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The Top Ten Museum Junction Threads of 2023

Category: Alliance Blog
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If you aren’t already a regular visitor to Museum Junction, AAM’s online discussion forum for museum people, now’s a great time to join! This long-running community, frequented by knowledgeable and generous museum colleagues, gained a host of new features this year, thanks to an upgrade funded by AAM’s investment in the museum community. Now, not only can you pose a question, share an idea, or lead a discussion among the breadth of the field, but you can create and join branch-off communities focusing on your special interests, identities, and focus areas.

To get a taste of this rapidly growing community, here is a look back at some of the threads that sparked the most discussion this year:

1. Seeking Examples: Outdoor history sites/museums with porous or open boundaries, and/or located in a living neighborhood

By Michelle Moon

“We are working with a museum that consists of several historic buildings embedded within a living neighborhood. The grounds are porous and open to the public for walking around, as well as to residents for driving, parking, tenant access, etc.

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We are doing some creative brainstorming about wayfinding, managing indoor access, and marking the borders of the historic areas, and would love your help identifying other sites with similar conditions that we can learn from.”

2. Sustainable and Low Carbon Footprint Museum Exhibitions

By Douglas Flandro

“Looking to connect with any exhibit managers or designers who are doing research about how to best create sustainable and low-carbon footprint exhibits in their museums. I am especially interested in research about how material and equipment choices affect BIPOC communities and what choices lead to improved environmental justice. Would love to share resources.”

3. Visitor Location Heat Maps Software

By Harry Klinkhamer

“Anyone have any recommendations for tracking where visitors are from with interactive heat maps?  What I am looking for is replacing the antiquated push pin on a map that visitors place with a touch screen where when they input their zip code it gets tallied so that zip codes with high attendees are red, ones with few blue, etc.  Finding lots of expensive subscriptions services, but I just want something I can put on an external drive and hook up to a touch screen monitor.”

4. Affordable Video-to-Text Transcription Software

By Keith Cook

“I am working on getting our veteran interviews transcribed and wanted to know if anyone has any recommendations for safe, reliable, and affordable video-to-text transcription software. I am currently using Microsoft Word to transcribe the videos through the ‘Voice’ function, and then going through the interview recording to correct any errors to the AI transcription. While Word does a fairly decent job, the service is limited to 300 minutes of uploaded audio a month, which are going to get eaten fast given that our museum has over a hundred hours worth of interviews that need to be transcribed. Are there any services that allow unlimited transcription work? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.”

5. Seeking museums that offer accessible programming for adults with dementia

By Nicole Root

“I am interested in connecting with museums that are already offering programming for adults with dementia and their caregivers to learn more about your experience with developing such a program. For the last 15 years I have been facilitating a creative hands-on sensory-based experience in long term care communities that engages a wide variety of abilities. I am curious to see if such a program would be valuable in a museum setting as well, so I would love to learn more about what is working and what is not with accessible programming, and how museums would like to move forward (or not) with these endeavors.”

6. Curation without Education

By Destiny Jones

“I’m an emerging professional in the museum field with big dreams of curating my own exhibits. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in History and a Master’s Degree in American Studies but I keep getting the feeling I can’t start creating exhibits without an official degree in Museum Studies. Is it possible to learn everything I’d need to know through my own research, conferences and internships or is a degree or certificate needed to truly know what I’m doing? I recently discovered many resources like the AAM that I think could really benefit my journey without an official degree. Is there anyone out there who can tell me their path less travelled background on how they became a curator without an official degree in Museum Studies? If I do decide to go through with my own exhibit am I officially a curator then or is their some kind of unspoken hoops I need to jump through to give myself that title? Seeking advice about my future career and I would just love to hear how others got their start.”

7. The place of NFTs in the new museum practices

By Marie Degonse

“I am interested in the use of NFT as a new digital object in the museum but especially in the question of how technology can contribute to the production of value in digital museum objects that goes beyond monetary value.

What do you think: does the current NFT craze respond to a trend, a fad or, on the contrary, is a future-oriented solution, respond to a structural evolution of museums towards digital?”

8. Content Warning in Museums

By Alyssa Pizarro

“Do others share content warnings in their museums, and if yes, is it by exhibit or is it overall for full museum content?

As an equity + inclusion manager, I am wanting to honor the diverse lens and ages of attendees AND am cognizant of whose comfort I am centering, so wondering if others have a process/ procedure that they are willing to share.”

9. Bulk Convert TIFF files to JPG2000

By Jeanne Sojka

“We have been scanning hundreds of library documents as high resolution TIFF files. Is there a company or service that will batch convert them to JPG2000 for use on a website?”

10. Audio Tours

 By Keith Hardison

“Does anyone use audio tours inside a historic home? If so, what have been your experiences either positive or negative?”

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