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The Bastardization of the Term Curator and What Museum Curators Think of It

The Bastardization of the Term Curator and What Museum Curators Think of It | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Robin Good: "A throwdown about the term "curator"". This is the title that Suse Cairns gave to her recent article, in which she opens by writing: "Lately, questions about the bastardisation of the term curator have been emerging around the blogosphere.

 

The Hermitage Museum wrote An Open Letter to Everyone Using the Word ‘Curate’ Incorrectly on the Internet, and Digital Transformations recently asked whether DJs are curators, and vice versa.

 

Their opening volley caught my attention:

 

"The word ‘curator’ gets used liberally these days to talk about stuff people do on the web. But does that devalue the term?

 

Is there any way what someone does on Facebook is comparable to the years of training and knowledge which goes into curating collections in museums and galleries?"

 

I believe that if Suse Cairns had the opportunity to see the real work that goes into professional content or news curation, she would not hesitate an instant in recognizing how skilled and experienced a person must be, in several disciplines, to even consider attempting doing such a job.

 

On the other hand, I can't but agree with her colleagues who are pulling their hair in disgust when they see people proudly "picking" and republishing other people content "as is" while defining themselves as "curators".

 

I must also convene with her complaining colleagues that curation has little or nothing to do with personal expression and social sharing, two reputable and valuable activities, which can be carried out with similar tools, but which require very different skills and time, and which have very little in common beyond the immediate surface. 

 

If one does not look or pay attention at these small details it is very easy to get caught into misleading generalizations (content curation is useless, etc.).

 

I am actually pointing to this article, not so much for the good effort that Suse Cairns to reconciliate traditional museum curators with the new self-acclaimed content curators, but for the excellent series of comments that her short article did spark.

 

Among them, I have excerpted this little gem from Suse herself: "I’m reading Stephen E. Weil’s Rethinking the Museum, and there is a section that seems entirely appropriate to this discussion.

 

On page 53, Weil discusses the work of John Cotton Dana, and writes “In his 1917 book The New Museum, Dana urged that museums of the future make a special effort to attract the young and to interest them in making collections of their own – collections that they might ultimately share with the public. This development of the collecting habit, he wrote:


“...with its accompanying education of powers of observation, its training in handiwork, its tendency to arouse interests theretofore unsuspected even by those who possess them, its continuous suggestions toward good taste and refinement which lie in the process of installing even the most modest of collections, and its leaning towards sound civic interest through doing for one’s community a helpful thing – this work of securing the co-operation of boys and girls, making them useful while they are gaining their own pleasure and carrying on their own education, is one of the coming museum’s most promising fields.”"


With this idea in mind, maybe this idea of collecting or “curating” online – even if it were only simple list-making – can be seen as an interesting, useful and positive thing."

 

Inspiring. Sense-making. 9/10

 

Read the full article and ALL the comments here: http://museumgeek.wordpress.com/2012/04/15/a-throwdown-about-the-term-curator/ ;


Via Robin Good
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suse cairns's comment, October 13, 2012 3:05 AM
Hi Robin. I've held off on responding to this, but when it was rescooped today I decided that I would write in to chat about your interpretation of my initial post. It was not actually my original intention to "reconciliate traditional museum curators with the new self-acclaimed content curators", nor was I dismissing professional content "curation". Instead, I was speaking to the evolution in the nomenclature; to the fact that the word 'curator' is now being used widely beyond the borders of the museum sector, much to the chagrin of many within it. In fact, I was arguing that if people like yourself, professional content curators, want to use the term 'curator' to describe themselves, then that was a positive thing - something that not everyone in my sector would (or did) agree with. Your interpretation of my initial post is understandably coloured by your own perspective, but this also means you are reading into the discussion things that were not necessarily there.
Robin Good's comment, October 13, 2012 3:11 AM
Thanks Suse for your kind comments and for sharing your thoughts on this. As I have written there is plenty of good things you have written in your article, and our ability to understand and make meaning out of newly explored grounds like this one, is enriched by not having everyone agree and see things in the same way.

