TECHNOLOGICAL SKILLS & KNOWLEDGE
The completion of LIS 258: Museum Informatics and the below artifacts demonstrate my understanding of the principles and concepts taught throughout this course as well as my proficiency in the 4th ALA Core Competency – Technological Knowledge and Skills. Museum Informatics studies how technical innovations affect the world of museums (Glynn, 2015). The assigned course readings and in-person meetings with several museum professionals at the Brooklyn Museum as well with my museum partner has allowed to explore and learn the way modern information systems have shaped the museum information environment.
One of the projects completed was the Comparative Analysis of Information Management Systems assignment. I chose El Museo del Barrio as my partner and worked closely with their Permanent Collection Manager, Noel Valentin. This exercise not only allowed me to see first hand how different institutions manage their collections, such as differences in their workflows and metadata schemas, but also the importance of choosing the right Content Management System. There is no such thing as the perfect CMS so extensive research is essential. This assignment has better equipped me to assess and evaluate the specifications, efficacy, and cost efficiency of technology-based products and services. This assignment was also the basis of my poster presentation for the St. John’s University Division of Library and Information Science Spring Symposium, which can be viewed above.
Metadata is a critical process for ensuring effective information retrieval and accountability in record keeping. While progress has been made in developing national and international standards acceptable to a range of institutions it is not yet possible to access all the worlds’ collections through one database collection. Understanding the differences in metadata standards and how various cultural heritage institutions choose and utilize these standards is crucial. The Metadata/ Object Record assignment and corresponding Infomatic Blog Post* has allowed me to explore some of the challenges museum professionals face in regard to information organization & access, and standards for data sharing. After creating this object record using the Dublin Core Standard I was able to see how these attributes overlapped with the different fields within The Museum System (El Museo’s CMS) and how others do not.
Throughout this course we were asked to research different emerging technologies within the museum world and evaluate their effectiveness as well as speculate how applicable these systems would be with our partner museum’s collection. The culmination of this research can be seen in the Interactive, Social & Mobile Technology Analysis assignments. With the completion of these assignments I am better equipped to evaluate the social impact of museum technologies, such as multimedia exhibits in museums, virtual museums online, and pervasive computing devices, on museum professionals.
Museum informatics is the marriage between emerging technical advances in information management with already existing ideas found within cultural institutions. This course has taught me how to approach this relatively new field of study appropriately as I begin my journey in the professional world. Learning the importance of organizing collections with the use of a comprehensive content management system has greatly impacted my educational experience, as well as, provided a process road map for professional opportunities. I have improved my skill-set of being able to evaluate how to keep museumgoers engaged and invested in our institutions. I now understand the importance of fostering interoperability between systems and institutions. While I personally did not face any new challenges during the extent of this course it has been a valuable experience to see first-hand how some institutions manage their collections and how they perform outreach to their patrons through use of these different technologies. I will be able to tackle any emerging issues in museum, archives and library institutions because of these observations and completed course activities.
Glynn, M. (2015). Course syllabus LIS 258 museum informatics spring 2015 [Course handout]. Division of Library and Information Science, St. John’s University, Queens, NY. Retrieved from https://bbprod.stjohns.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-668593-dt-content-rid-5631593_1/courses/LIS-258-0-17029-201510/LIS%20258%20museum%20informatics%20spring%202015%20syllabus%285%29.pdf
*The Infomatic Blog is no longer available so I have submitted the item that was graded by Professor Mary Glynn.