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Subject:

Re: How do you increase digital knowledge within the museum sector?

From:

Nick Poole <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Museums Computer Group <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 25 Jun 2012 14:05:10 +0100

Content-Type:

text/plain

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Hi Mia,  
 
In response to your question, I have published the dataset and a brief analysis of the 40 museum Mission Statements at: 
 
http://www.collectionslink.org.uk/discover/new-perspectives/1380-what-are-museums-for 
 
I have put up a Wordle of the main concepts in the Mission Statement, and also given a list of the top 10 terms by frequency - which you'll be glad to hear includes both 'learning' and 'understanding'. 
 
This is a pretty cursory analysis, but once I have had time to write it up more fully, I'll circulate the findings. There are different types of Mission Statement, depending on the type of organisation, and it is slightly unfair to flatten them out like this.  
 
You might be interested to know, though, that the words 'open' and 'data' don’t appear in any of them, although a significant proportion of them cite increasing their online profile as a primary focus. You can download the raw data in CSV at the end of the article.  
 
Finally, a quick plug - if MCG colleagues are around in London today, we're having a pre-conference drink at the Beehive pub in Vauxhall from 17.30 in preparation for the OpenCulture 2012 conference, which kicks off tomorrow morning. If you have a couple of hours to kill tomorrow or Wednesday, do come along to the free Trade Fair and say hi.  
 
With best regards, and please do leave your comments and analysis in the 'comments' section of the post. 
 
Nick  
 
 
 
-----Original Message----- 
From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Mia 
Sent: 24 June 2012 17:25 
To: [log in to unmask] 
Subject: Re: How do you increase digital knowledge within the museum sector? 
 
I didn't expect to get caught up in definitional issues right at the start, but I guess some conversations don't automatically translate across platforms.  I suppose in general I was asking people how they learned (or have taught others) how, when and why to use different digital platforms in their museum work, whether internal- or public-facing. 
 
Nick, thanks for sharing your research on attitudes and values towards digital in museums.  Do you have a sense of how many of the museum mission statements mentioned education? 
 
Perry, I'm guessing there must be various pieces of research on how museums are using social media, the web, mobile apps, collections management systems, etc, but I don't know of any that cover the entire digital realm in museums across the UK.  If anyone does, please share the links! 
 
Back in 2010 I did a survey on 'issues facing museum technologists', http://bit.ly/9Agg1J and it'd be interesting to see how things have or haven't changed. 
 
Cheers, Mia 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
http://openobjects.org.uk/ 
http://twitter.com/mia_out 
 
 
On 22 June 2012 08:50, Bonewell, Perry <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
> The SHARE museums research sounds really interesting and makes me wonder if there would be any value in scaling it up to look at the situation right across the sector. 
> 
> I can't help thinking that we need a detailed snapshot of how all museums (archives, art galleries etc.) are currently engaging with digital before we can realistically wrestle with questions like these - and apologies to Mia for not answering. 
> 
> Do any of us really know what is going on beyond the odd anecdote and extremes of good and bad examples? 
> 
> For instance I would like to know how take up of digital compares across differently funded museums (trust or local authority) large or small (from nationals to volunteer run). 
> 
> There is a lot of talk about intransigent IT and marketing depts. holding back some in the sector but perhaps if we had some hard figures to point to maybe something could be done about it. 
> 
> Perry 
> 
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of  
> Nick Poole 
> Sent: 21 June 2012 21:33 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Subject: Re: How do you increase digital knowledge within the museum sector? 
> 
> Hi Mia et al, 
> 
> As I mentioned on twitter, I think the results of the very limited research we did recently with SHARE Museums East into attitudes and values towards digital in museums are relevant here. 
> 
> To summarise (and noting that our research was far from exhaustive!), we found a very digitally-literate workforce, most of whom make active use of technology in their daily lives. The people who participated in our research covered a range of roles and demographics, but were almost all habitual users of online platforms. 
> 
> What we did find is that this digital literacy is inhibited once people get to work. Whether it is by prohibitive policies or lack of kit and time, some of the museums we surveyed did not seem to have internalised digital into the various aspects of their work and were thereby disempowering their staff. 
> 
> For me, this goes back to the recent discussions at the Open Rights Group - I think this is only partly a skills question. It is predominantly a question of the extent to which the museum regards engagement as its core purpose, and the extent to which it perceives online as an optimal method for achieving it. From an equally limited survey of 30 museums mission statements which I did last year, there is still very little in the core identity of some museums that relates to openness, discovery, sharing or participation, and less still which prioritises online strategies for achieving them. 
> 
> If you are interested in reading the findings of the 'attitudes and values' research, it is up at http://www.sharemuseumseast.org.uk/shares/resource_139.pdf. 
> 
> All best, 
> 
> Nick 
> 
> 
> 
> -----Original Message----- 
> From: Museums Computer Group [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of  
> Mia 
> Sent: 21 June 2012 20:04 
> To: [log in to unmask] 
> Subject: Re: How do you increase digital knowledge within the museum sector? 
> 
> On 21 Jun 2012, at 14:31, Tony Crockford <[log in to unmask]> wrote: 
> 
>> On 21 Jun 2012, at 19:26, Mia wrote: 
>>> 
>>> So: how do you increase digital knowledge within the museum sector? 
>> 
>> In case I might know the answer, could you explain the question? 
>> 
>> Are you asking about how museums might have digital knowledge  
>> systems, 
> or how people within the museum sector might increase their knowledge of digital systems? 
> 
> I was thinking knowledge of the potential and limitations of digital systems and communication, but I guess digital knowledge is included in the latter.  It could be the when and why to use different digital platforms as well as how to use them. 
>> 
> 
> Cheers, Mia 
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