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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 12:05 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 12:11 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 12:32 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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What’s New in Digital and Social Media Research: The realities of citizen journalism, and new possibilities for transparency

What’s New in Digital and Social Media Research: The realities of citizen journalism, and new possibilities for transparency | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
How "bridging elites" help on Twitter, perceptions of news by a skeptical public, and Wikipedia pages as newsmaking destinations: all that and more in this month’s roundup of the academic literature.

 

Editor’s note: There’s a lot of interesting academic research going on in digital media — but who has time to sift through all those journals and papers?

Our friends at Journalist’s Resource, that’s who. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and they spend their time examining the new academic literature in media, social science, and other fields, summarizing the high points and giving you a point of entry. Here, John Wihbey sums up the top papers in digital media and journalism this month.


Via Robbert Hoeffnagel, João Greno Brogueira
Karen du Toit's insight:

9 articles with summaries about researchy in digital and social media research, By JOHN WIHBEY

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10 Must-Read Books about Libraries & Librarians, by Simon McDonald

10 Must-Read Books about Libraries & Librarians, by Simon McDonald | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

By Simon McDonald, Editorial Manager | simon@thereadingroom.com

"In the words of Jamie Ford in his novel The Songs of Willow Frost, libraries are “like a candy store where everything is free.” These 10 books will remind you of why libraries are such special places."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Great list!

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Free Twitter Analytics - what can libraries and archives get out of it? - Ned Potter

Free Twitter Analytics - what can libraries and archives get out of it? - Ned Potter | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Twitter stats packages are sort of fascinating but also not. I look at a fair few because I need to be able to talk about them in social media workshops: what tends to happen is I put my username in, go 'ooooh that's interesting!' a few times, but then never actually go back and check the analysis on a second occasion.

As individuals we don't really need Twitter stats apps (unless you take Twitter very seriously) but as organisations they can be genuinely useful. They can help us understand our network, show us what works (so we can build on it) and what doesn't (so we can phase it out).

For an analysis package to be useful to an organisation it really needs three qualities:

1. It must give you information you can ACT on. There are a million
stats apps out there, but if they don't tell you anything which you
can use to inform better practice for your twitter account, then they
don't really have any value.
2. It must NOT tweet things about that information on your behalf. Someapps tell you useful things - but they tell the rest of the world
those useful things too. I'm dubious about this at the best of times
(for me an auto-tweet saying "This week on Twitter: X follows /
unfollows, Y ReTweets and Z total reach!" either looks a bit awkward if X, Y and Z are small numbers, and a bit show-boaty if they're large) but I really don't think organisational accounts should have anything tweeted on their behalf.
3. It ideally needs to be free. Some things are worth paying for but
realistically it's hard to get the people who control the
purse-strings in libraries to shell-out for a Twitter stats annual
subscription...

Thankfully the official Twitter Analytics, newly available for all, meets all three of those criteria. If you just tweet as yourself, sign in to analytics.twitter.com and have a look a round at the things worth noting; it's interesting to see how few of your followers actually see your tweets, for example."


Karen du Toit's insight:

Great guide to make the most of your Twitter Analytics for your library or archive!

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Karen du Toit's curator insight, September 4, 12:43 AM

Great guide! Also for any corporate account!

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48 Free September Webinars for Librarians | OEDB.org

48 Free September Webinars for Librarians | OEDB.org | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"Librarians are lifelong learners.  And we’re always on the look out for exciting professional development opportunities.  Fortunately for us, there are a great many amazing, free webinars being offered each month from a variety of sources, there’s bound to be something for everyone.  Check out these incredible free live webinars that you can participate in:

http://oedb.org/free-live-webinars-librarians/ "


Via Tom D'Amico (@TDOttawa) , Karen du Toit
Karen du Toit's insight:

Great resource!

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Karen du Toit's curator insight, September 2, 10:50 PM

Great resource for September!

