Collective Wisdom: Libraries, Archives, and Museums (LAM) Conference Exchange
Collective Wisdom: LAM Conference Exchange is a unique experience in which 18 qualified professionals, representing libraries, archives, and museums (LAMs), are joining together to explore cross-sector practices and culture, and share insights and emerging recommendations with the field about potential partnerships and collaborations to advance cross-sector learning.
This distinctive professional learning and leadership opportunity will strengthen the connections across archives, museums and libraries for continuing education and professional development (CE/PD) and help break down barriers between sectors. The cohort will work together primarily through a virtual learning community, pooling their collective experiences and insights from the variety of organizations they represent. They will be sharing their learning with the field through an array of social media and other communication channels.
Funding for conference travel expenses is available for 12 of the cohort members through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries and Museums. Three major sector conferences are identified for attendance: AAM Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo; ALA Annual 2016; Archives*Records 2016
- See the full roster of Collective Wisdom cohort members.
- Read reflections on the conference experiences in the Coalition News.
- To stay in touch with the cohort’s activities, follow #LAMcw and @LAMCoalition on Twitter.
Mapping the Landscapes
Little common data across the LAM fields are currently bench-marked, collected or circulated about professionals’ continuing education/professional development needs. This has created gaps in knowledge and documentation, leaving some potential collaborative opportunities unknown. Mapping the Landscapes is a comprehensive effort to use focus groups and a national survey to span across America’s diverse library, archives, and museum sectors to establish a national picture of professional competencies and benchmarks, attitudes toward CE/PD, engagement patterns, and drivers and barriers for participation. Funded through an IMLS grant award in March 2015, the Educopia Institute facilitates a team of 38 partner organizations who lead the effort.
Project publications include:
- Spanning Our Field Boundaries: Mindfully Managing LAM Collaborations (October 2015) aims to “shed light on some of the issues that currently hinder our boundary-spanning potential, so that together we can mindfully observe and manage these issues as we develop collaborations among our archives, libraries and museums”.
- LAM Education Needs Assessments: Bridging the Gaps (November 2015) introduces guiding principles and practices for CE/PD needs assessments informed by spheres of reference outside LAMs.
Data gathered through surveys and focus groups:
Exploring a cross-sector residency program for Professionals in Libraries, archives, and museums, a report prepared by Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and an Advisory Group, summarizes the synergies and opportunities to develop cross-sector (libraries, archives, museums—LAMs) professional development/continuing education programs for respective communities and workforces. Based on high-level research that surfaces informed perspectives from knowledgeable professionals across the LAMs, the report posits four frameworks as examples that might stimulate the development of cross-sector residency programs.
Stories of Inclusion: Inclusive Practices at Cultural Institutions Webinar Suite
Today, people with disabilities represent the largest minority group in our country, comprising upwards of 56 million Americans. In October 2015, the Coalition helped support a three-part webcast series on accessibility and inclusion. Offered by the American Alliance of Museums, and attended by a cross-sector audience of archives, libraries, and museums, the webcast series explored access and inclusion from the perspective of visitors, staff, and facility or program users in LAMs and other cultural institutions.
Project Management 101 Webinars
In February 2015, Coalition participants delivered a two-part webinar series on Project Management 101 intended to reach a broad cross-sector audience on a topic of shared interest. Over 1,400 people registered to attend the webinars, with solid representation across the three sectors. Data gathered in pre- and post-surveys indicated an increase in positive attitudes toward cross-sector learning. The success of the series affirmed that some topics not only appeal to a multi-sector audience, but benefit from perspectives and experiences of participants across the archives, libraries and museums fields.