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.
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!
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!