Wednesday, June 5, 2013

May 2013 Update

Disaster Recovery Plan
As I mentioned last month, one of the things we're working on this year is a comprehensive plan to address any sort of database emergency or disaster. This consists of sitting down and talking about all sorts of hypothetical scenarios - what could go wrong and how would we fix the problem? We have some unwritten plans about how to address some of these issues, but we figured it would be great to have something comprehensive in the event that key people aren't around to troubleshoot or implement the plans. To date we have identified the threats and  figured out prevention, response and recovery strategies. Next up is to determine the very specific action recovery steps. We are doing this not only for ANSM's responsibilities but also from the museum's perspective, so we're pretty happy with how the document is shaping up.

CNSA Conference
I think I've mentioned before that we've been getting calls from various groups across North America who want to learn more about how we've made NovaMuse a reality. We love to share our story, and this month we got to share it close to home with our sister organization the Council of Nova Scotia Archives. Their annual conference was on the 3 P's of Digital Archives: Possibilities, Practicalities, & Partnerships. This was the perfect opportunity to share NovaMuse and our collaborative approach to the work.

NovaMuse Statistics 
Social Network Referrals
So we've talked about how many countries are visiting NovaMuse, and also how people people are finding the site and the importance of putting the logo on your website to promote this new museum service. I would love to see everyone's website have the link by the end of the summer. I think that's a reasonable goal.
Anyway, back to stats. This month I thought I'd talk about social networks as a way to promote the collections and NovaMuse. Most of the contributing museums are on Facebook and use it to share information about their collections and events with the public. This lovely and colourful pie chart shows us the breakdown of traffic from social networking sites. The blue is Facebook, green is Blogger, yellow is Pinterest and red is Twitter. Clearly there's a lot of chatter about us on Facebook, and that this translates into people visiting NovaMuse. So if you use social networking sites and want to share information about your museum's collection, link away! It works!

Database Info
I've had a few messages from people asking about the database being glitchy in Internet Explorer. Here's what we know - Internet Explorer 8 is old enough now that it is glitchy on its own. In general you want to make sure that your computer is up to date. Security updates, bug fixes...these are important. So step one is to go and get all those relevant updates to your system. If you don't know how to do this, I can help you during my site visit or you can ask your summer staff to help. If you still have trouble, switch over to Firefox or Chrome and you won't have any trouble using the database. And finally, if you ever have a glitch to report, you need to give me an example of where this is happening, not just tell me the problem. So let me know which accession number or record you were looking at when things weren't working. Without this info, we can't duplicate the problem and find a solution.

Chris and I have been continuing on with our database work. We've been working on two of the largest databases so it's been feeling like we aren't making very fast progress, but we've reviewed over 36,000 records and are on target with the year's goals. More 17,000 records have been mapped, which represents 43% of that deliverable.
Unfortunately we said goodbye to one of our members this month, which means we had to remove their records from NovaMuse and as a result our overall stats are down. So as we wish them the best in their future endeavours, we know that we'll soon be back up to our previous numbers as the summer staff begin working in the databases. Overall, we now have 191,084 artifacts and 72,552 images in the databases.
Southwest - 99,022 artifacts, 32,710 images
Central - 36,904 artifacts, 14,271 images
Northeast - 29,098 artifacts, 16,516 images
Cape Breton - 26,060 artifacts, 9,055 images

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

CMA Conference
And last but not least, another place that we shared our database and website work with colleagues was at the annual CMA conference in Whitehorse, Yukon. Not only did this give us the opportunity to talk shop with the other provincial associations, but NovaMuse received the Award of Outstanding Achievement for Museum Management. This is very exciting for us; it's great to have your professional peers recognize all the hard work that went into NovaMuse's development. I had a great conversation with a member of the awards adjudication team and was probably blushing over all the nice things he had to say about our work. It's important to note that we share this award with a lot of people - in particular the museums who excitedly opened their collections for the world to see, and the amazing team at Whirl-i-gig who worked day and night to make this vision a reality. Thanks all!