I am still thankful to your post which provided lots of valuable insight and some good sparks for extra discussion.
suse cairns's comment, October 14, 2012 3:32 AM
Fantastic to hear. One of the most enjoyable and interesting things about the Internet, I think, is the space it makes for conversation across all kinds of boundaries; sparks for discussion indeed. It's those new connections, across spaces, that open up room for new kinds of thinking and understanding.
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New Life for Libraries - Ted Reinstein

New Life for Libraries - Ted Reinstein | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Ted Reinstein discovers today’s libraries are about community as much as books (but you can still find books).

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MORE about the community today!

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Applications open: new round of international librarian mentor-ship: begins March 2016

Applications open: new round of international librarian mentor-ship: begins March 2016 | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
Want to build your professional network and learn about librarianship around the world? Love the idea of professional travel but just don’t have the budget? The International Librarians Network (IL…
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Great opportunity to network and improve your own professional development as librarian!

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Archivists document a nation's good and bad | Paula Thomson, ShareAmerica

Archivists document a nation's good and bad | Paula Thomson, ShareAmerica | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

An accessible archive is an important part of any country with a complex history, including Ukraine, so U.S. archivists are helping Ukrainian archivists.

 

Trudy Peterson, former archivist of the United States, and Ferriero recently led discussions with Ukrainian archivists on records management and the role of archives in society. While Ukraine’s passage of the Open Data Law in early 2015 is a positive step toward making government records available to the public, much more work needs to be done, said Peterson.


Ferriero said the biggest ethical responsibility of archivists is to ensure that no bias is brought to the work of collecting records and making them accessible. Archivists must document both sides of history, both “the good stories and the bad stories.”

Follow the conversation on Ukraine @UnitedforUkr and sign up for weekly updates onUnited for Ukraine.


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Ethical responsibility of archivists!

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The Wikipedia Library #1Lib1Ref - One Librarian One Reference

The Wikipedia Library #1Lib1Ref - One Librarian One Reference | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

RT @TheNewLibrarian: Imagine what we could do to #Wikipedia if every librarian added one primary source.
#1lib1ref
https://t.co/ViOM5twXxg...

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Librarians helping to fill the gaps! Great project!

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Reading recommendations, Book-a-Librarian available at York libraries - Daily Press (blog)

Reading recommendations, Book-a-Librarian available at York libraries - Daily Press (blog) | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
Reading recommendations, Book-a-Librarian available at York libraries

York County’s libraries offers help finding books suited to patron’s tastes and the Tabb Library, 100 Long Green Blvd., offers free one-on-one appointments with library staff for assistance with various topics. Requests for either one can be made online by filling out the Looking for a Great Read readers’ advisory survey or the Book-A-Librarian survey at yorkcounty.gov/Home/Libraries.aspx and the Services link.

Topics for Book-A-Librarian may include help with downloading digital items, library resources, technology and job materials. The appointments are scheduled for 15 or 30 minutes.

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Love that is made available through the website!

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Archives Change Lives - Society of American Archivists (YouTube)

Promotional video for SAA's "Archives Change Lives" campaign, featuring Kathleen D. Roe, Dennis Meissner, Steven Booth, and Samantha Norling.
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The importance of Archives!

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A Librarian's Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources - Ellyssa Kroski | OEDB.org

A Librarian's Guide to Makerspaces: 16 Resources - Ellyssa Kroski  | OEDB.org | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"Makerspaces, sometimes also referred to as hackerspaces, hackspaces, and fablabs are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. In libraries they often have 3D printers, software, electronics, craft and hardware supplies and tools, and more. Here are some excellent resources for anyone thinking about setting up a makerspace in their organization."


Via Skip Zalneraitis, Patrick Provencher
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Great resource

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With attendance dipping, libraries changing roles, focus - KSL.com

With attendance dipping, libraries changing roles, focus - KSL.com | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
Public libraries are at a crossroads. Overall circulation and visits are down over the last five years. But libraries continue to supply another community need: a place to contemplate and collaborate.
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Future libraries!

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Library 2.0 - the future of libraries in the digital age - 20 Oct

Library 2.0 - the future of libraries in the digital age - 20 Oct | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"The fifth annual Library 2.015 Worldwide Virtual Conference will be held on October 20th, 2015 from 7am - 8pm US Pacific / 10am - 11pm US Eastern (International Time Zone Converter).

Everyone is invited to participate in the conference, designed to foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among information professionals worldwide. 

