Museum Studies at Tufts University

Exploring ideas and engaging in conversation

Month: June 2011 (page 2 of 4)

Weekly Jobs Listing

Welcome to our weekly jobs listing! As always, job announcements go up right away on their own page.

  • Director of Education [The Maritime Museum at Norwalk]Director of Education, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk The Maritime Aquarium is the second-largest cultural institution in Connecticut.   At a time of institutional renewal, the Aquarium seeks a senior executive to strengthen and grow an already d…
  • Education Coordinator [The American Antiquarian Society]Education Coordinator Job Description The American Antiquarian Society (AAS), an independent research library founded in 1812, seeks an Education Coordinator. This is a full-time, grant funded, one-year position whose principal function is to coo…
  • Manager of Tours and Visitor Learning [Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum]Title: Manager of Tours and Visitor Learning Programs Department: Education Reports to: Director of Visitor Learning Type of position: Full time, Monday-Friday 9-5 (with occasional evenings and weekend days) Position Summary The Manager of…
  • Museum Educator and Reservations Manager [Bruce Museum]Museum Educator and Reservations Manager, Full-time Bruce Museum Greenwich, Connecticut The Bruce Museum promotes the appreciation and understanding of arts and sciences to enrich the lives of all people. An art and science museum located in Green…
  • Assistant Curator of Education for Visitor Engagement [Birmingham Museum of Art]*Birmingham Museum of Art* JOB TITLE: Assistant Curator of Education for Visitor Engagement REPORTS TO: Curator of Education JOB PURPOSE: This position is responsible for helping create a museum environment where visitor learning can reach fu…
  • Museum Manager [Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon]Museum Manager Overview: The Children’s Museum of Eastern Oregon is a not-for-profit play place, offering a wide range of educational exhibits and activities for children of all ages. The Children’s Museum is located on Main Street in downtown Pend…


Most of us, at some point or another, will consider life as an independent museum consultant.

Linda Norris, of The Uncataloged Museum, wonders about that, and asks what’s next.

Online Learning Reviews: The Brooklyn Children’s Museum

As mentioned, we’re doing occasional reviews of museum online learning opportunities written for the Spring 2012 class “Museums and Online Learning.” This author has preferred to remain anonymous.

Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s Collections Central:  Useful, But Not Much Fun

Isn’t it the mission of a children’s museum to make learning fun?

If I were a teacher or a homeschooler, I would find BCM’s Collections Central Online a useful educational resource.  If I were a kid, I would find the site helpful for basic research, but not very much fun.

Good Things

The collection provides access to hundreds of objects from various cultures and eras, with good accompanying information.

The site is easy to use.  Although there is a lot of visual information, navigation is intuitive.  Searching and browsing are both supported.

Browsing creates connections.  If you select an exhibit to browse, you are given a short explanation of the theme and a grid of photos.  Clicking on an image takes you to an object page, which provides basic information about the object and the people who made it.  From here, you are given options to explore “more from the same place,” “more from the same category,” or “more from the same makers.”   These options take you to yet another database of related objects.

Other useful features are the ability to enlarge photos to see detail, the use of questions to organize information, and suggestions for ideas to consider.

Things that Should be Better

The site is hard to find, unless you already know it’s there.  Google keyword searches do not lead you to it.

Language used in information sections needs editing to make it kid-friendly.  More in-depth information and a glossary of terms should be moved to hyperlinked pages.

Non-textual information would give a more rounded experience.  For example, in “What’s That Noise?”, sound recordings would provide knowledge of instruments in a way that a description cannot.  A zoomable map would provide geographical context better than simply listing country of origin.

The ability to “collect” objects would allow users to explore individual connections more freely.

There is an option to “draw what you see.”   Cool, but drawings are not immediately posted to the site.  Instead, there is a “chance” you may see your drawing on a return visit.   A virtual gallery for drawings would provide a better sense of connection to the museum.

There are no games!  Interactive games would make the site more engaging for children.

Overall, it’s a worthwhile site for elementary research, but I can’t really see why anyone would use it for anything else.

State and National Parks in Trouble

Last week, I posted a roundup of great On Point episodes about museums, and last week they had one to add to the list:

National and State Parks at the Crossroads

Ranking Charities by Administrative Costs

Interesting post from the Freakonomics blog about why ranking charities by their administrative costs is a bad idea.

In short: nonprofits should be evaluated by mission, and how they’re fulfilling that mission. Obviously, careful frugality is important, but if you look solely at the numbers for overhead, you’re missing most of the picture. Those of us who are part of that overhead are doing good work, too!

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