Hello again readers! Thanks for your patience during our break. We’re back now, and excited to keep contributing to the EMP movement and discussion.
In the last two months (mostly leading up to and away from the AAM conference), we’ve gained multiple followers and had a few thousand people visit the site. It’s been encouraging to say the least, but it’s also served as a reminder that sometimes it’s good to reiterate who we are and what we’re trying to do. Some might call it transparency, neh?
So, today we’re going to do an overview of what makes the EMP blog go round, what we’re trying to accomplish, and how we fit into the bigger EMP picture. Some of these things are evolving as we’re still in our infancy as a blog (<1 year), but the core purpose and people continue to be driving forces of our work here.
This is a critical question in any situation where people are speaking with any hint of “authority.” We want to be very open about who we are and what “qualifies” us to be writing this blog.
A good place to start would probably be with who’s typing right now. I’m Caitlin Lill, editor-in-chief here at the EMP Blog. If a post doesn’t have an introductory paragraph at the beginning it’s written by me. I’ve been involved with the Emerging Museum Professionals movement through AAM since August 2010, when I helped to found the Bay Area Emerging Museum Professionals group and served as their president for a year. I have an undergraduate degree in ecology and classics from Beloit College and an MA in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. I currently work as the Associate Director of the Orpheum Children’s Science Museum, but have also worked in zoos, historical societies, and forest preserves. That’s my background in a very small nutshell.
The majority of other posts have been written by leaders of EMP groups across the country. Kristen in Rhode Island, Jillian in Denver, Leslie in Boston, and others. I also actively recruit EMPs to contribute posts, on a variety of topics that are relevant to the movement. I believe in having a wide variety of voices represented here, and frankly think it would get pretty static if you just heard from me all the time. All of our authors have been EMPs so far, and most of them are deeply involved with the EMP movement nationally. They speak to their personal experiences, stories they’ve heard from other EMPs, and the knowledge they have of museum practices.
In case it wasn’t clear, we are directly affiliated with the American Association of Museums. Our content is not reviewed by them before posting, but they are involved in information that goes out about the regional groups and national events.
In this case, the “why” refers to why blogging was chosen as an effective means of outreach. We’d tried to make a blog in 2010, but didn’t have a lot of drive behind it. I (Caitlin) took over management of the blog after my move to Illinois. Not wanting to give up my involvement with EMP after just a year, I thought it would be useful to provide a place for others in a more isolated situation to come together as a community. The EMP Facebook and LinkedIn pages are great for quick bits of information, but sometimes a more substantial piece of information is warranted. We hope to be a place you can come when you’re looking for an answer to a question or to request that a topic be looked at in depth.
As I wrote many months ago for the “About” section, the EMP blog is written by EMPs, for EMPs. The theme for this blog is developing shared knowledge within the EMP community, with the goal of continuing to strengthen the museum field by focusing on the newest generation of professionals. So far we’ve done professional profiles of EMPs, highlighted some of the research EMPs are contributing to the field, and discussed conference attendance. We also recently began discussing the meaning behind the EMP label and movement. Upcoming topics will likely include more detailed looks at career paths and possible graduate school profiles.
We try to have a post up every Tuesday and Friday, though busy schedules sometimes cause us to skip a day or two.
Got any questions about the inner workings of the EMP blog? Ask away!