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Museum Information Professionals: Essential Skills

Communication / Metadata & Cataloging / Copyright / Digital Preservation / Professional Development

Professional Development

The Library Information Science and Museum fields overlap in many ways, though they are often taught as separate degree programs with separate curriculum. Efforts have been made recently in bridging these worlds and providing appropriate training applicable to professionals in either field. (Kim, 2012) Professional development for a museum information specialist includes embracing a lifelong learning attitude, networking with others in the field, and developing a professional voice by sharing your knowledge and experience with others. Joining a professional community, attending conferences, participating in committee work, reading and writing to the listserv and other communications are all ways to engage with others in the field. There is so much to learn from the collective wisdom of the listserv. An analysis of seven years worth of emails on the Museum Computer Network (MCN) listserv found that the amount invaluable insight for both specific questions and general “gauging the pulse” questions. This kind of information would be much harder to find in other formats. (Marty, & Alemanne, 2013) By regularly engaging in a professional community you are building a network of supportive colleagues. The following professional communities are wonderful resources for museum information professionals.


vraVisual Resources Association
(VRA) is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to furthering research and education in the field of image management within the educational, cultural heritage, and commercial environments.


mcnMuseum Computer Network
(MCN) supports professionals who seek to transform the way their museums reach, engage, and educate their audiences using digital technologies.


mw-logo-croppedMuseums and the Web
is a collaborative space for professionals creating culture, science and heritage on-line, hosted by the Museums and the Web team.

250px-American_Alliance_of_Museums_logoThe American Alliance of Museums‘ (AAM) mission is to champion museums and nurture excellence in partnership with our members and allies.