An Update on the Connecting to Collections Initiative in the Western States


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Since its introduction through a national summit in 2007, the Institute of Museum and Library Services Connecting to Collections initiative has developed a bookshelf, organized a series of forums, developed an online community, and funded statewide planning and implementation grants to raise public awareness of the importance of caring for our treasures - underscoring the fact that these collections are essential to the American story. Join representatives leading statewide efforts to learn more about program development in the western states.

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An Update on the Connecting to Collections Initiative in the Western States

  1. 1. An Update on the Connecting to Collections Initiativein the Western StatesWestern Museums Association Annual MeetingPalm Springs, CaliforniaOctober 23, 2012
  2. 2. Our Presenters Today Connie Bodner Keni SturgeonSupervisory Grants Management Curator and Museum Director Specialist Willamette Heritage Center IMLS Salem OR Washington DC Eric Taylor Kara West Heritage Lead Assistant Director for Field 4Culture Services Seattle WA Balboa Art Conservation Center San Diego CA
  3. 3. Connecting to Collections:A Call to ActionHeritage Health Index, 2005Four challenges – Safe conditions for collections – Emergency plans – Training – Strengthen commitment to supporting collections care
  4. 4. Connecting to Collections Elements• National Conservation Summit, 2007• Four themed forums, 2008-2009• Two Raising the Bar Workshops, 2010• The Bookshelf Project• Statewide Planning Grants, 2009-2011• Statewide Implementation Grants, 2010-2012• Continuing Conversation Exchange, 2011-2012
  5. 5. Connecting to Collections FundingOffice of Museum Services, 2006-2012• 1,124 awards for collections care and conservation• $23 million to organizations in all 59 states, territories, and commonwealths
  6. 6. Connecting to Collections ResourcesGuide to Online Resources C2C Online Community
  7. 7. Eric TaylorHeritage Lead 4Culture Seattle WA
  8. 8. Keni SturgeonCurator and Museum Director Willamette Heritage Center Salem OR
  9. 9. Oregon Connecting to Collections (OR C2C)Umpqua River Lighthouse; Beaver Brand Oregon Prunes label from the Oregon State Archives; an artifact at Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Park
  10. 10. Oregon C2C Partners Northwest Archivists Oregon Heritage Commission Oregon Historical Society Oregon Library Association Oregon Museums Association Oregon State Archives Oregon State Library Tamaśtslikt Cultural Institute
  11. 11. Connecting to Collections What  A national initiative  raise public awareness of the importance of caring for our treasure  Underscore that these treasures are essential to the American story How  An IMLS grant that supports assessment of preservation and disaster response training, collection care and support based on the Heritage Health Index
  12. 12. Oregon C2C Call to Action! Needs Assessment and Planning Develop collaborative relationships Nurture collective advocacy
  13. 13. March2011 Connecting to Collections Needs Project: Assessment Report What Archival, Library, and Museum Personnel Need to Preserve Oregon’s Heritage Collections
  14. 14. Project Components C2C Steering Committee Meetings Regional forums Statewide survey Needs Assessment Report Leaders’ Summit Action plans and presentations IMLS C2C Implementation Grant submission
  15. 15. Survey Respondents
  16. 16. Survey Respondents, cont.…
  17. 17. Findings: Staffing of Institutions/Preservation Whole Institution  Expressly for Preservation
  18. 18. Findings: Learning Needs 47 specific learning needs in 6 areas Collections in most urgent need of care Learning forms
  19. 19. Findings: Disaster Preparedness 15% have a plan and are ready for the worst 85% do not have a disaster preparedness plan that is current and ready to be activated 40% are in some stage of plan development or have stalled in their planning.
  20. 20. Findings: Advocacy Needs Becoming better able to write winning proposals and grants Becoming better able to engage the public in financially supporting preservation Becoming better able to recruit a workforce of staff or volunteers
  21. 21. Findings: Planning Needs Developing long-range preservation plans and setting priorities Fund-development planning Disaster response and recovery planning
  22. 22. Findings: Technology Needs Keeping up with technological change Being able to resolve formatting issues Understanding applicable web trends Being able to use a computer Being able to apply technology efficiently For a cadre of respondents, basic computer skills:
  23. 23. Findings: Information Needs Respondents want samples, tools, and lists that they can access on-line.
  24. 24. Networking Ideas Create a web-based portal Establish an online network Offer regionally-based formal training Facilitate communication
  25. 25. Findings: Oregon’s Priorities for Planning Collection Care Training Strategic planning and priority setting Collection Management Training Disaster Preparedness Planning Practical Technology for Preservation Informational Website Preservation Advocacy Networking for Preservation
  26. 26. Heritage Leaders’ Summit, March 7, 2011Leaders representing the following groups: Oregon Heritage Commission Oregon Historical Society Oregon Library Association Oregon Museums Association Oregon Parks & Recreation Oregon State Library Oregon State Archives State Historic Preservation OfficeMuseums: Douglas County Museum, Washington County Museum, WillametteHeritage CenterTribes: Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians, Confederated Tribes of theUmatilla Indian ReservationUniversity/College Libraries & Archives: Lewis and Clark College, Portland StateUniversity, University of Oregon, Oregon State University, Oregon Health & ScienceUniversity
