Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June 2021 Update

Museum Evaluation Program
Hard to believe but next week we'll be hitting the road for site evaluations! Preparations have kept us very busy and as a result Karin has been struggling to stay on top of email messages. She's doing her best to catch up, but it is going to take some time. Thanks to everyone for their patience. 

Now that our year-long Deep Dive series is finished, we are looking forward to getting the recordings catalogued and added to our reference library. In the meantime, feel free to request any of the recordings and we'll send them along. You can see the full list here.

MAP Funding News - Input Needed!
We are very excited to share that our MAP grant application was approved and we are now ready to launch into the work. Emma has gotten a head start on the domestic textile digitization training, and Sarah is working with a fantastic SME on enriching domestic textile records. One of the other key aspects of the grant is to improve the condition report feature in CollectiveAccess. Some of you will know that this has bugged Karin for years, so it's very exciting to finally be able to address the serious limitations and turn it into a useful and helpful tool. This is where our users come in. Please complete this very brief survey to let us know your condition reporting needs. The survey will only be open until July 11th. 

Site Visits & Hub Training
Emma has been on the road a lot this month for site visits and the first hub training. We're looking forward to seeing all the new photos of domestic textiles. If you are a member of the Advisory Service and haven't yet signed up for textile digitization hub training, there are three more opportunities - Yarmouth, Dartmouth, and a virtual session. You can register here. Keep in mind that spots are limited due to COVID restrictions, so make sure to confirm your place asap. 

CollectiveAccess Updates
Now that summer staff are on deck, please be sure to provide them with the training they need to work in the database. They might be comfortable with the tech, but they probably don't know museum documentation standards and so need your help with this. Be sure to monitor their work as well. We've seen many situations where students end up making more work for the museum by entering really dirty data that requires an intense amount of cleanup and/or causes confusion when you run searches. Don't put yourself in those situations. Check in often, ask if they have questions, and review their work. As we said last month, we want to promote quality work over quantity.

Here's the monthly tally at the regional level:
Southwest: 142,011 artifacts, 97,015 images  
Central: 105,149 artifacts, 91,127 images  
Northeast: 54,153 artifacts, 72,821 images  
Cape Breton: 32,676 artifacts, 24,445 images  

On the NovaMuse front, we have finally resolved the daily synchronization issues and are happy (ecstatic?) to report that your new and updated records and media attachments are being added on a daily basis. This makes it even more important for you to train and monitor your summer staff's work. Your online presence is your professional reputation. 

Your image lesson of the month is an example of someone not checking their work. This wasn't my mistake in including the photo; someone uploaded a sideways image to the database. This is obviously something that should be seen and corrected immediately, so keep your eye on your images. Certain photo editing software rotates images when you transfer from the camera to the computer so be sure to keep your eye on this and adjust accordingly. The other issue with this photo is that it is an artwork and should be photographed straight-on. My preference is to do this once with the scale and once without the scale. The image without the scale becomes the primary image for NovaMuse and the one with the scale is your quick size reference.

We've passed a milestone with NovaMuseEd use; 2000+ downloads. This is amazing. We are starting to see a bit of a drop off in downloads which is to be expected. Schools are out for the summer, and teachers/users don't need to download the same resources multiple times. We continue to work on new learning activities with partner museums, with Cheryl and Sarah being our ANSM leads on this. We currently have 9 activities in draft form and look forward to announcing their release. 

Thanks to everyone who has been sharing their educational program info with Emma during her travels. We are stockpiling this info in our office so that we can continue to build this amazing resource. If you haven't yet jumped on the NovaMuseEd bandwagon, it's not too late. Just email Emma and let her know you're interested and we'll take it from there.

Looking ahead, we have submitted a proposal to deliver a virtual workshop on NovaMuseEd at the Nova Scotia Social Studies Teachers Conference in October. Keep your fingers crossed - this would be a great way to get the word out even more. 

Educational Partnerships
Sarah is tackling an impressive amount of work this summer. Entity reconciliation cleaning is going very quickly, with 32 museum databases done. She's also helping with site visit and evaluation preparations, and has just started working with our textile SME to review hooked rug records. And she'll be taking the lead on our condition report feature work for the next month while evaluations take place. 

We have also begun preliminary talks about hosting a fall intern. We love the fresh perspectives and ideas that interns bring to ANSM, and love helping them to gain experience as they prepare for their careers. So again, fingers crossed that this all works out.