Tuesday, September 28, 2010

September 2010 Update

ANSM Workshop
That’s right!  ANSM is going to be having a workshop on Social Media and Museums on November 16th in Halifax.  This is not going to be a boring review of Facebook, Twitter etc., but a practical look at how you can make social media work for your institution.  We’ll be looking at case studies from museums in the province, and brainstorming with participants to figure out how to make social media work for you.  We’re still working on details but are partnering with TIANS to make sure that you will have something tangible to walk away with and start to use at your museum.  Space will be limited to 10 participants, and registration forms will be out in early October.  Stay tuned for more info.

QR Code Project
Alexandra, Josh and Stuart are already working hard on the QR code project.  Alexandra and Josh have been spending most of their time reviewing, organizing and editing existing video files from the Admiral Digby Museum and Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame.  They’ve also conducted a few preliminary site visits around HRM to get a sense of museums and spaces and how the project is going to work out.  For anyone participating in this project, the sooner we can get any existing media files the better.  If you have any questions about the project just call the office.

Database Renewal Project
As we prepare for the big move to CollectiveAccess, I’ve asked everyone to answer a few questions about how our current database is working for you.  The questions may seem a little strange, but your answers are going to determine the migration order.  Since some people are experiencing more difficulties than others, I want to make sure that we handle those sites first.  The beta version of our new system should be arriving over the next couple of weeks, so please send me your survey answers asap or you’ll end up being at the bottom of the list for the migration. 

Central Regional Group Meeting
Hosking's General Store,
courtesy of www.halifax.ca
On September 15th the Central Regional Group met at Memory Lane Heritage Village in Lake Charlotte.  Not only did we have a great space for the meeting, but we got to enjoy a wonderful home cooked lunch in the cookhouse.  If you’ve never visited this 1940s village, it’s a great walk down memory lane (sorry, couldn’t resist).  For me it was reminiscent of my grandparents’ farm in Digby County, but I’m sure that no matter how old you are, you’ll enjoy the site.

The Cape Breton Heritage Connection meeting is October 30th in Grand √Čtang at the Centre de la Micar√™me.
The Southwest regional meeting is November 5th at the DesBrisay Museum in Bridgewater.

CNSA Training
This year I enrolled in the Council of Nova Scotia Archives’ core curriculum program.  While there are a lot of similarities in archival and museum collections work, the subtle differences are worth knowing.  Last week I attended my first workshop – Access and Reference.  Karen White (aka the other Karin, aka Archives Karen), Archives Advisor taught the two-day course and not only did I learn a lot but it also provided the opportunity to visit with staff & volunteers from the Chestico Museum and Old Courthouse Museum who are part of Passage.  The Chestico Museum in Port Hood Cape Breton hosted the workshop, and according to Cathy the extra cars in the parking lot seemed to attract visitors, because they were a lot busier than usual.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the archival core curriculum they can visit the CNSA website.

News from CHIN

Standards are key to making museum collections data accessible, no matter what technology is used - from card catalogues to collections management software.

Since standards are impacting your work as museums professionals, CHIN is dedicating this Fall season to this important theme. We are giving an impetus to the subject by offering new resources and sessions at museum conferences, and publishing an article in the November-December edition of MUSE (the Canadian Museums Association magazine).

Discover resources on standards that enable you to excel.

Blog Poll
So far we’ve had only 12 votes in the poll about online learning opportunities.  With less than two weeks to vote that means it’s also less than two weeks before the next itchy committee meeting.  This is going to be on the agenda so I’d really appreciate being able to go to that meeting knowing what the museum community’s position on the issue.  Please vote!

Artefacts Canada Tally
This month was a funny month for uploading.  Several sites removed records, so while the regional numbers have changed, the overall tally has only gone up by 21 records.  Our new grand total is 156,040.

Here are the new regional stats:
Southwest: 69,467
Central: 39,648
Northeast: 25,687
Cape Breton: 21,238

Congratulations to the Southwest Region for uploading the most records in September.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

New Faces

I mentioned in August's update that we were successful in our funding application to test out QR codes as interpretive tools in Nova Scotia's museums.  We've found 12 museums of all shapes, sizes, and locations to be our guinea pigs, and although the contract staff just started, they're already hard at work.

Stuart Mackenzie is our QR Code guru.  He has an IT consulting company and recently did a QR code project at the Video Difference store in Halifax to enhance the customer experience of renting movies.  He comes from a print/marketing background and while he hasn't worked with museums in the past, is very excited about the potential for QR codes to enhance on-site interpretation in exciting and economical ways.  Stuart is apparently camera-shy. 

Alexandra Montgomery is one of our Museum Media Technicians, aka a Young Canada Works intern.  She graduated from Dalhousie University with a BA in history in May. She has previously worked summers at the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm and the Old Burying Ground and hopes to pursue a career in heritage. She has a lifelong love of museums and is incredibly excited to be working on this project.

Josh Horner  is our other Museum Media Technician, also funded through Young Canada Works.  A graduate of the Nova Scotia Community College, he is a young creative excited about the interpretive renewal of Nova Scotia's museums. Graphic designer by trade he hopes to lend his skills to the community integrating new technologies and ensuring quality, style and substance.

Right now the team are working on video interviews from the Admiral Digby Museum.  This is a project that Sheryl did a few years ago, but by re-purposing the video files we can make the exhibits a bit more personalized.  The interviewees reminisce about how life used to be in Digby County, talking about everything from Mi'Kmaq basket makers to wearing underwear made from flour bags.

We'll be posting regular updates on this project over the fall/winter, so stay tuned for more info, and for some qr codes to appear.