I have been thinking about creating a blog for some time, and Sydney’s less than desirable weather of late has given me the time to finally sit down and do this. For inspiration I’ve been trawling through related sites and blogs that vary in their levels of personal or professional focus.
For example, there is my workplace Recordkeeping Innovation’s blog which is definitely industry focussed and requires an understanding of recordkeeping before diving in.
Then there are the various and insightful GLAM blogs that are collated and supported by the Victoria based group, newCardigan. These blogs tend to have a more personal tone, on the writers’ experiences and thoughts of working in the sector.
Perhaps I should take a step back in case any of my friends are reading this and are already feeling affronted by the links and acronyms that I’m throwing around.
GLAM = Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums
For those like myself who view the active management of records and data as important components of the cultural and information professions, we like to add a cheeky ‘R’ on the end. Thus:
GLAMR = Galleries, Libraries, Archives, Museums, and Records
When I think about the professions that my family and friends are in, I can’t think of any that are so active in the blogosphere (cringeworthy wording, my apologies) as the arts, cultural, and heritage sectors. In the past museums, galleries, and archives were the monoliths of the Enlightenment and Industrial Age, a Western tradition which continued well into the twentieth century.
The emphasis on what demonstrated civic power changed as economics came to favour corporate capitalism. This has meant that for the last few decades anything associated with the arts has struggled in terms of funding and buy-in from governments and upper management in organisations, as these areas are rarely associated with monetary profit or gains. There are many more complexities to this than I will go into here, but the result of this is a notion that burns bright for those who feel like they are struggling. And that, my friends, is advocacy.
Here is the Google chart of ‘advocacy’ use over time, proving without a shadow of a doubt that the GLAMR sector is behind the increase in the word’s usage since the 1950s.*
There have been murmurs for a while now that the tide is about to turn and the arts and information professions will be returned to a place of status. But for now, advocacy is key. Demonstrating the worth and value of what the sector has to offer is critical, especially in these fraught times with “fake news” running amok. Fortunately we are already seeing this in some areas as the focus is shifting to the consumer. New insights and technologies are playing a big part in this, and so it is important that there is knowledge sharing not only within the GLAMR community, but with other disciplines as well.
As I see it, getting my thoughts and ideas out there via a blog is the first step I can take to contribute to this discussion.
*Neither factually nor historically accurate. Might need to check the records on this one…