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Save the selfie - Arkansas Online (subscription)

Save the selfie - Arkansas Online (subscription) | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
"Steve Perdue, head of the genealogy and local history department at Saline County Library, is concerned about the future access of all these digital images. “I think that most photos will disappear in the future and archivists are going to have a hard time recovering photos from this generation. I have photos in albums from the 1920s and even further back, but I am not sure this generation will have that to look back on,” he says."
Karen du Toit's insight:
The disappearance of photos from this generation! A sobering thought!
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Narabot uploads images to Wikimedia Commons - GCN.com

Narabot uploads images to Wikimedia Commons - GCN.com | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
By Stephanie Kanowitz  "Since 2011, the National Archives and Records Administration has uploaded more than 100,000 digitized records. To maintain the effort, the agency is working to develop new technology with the help of Wikipedia and the public.Specifically,  volunteers are working with NARA on Narabot, an upload script to port images to Wikimedia Commons, a sister project to Wikipedia and a repository of free media.[...]


However, archivists don't choose and upload images themselves. They are developing a workflow so that digitized records can flow from NARA's online catalog to the Commons.

They are developing a workflow so that digitized records can flow from NARA’s online catalog to the Commons. The agency has billions of analog textual records that have yet to be archived, so this effort will also help bring them online."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Mostly run by volunteers!

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Libraries and Kindle Unlimited, by Jill O'Neill | The Scholarly Kitchen

Libraries and Kindle Unlimited, by Jill O'Neill | The Scholarly Kitchen | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"In the wake of Amazon’s announcement of a new ebook subscription service, Forbes published an article by a British think tank employee with the link-bait title of “Close the Libraries and Buy Everyone An Amazon Kindle Unlimited Subscription”. As you might gather, the idea put forth was that supporting this licensing approach might be more cost effective for enabling the public’s access to content than the traditional public library in the United Kingdom. While that might not be the greatest idea, there is still much that scholarly publishers can learn from Amazon’s business strategy.

As a historical footnote, subscription based libraries were big in Britain during the 18th and 19th century when reasonably affluent individuals might pay for access to the latest three volume novel. (For some historical background on subscription based lending libraries, see here and here respectively). In the context of the Kindle Unlimited subscription, the reader pays Amazon $120 per year (or $119.88, if we’re being sticklers for accuracy) and gains access to as much as they want from a collection of about 600,000 titles. Critics have noted that these are not the high-end titles found in a first rate public or academic library; Amazon’s offering doesn’t include best-sellers, textbooks or scholarly monographs."

Karen du Toit's insight:

The controversial debate about the future of libraries vs subscription based ebook services. 

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Transmedia Storytelling for Social Impact, y Dr Pamela Rutledge.

 

 


Via The Digital Rocking Chair
Karen du Toit's insight:

Great to take note of in libraries/archives as well! Can;t just use single platforms!

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The Digital Rocking Chair's curator insight, August 13, 11:23 PM


An excellent presentation from Dr. Pamela Rutledge.

Kajsa Hartig's curator insight, August 13, 11:39 PM

Transmedia Storytelling - for the public good.

Jerri Lynn Hogg's curator insight, August 14, 2:40 PM
Great presentation!
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The case for making libraries full of toys and games

The case for making libraries full of toys and games | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
American businessman and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie’s public library legacy was built on a boyhood dream: to acquire knowledge. Carnegie believed in “the meritocratic nature of America,” that anyone “with the right inclination and desire could educate himself” and therefore succeed, and that libraries should contribute directly to that. 

So what are libraries doing lending out toys and holding game nights? Aren’t American kids’ test scores lagging behind those of pretty much the rest of the world? Shouldn’t American public libraries be, as Carnegie wanted, educating? Recent studies, and librarians themselves, say otherwise.

In a study with 70 six-year olds, psychologists at the University of Colorado found that the children who engaged in more free play had a “more highly developed self-directed executive function” than those who had spent more time in “structured activities,” that were adult-led rather than child-initiated."