The School of Information at San José State University is the founding conference sponsor. Register as a member of the Library 2.0 network to be kept informed of future events! "

 
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Bookmark this in your calender!

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liblist4u's curator insight, October 1, 2015 9:13 AM

Oct.20, 2015. For schedule and other info see

http://www.library20.com/page/sessions-and-schedule

Litlit's curator insight, October 10, 2015 2:53 PM

La question du Numérique dans les Bibliothèques Outre-Atlantique

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Closing the Gap in Librarian, Faculty Views of Academic Libraries | Research

Closing the Gap in Librarian, Faculty Views of Academic Libraries | Research | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"In this age of outcomes measurement, many academic librarians are focused—and rightly so—on making sure they best serve students. Yet students are not the only population of end users on an academic campus. Faculty, too, are conduits not only to students but to library users in their own right. As well, studies of faculty attitudes such as Ithaka’s often show that, even as faculty increasingly depend on library-brokered online access to expensive databases and electronic journals, the off-site availability of modern resources may leave many faculty members less aware of the crucial role of the library in their and their students’ workflow."


Full report here: http://www.thedigitalshift.com/research


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Good reminder to academic librarians!

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AMIA Online - 3 webinars about preservation of audiovisual heritage

AMIA is a nonprofit, international association dedicated to the preservation and use of moving image media. As the world’s largest association of professional media archivists, AMIA brings together a broad range of experts and institutions in a single forum to address the best ways to preserve our media heritage.

  AN INTRODUCTION TO DIGITAL FORMATS 
AND STORAGE

This series focuses on digital file formats, storage, and transfer workflows. [Eight webinars]

  BEST PRACTICES FOR 
PERSONAL AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVES

This series is directed to families and individuals with audiovisual collections they wish to preserve. [Two webinars]

  BEST PRACTICES FOR 
SMALL AUDIOVISUAL ARCHIVES

This series is directed to small institutions with audiovisual collections and limited staff. [Two webinars]


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Looks good, but unfortunately at a prize!

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A Little Light Bibliotherapy - from NYPL staff

A Little Light Bibliotherapy - from NYPL staff | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
We asked our expert NYPL staff members to recommend books that helped them stay sane and navigate life in Gotham.
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Bookmark this!

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6 trends on the horizon for academic and research libraries - eCampus News

6 trends on the horizon for academic and research libraries - eCampus News | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
NMC’s Horizon Report details trends, challenges, and technologies that are impacting—and will impact—academic and research libraries.

 

6 trends, 6 challenges and 6 developments!

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Great for the Future Library insights!

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Librarians in the Digital Age | American Libraries Magazine

Librarians in the Digital Age | American Libraries Magazine | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
ALA President Sari Feldman and President-Elect Julie Todaro respond to a recent Wall Street Journal editorial about librarians in the age of Google.
"Nothing could be further from the truth than the outdated stereotype of libraries and librarians that Steve Barker presents in his January 11 article. In Boston at our national conference this past week, we heard repeatedly from colleagues among the thousands gathered that this might be the most exciting time of opportunity in libraries and for librarians. Attendees included librarians of all ages and demographics, librarians who—whether in school, public, academic, or special library settings—take pride in playing an integral role in the educational, cultural, and information experiences of their patrons. Examples? Consider Multnomah County Library’s Lyndsey Runyan, a librarian who specializes in rethinking how to use existing space in public libraries for 21st-century learning and creation. She’s overseeing a new facility near Portland, Oregon, for underserved teenagers to build science, technology, engineering, arts, and math skills by making electronic music, building robots, utilizing 3-D printers, and more. How about Kristina Holzweiss, Bay Shore Middle School librarian, who developed “GENIUS Hour,” a teamwork-based program in which students create original presentations while exploring their own passions from robotics to coding? Or George Washington University Gelman Librarian Bill Gillis who co-teaches a required freshmen writing class where students learn to use research and sources to expand their horizons and strengthen their writing? Rather than being pushed aside by the information revolution, our public libraries alone continue to host more than 1.5 billion visits annually—or about 4 million per day. Our school and academic libraries are destinations for millions of students daily for research and information literacy assistance from expert librarians. In fact, recent findings from the Pew Research Center reveal that librarian assistance is the most important library service we provide, after free access to books and media (just ahead of free access to computers and the internet)."
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Future of librarians very exciting!
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