  27. 27. Leaders’ Summit ResultsAsk Oregon Heritage Commission to appoint a cross- disciplinary (Archives, Libraries, Museums) Oregon Preservation Advisory Board. Purpose: planning and strategizing Make-up: representatives of professional organizations and agencies When: April through July, 2011
  28. 28. Suggested Initial Planning Agenda1. Develop plan for requesting grants and other funds to implement recommendations2. Statewide Inventory of critical objects and collections to ensure they are given attention3. IMLS Implementation grant ($50-250K)
  29. 29. C2C Implementation Grant To fund a collaborative effort by professionalorganizations, nonprofits and state agencies to help heritage organizations in all Oregon’s regions to efficiently preserve and develop their collections,provide trainings and support for preservation, and perpetuate these efforts by creating a network of mentors and a virtual resource.
  30. 30. C2C Implementation Grant1. Virtual resources.2. Computer technology.3. Technical assistance.4. Support network.
  31. 31. C2C Implementation GrantWhat we have done: Formed a Collections PreservationCabinet.What we will do: Hire a program coordinator. Undertake training in each of the seven regions. Create a regionalized network of trained mentors. Create an online resource.
  32. 32. C2C Implementation GrantWhat we will not do:Address all the issues identified (such as providingtechnology) because some are: beyond the scope of the grant guidelines are part of larger issues facing the state do not have a sustainable solution at this time
  33. 33. C2C Implementation GrantImpact: 30-50 additional organizations with disaster preparedness plans. Volunteers and staff receive knowledge & training in collections care. Creation of a statewide portal for relevant collections information. A network of mentors created. Continuation of collaboration. Reach most rural areas of the state. More people with knowledge about collections care/disaster prep. Mentors trained to train staff to care for collections beyond expiration of the grant. Increased cooperation.
  34. 34. C2C Implementation GrantTimeline: October 1, 2012. 1st step = get permission from the Oregon Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee to spend the funds. Contracting begins December-January. Training sessions for mentors in the spring, summer and fall of 2013. Mentor site visits beginning in the summer of 2013. Webpage development begins in early January 2013 and be fully functional by that summer. The project will conclude Sept. 30, 2014.
  35. 35. Kara WestAssistant Director for Field Services Balboa Art Conservation Center San Diego CA
  36. 36. CALIFORNIANS CONNECTINGTO COLLECTIONS a statewide preservation project that provides information, education, and training to California heritage institutions. Western Museum Association Annual Meeting, October 23, 2012
  37. 37. PLANNING
  38. 38. NEED
  39. 39. VISIONA self-sustaining culture ofpreservation management inCalifornia heritage institutionsPROJECT PRIORITIES• Providing safe conditions for collections• Marshaling public and private support for collections care
  40. 40. IMPLEMENTATION Providing safe Marshalling conditions for public and collections private support Disaster Project preparedness Development workshops workshops Disaster Stewardship networking campaign for workshops trustees 24/7 emergency hotline and reference system
  41. 41. DISASTER PREPAREDNESS WORKSHOPS: 11 workshop series serving 197 participants from 118 institutions with 109 disaster plans completed. DISASTER NETWORKING WORKSHOPS: 4 out 6 workshops completedserving 84 participants from 41 institutions.
  42. 42. PROJECT DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS: 4 out of 8 workshops serving 93 participants from 87 institutions with 73.5% planning a preservation project proposal. STEWARDSHIP TOOLKIT: 2,155 mailed; 763 visits online; 2.5 pages; 5:21 time.PILOT COLLECTIONS CHARRETTE FOR PRESERVATION LEADERS:30 participants from 19 institutions collaborated to draft a solutions to collection care problems.
  43. 43. Steering Committee NEXT STEPS: meeting Oct. 30th Presentation at Museum Trustee Association Forum – Nov. 2nd Explore webinar as a future format Pursue funding for a sustainable preservation assistance service FOR MORE connecting-to-collectionsINFORMATION: Kara West, C3 Steering Committee Member and Assistant Director for Field Services Balboa Art Conservation Center 619-236-9702
  44. 44. Lessons LearnedConnecting to Collections has become a brand.
  45. 45. Lessons LearnedCreativity can be our friend.
  46. 46. Lessons LearnedCommitment to collections care can be veryeffective at the grassroots level.
  47. 47. Lessons LearnedDisaster planning andemergency response can belearned, practiced, and existbeyond a binder on the shelf.
  48. 48. Lessons LearnedRegional networks can be effective in big states andacross small ones.
  49. 49. Lessons LearnedMuseums, libraries, and archives have more incommon than we thought and can benefit byworking together.
  50. 50. Lessons Learned Review6. Connecting to Collections has become a brand.5. Creativity can be our friend.4. Commitment to collections care can be very effective at thegrassroots level.3. Disaster planning and emergency response can be learned,practiced, and exist beyond a binder on the shelf.2. Regional networks can be effective in big states and acrosssmall ones.1. Museums, libraries, and archives have more in commonthan we thought and can benefit by working together.
  51. 51. Questions?
  52. 52. Thank you!To learn more, visit