Thank you to everyone who took part in my training needs survey earlier this year. I fed all the information back up to SHARE and they have used it in producing this year’s calendar, which goes live at 9am today.
In today’s blog, I am going to highlight where you can access the training that the majority of people requested in each category. However, it is in no way an exhaustive list of what’s on offer (over 100 training events between now and next spring!) so I do recommend taking time to have a look through and see what would be of use to you and your colleagues.
Of those of you who responded to my survey, only one third had not attended any SHARE training in the last year and of them only 10% said that this was because the training was too hard to get to. If there is training that your museum needs, but cannot afford the travel, it isn’t running or it is simply too far away, please do contact me as I may be able to help.
Several of the training days are running in Essex, but please remember that SHARE have to support the whole of the East of England. Therefore they move they days about and if a particular subject has been in Essex recently, they do have to move it somewhere else this year.
Most Requested Training By Category
There was a strong “digital element” to the training requests for collections, including Copyright, Digitising Collections and Managing Digital Images.
I have spoken to Simon at SHARE about Copyright and they have identified that it is a need for support with this area, however from their experience they aren’t sure if training is the best way of providing it. SHARE is currently formulating a plan and I will update you as soon as possible. If you do have any urgent copyright questions, please get in touch.
Regarding digitising collections, there are several useful days coming up:
- “Point & Shoot: Collections Photography Using Digital Cameras” is running on 6th October at Ely Museum and 2nd February in Norwich
- “Digital Technology & Collections: Promoting Access and Engagement” is on 5th October in Ipswich
For managing digital images, I suggest:
- “Managing Digital Images” on 15th December at Mill Green Museum and Mill in Hatfield or 27th April in Wymondham Heritage Museum, Norfolk
- “Create Once, Publish Everywhere: How to COPE With Your Digital Content” on 1st December at the Museum of Cambridge or 20th April at the Long Shop Museum in Leiston
I would also suggest having a look at joining the Digital Development Forum if you are planning on a large digital project. The next meeting is on 20th October in Norwich
Other Collections based training that had a large number of requests are Conservation Basics and Rationalisation.
There are several conservation-themed days coming up:
- Handle With Care: Object Handling & Packing on 2nd December in Mildenhall, Suffolk
- “Conservation Uncovered: Major Museum Tours” on 19th November is going behind the scenes at the University of Cambridge conservation lab
- “Environmental Monitoring” on 26th April at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge
- Integrated Pest Management: Level 1 on 10th November at Royston and District Museum
- Integrated Pest Management: Level 2 on 2nd March at University of Cambridge Museums.
- The 2nd Annual SHARE Collections Care Conference on 20th January at Hughes Hall in Cambridge.
Some sessions are much more specialised but will be relevant to several Essex Museums, including:
- Assessing and Repacking Military Costume: A Costume & Textiles Network Event on 6th October in Norwich
- “Preventive Conservation for Waterlogged Archaeology: A Maritime Heritage Network East Event” which is on 15th October at Southend Central Museum
SHARE also have their online Collections Care Syllabus. This current version is available online but it is being reviewed and updated so look out for updates later in the year.
For Rationalisation, SHARE are running “Rationalisation, Review and Disposal: Getting Started” on 8th October. Please note that there will also be funding support for rationalisation available later in the year. It is not compulsory, but I would recommend attending the training if you wish to apply.
The most requested audience-themed training days are: Writing Engaging Text, Marketing on a Budget, Display Techniques and Understanding Audiences.
There are two different text-writing events booked in this year:
- Captivating Captions on a Budget is one of this year’s first trainings, happening on 7th September at The Red House in Suffolk.
- Make it Snappy: Writing Effective Text on 11th April at the Museum of East Anglian Life
There isn’t a generalised “marketing” training on the SHARE calendar this year, so I will organise something for later in the year. However, there are two specialised courses which may be of interest:
- “Awareness, engagement and impact: Marketing to drive fundraising and income generation – a SHARED Enterprise event” on 25th November at Verulamium Museum in St Albans
- Social Media Next Steps on 22nd September in Luton and on 9th March (venue TBC). If you feel that you need a “Beginners” level Social Media training, please DO NOT book on to this course. Contact me and I will arrange for help and support.
