Fan of Full Fathom Five? Be sure to check it out at its new home!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Which Really Was About...

Talking to others throughout the conference many mentioned how the sessions they attended were not at all what they had been led to expect. I hadn’t run into that at all…until today.

“The Right Way to Hire, Lessens the Need to Fire”

This morning’s first session started with the fascinating statistic that “90% of museum thefts can be linked to individuals with a direct connection to the museum” and proceeded to detail ways to avoid this pitfall and navigate other aspects of hiring. As I’ll be hiring someone within the next month, thought this would be a good session to attend.

The presentation was given by Steve Lane, former police chief and museum security and now works in legal cases of insider theft. He was a bit right-wing, terrorist conspiracy minded.

He recommended conducting a criminal background investigation on all employees and volunteers and one law states that you do have a duty to conduct what the courts consider “A Reasonable Inquiry into an Applicant’s Background and Character.” As the talk progressed it became clear that what he was really talking about was not insider theft but making sure that the people you hire won’t assault your visitors or staff.

He recommended getting “Cultural Property Protection Manual” which contains a great deal of this information.

…and that was enough of that and I headed off to a session entitled:

“Podcasting: A Do-It-Yourself Case Study”

…which really was about how the Chicago History Museum used the podcast format to create an audio tour of their museum and not about podcasting as it works on the internet at all. Very exhibit/interpretation / performance based and I debated checking out another session and while it feels rude to walk out of a session, it is also rude to bill it as something it is not. Also considering that people are here to share with people who are interested in their topic I decided it was okay to quietly move on in search of relevant knowledge.

“Exhibit RFPs: Things We Learned the Hard Way”

Score! This one was on target. Very good points including that rfps are simply about “Each party explaining itself clearly” Serena Furman stressed that creators be clear about what you are going to do and what you except the contractor to do. Charts work well and can be very clear.

The current issue of the National Association of Museum Exhibitors journal is about this and I'd recommend taking a look. Along with valuable information there are some excellent sample RFPs.

One really good thing I’ll say about AAM is that overall the sessions are well done and well coordinated. Much more so then either ALA or SAA.

No comments: