2020 Conference Concurrent Sessions

The MAM Conference Committee received a record number of session proposals this year, which made our job difficult when deciding which to accept or decline.  Below is a draft outline of sessions. 

This first-time-ever-online annual conference will also include plenary sessions and networking activities. 

More information and to register for the conference.

Full program in PDF format will be available closer to the date of the conference.

Thursday, Oct 8, 2:30-3:30PM

Creating a Virtual Online Tour - Free - Using MS PowerPoint

Presented by Kimberly Smith, Secretary/Treasurer at Presque Isle Historical Society

In this ever changing world of social distancing and technology, having a relevant online presence is mandatory. Learn quickly and easily to use MS PowerPoint to create an online video tour at no cost. Session includes step-by-step handouts and demonstration. Learn to create an online virtual tour; have take-away step-by-step instructions for future use; learn how to create or re-familiarize yourself with creating narration on MS PowerPoint; learn to convert PowerPoint to MP4 file; and learn how to upload MP4 file to YouTube.

Toward a Maine Union Manuscript Catalog: Examples of Online Access to Manuscript Collections

Presented by Susie R. Bock, Coordinator of Special Collections at University of Southern Maine and Director of the Jean Byers Sampson Center for Diversity in Maine; Jacob Albert, Program Manager at University of Maine Franco American Programs; Adam Fisher, Director of Collections Development at the Maine State Library; and Anastasia Weigle, Assistant Professor of Information and Library Science at University of Maine Augusta

Can Maine create one-stop-shopping for users of Maine’s manuscript resources? We can learn from current efforts to create online access to multiple manuscript repositories. The speakers will present on their projects, commenting on what makes their system work and what they learned during implementation. This session will promote existing efforts to create access to multiple repositories; create interest/support for harvesting information from existing online archival management systems to establish a Maine union manuscript catalog; and introduce an institutional survey to gather data for a union manuscript catalog.

Behind the Scenes: How to Build a School Program

Presented by Julia Einstein, Coordinator of School Programs for Maine at Historic New England

An illustrated talk about how education programs for historic house museums are developed, piloted, and evaluated. Talk will be followed by a question and answer period and complemented by a virtual resource table. In a career from classroom to museum educator, Julia Einstein views learning as a way to experiment, enjoy, and challenge one's perspective. At Historic New England she creates school programs for the six historic house museums throughout Maine. Participants will gain the educator's perspective of museum collections, understand the creative process in developing school programs, and learn about establishing strong and collaborative partnerships with teachers and school departments.

Decolonizing Methodologies and Collaborative Practices

Presented by Starr Kelly, Curator of Education at Abbe Museum, and Angela Raup, Manager of Education and Outreach at Abbe Museum

Decolonizing is a process that enriches museum spaces, and all museums can participate. This introduction to decolonization uses the Abbe Museum's decolonizing framework as a case study. Meet the Abbe's Education Team and learn how your museum can prioritize Indigenous voice, commit to truth-telling, and deconstruct the harmful legacies of museums as colonizing entities. Attendees will learn the difficult histories of museum work, and how they contribute to inequity and discomfort in contemporary museum spaces. They will learn strategies for incorporating Indigenous perspectives into organizational practices. They will receive direct guidance from educators at a decolonizing museum and see examples from the Abbe Museum's past decade of decolonizing work. Attendees will leave the presentation understanding what decolonizing means, why it's important, and how it is possible (and necessary) for any organization.

