2022 Conference Concurrent Sessions

The MAM Conference Committee put together this outline of sessions, chosen from the proposals they received. 

This annual conference will also include plenary sessions and networking activities. 

More information and to register for the conference.

If attending online: links to attend individual sessions will be made available to registered attendees. All sessions will be recorded and recordings will be made available to registered attendees.

Block A: 9:45AM–10:45AM

Inclusive Exhibit Design: Going Beyond the Building Code

Presented by Chris Sullivan, Exhibit Director at Chris Sullivan Consulting

The new Children's Museum & Theatre of Maine, opened in 2021, was designed to create stimulating experiences for people of all ages and abilities. Consulting Exhibits Director Chris Sullivan and the Museum staff worked with local and national consultants to develop exhibits that considered more than code requirements, thinking broadly about inclusion to achieve a rich, interactive experience for every visitor. This session will explore the challenges of accessible exhibit design (particularly in an interactive environment) and share the resources and strategies that were used to design a more inclusive experience. We will also share real-world learnings from candid visitor feedback after opening, and practical recommendations for institutions who are looking to move beyond accessibility alone and prioritize inclusion. After this session attendance will be able to give examples of lessons learned on a recent capital project, identify external resources for improving accessibility in their museum, and integrate accessible modifications into new and existing exhibits.

A Holistic Approach to Volunteer Retention

Presented by Katie Orlando, Executive Director at the Seashore Trolley Museum

Learn how to harness the value of volunteers and and leverage their strengths to keep them feeling connected to your organization's mission and coming back for more. Participants will assess current volunteer retention culture at their organization. Participants will take away retention approaches and strategies in the areas of training/skill-building, appreciation, and connectivity.

How I Learned to Love Making Instructional Videos for Remote Archives Users

Presented by Renée Burkett, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian for the McArthur Library

When COVID shut down in-person library visits, McArthur Library Archives & Special Collections was lucky to have a lot of material online for our users. The problem was, how to provide user instruction? How to empower the users who we know don’t know how (or won’t) ask us for help? At McArthur Library, every department got on the video bandwagon – and in the archives, this resulted in a slew of instructional videos. From searching collections, to how to use our website, to how to save a digitized newspaper clipping, we made a video for that! Renée Burkett will share her experience, as well as her not very high-tech video techniques that can be repeated in a variety of organizations. Attendees should leave this presentation with enough knowledge to be able to prepare a very basic instructional video, post it on YouTube, and know how to share that video in a couple of different ways.

Block B: 11:00AM–12:00PM

Interpreting Untold Stories in Small Historic House Museums

Presented by Brittany Cook, Development and Communications Coordinator for Victoria Mansion; Michelle O'Donnell Josephson, Volunteer Coordinator for the Maine Irish Heritage Center; Stacia Hanscom, Director of Education and Public Programs for Victoria Mansion

Victoria Mansion has long been known for its beautiful interiors and the two wealthy families who occupied it in the 19th and early 20th centuries, however it is also home to several other narratives that have only recently been uncovered, researched in earnest, and addressed in guided tours and interpretive materials. In this session, we will share our research methods, collaborative initiatives, and the implementation of research into the lives of enslaved individuals, immigrant domestic staff, and even untold stories of the house’s owners themselves as we re-evaluate and update our interpretive materials for our modern and future community. Session attendees will learn how to launch new interpretive initiatives for previously untold stories at their historic properties, tips for implementing research and collaborating with partner organizations, and training guides/staff/volunteers on sharing potentially difficult history with guests, community, and stakeholders.

Building Stacks to Fit Collections

*Limited to 15 participants. Sign up at the registration table. Held at the special collections library conference room.

Presented by Susie R. Bock, Coordinator of Special Collections at the University of Southern Maine

Most special collections departments have outgrown their space or inhabit a space not built for managing the variety of materials found in our departments. This workshop will take you through setting guiding principles, the planning process, and implementing a remodeling project to solve both problems. Issues such as building storage to fit collections, as opposed to fitting collections to spaces, administration and staff buy-in, efficient use of space, and living though a remodeling will be addressed. The workshop will include a tour of USM's Special Collections remodeled work and stack areas. Participants will learn about the importance of thorough planning, documentation, engaging administrators and staff, and fitting space to collections, not collections to space.

School Outreach For Beginners

Presented by Mary Kate Kwasnik, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at the Patten Free Library

Do you want to bring more K-12 students into your space but struggle to get the word out? Do you work at a public library or archive that does not have a bustling Education Department to bring kids in? Let's talk about how to reach out to schools, work with educators, and get the kids coming back for more! Participants will learn about beginning school outreach, collaborating with with educators to develop programs, and building a new youth patron base.

