Much Ado About Nothing

ELAG 2018 in Prague

I’ll be travelling to Prague in 10 days to attend the ELAG 2018 conference. ELAG is the European Library Automation Group. It’s a network of European library and IT specialists. I’ll be presenting a talk on Tuesday aptly titled “The Datahub: blending/deblending museum data“.

Since 2015, my job largely revolves around building reusable tools and managing infrastructure that allows aggregation and sharing of data stored in the collection registration systems of museums. The goal is to unlock knowledge stored in those databases and allow new ways of reusing that knowledge in the digital space for the benefit of larger audiences and the museums themselves. My job isn’t exclusively technical oriented, it also extends to delivering consultancy, sharing knowledge and experiences within museums and between museum workers.

The field of museum informatics is fairly new and still emerging. It’s a subfield of cultural informatics and related to library science and archival informatics. It’s a interdisciplinary field at the intersection of culture, information sciences and digital technology. There’s a lot to explore in terms of knowledge and practices. The challenge is to keep pushing development in this field within often well established contexts.

Today, I’m brainstorming the slides of my presentation. My goal is to push beyond a bare technical description of the project itself and explore what we actually learned in these past few years. My mission is finding the right mix between the technical side and the human side of the story. And, of course, wrapping it all in an engaging, relatable narrative.