the schedule but please remember that there are many stops to make so the more flexible you can be, the better. Please keep a close eye on your email for the survey! It will be released in the next few weeks.


Fleming College Partnership Update - the data cleaning reports have been circulated to this year's partnering museums. Thanks to everyone who took part! The students expressed great thanks for being given the opportunity to gain such valuable experience working with CollectiveAccess and the Nova Scotia museum community.

myNovaMuse - Contributor Galleries

We have a fantastic new feature on NovaMuse! Be sure to check out the Galleries page to view our newest addition - images from the Annapolis Valley Apple Blossom Festival over the years! Is this feature new to you? No problem! Learn how to create your own galleries by watching our YouTube tutorial - click here. Advisory Service members - please check your email for login information so you can join in! We would be thrilled to see more content from our partnering museums. This is a fantastic way to showcase special items in your collections and build your online presence all at once! Do you have summer students starting? Why not assign this as a special project? A perfect way to fill downtime in between visitors. Have fun celebrating local connections and stories found in your collections!

Museum Studies Program

Registration for Interpretation I: Public Programming is now full, which means our waitlist is now open. If you would like to be placed on the waitlist for this course to be held at the Cape Breton Miners Museum in Glace Bay on May 24-25, please contact Jennifer at admin@ansm.ns.ca
Museums 101 - October 2018, Central, Exact location TBD, facilitated by Karin Kierstead

Click here to learn more!


Museum Evaluation Program - planning for evaluations is in full swing! To learn more about the process click here.

AGM 2018

This year the ANSM Annual General Meeting and Conference will be taking place September 26-28, 2018 in Annapolis Royal.

More details will be released as they are confirmed!