Educating cultural heritage information professionals for Australia’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums

“This research explored the skills, knowledge and qualities, and professional education needs, of information professionals in galleries, libraries, archives and museums (GLAM) in Australia.”

Source: Educating cultural heritage information professionals for Australia’s galleries, libraries, archives and museums

This paper by Katherine Howard is a great continuation of the previous discussion initiated in the 2015 Whyte Memorial Lecture (see previous post). There is now more than ever increased opportunities for “collaboration and convergence between institutions” in the GLAMR sectors, and thus a need to educate professionals to work across these blurred boundaries. While it is unlikely that the different areas will all become one, the research in this article shows the intersection of skills across sectors and the similarities are quite interesting – there is so much we can all learn from each other!

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Bit Rot: Digitisation vs Digital Preservation

This is a topic I find incredibly interesting, as well as something quite urgent to consider and deal with.

“I am really worried right now about the possibility of saving ‘bits’ but losing their meaning and ending up with bit-rot. This means you have a bag of bits that you saved for a thousand years but you don’t know what they mean, because the software that was needed to interpret them is no longer available, or it’s no longer executable, or you just don’t have a platform that will run it. This is a serious, serious problem and we have to solve that.” Vint Cerf – Chief Evangelist, Google

This is a real issue that sometimes gets overlooked, or wilfully ignored. Yes, we may be able to save ‘bits’ but without context the meaning is lost. This also links back to the discussion in the 2015 Whyte Memorial Lecture (see previous blog post) on how librarians need to ‘think like archivists’ when digitising materials, to ensure their long term preservation, as well as how important context is!

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GLAMR New Professionals Meetup

Last week I attended a GLAMR New Professionals meetup at ‘Fall from Grace’ in Melbourne CBD.

You can visit the GLAMR New Professionals Twitter and Facebook page to see some great photos of the night, and join the group!

The meetup was another fantastic opportunity to meet like minded individuals from all across the GLAMR sector. I especially enjoyed the opportunity to chat to some ladies who work in a variety of Museum and Gallery areas. Their work sounds so interesting I wish I had more time to pick their brains! One woman I spoke to was working for Museums Australia with developing their standards for accreditation, and another worked for the Shrine of Remembrance with their exhibitions. I was enthralled, I really know so little about theses areas and it was a great opportunity to chat.

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Monash Event – 25 Years of Archival and Recordkeeping Research and Education

On September 17th, Monash University put on a wonderful event to celebrate this year being the 25th anniversary of archival and recordkeeping research and education at Monash:

In 1990 Sue McKemmish joined Frank Upward, Livia Iacovino and others in the Graduate School of Librarianship to develop an innovative, ground-breaking education program and establish the Records Continuum Research Group as a focal point for the international community of researchers, educators and practitioners exploring and utilising continuum conceptualisations of recordkeeping.

Our alumni have been an important part of that success. Many have gone on to play leadership roles within the profession, and are role models and mentors to the next generation of recordkeeping professionals.

And so we were invited to attend a cocktail reception, again with amazing catering 😉

(There was a lecture before the reception, but unfortunately I was working and unable to attend.)

It was a wonderful evening and I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to catch up with friends, reconnect with classmates, lecturers and tutors, share Monash memories, and celebrate achievements. I met some new inspirational people and learnt more about the history of Monash education in this field. We had a laugh adding memories to a memory board and looking through some kind of art installation that we couldn’t quite figure out.

The highlight of the evening was of course the photobooth! I will cherish the photos I got with such influential people in my life and career. I love my GLAMR peeps!

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Thank you Monash, for not only providing an extremely high level of education, but for also enabling my continued connection with Monash networks through these wonderful events.

Thanks for Reading,

Michelle De Aizpurua

Professional Development, Memberships & Networking

It is really very important to keep up to date with new developments, innovations, ideas, issues and so forth in our field. You need to be a life-long learner if you are going to succeed in Libraryland 😉 Things are constantly changing; the way we utilise space, new technologies, what is expected of us, how we are viewed and how we must justify ourselves. There is a lot to learn. Not only this, it is important to network and get to know other professionals. You need to create relationships. These are especially helpful if you have a question or need some guidance, or more employment. So where to start? There are a few things you can do:

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Getting Started – How to Become a Librarian

When I wrote the title for this post, I instantly thought of a superhero. Someone ‘becoming’ a librarian – by a toxic waste spill, by changing themselves in someway, to come out the other side with a shining light and and a book in hand! ‘aaaaaaaaaah’ the angels sing as the light cascades through the clouds…

Clearly it’s not as magical as that, it really is just getting a qualification I suppose. But to me, there is something about being ‘a librarian’. Something that sets you apart. It’s like a special secret world that you know all about, and outsiders view with all these misconceptions. Read More »