Via nickcarman
Karen du Toit's insight:

The importance of play in the development of children! Definitely should be addressed by libraries!

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nickcarman's curator insight, August 11, 10:00 PM

This is an interesting article with lots of useful links.

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Medical Librarians Making a Difference - YouTube

Hear librarians share their personal stories and thoughts on how they strengthen the healthcare community through their research and dependability.Filmed at the MLA Conference in Chicago, 2014 (MT @wkhealth: How do med librarians make a difference?


Via Guus van den Brekel
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Medical librarians ivd

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The top technologies every librarian needs to know - ed. Kenneth Varnum / @facetpublishing

The top technologies every librarian needs to know - ed. Kenneth Varnum / @facetpublishing | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
The Top Technologies Every Librarian Needs to Know: titles from @facetpublishing http://t.co/PJLGk8JSNB

 

Edited by Kenneth J Varnum

In this much needed book, Kenneth Varnum and his hand-picked team of contributors look ahead over the most important technologies likely to impact library services over the next five years. It shows librarians where to invest time and money to receive the greatest benefits. Their ideas will stimulate strategic thinking and help library staff make informed decisions about meeting user expectations and delivering services.

Highly informative for any library, the diverse chapters include: 

Impetus to Innovate: Convergence and Library Trends Hands-Free Augmented RealityImpacting the Library FutureLibraries and Archives Augmenting the WorldThe Future of Cloud-Based Library SystemsLibrary DiscoveryWeb Services as the New Websites for Many LibrariesText Mining Bigger, Better, Together: Building the Digital Library of the FutureOpen Hardware in Libraries.

This leading edge collection offers an expert-level view of library technology that’s just around the corner and is essential reading for systems librarians, students and all librarians who are looking to the technology future.

July 2014; 144pp; paperback; 978-1-78330-033-4; £49.95

 

Find out more: http://www.facetpublishing.co.uk/title.php?id=0334&utm_source=Communicator_facet_mailing_list&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Varnum2&utm_campaign=The+top+technologies+every+librarian+needs+to+know&_ccCt=GqCK7eRmX931soBq1T0BNg_hUSnDuKhXE76qaN2plZUIBOeDaCj9bEVRsmNE3ff9

 

Karen du Toit's insight:

Future of libraries!

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Director sees 'passive' approach to library fines in past decade - The Capital Journal

Director sees 'passive' approach to library fines in past decade - The Capital Journal | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"The Rawlins Library has thousands of dollars in missing items, according to the library’s director.

Dating back to 2001, the public library currently has 3,100 items declared missing, said Robin Schrupp. She said if every item missing was valued at $20 each, that would mean the library has lost $62,000 in materials.

Despite the backlog of missing material, Schrupp said most library users are reliable.

“The vast majority of Rawlins Library patrons are responsible citizens and adhere to borrowing limits,” she said. “They return materials in a timely manner and are respectful of the materials in their possession.”

Karen du Toit's insight:

Seems the best approach!

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Libraries get into technology exploration - BurlingtonFreePress.com

Libraries get into technology exploration - BurlingtonFreePress.com | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"A maker is a trending term referring to a producer of technology-based works such as electronics or robotics. A maker space is where people have an opportunity to explore interests, learn to use tools and materials and develop creative projects.

[...]

Libraries statewide have been offering a variety of science and technology based programming through the summertime reading theme Fizz, Boom, Read. A $20,000 Vermont Community Foundation Innovations and Collaborations Grant, and a $5,000 grant from University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences are helping to fund the programs.

The Williston workshop is part of the "Vermont Makers and Libraries: Sparking a Culture of Innovation" project, a collaborative between the Vermont Department of Libraries, Vermont Makers, the University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, Vermont Library Association and CMF Innovations."

Karen du Toit's insight:

A great but exciting challenge to librarians to stay ahead!

