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SEWS CPD bursary 2016-7

Case Study from Jonathan Parrett, Littlehampton Museum

SEWS bursary awarded 2016 to attend ' MODES Complete for Client and Admin'.

 Date(s) of training: 7th – 8th September 2016     

Q. What was the impact of the training?

From the training, I have gained a better understanding of how the MODES programme works, especially in how it indexes and searches for stored information. I have also learned about a variety of features that I wasn’t aware of within MODES, such as the ability to link individual records to a wider procedural record like an exhibition or a loan event.

Additionally, as a result of the training, I feel more confident in attempting to use some of the more advanced features within the programme, which include the creation of termlists and index controls, the editing of many separate records at the same time and the management of separate data files, which can be used to manage separate groups of records in addition to the main one, for easily managing disposal records or a handling collection. I also feel that if I were to run into any problems

Littlehampton Museum will benefit in a number of ways, from the implementation of new procedures relating to the creation of digital records of museum activities such as loans or exhibitions, to ensuring that new records are catalogued consistently to allow for better index searching. All of these small steps will help improve the Museum’s collections accessibility, which is a major long term goal for the museum’s collections management and development.

Further information from the course, which came in the form of detailed handouts will be used to update the museum’s existing training procedures relating to how staff and volunteers use MODES to incorporate the new best practice. This will take the form of both one-to-one sessions which will demonstrate the programme, and an easy to access and read guide which will cover the major processes.

Q.  What went well and what didn’t go well?

I feel that the training was ideally pitched for me, as I was able to understand many of the difficult administration principles and how they could be linked to some of the earlier tasks. Additionally, I feel that the best things about the training were being able to use a fully developed database, and seeing how much you could do with it, and being able to speak to other museum professionals who use the programme, and discovering that many problems are actually quite common, and in some cases, surprisingly easy to fix.

I feel that the training was ideally timed for the organisation, as it comes as we are beginning to rapidly digitise our collections. It enables the museum to identify current issues with our existing database (which is currently about 15% of our collection) and deal with them before they get too out of hand to manage.

Q.  Top Tips?

 Go for it – even the basic training was very useful, and in many ways was something that I wished that I had done when I first started using MODES as it makes a complex looking programme look quite easy to use.

Overall Cost of Project: £420. SEWS CPD bursary £220