It's November, which means one of my favorite museum conferences of the year, Museum Computer Network 2017 is just around the corner. This year we will spend four days in Pittsburgh and celebrate the conference's 50th birthday.
While Museum Computer Network sounds like a highly technical organization, it is much more than convening of museum tech people. While there is plenty of time dedicated to the nuts and bolts of making digital projects happen in the cultural sector, MCN is so much more. It is where people from all areas of the museum sector think, discuss, and challenge each other and foster the big sky thinking that advances the field.
This years theme is Looking Back, Thinking Forward, Taking Action. Having served on the planning committee, I am thrilled to see the work that colleagues did to determine a theme and select sessions come to fruition.
A few other highlights I'm excited to contribute to the week:
Slow Change: Its not a consolation prize! (#mcn2017-T44)
Sometimes change happens like a lightning bolt and sometimes it is more of a slow burn, especially in the museum field. I'll be exploring the topic of slow change, particularly how to stay motivated and action oriented, with some amazing colleagues in the field. WARNING this will not be your typical conference session. Instead, this will be a space to share, learn, and recharge complete with relaxing scents!
Thinking about MCN at 50 and the future got a few of my colleagues thinking about what wall labels have traditionally looked like, how they are changing, and what they will look like in 50 years. I've organized this panel to examine how interpretation is changing in our media rich culture and what it looks like to go "off the wall." While we'll share some examples from the field, most of the session will be dedicated to a discussion about key trends in the area of digital interpretation. Come ready to discuss and debate!
We are also keen to gather in one place all the digital interpretation projects that so many of us are doing. If you are doing something that fits our working definition of digital interpretation (Something with a digital format installed in a gallery or gallery-like setting near or with an object) please contribute to our google form!
Exploring the Benefits of DIY Interpretation (#mcn2017-F25)
We've all been there: you have an awesome idea for a project, some great content, but no budget or resources to make it happen. Fear not, myself and four intrepid colleagues will share that with a little imagination and perseverance you can make magic happen. We'll share some digital projects we've created using open source resources and applications and even "hacking" some existing platforms. We want this session to be action oriented, we are dedicating time to brainstorm and discuss individually how to make DIY happen for you.
#MCNergy: "What I'll Do When I Get Back to My Museum" (MCNergy2017-3)
So its the last day of the conference, you've got all these great ideas, now how do you make them happen and not get bogged down in the daily work of your job? Enter #MCNergy a new opportunity to turn ideas into action after MCN. There are five #MCNergy sessions offered throughout Friday, November 10, the last day of the conference. I'll be acting as a mentor during the 11:30am-12:30pm session so if you are curious about how to make your interpretation dreams a reality after MCN, come visit! Robert Weisberg, one of the conference co-chairs does a great job explaining the goals of the session in a recent blog post.
Hope to see you there! And, if you can't make it, follow along on twitter with #MCN2017 or the individual hashtags associated with each session. I've included mine in the session titles above!