Thursday, Oct 8, 4:00-5:00PM

Purposely Popular: Developing Practical Social Media Guidelines

Presented by Sophie D. Gabrion, Communications Manager at Owls Head Transportation Museum

Social media is exhausting. For nonprofits, it can be a Pandora’s box of reviews, trends, filters, #hashtags, and, most of all, competition. Figuring out how to effectively integrate social media strategies into your organization’s routine can be a daunting challenge. For social media managers, learning to overcome that challenge is often driven by how well you know your team and how well you know yourself. In this session, we will wander through hands-on activities that help you take an honest inventory of your organization’s internal strengths and weaknesses when it comes to social media, and you will get the tools and resources to take your channels to the next level. Fair warning – this session is not about what to post. Most of the time, that’s the easy part. This session is all about tackling the other stuff that seems to get in the way, like the how, when, who, and why. Participants will see templates for a social media policy, playbook, and production schedule to customize for their nonprofit organization; learn how to read analytics from popular platforms and what the numbers mean for your next steps; understand the impact of leaning into failing fads and harmful habits through real-life case studies; and identify roles of responsibility that work for your organization and the balance of a team approach verses a sole proprietorship.

No-Budget Preservation Tips

Presented by Becky Geller, Preservation Specialist at Northeast Document Conservation Center

Preservation is an underlying responsibility of any collections caretaker, whether you are an archivist, a curator, a family collector, or anyone in between. Preservation has a lot to do with knowing your collections and prioritizing the materials that need the most help to survive. This session will discuss methods and projects that require no additional funding or supplies, including collection management, storage environment assessment, care and handling practices, and emergency preparedness. Participants will learn fundamentals of preservation of collections, strategies for collections care that require no funding, and benefits of a programmatic approach to preservation.

Building Community COVID-19 Archives

Presented by Matthew Revitt, Special Collections and Maine Shared Collections Librarian at the University of Maine; Tilly Laskey, Curator at Maine Historical Society; Greta Schroeder, Director of the Thompson Free Library; Jill Piekut Roy, Archivist and Special Collections Librarian at the Patten Free Library; and Renée DesRoberts, Archivist at McArthur Library

The COVID-19 pandemic is the major historical event of our time which as archivists, curators, and librarians we want to preserve the story of in our communities. In this session you will hear from four presenters who have built digital archives to document the experiences of their communities to share with current and future researchers. You will learn more about their collections and the strategies they’ve adopted, including how they went about building collaborations/partnerships; the platforms they chose for collecting and sharing; ways they promoted the projects and facilitated contributions; issues faced along the way around description, access, privacy, and copyright; and a look ahead to what the presenters intend to do with these collections in the future, beyond COVID-19. Participants will leave with an understanding of some of the nitty gritty challenges faced (and mostly overcome) in building a digital archive; strategies for engaging with communities to collect material; and an awareness of platforms available for collecting and sharing digital content.

Build a Mobile App for Your Collection

Presented by Jon Ippolito, Professor of Media and Director of Digital Curation at the University of Maine

Curators hoping to augment their collections with interactive exhibits often forget that today's visitors walk in the door with powerful digital interfaces already sitting in their pockets. This workshop will walk participants through the creation of a cross-platform smartphone app, in the form of a scavenger hunt that prompts visitors to find and check off artifacts on display. The app will be based on the free, versatile React Native framework used by Facebook, Instagram, and other prominent companies. Participants will learn the basics of React Native's HTML-like tags, customize them to fit their collection, and test-drive this new app on their own Android or iOS device. A laptop and recent smartphone are all that is required. Interested participants may learn more after the session by taking advantage of 14 interactive React Native tutorials from the University of Maine's Just-in-Time Learning platform. The presenter will guide participants through the process via Expo Snack (https://snack.expo.io), a code editor that works entirely online, and that allows users to view their app on the Web or on their phone via a QR code. Attendees will learn the basics of designing and building a mobile app in React Native; brainstorm ways an app could help engage new, especially younger audiences; and walk away with a simple demo app customized for their collection.

Although everyone is welcome to attend regardless of background, participants who want to make the app should have these prepared:

    • A computer or tablet connected to the Internet, with a keyboard so we can write code. This can be the same computer you use to Zoom in to the webinar.
    • An iPhone or Android phone connected to the Internet (via WiFi or cellular data). This should not be the device you use to Zoom in.
    • The "Expo Client" app for iOS or Android (https://expo.io/tools) already installed on your phone.
    • A text caption or description for each of 3-5 objects from a collection (yours or an institution's).
    • The URL to an image for each object. These must be online already—they can't be files on your computer.
    • Recommended: some coding experience, preferably in HTML, CSS, and/or JavaScript.

