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News Update

Kia ora

Check out the latest batch of museum news that has been uploaded today, online here (you need to be logged in to the members’ area to view).

It has been raining again in Wellington today, with the hills are hidden in the cloud. As we slowly start to come out of a very wet winter, the mornings are beginning to be lighter and one can begin to imagine summer somewhere sunny – like Nelson. The MA Board will be meeting there tomorrow, combining the meeting with planning for our MA11 conference in April 2011.

The board meets quarterly, and has mostly done so in Wellington. Only 2 of the 7 current board members are Wellington-based, and we rely on the board members and their museums to support the time and travel required for attending meetings. We have scheduled the next three board meetings in other centres to make the most of this opportunity to get out and about and hear from people in the regions. On 17 November we will be in Christchurch, and Rotorua in mid-February.

Tomorrow we have invited people from local museums to join the board for lunch. We’re enjoying working with our hosts at Nelson Provincial Museum and The Suter as the MA11 conference programme comes together. It will have a collections theme, and we want to involve other local museums and their collections in the conference. As well as planning for MA11, we look forward to discussing current local and national issues including accreditation and membership development.

And speaking of discussion – in addition to our recent foray into Twitter, this week MA also set up a page on Facebook. We want to make sure we’re keeping in the loop with what’s going on, and that it is easy for you to communicate with us. We’re also keen on raising the profile of our activities. So if you’re into your social networking, follow uslike us…! Among other things, we’ll use these channels to let you know how conference planning is going, to get direct feedback from you, and we hope this will provide a simple way for you to share your thoughts on topics of interest to the sector.

Several other conferences and meetings are coming up on the spring calendar. Next week is the ARANZ conference in Wellington, at which Phillipa will be chairing a forum on professional membership. Next month Museums Australia’s conference Interesting Times will be in Melbourne, and we know a number of people from museums this side of the Tasman will be attending – we’d love to hear from you when you get back.

The NDF conference, Linking data, linking people, is at Te Papa 18-19 October. This is an excellent chance to get together with others interested in the world of digital culture, from the related perspectives of museums, archives, libraries, universities and service providers. There are great speakers coming here from the Smithsonian and UK Collections Trust, as well as some more familiar faces from NZ and Australia. We hope to see many MA members there (early registration closes 3 September).

And here’s a great initiative for linking data and linking people – museums in the UK embraced user-generated content through ‘Britain Loves Wikipedia’ in February this year, and ongoing projects have evolved since then. In June-July the British Museum hosted Liam Wyatt and other Wikipedians to work with curators to get more of the BM’s collections onto Wikipedia, one of the five most popular sites in the Internet. The results have been fantastic, as you can see at these websites:

Ka kite,

Phillipa and Sophie


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