Category Archives: Work
The traditional role of museums is to collect objects and materials of cultural and historical importance, preserve them, research them and present them to the public for the purpose of education and enjoyment. This mission becomes increasingly hard when the museum is not open to the public, and the people who work in the museum are working from home. Curators still have to go in and check the environment of the museum and check that the collection is safe, but for the most part I have not been the one going into the museum to do this. I have been in a few times to get things from my office, but I’ve rarely stayed over five to ten minutes.
The essential mission of the museum hasn’t changed, but the way we function has during this pandemic. We are unable to continue to collect artifacts during this pandemic, but we are able to continue to preserve the artifacts. We also can continue to research objects, which is one of the main things I have been doing from home. I have also been working on ways to present objects from the collection to the public virtually. As Curator of Education and Public Programs, it’s my job to find ways to present our collection and information to the public for education and enjoyment.
Today, I’ll be going to the museum to film a program to be added to our Facebook page. I hope it goes as planned. I have the script written, and I know what objects I’ll be presenting. I’m looking forward to playing with iMovie to edit what I film. Back when I was the drama club advisor at my former school, I filmed and edited the drama club productions. Back then I didn’t have a Mac, so I used a different program than iMovie, but the basics are the same.
Fingers crossed, everything goes well today. I know I won’t look great on camera because I need a haircut, but so does nearly everyone else. Honestly, I never look great on camera anyway. I’ve always taken bad pictures.
After a week of indecision, the university finally granted us the ability to telecommute. It will begin Monday and will last at least a week, maybe longer. They are giving us today and tomorrow to prepare for working from home. I hate to break it to them, but I’ve been preparing since last week. Now that I have my new MacBook at work that I can take home, there’s nothing keeping me from working at home except an official okay, which was granted today. I do have to go in to the museum for a full day on Wednesdays to check things out and make sure all is safe. However, I’ll be the only one there and should have no contact with anyone: I dread having to document what I do every hour of the workday at home, but it can be done easy enough.
While more and more people begin telecommuting and limiting their face-to-face interactions, my university can’t figure out what to do with the staff. Faculty and students are working from home and doing everything online, but universities across the nation are putting their staff at risk requiring them to continue to work. I understand that some staff members are essential to the continued operation of the university, but let’s face it those who can work from home, should be working from home. Furthermore, the museum is closed to the public. There is nothing that we can’t do from home at this point. We are not essential during this crisis, yet we are still being made to go I to work. I hope the administration finds their senses soon.