Friday, Oct 9, 10:30AM-11:30AM

Wíwənikan: Partnering on New Models for Exhibition and Engagement

Presented by Diana Tuite, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Colby College Museum of Art; Theresa Secord, Curatorial Advisor and Member of the Colby Museum Board of Governance; Jordia Benjamin, Senior Coordinator of Programs and Audience Engagement for the Colby College Museum of Art; Miriam Valle-Mancilla, Linde Family Foundation Coordinator of Academic Access for Colby College Museum of Art; and Abby Newkirk, Senior Coordinator of School and Teacher Programs for the Linde Family Foundation.

Guest-curated by Jennifer Neptune (Penobscot) and Kathleen Mundell, Wíwənikan...the beauty we carry represented the first exhibition of contemporary Wabanaki art mounted in an art museum. During its run from July 2019 to January 2020, as part of the Maine bicentennial year, Wíwənikan attracted a significant number of first-time visitors and became a cornerstone of unprecedented outreach and engagement at Colby. In this session we will examine the development of this exhibition and its academic and public programs. We will share strategies for facilitating collaborative processes and open dialogues that do not reproduce structural inequalities; reflect upon the challenges this project sometimes posed to institutional culture, infrastructure, and operations; and frame a vision for continued community-building.

Creating a Virtual History Tour for Your Town

Presented by Brittany Goetting, Project Coordinator for Castine History Partners, and Jeanmarie Reed, Committee Member at Wilson Museum

In late 2017, representatives from Castine’s four nonprofits consisting of the town library, historical society, college, and museum, began meeting to plan a virtual history tour of Castine. The goal was to create an accurate and engaging history tour that could be accessed by visitors at all times of the year, from any location, and using the latest technologies. This session will outline how the committee successfully researched tour company options, created a successful committee structure with shared responsibilities, wrote and received two grants to assist with funding, and researched and wrote a tour called Explore Historic Castine. This session will also share some of the lessons the committee learned as they wrote and edited information for the tour, selected and edited photos, and learned about the nuances of creating an app. Participants will learn how to research options for an app, questions and steps to consider when one begins to create an app, and the effectiveness of sharing work and costs cooperatively among the committee. 

Telling the Bigger Story: Utilizing Statewide Collaborations in Your Exhibitions

Presented by Emma Sieh, Curator at Museum L-A

Have you ever wanted to install an exhibition about an important topic but realized your own collections did not provide enough content? Even if the topic is highly requested by educators and is of great interest to the general public, you still have to find a way to fill your galleries with enough content to keep the public’s attention. When stuck in this difficult position while developing their recent exhibition on child labor in the State of Maine, Museum L-A worked with organizations throughout the state to create reproductions of their photograph collections. This session will reveal the benefits of working with other organizations and telling stories that expand past their local communities for small museums with small budgets. Attendees will learn about how best to utilize resources such as the Maine Memory Network to expand the reach of their new exhibitions, explore how including collections from organizations throughout the state in new exhibitions can benefit their own organization, and learn how offering their collections to other organizations might benefit their own organization and the Maine museum community.

It's Not About You: Mission vs. Relationships in COVID Era Fundraising

Presented by Sam Heck, Director of Development at Milestone Recovery and former Director of Development at Victoria Mansion, and Katie Worthing, Executive Director of Yarmouth Historical Society

Conventional wisdom has long placed donor experience and personal relationships at the center of fundraising strategy. As the COVID-19 pandemic forces changes in how we navigate and cultivate personal and professional relationships, this facilitated discussion examines strategies for placing our organizations' core missions back at the center of donor communications. Participants will compare key tenets of donor-centered and mission-centered fundraising models, explore and evaluate effectiveness of examples of differing fundraising models, discuss challenges to relationship cultivation in an environment of remote communication, and troubleshoot application of principles to attendees' organizations.

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