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Librarians On YouTube: About this blog

Librarians On YouTube: About this blog | The Information Professional | Scoop.it
"... there is a definite archetype that has been established within our culture when it comes to what a librarian is "supposed" to look/act like, and that figure has permeated the representation of this field for more years than I care to count ... Whether it be film and television, or more modern media outlets like video games and the internet, you can find the librarians' profession portrayed (even ridiculed) with the same basic broad strokes. So, not to put too fine a point on it, but that's where this blog comes in ... THE PLAN Ever since I myself (full disclosure!) began pursuing a Master's Degree in order to join the ranks of the full-fledged librarian, I've become fascinated with the portrayal of this profession in popular culture, particularly those depictions which have made their way onto Youtube ... As such, I decided long ago to begin cataloging as many instances of these representations as I could find on the popular video-sharing site. A daunting task, to be sure, but I gladly accept the challenge ... And, truth be told, there are a LOT more portrayals of librarianship on there than I ever could have imagined! Of course, there's plenty of the familiar (i.e. unflattering) stereotypes on there, but dig deep enough and you can actually find some honest-to-goodness attempts to portray the profession in a positive light (some posted by librarians themselves, some not); you just need to take the time to look ... or follow this blog, either one ;) These portrayals can consist of fictitious characters (television, cartoons, movies, etc.) or real-life flesh-and-blood librarians (news stories, promotional videos, vlogs, etc.) ... Whatever the genre, whatever the format, I'm just looking for YouTube videos that someone out there felt was worth the time and effort to post for a world-wide audience as a representation of the profession (either in a positive or negative light)!" 
Karen du Toit's insight:

A stunning collection of portrayals of librarians found on YouTube!

Well done, Alessandro!

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How tech is changing reading at libraries - Marketplace.org

How tech is changing reading at libraries - Marketplace.org | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

"Today we hear from Courtney Young, president of the American Library Association, on how they're changing libraries.

Young says that it's important for libraries to change with the times, but that one challenge for librarians is making sure patrons are aware of new services. Also, keeping up with high costs. 

Click the media player http://www.marketplace.org/node/147408/player/popout

 to hear Courtney Young in conversation with Marketplace Tech host Ben Johnson.

Featured in: Marketplace Tech for Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Karen du Toit's insight:

Important to keep patrons up to date with new services!

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IASA 2014 Annual Conference | IASA 2014 Annual Conference - 5-9 Oct

IASA 2014 Annual Conference | IASA 2014 Annual Conference - 5-9 Oct | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

Cape Town, South Africa, 5-9 October 2014    #iasa2014

Connecting Cultures: Content, Context, and Collaboration

- See more at: http://2014.iasa-web.org/#sthash.o9mYsNfd.dpuf

- Full programme: http://2014.iasa-web.org/programme


Karen du Toit's insight:

Still time to register!

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Sharing the knowledge: taking notes on open data from records managers and archivists - Archives Records 2014 Conf

Sharing the knowledge: taking notes on open data from records managers and archivists - Archives Records 2014 Conf | The Information Professional | Scoop.it

by Alisha Green

"More than 2,300 records managers and archivists from around the world gathered in Washington, DC, last week to talk about public records and managing the massive amount of new information being created by technology. Discussions at the conference made it clear that the open data community can benefit from connecting with and learning from people in the records management and archival communities. We share many of the same challenges and goals with determining how governments can best share information and preserve access to it.

Last week's conference, Archives*Records 2014: Ensuring Access, was a joint meeting of the Council of State Archivists, Society of American Archivists, and National Association of Government Archives & Records Administrators. Topics discussed ranged from copyright law to appraising records for determining what to keep permanently, but some of the conversations most relevant to those interested in open data centered around electronic records and metadata."

Karen du Toit's insight:

Taking this from the notes as well: "There is much to be learned from starting a dialogue between the open data, records management and archival communities. Both open data and the records management communities face similar challenges. We are increasingly sharing our knowledge and resources online, and now it's time to align ourselves as groups with key roles to play in the goal of ensuring access to and preservation of records."

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