@MarDixon Passionate about culture. Champion for the next generation of Cultural visitors. Defender of Libraries. Digital, Wearable Tech Enthusiast. Sharing knowledge. Troublemaker and/or advocate, depending on what you need.
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    December 23rd, 2017mardixonCulture

    Surprisingly I recent hear that the Museum of Cambridge (UK) was going from a supported museum to a volunteer led museum (and all staff were let go right before Christmas…).  Having seen this for years in the library sector, and reading yet another article on Museum of Cambridge I decided to ask the following question on Facebook and Twitter:

    https://twitter.com/MarDixon/status/944200337921138688

    This brought a few conversations around the use of volunteers (which also relates to libraries), the responsibility of the council/government all the way to the future of museums.

    With Storify closing, I wanted to capture the conversations so here are the tweets:

    NB:  There were only 7 votes on Facebook – all saying it was a bad idea.

     

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    February 3rd, 2013mardixonCulture

    volunteer_clip_art_from-tranquility-trail-dot-orgVolunteers.  Those brilliant people that give up their time to help and provide services wherever it’s needed. Sometimes they fill the gap where there was once a paid position; sometimes it’s a service that has never been associated with the institution until the volunteer offered.

    Either way, it’s always a Win Win for both the volunteer and the museum.

    A few years ago, Volunteer Coordinator position was not even thought of.  The handful of volunteers that did come forward were usually mature people with recently acquired spare time on their hands (read that as retired).

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    January 10th, 2013mardixonCulture, International

    volunteer_clip_art_from-tranquility-trail-dot-orgMy last post mentioned outreach in the community which led to discussions on Twitter from community groups themselves, and the cultural sector, including an insightful comment by Ian Jenkinson.

    This also led to discussions on advocacy and the role advocates play in today’s word-of-mouth marketing.  This is not a new ethos, but with the use of social media advocates can provide a quicker more positive approach to bring in a wider range of diverse people

    With this in mind, I thought it would be good to share a few suggestions on where to start:

    Like all relationships, these things take time.  Some advocates already exist (Friends, Volunteers) while other relationships need to be built up.

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    October 16th, 2011mardixonCulture, International

    Kids in Museums is a wonderful charity that helps Museums, Galleries and Heritage Venues provide kid friendly environments for the whole family.  Established in 2003, they have a yearly Family Friendly Award which is more about recognizing good establishments rather than a competition.  I recently became a volunteer (and their social media manager) after years of supporting their very worthy cause.

    Kids in Museums hold workshops (such as the Family Fortune Workshop), events such as TakeOver Day and most important, provide a Manifesto.  The manifesto was the key for me a few years back.  It is one thing to have suggestion for venues to follow, but to collate these into a very easy to read and obtain 20-point document for venues to pledge to follow spoke volumes for me.

    I encourage all museum, galleries and Heritage Venues to sign up to pledge their support to the Manifesto.

    Although I wrote about this subject on a Guest blog Why we need to listen to kids for @unmuseum I’ve never specifically written about my passion here.

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