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Can You Help Us Build the Ultimate Museum Resource Library?

Category: Alliance Blog
A laptop with the screen replaced with a shelving unit filled with books
Have you explored the new AAM Resource Library yet? Here are the new features to check out and how you can help us make it even better.

Looking for something to help you at work? Tips for acing a job interview, a guide to writing a strategic plan, best practices for accessibility at a virtual event?

AAM’s Resource Library can help! With thousands of articles, tip sheets, toolkits, and videos, it’s the best place to look for what you need to boost your museum and your career. And, as part of our investment in professional development for the museum community, it just got an all-new design to make it bigger and better.

As part of that redesign, we’re committing to ongoing improvement to make this tool as useful and valuable for you as we can. But to do that, we’ll need your help. Read on to find out what the new features are and how you can help us keep improving.

New Features

The new design is more interactive and dynamic, with an updated menu, streamlined taxonomy, refreshed visual experience, and enhanced context. Here’s a little more about these new features:

New Menu

An interactive menu for marketing, communications, and public relations resources, with the option to choose from sub-topics and filter by "article," "resource," or "video."

While the old resource library was a manual operation, with lists of links updated regularly by our team, the new design uses an interactive menu, which automatically updates as we publish new resources across our publishing platforms. This means you can be sure you are looking at everything we have to offer and will not have to search around different sections of our site to find what you need.

It also means you can drill down to the type of resource you’re looking for, which was not possible with the old design. If you know you’re looking for only certain formats, like a recorded webinar or tip sheet, you can filter by type of resource as well as topic.

New Taxonomy

An array of topics including "community engagement," "curatorial practice," "development & membership," and "digital content & technology," with images and blurbs describing them.

One of the most challenging parts of maintaining a library like this is identifying the overarching topics to classify resources under. How do you account for subtleties, variations, and evolutions in the language the field uses, being comprehensive while keeping the menu as streamlined and usable as possible?

As part of the redesign, we took the opportunity to inventory our separate existing taxonomies for our online content and resource library and combine them into one simpler version. This both enables us to keep the library continuously up to date and (hopefully) makes it easier to navigate through a shorter list of possible topics you may be looking for.

New Look

A menu with a teal background and orange buttons advertising featured resources

Users of the old Resource Library should notice a big difference right away: a richer, more dynamic visual experience. While the new imagery, colors, and design features are exciting in their own right (at least we think so), they’re also meant to help with navigation, breaking up the pages and making them easier to scan at a glance.

New Context

A landing page for the topic of exhibitions, with the summary "Exhibitions presenting objects and information in a linear or narrative experience are one of the primary functions of museums. Producing them successfully requires a phased process of planning, development, design, and installation. Browse dozens of resources below in navigating each of these phases."

In addition to visual cues, we’ve also added more text to the library pages, to help you make better sense of our taxonomy and the contents of the individual resources. These blurbs offer background information on the meaning of various disciplines and areas of practice and how they fit into the whole of museum operations today.

Ways to Contribute

As excited as we are about these changes, they’re only the beginning of our goals for the resource library. For that reason, we’re considering this a beta launch, and we’re hoping for your help shaping future developments. Here are some ways you can help:

Send Feedback

Does the new design help you find what you’re looking for? Is it as easy to use as we hope? Let us know! We’ve launched a two-question survey we’re asking users to fill out after you’ve spent some time looking through. Your thoughts would be much appreciated!

Recommend Resources

Know a great document, guide, or article that’s not in our library? Please share! Email with the link and we’ll review it for inclusion.

Pitch Resources

Notice a gap in resources on a topic in your wheelhouse? Let’s change that! We are eager for pitches on resources you might like to publish through one of our platforms. If you envision a straightforward, instructive guide, like a tipsheet, webinar, or toolkit, fill out our new Resource Proposal Form. If you want to share a project or initiative you think could be a helpful model for museum practice, fill out our pitch form for the Alliance Blog.

We hope you enjoy exploring your new library and finding the information you need to excel. Thank you for helping to shape the ultimate resource for you and your museum colleagues!

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1 Comment

  1. Where can I find examples of other museums’ collections policies or emergency planning? I have accessed them before but don’t seem to find them on this new site. Thank you for your guidance.

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