Saturday, we will celebrate the European Night of Museums and the World Museum Day. For this, I wanted a picture of a project that links scientific quality, cross and good practices from the Internet. But Claire Séguret tells us more right now …!
– The Cluny Museum – National Museum of the Middle Ages was launched in 2012 in the adventure of “workshops Wikipedia” but with the distinction of being for its internal staff
– Claire Séguret is the assistant communications manager Cluny Museum since 2009 and the project leader of the workshops at the museum Wikipedia
Can you explain what these Wikipedia workshops ?
In June 2012, the Musée de Cluny volunteers offered to participate in a “Wikipedia workshop.” What’s that? Everyone knows Wikipedia and its model of contributions and enrichment. Well, Cluny staff were invited to understand more precisely the function of the contribution and create their own proprietary to actively participate in any article that would interest-and not just related to the museum. This last point may seem strange especially if we know that the institution has released three hours twice relevant staff to attend workshops on work time! But now, the philosophy of the institution considers it as its role to develop the skills of its personnel -skills which do not need to belong to museum systematically fields.
From practical standpoint, for the 26 volunteers of the museum, there were nine Wikipedians. Wikipedians are “Wikipedia contributors who write daily articles in the encyclopedia. Some of them also agree with Wikimedia France to help train new contributors, as is the case with the Cluny museum and other institutions “(Adrienne thank you for this definition!) This support by Wikipedians thus enabled to play down the “nebula” understood and misunderstood.
The first workshop is held twice in three hours in a meeting room equipped with computers and wifi where agents of museum volunteers have learned to create their own personal list of contributor, vocabulary Wikipedia and enrichment articles already exist. With regard to internal audiences for this first series of workshops, it has affected all services from the agents in theaters until the Secretary General through the NMR staff present in the store bookseller (which, however, was not obvious to grant the two institutions).
How did born this idea?
It was important for Claire to work on these a priori and apprehensions with respect to Wikipedia among his colleagues. This need arose him six to nine months after his arrival at the museum, in 2009 This feeling of having to do something about it, a trigger was the tweet Adrienne Charmet-Alix seeking clarification for enrichment Wikipedia article on liturgical combs. After discussions and exchanges, Adrienne asked him then to involve internal personal enrichment items. This solution was something special, because if a collaborative effort of a cultural institution with Wikipedians had already taken place in Toulouse and the Centre Pompidou, the example of Versailles has shown the limits of a partnership where personal commitment to the welcoming structure is limited. This argument has had a greater echo all that Claire was already aware of all these issues (especially during his participation at the Museum Next Edinburgh where Shelley Bernstein of the Brooklyn Museum had come to speak of the “wisdom of crowds” and from the book The Wisdom of the crowd by James Surowiecki).
Another factor that motivated Claire Séguret in this solution is the work begun by the museum in the redesign of its new website. So there was a lot of work to raise awareness of (the) crop (s) digital (s) and contribution. Propose to build something in-house for this purpose has been well received and understood the issues.
Finally, it is a commitment by management to decompartmentalise -this services possible with a relatively museum intermediate size with its hundreds of employees. The concept of inter-service cooperation is ubiquitous, but it is rare that a project has been since its cross design of this kind. Aided by the know-how of Wikimedia France and even the philosophy of this movement, Claire was able to propose and implement a series of workshops the first of which took place on 1 and 8 June 2012.
What was the reception of your colleagues?
First of all no big deal if it is no! The announcement was made by management during a meeting. This is explained by Claire, that his colleagues did not understand very well what Wikipedia and what can be done. However, once the explanation, the response was quite positive, so much so that there are 26 volunteers on hundred employees! We raise here again the will to address all services to all colleagues. Among the volunteer staff, there were mainly monitoring agents. They who are in immediate and constant contact with the public works and construction have also taken interest in speaking on Wikipedia.
If the second series of workshops takes time to come (as they had been programmed a series each quarter) that’s several logistical and organizational reasons. Indeed, the Cluny Museum has had a season of very dense and heavy temporary exhibitions; the question of timetables is the main cause responsible. Moreover, these workshops are relatively slow to develop, especially if, like Claire, you are the only person wearing them in the museum.
However, the first two workshops have marked and among those who attended, his colleagues are either glad we did but their daily work took them back or they want to learn more and ask when the next round will take place.
It is also to raise the reaction of conservatives, according to Claire, consider it as their role to disseminate knowledge about the collections in their care and that Wikipedia belonged to this field. It seems that once a priori exceeded, the Conservatives on relatively good speech because of the collaborative encyclopedia, finally, its operation is very academic: explanations, research sources, a community of peers and many contributors scientists-including Rémi Mathis, president of Wikimedia France, is curator in the Department of Prints at the French National Library).
However, and if this is quite logical because there are only two three-hour sessions, colleagues still have great difficulty in understanding these numerical notions because they seem disconnected them from their day-the results are not immediately visible and therefore the need to conceptualize a new world and a high reactivity because their secondary still seems too far away from their work pattern.
However, specific concepts are still past and the important work of dramatization, the “taboo” Wikipedia has been done-especially with regard to the collaboration and the sense that an amateur resume preservative (Example a Wikipedian online wrote on his conservative record that he wrote during the workshop was telling him what was missing and he had to go to the person who felt himself attacked in his legitimacy to a person of ‘experienced that helps another novice).
What do you advise to other institutions wishing to transfer this experience?
First understand that everything is only partially transferable because of the peculiarities and identities of each place. But such workshops has already been done in other structures such as the City of architecture or in another measure, Sèvres, Cité de la Ceramique. Note that these were made according to the constraints, needs, priorities and time each of these facilities available. Then Claire advises meet interlocutors Wikimedia because they are used to working with the structures and the public and help you define what can be done and how.
It should also take its troubles patiently. Inherent in the work of the project manager, you should know all the spare parts, internal needs, priorities, time … and also accept that sometimes the project (or project components) are not interested. However, Claire has been observed that if the arguments related to human resources are not very visible, they have a huge weight in the decision-making and has also realized that these were real adjuvants.
Finally, another element that also carries challenges but even more difficult is the question of the image and rights. Very delicate, it is nonetheless essential and highly carrier with public and within the institution. This can not be done for any museum structures at least as educational activities and on neutral and intermediate terrain. But it is crucial for the future of art institutions in France and a future “playground” for Claire.
– Musée de Cluny – musée national du Moyen-Âge website
– Social networks:
– About the workshops:
- Page consacrée au projet sur Wikipédia (in French)
- Photos of the Wikipedia workshops
- Photos on FlickR
- Interview de Claire Séguret par Diane Drubay pour Buzzeum (in French)
– Other articles (in French):
- Article traduit par Claire Séguret sur Carpewebem de l’article Ask a curator : qu’est-ce que c’est ?
- Au Musée de Cluny, le numérique fait revivre le bâtiment, par Gayané Adourian, Knowtex
[translation by Google translate]