As a student of museum studies, or an emerging museum professional, one of the key skills you will need is the ability to identify legitimate sources of information about your field. These are three of my favorite digital tools for solid museum advice.
Also known as Museum Listserv. Despite spending my formative years on message boards and chat programs, it wasn’t until I entered the museum world that I was turned on to the idea of a Listserv. It’s kind of like having a message board delivered in your inbox. Museum-L is an excellent place to see museum professionals conversing in real-life topics. There are messages from around the world, however most users are from the United States. For example, the messages covered last week include a number of job opening announcements, a conversation about devices to record temperature and humidity, and announcements for short term museum courses. One downside is that if fills up your email with a lot of messages. I know quite a few professionals who have unsubscribed, because of the volume.
I love Conserve O Grams. These guides are published by the US National Parks Service. Why is the NPS publishing museum guides? These practices are used in NPS Visitor Centers across the country. They are handy, self-contained guides that teach you specific skills. Need to ship a framed artwork? Maybe you want to create a stable environment for a fragile artifact?
The Websites of Professional Organizations
There is a good chance that where ever you live, there is a professional museum organization. For example, the flagship museum organization in the US is the American Alliance of Museums. On their website, you’ll find tools like job openings, guides on museum ethics, a marketplace of museum services vendors.
I have worked a lot with the Oklahoma Museum Association. They offer amazing resources online including studies on the local economic impact of museums, a local job board, and an Ask a Professional section that lets you send a message to an expert in a specialized field. Becoming a member of these organizations will get you even more amazing tools.
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Photo Credit:”Valentin Yudashkin. Fashion in art space” at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, Russia. By purple_confetti via Pixabay