Saturday, 28 May 2011

Visit from Our Museum Development Officer

Otautau Museum Trust members with Judith Taylor, MDO. From left to right: Peter Campbell, Pam Booth, Mervyn Officer, Judith Taylor, John Low, and Muriel Brown. Photograph © 2011 Cathy Onellion.

Today, we had a visit from Judith Taylor, our Museum Development Officer from National Services Te Paerangi. She is visiting museums in our area including Nightcaps and Te Hikoi in Riverton.

This was the first time the whole Trust has met with Judith so it was a special occasion.

We talked about some of the things that National Services could help us with - through the Helping Hands Grant, Strategic Projects Grant, Expert Knowledge Exchange and the Free phone among other things.

We also discussed our recent Standard Scheme Peer Review that happened last October. We had a few questions about the report that was generated from the review. Nothing major though. Our overall experience of the Museum Standards Scheme has been good. It made us look at ourselves but without the pressure to suddenly become something we're not. Taking reasonable steps to improve is within our grasp and that is what we've tried to do. The support of people like Judith has made the process easier.

Judith mentioned there will be workshops in governance and exhibitions coming our way so that is something to look forward to.

Disaster preparedness was also a topic of discussion. Because Judith is the MDO for the South Island, she has seen the devastation of small museums by the Canterbury quakes. She said Methven, Lyttelton and Kaiapoi museums have all been hit hard. We need to get our own disaster plan so that we can mitigate the effects of flood, fire, or quake.

After a cup of tea and a quick tour of our recent display on Isla Bank, we farewelled Judith. We don't know when she'll be back again but she is always welcome at our place. Thanks, Judith!

We're open Wednesdays and Sundays, 2pm-4pm, and by request. Your comments are always welcome!

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