There are a couple of events coming up for Display Techniques:
- Basic Display Techniques, 13th October in Stevenage and 12th January at Gainsborough’s House in Suffolk and on 14th April in Norwich.
- Cutting Edge: Making Professional Labels & Panels on 3rd March at Hollytrees Museum in Colchester
There are several events which will be of interest for those of you who requested “Understanding Audiences”:
- Front-of-House Forum on 19th October in Norwich
- First Steps in Community Participation on 14th January in Luton
- Complaints, Criticisms and Conflicts: How to Handle Them All on 28th January in Ely Museum
- Managing Successful Events on 25th February at the Fenland Museum and Denny Abbey in Cambridgeshire
- Working with Different Audiences on 4th March at The Polar Museum in Cambridge
There were also several requests for How to use HistoryPin, which SHARE are offering on 21st October in Ipswich
“Being a “Dementia Friendly” venue” and “Making your museum accessible for people with Autism” were also both highly requested. Working with these audiences will be covered in “Working with Different Audiences” and Helen Griffiths (Essex County Council’s Cultural Access, Learning and Participation Officer) and I am planning to run Dementia Friendly training soon.
3. Children and Young People
The most requested training session for children and young people are Setting Up A Youth Panel/Young Curators, Working with Schools, Child Protection/Safeguarding and Using Digital Technology to Deliver Learning With Schools.
Regarding Working With Schools, Helen Griffiths and I are planning a series of training in this subject and Child-Protection/Safeguarding for later in the year (look out for more details soon) however, you may also be interested in:
- Surprising Science For Schools is on 21st January at the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket.
- Learning From Objects on 9th October in Ipswich or 7th December in Bedford
- Object Lessons 3: SHARE & Bridges Children & Young People Conference on 10th February, venue TBC
- Consider Yourself: Reflective Learning Practice for Learning Staff and Volunteers in Museums, 18th April, Museum of Cambridge
As you may be aware, I’ve been working with several museums in the county on a digital learning pilot. The case-studies from the project will be shared via my website, SHARE and the Heritage Education Group later in the year.
The most commonly requested training sessions in this section fall into two categories, Volunteer Management (Volunteer Management, Volunteer Recruitment and Young Volunteers) and Fundraising/Income Generation (Alternate Ways to Boost Your Income, Making The Most of Your Shop, How to Talk to Funders and Other Stakeholders and Writing Funding Applications).
SHARE have recently launched the Volunteer Coordinators Forum, details of which can be found here. This is a great source of support for anyone managing volunteers, including those who are volunteers themselves. I also recently commissioned a volunteer management toolkit which is available here.
SHARE are offering the following training events:
- Volunteers: Getting Them In and Keeping Them Happy (a Volunteer Co-ordinators’ Forum event) on 18th April at Ipswich Transport Museum
- Volunteer Co-ordinators’ Forum: Youth Volunteering, 8th December, John Buyan Museum, Bedford
SHARE also have a Retail Forum which offers peer support to those running museum shops. More details can be found here and there are some relevant training days too:
- “Top Tips For Retail” on 4th February at Braintree Museum
- “SHARE Retail Forum: Selling Skills and Sound Retail Practice” on 21st September at the National Horseracing Museum in Newmarket
Regarding applying for grants and other fundraising training, there are lots of options:
- “Relationship Fundraising and Legacy Giving for Museums – a SHARED Enterprise Event” on 12th October at Colchester Castle
- HLF Young Roots Seminar on 19th October at the HLF Office in Cambridge
- “Awareness, engagement and impact: Marketing to drive fundraising and income generation – a SHARED Enterprise event” on 25th November at Verulamium Museum
- “Enterprise & Philanthropy: building relationships to fund museums” on 2nd March at the Museum of London
I would also like to highlight that my colleague Andrew Ward and I are offering a “surgery” connected to Essex County Council’s Cultural Development grants on 23rd September in Chelmsford.
The other training that I would especially like to mention is Understanding Museums. This is a six day course (one day a fortnight). While six days is a big commitment, this is the perfect course for anyone who is new to working or volunteering in museums. It explains why we do what we do, how different types of museums operate and looks at the history and ethics of the sector.
I would like to thank the SHARE Museums team (Annette, Simon, Kathy, Miranda and Liz) for all their hard work in pulling together this training offer – and wish them luck when the booking opens at 9 o’clock!