22 February 2012

Visioning Museum

Governments departments, the municipality and the private sector are known for their spending spree during this time of the year, mostly known as strategic sessions in some fancy resorts. Albany Museum, on the other hand, with its limited resources and under-funding, spent half-a-day, using its Rennie Wing Hall as a venue, to strategise.

First and foremost, the close to fifty staff members were tasked with sharing their personal visions for the next 10 years. Interestingly, many highlighted the fact museums offer an educational environment, making them to want to continue furthering their studies until they achieved PhDs.

Following that, it was the vision of the museum, and what each staff member wants to see happening in the next decade. Many wished to see the museum playing a more vital role in the field of research, collection, exhibition and education.

Shortage of curators, museum professionals and technicians featured promptly in the challenges session. The lack of funding for museums, resulting in the shortage of resource was also highlighted. These are seen to be hindering the progress and development for any museum department, its collection, and its outreach programmes.

Some of the possible solutions to the challenges were that a united front is needed, to convince the government, the private sectors and donor funders of the need to support the museum financially and to employ more staff, especially in the scarce skills.

A task team of five members then volunteered to find ways of dealing with the challenges and to try and implement the possible solutions. Though some of the solutions were seen as impracticable, it was nevertheless agreed that the team will do its utmost best to try and solve them.

By lunch time, it was all over, and everyone returned to work in their respective departments. Many agree that the idea was a good eye opener.

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