GLAM Blog Club – January 2018

Our final theme for 2017 was collaboration. A great theme to wrap up the year. So many thought-provoking blogs…

Collaboration and Digital Preservation, Jaye states that digital preservation benefits from collaboration in many ways, including shared resources, expertise, tools, systems, learnings, standards and practices. “Because digital preservation is expensive and resources are scare, sharing costs and resources through collaborative activities is an effective approach to successful and sustainable digital preservation, especially given the magnitude of the challenges”.

Collaboration, happiness and why I’ll never read a political memoir…, Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb’s podcast ‘Chat 10 Looks 3’ is a favourite of Anne’s, including their ‘bests’ of 2017 which they ended the year on. Anne ended a year of blogs with: best film; best TV series; best fiction; best non-fiction; best political memoir; best political moment; best podcast; best art exhibition; best discovery; and best online thing.

Learning to love collaboration (or, a new graduate’s sentimental reflection on her studies), Stacey, initially horrified at the prospect of group assignments as she was aiming for high distinctions which meant no compromise in Stacey’s mind, found in time collaborating with fellow students was a rewarding experience. “I hope I have the chance to collaborate with the gorgeous people I graduated with in the future, because one thing I’ve learned is that everyone brings something to the table, something different from you”.

My blog, Wolf pack, shares all my forms of collaboration: with my fellow Information Management students at RMIT; cardi core, GLAM speakers and cardies with newCardigan; as Comms Officer with GLAM contributors to the Australian Society of Archivists VIC Branch newsletter; Dr Sketchy’s and Covert Characters performers and artists; Melbourne Horror Film Society organisers and members sharing ideas and knowledge; and colleagues at work at Museums Victoria. “Collaboration is at the heart of what we do as GLAM workers. Archivists in the past were often described as lone wolves. Today we are part of something bigger, the GLAM community”.

Dreaming bigger, Hugh had a very busy November migrating from Amlib to Koha ILS which meant that Hugh didn’t publish his blog about balance, but he made up for it with balance and collaboration in December’s blog. “My loss of balance was, rather, driven by a self-imposed requirement that our migration must go flawlessly, or I would somehow have let down the entire Koha and library community”. While Hugh takes a well-earned holiday, he reflects in this blog about this major project, and the collaborative nature of an open source software like Koha. “With our core system now open source, I’ve noticed that my colleagues and I are already starting to think much more in terms of ‘we could approach problem X with solution Y’ rather than ‘I wish system A had feature B’”.

Bests of 2017: Some rainbow highlights during dark times, Clare was inspired by Anne’s blog sharing ‘bests’ of 2017, inspired by Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb’s Chat 10 Look 3 podcast, Clare has shared her ‘bests’ of 2017. Thank you for sharing many inspirational moments with us this year Clare, staying positive and supportive to all around you during a very difficult year for the LGBTIQA+ community.

All Right Stop, Collaborate and Listen, Andrew ponders how do co-authors collaborate? “In my mind, a good collaboration (be it writing, working, or your personal life) needs a few things to get it right: a shared vision, good communication, and conflict”. Conflict is important, something that we have in our cardi core communications, in a healthy, productive and constructive way: “This group of amazing people aren’t afraid to share their concerns and know that their voice will be heard, acknowledged, and worked on”. ICT department collaborations is a big part of Andrew’s work, where communication and shared goals/vision is problematic, leading to poor solutions, and wasting time and money.

Collaboration or Exploitation, Nathan provides recommendations for GLAM and research projects on how to best collaborate with First Nations people. “To ensure First Nations ideas are incorporated into your project and that your project meets First Nation communities’ needs and wants, include the relevant First Nations people/community in the planning and forming of your idea”.

Second blog this month by Clare, Queer collaborations and a GLAMorous Guide to Midsumma 2018, Clare shares her own personal GLAM guide to Melbourne’s Midsumma Festival 2018, a program formed by many collaborations between GLAM and other organisations, community groups and individuals. I highly recommend checking out Clare’s recommendations. At the Australian Lesbian and Gay Archives, Clare works outside her “client-facing academic librarian day job”, and has “had to grapple with collection relocation, cataloguing, digitisation, preservation and conservation issues”. Challenges faced in Clare’s archival work have created learnings, as Clare says: “I have been doing a lot of reading and listening (the first step to successful collaboration) and I am slowly building confidence and contributing more”. I was happy to read that Clare has gained confidence through being an active cardie: “On a related note, cardi parties and GLAM Blog Club have been invaluable for extending my knowledge of these challenges and opportunities and building my confidence to contribute”.

Werk For You, Clare P argues the case for sharing knowledge, and empowering communities by collaborating. When folksonomies work, “sharing the work load and the users deciding how the users wanted to search for things and what was important about the item… BRILLIANT – it should be poetry in motion!” Unfortunately folksonomies won’t necessarily improve the fundability of tagged items. Institutionalisation is also not the answer. “There are also those among us that ‘become’ an organisation – where all the information is held within their own brain box, making them an irreplaceable gate keeper”. GLAM institutions need to share their knowledge and empower communities to improve access to collections, share expertise and skills.

An Agile Approach to Collaboration, Matthew shares a highlight from 2017, a collaboration project developing software to bulk migrate digital collections into a digital preservation system, a project Matthew looks forward to continuing in 2018.

As always, thank you for sharing your interpretation of the theme and your insights.

This month’s theme was the first theme we started off GLAM Blog Club with in January 2017: What I want to learn in the year ahead / What I learned in the past year. January is a time to reflect on the year that was, and to look forward to the year ahead. What better way to start your blogging for the year than with this theme?

If you did a blog on this theme in January 2017, it would be a great time to read your blog and see what your thoughts were then and if they have changed. If it’s your first time writing on this theme, perhaps read through your tweets from the past year, or if you keep a diary read through some entries. Think of yourself as your own research project. Or if you’re not looking back on what you’ve learned, but looking forward to what you want to learn in 2018, perhaps you will look to recent trends in GLAM and/or new technologies. Reflection and/or projection is what we ask of you this month.

Don’t forget to tag your blog post “GLAM Blog Club”, tweet a link to it using the hashtag #glamblogclub, and register your blog at (blog registration only available to Australians or Australia-connected GLAMers). Spread the word, and make sure all of your GLAM friends and colleagues get blogging!

Thanks for taking part in GLAM Blog Club this year, we have loved reading your blogs. We’re excited to be celebrating a year of GLAM Blog Club! We look forward to reading your blogs in 2018. Have a safe and happy New Year!