Block C: 2:15PM–3:15PM

Understanding Copyright: An Introduction for Archives and Museums

Presented by Zachariah Selley, Curator of Archives at the Maine State Museum

This session is designed for archivists and other museum professionals with limited previous exposure to copyright law. it will cover copyright basics, public domain, authorship, and use. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and apply concepts to examples in a facilitated discussion. Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of copyright law and how it impacts collections use and access, familiarity with the concept of Fair Use, and a collection of tools and resources to help manage copyright questions at your institution.

Tips & Tricks to Bring New Audiences

Presented by Kimberly R. Smith, Secretary and Treasurer of the Presque Isle Historical Society

This session presents techniques for attracting new audiences to your museum or historical society: how to be proactive in looking for new audiences, how to take advantage of unique opportunities for publicity, and how to use costumes and gimmicks. Participants will leave with new inspiration for places to look for new audiences, new sources to look, new ways to look. 

Bigger Impact: How to Write and Use Impact Statements

Presented by Raney Bench, Executive Director of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society; Meg Winikates, Director of Engagement for the New England Museum Association

Public policy and public opinion are both heavily influenced by key numbers and good storytelling. In this session, we will cover how to create impact statements that convey specific stories of your institution’s importance (economic, educational, environmental, and equity-centered), and how to use those statements in communication with your elected officials and the general public. Participants will develop familiarity with the purpose, structure, and key design elements of an impact statement for advocacy; understanding of the importance of advocacy as a relationship building tool and impact statements as an introduction between org and official; awareness of a broad range of resources and organizations available for partnering/advancing advocacy work, including NEMA's "Bigger Impact" guide and templates for impact statements; and an awareness of at least three ways to use impact statements to further organizational advocacy goals.

Block D: 3:30PM–4:30PM

Collection Cataloging – It Can’t be Automated…But it Can be Streamlined

Presented by Ron Kley Partner at Museum Research Associates; Jane Radcliffe, Partner at Museum Research Associates

Backlogs of uncataloged (and sometimes even unaccessioned) material may amount to only a modest shelf or two in an office or other holding area, or it may represent decades of accumulation occupying entire storage buildings. It’s a situation that’s undeniably widespread, and it doesn’t reflect well upon our institutional community or upon the museum profession. This session presents “production line” procedures that have enabled us, on average, to process about 100 items in a normal working day. Included are a dozen suggestions, based upon our own experience, for implementing “Production Line” procedures to increase cataloging productivity and reduce the backlog of uncataloged objects at any museum. The primary objective is to offer a pragmatic strategy for reducing whatever backlog of uncataloged collection material an organization may have. A secondary goal is to steer organizations toward a cataloging approach that maximizes the accessibility of useful data for research purposes in connection with exhibit/program development. An additional goal is to encourage small organizations in particular to think critically about why they do what they do and whether commonly accepted or recommended standards best meet the needs of their organizations and their communities.

Connecting to Your Audience via Direct Email Marketing

Presented by Dr. Aimee Keithan, Museum Services Manager at the Pejepscot History Center; Victoria Levesque, Development Manager at the Pejepscot History Center; Amanda Pleau, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Maine Maritime Museum

This session will discuss how to connect to your audience with the direct email marketing platform, MailChimp, and how to integrate your donor software (like Little Green Light or similar cloud-based CRMs) to create and manage mailing lists. Participants will learn how to create relevant, stimulating copy and graphics to engage your audience; how to upload and merge contacts from your donor database to your direct email marketing platform; how to streamline interactions with constituents; and how to integrate your website and social media accounts to your direct email marketing campaigns. 

Out of the Twilight: Queer History in Everyday Places

Presented by Megan Mac Gregor, Instruction and Outreach Librarian at the University of Southern Maine

This presentation will talk about the importance of highlighting hitherto unexplored sections of history to demonstrate that the past had multiple and competing narratives in one geographic space. It will also show how placing historical objects and narratives back into the places they came from can create an engaging and dynamic tour and fundraiser. In recent years University of Southern Maine’s Special Collections has digitized our rich Maine based collection of LGBTQ+ newspapers and oral histories from the Sampson Centers LGBTQ+ Collection. Knowing that researchers are more likely to use a collection they already know about, we decided to pique people's interest by doing our own research and programming with it. We created an in-person walking tour which traced the rise and fall of the queer bars in Portland, Maine, which also talked about various events and civil rights relating to the LGBTQ+ community and how they played out locally versus nationally. The tour was very successful for the collection and empowering for members of the LGBTQ+ community. By being placed in the historical record of the town, they were better able to see themselves and their place in the wider narrative, rather than as a lone actor. Participants will learn about evaluating digital and physical collections for easy to research content, connecting with existing communities with a stake in the collection, and crafting a narrative around your research to create a tour.

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