Registration is now open for the Minnesota Alliance of Local History's 2017 Annual Meeting and Conference!
The conference, which will be held at Chase on the Lake on April 26-27, has more offerings for attendees than ever before with sessions for both experienced and emerging professionals, a half-day pre-conference event and a variety of pricing options.
Three tracks mean something for everyone
As usual, both days will offer two tracks of sessions on a variety of local history topics, such as collections management, marketing, education, funding and more. However, a new third track on Day One (Wednesday, April 26) will focus on fundamentals, with sessions geared to college students, volunteers and emerging professionals. The third track on Day Two (Thursday, April 27) will provide sessions for experienced executive directors.
"We'll have something for everyone, regardless of his or her level of experience in the field," said MALHM Conference Chair Jill Wohnoutka (Kandiyohi County Historical Society).
Day One will offer a track with courses like Exhibit Graphic Design 101 and an informal, drop-in session with five museum professionals who can provide one-on-one assistance with individual collections challenges.
The Day Two executive directors' track was developed, with assistance of Minnesota Historical Society's Local History Services, based on feedback from the community on social media as well as conversations with colleagues. For example, Sensitive Subjects: I Was Never Trained for This! will cover difficult situations that executive directors face.
The schedule is being reviewed now by a Program Committee, recruited by MALHM for the first time this year to brainstorm possible topics and speakers. The final program will be posted soon on our Annual Conference page and emailed to MALHM members.
New pricing options
MALHM will allow one-day registration this year to encourage participation from volunteers and students as well as paid staff. Cost for both days is $70 for MALHM members and full-time college students and $85 for non-members. Cost for one day (either April 26 or April 27) is $40 for members/students and $55 for non-members. Registration includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and the April 26 evening mixer sponsored by Minnesota Digital Library.
"MALHM has always worked to make the conference as affordable as possible to encourage participation from all sizes of organizations," said MALHM President Dustin Heckman. "Our goal is to bring our peers together annually to learn from each other and increase professionalism in the field."
MALHM is also offering options to purchase the lunch only on either day for $20, so that family and friends may support Minnesota History Award winners on Day Two or see the keynote speaker on Day One.
Pre-conference event at Itasca State Park
Another new offering is a pre-conference half-day session on interpretation at Itasca State Park, made possible with in-kind sponsorship from Bemidji Bus Line. Attendees will learn how the park manages and trains volunteers and temporary summer staff in interpretation skills so that they're accurate as well as engaging. Park naturalists will provide a guided tour and demonstrate training techniques. They will also provide links to free and low-cost interpretation resources.
The event will occur on Tuesday, April 25, the day before the conference officially opens. The bus leaves at 1 p.m. from Chase on the Lake and returns around 4 p.m. Cost is $10 for MALHM members and full-time college students or $15 for non-members. Attendees may provide their own transportation, but the price remains the same.
New! Credit card registration
For the first time this year, conference attendees may pay on-line with a credit card through MALHM's new online store. Attendees may also pay with a registration form and check by mail.
With either method, attendees can indicate dietary needs, such as vegetarian and gluten free.
Registration deadline is April 10. Chase on the Lake will offer a discount to MALHM attendees who book by phone by April 4. For more information, see our Annual Conference page. If you have additional questions, please contact MALHM Coordinator Marci Matson or Conference Chair Jill Wohnoutka.
The Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums is seeking volunteers willing to serve on an Advisory Team to contribute to the review and development of CollectiveAccess an online, open source Collection Management Software. Tasks include: adjusting and organizing of the data fields; sharing ideas about the desired functionality, features and customization of CollectiveAccess; and creation of centralized setup and search function.
Members of the Advisory Team would ideally be curators, collection managers and museum directors who are frequent users of their institution’s collection management software (CMS) who would be willing to share their expertise to help shape CollectiveAccess into a CMS that would be useful to museums throughout Minnesota.
Membership in the Advisory Team in no way requires you to change your current CMS or to participate in the proposed pilot project, which involves five organizations testing the software. (See previous post.)
Members of the Advisory Team agree to participate in e-mail discussions of ideal CMS setup and the use of various fields within the software. There will most likely be monthly webinar meetings to discuss design and usage questions. The earliest the project would begin is June 2017.
Interested individuals should contact MALHM Board Member Ann Grandy or Joe Hoover for more information or to sign up by Jan. 31.
The Collection Management Task Force is seeking 5 organizations willing to serve as pilot sites for CollectiveAccess, a web-based and open-source collections management software application.
MALHM is seeking a grant to cover costs of the pilot. Interested organizations should contact MALHM Board Member Ann Grandy, Pope County Historical Society curator, or MNHS Digital Technology Outreach Specialist Joe Hoover as soon as possible. Organizations will be chosen no later than Jan. 13, 2017 in order to meet the grant deadline.
The primary goal of this pilot project is to improve the quality of collections management tools available to the five implementing institutions, and by extension, to the field. The five implementers will participate in a community-driven collaborative and serve as leaders for their State and have the opportunity to participate in the development, deployment, and governance of a mission-critical software application.
Each organization will develop its own implementation plan, based on a standard template. These implementation plans will serve as a model for other organizations planning a move to CollectiveAccess. Most plans will include: defining functional and operational requirements, completing a data map and any necessary cleanup, and testing any new functionality created in the course of the project. With the assistance of the program management staff, the implementing institutions will select a service provider to complete the installation, configuration, and data migration work. Implementing institutions may choose to host the software in-house or select a service provider to provide remote hosting.
Ideally the organizations would have a part-time curator/collection manager on staff who is familiar with the collection and the current software and who would be eligible to increase their hours with grant funding.
At least three of the organizations should be current PastPerfect users, but organizations using other collection management systems such as Excel, Access, and Filemaker Pro are also encouraged to apply. It is not mandatory for organizations to have their entire collection in their current database, but we are seeking organizations that have a large number of items in their current software system.
Earliest beginning date for grant work would be June 1, 2017.
The benefits of participating in the pilot program include: