Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 2013 Update

IMAC Meeting
Your intrepid peers met last week to talk about all things collections management and information access. We talked about the current year's work plan, our developing disaster recovery plan for the database and website (strictly a precautionary measure - everything is a-ok), and other strategic planning initiatives. We also enjoyed some tasty food with a little celebratory cake. No meeting is complete without cake.
Gary reported that he got us a bit of press last month through the Trident, the newspaper for Canadian Forces Base Halifax. He also informed us that the story is being picked up at the national level, which is super exciting! So if you have any local coverage of museum work, especially related to NovaMuse, we would love to hear about it and get a copy of the article. Thanks so much to Gary for promoting!

In depressing news, our chairperson Aidan has moved off to Ontario which means we now have big shoes to fill, as does the Colchester Historeum. HUGE thanks to Aidan for all of his help over the past 4 years. The time and energy that he devoted to the database review, migration, and NovaMuse development work was invaluable. Best of luck to Aidan as he moves on to other grand adventures!
Class Dismissed

New/Old Face in the Office
It is with great pleasure that I announce the return of Mr. Selman, aka Chris, aka the Selmanator, aka Ginger. You might remember that he was here awhile back as an intern. Well, he has rejoined us to help with  our current database work of upgrading to Nomenclature 3.0, dating artifacts and mapping records. He just started yesterday but is already hard at work on behalf of ANSM members across the province. To sum up our feelings on the subject, you can insert the cavalry music here. It's very nice to have some extra help in the office :)

Quality Control Widget
I've had a couple questions from people about the quality control filter and how they can see what's stuck and requires fixing. To add the widget to your dashboard, log in to your database account. Click on Edit Dashboard (a little button off to the right), and then click add widget. Go through the list and click on Quality Alerts. Click done. The list is now ready and waiting for your review. Keep in mind that when you're working on fixing these records, they won't disappear from the widget list until the next day since this is connected to the daily synchronization of NovaMuse.

NovaMuse Statistics
Last month I shared that we have a whole lot of different countries, and a crazy number of cities, visiting NovaMuse to check out our collections and how we're sharing information online. At the risk of sounding like a broken, record, it's really important to link to NovaMuse from your museum website so that your visitors can see this great service that you are offering. To reinforce this point, this month I thought I'd look at how people are finding NovaMuse. Our traffic is fairly evenly split right now between people who find us through random search engine results, people who go directly to the site, and those who are referred to the site. However, the referral traffic (the green portion of the pie) is clearly ahead. 9 of the top 15 referring sites are contributing museums - the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame, Colchester Historeum, MacPhee House Community Museum via the Sheet Harbour Chamber of Commerce, Kings County Museum, Randall House Museum, West Hants Historical Museum, McCulloch Heritage Centre, and Old Court House Museum, and Fort Point Museum. We're also seeing traffic from the Cole Harbour Farm Museum, Apple Capital Museum, Parkdale Maplewood Community Museum, and James House Museum. This is fantastic, and as you might notice, these museums aren't the biggest sites in the province. So congrats to these organizations on a job well done, and I hope to see everyone else following their lead.

Database InfoI mentioned last month that we're going to start including our mapping goals in the monthly updates. Remember that our goal is 40,000 records mapped by the end of the year and this means we need everybody to get on board with this work. Chris and I are actively working on this in the office, and we need everyone to be working on it on-site. So, remember how we had 9,151 records mapped at the end of April? I'm very pleased to say that we now have a grand total of 10,738 mapped. Hooray! We're 27% of the way there!

As for our overall numbers, We had another fairly quiet month as people are starting to prepare for the tourist season. 195 new records appeared in the system, along with 325 new images, giving us new totals of 192,286 records and 73,644 images. I'm willing to bet we'll hit the 200,000 mark some time this summer.
By region:
Southwest - 98,854 artifacts, 32,637 images
Central - 36,718 artifacts, 14,058 images
Northeast - 30,693 artifacts, 17,932 images
Cape Breton - 26,021 artifacts, 9,017 images

Congrats to the Central region for adding the most records and images this month!

This is getting pretty long so I'm going to skip your image tip of the month. I'll do my best to dig up something extra special for next month.

Cemetery & Volunteer/Membership Databases
As you might remember, when we were preparing for the great database migration of 2011, I told people that we'd be looking at the other two databases at a later date. Now that the dust has settled, we're officially starting this work. If you never used these other systems, then you have nothing to worry about. If you do use either of these systems, then stay tuned as we'll be coming up with some recommendations on how to move forward. As with the collections database, this is going to be a process, and the first step is to investigate our options. We are feeling good about the volunteer/membership database work and think we have found a solid solution. The cemetery database review has only just begun, but I'm optimistic that we'll have something figured out by the end of the year.

All for now folks! Enjoy that sunshine and I'll talk to you soon :)