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The Top Ten Museum Junction Threads of 2022

Category: Alliance Blog
A hand holding up a piece of chalk to a chalkboard with question marks drawn on it

If you ever want to ask your museum peers a question, one of the best places to turn is Museum Junction, AAM’s open online discussion forum. Sometimes these questions are straightforward and easily answerable, by the person with the right expertise, but other times they’re more ambiguous, speaking to areas of museum practice that don’t have have clear answers yet. It’s this latter category that can produce the most interesting exchanges and engender the most responses. Here were the threads in 2022 that attracted the most attention.

1. Looking for other city owned museums

“The Nashville Parthenon wants to connect with other small museums that are also owned and operated by city government. City owned museums face unique challenges and we’d love to discuss successes and new approaches. Let’s get together over Zoom! Comment below and we’ll be in touch.”

2. Art Related Movies

“Our museum is trying to pull together a list of all the great art-related movies, feature films and documentary films, where the focus is directly related to art, art security/theft, artists lives, as well as movies that have art strongly prominent in the background.  We hope to begin having movie events.

Love to hear your favorites?”

3. The future of QR codes

“QR codes in museums: Are they here to stay? How will they be used?

The technology is more accessible than ever in our post-pandemic reality—curious how museums are approaching this option and whether visitors are engaging.”

4. Paid vs Free Program Attendance

“Does anyone have any data on attendance numbers for paid vs free programs?

I’m looking for evidence to prove/disprove the theory that charging a fee for programs results in higher participation rates.”

5. Graduate Degrees in Museum Studies

“I am curious as to the number of folks working in the museum field who have degrees, and if the degree has been useful for you.”

6. Museum Store Discount

“I am looking to gather information on your Museum Store Discounts. Do you offer discounts to your employee? If so, what is the percentage?”

7. Looking for a 19th-Century Peddler’s Pack or Wagon

“I am completing a book on exploiting American Jewish history through 50 historic objects and am looking for a 19th-century peddler’s pack or wagon for inclusion in that book. Preferably, the object would have a Jewish association and have been in use prior to 1880, but I am open to considering any well-documented pack or wagon from any region of the US.”

8. Seal fur coat

“We are a small local history museum and we have been offered the donation of an Alaskan seal fur coat, dating from the early to mid-1900s, that is significant to one of our city’s residents. We are aware of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, but can’t find good guidance for curatorial staff on law and ethics around accepting donations. Any guidance appreciated.”

9. Recycling lab gloves

“Does your institution recycle lab gloves? If so, how does your recycling program work? Are there prohibitions against including contaminated gloves and if so, how do you navigate those? How does your gloves recycling program work logistically? How have you informed and educated staff about the proper recycling of gloves?”

10. “Docent” as a museum title

“Our Museum has used the term “Docent” to describe our part time staff. However, they do much more than just give tours. They also gallery host, help with inventory, work the admissions counter, facilitate activities and other duties as assigned.

What term do you use for your staff that is inclusive of this range of duties and a more accurate description of their positions?”

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