Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the SLA Annual Conference in Boston, MA! SLA is a network of information professionals in areas of special libraries, museums, archives, and non-traditional library settings. I was very involved with the SLA student chapter at my school when I was working towards my MLIS degree, so I decided a while back that I wanted to attend this conference for the second time (last year’s was in Vancouver!).
The theme of the conference this year was, Be Revolutionary! to inspire information professionals to share the current and upcoming trends in the field. This was also the first time that the planning committee decided to host a joint poster session in the exhibition hall.
I approached Shari (the museum director) with a poster proposal about the Musée Héritage Museum and its use of community engagement as a marketing strategy. Once she gave me the go ahead, I started designing my poster. In the few weeks prior to the conference, I sent my poster draft to all of the Musée Héritage Museum staff, and everyone in the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert (AHFSA) administration office for feedback. I felt that the process of this poster project really embodied the museum’s philosophy of community involvement and collaboration. So, just like everything else that we do at the museum, everyone had a hand in the creation of my poster!
It was my first time participating in a conference this large, but while I was nervous, I was even more excited to talk about this amazing place that I love to work at! The poster provided great exposure for the museum, which is exactly what I was hoping for. AHFSA and Musée Héritage Museum kept me stocked with exhibition catalogues, brochures, and business cards to give out. Both surprising and unsurprising, visitors to my poster were incredibly interested in the museum, and how we do things! I spoke with people of many different educational and employment backgrounds, and from all over North America. Those who represented other smaller museums, many based out of the US commended Musée Héritage Museum on its innovation and perseverance. I ended up giving out every last one of the business cards! To add a bit more to my poster setup, I also held a draw – in exchange for a business card, visitors had the chance to win a set of 3 Musée Héritage Museum’s candy tins, with each tin featuring a historic site maintained by the museum!
I have gladly offered my poster to the museum for keepsake, so be sure to take a look on your next visit!