Jim Wilson or Peter Cole comes into the Museum Monday morning. The first thing they do is check the email for any incoming correspondence and check the electronic diary to see if there any appointments scheduled for schools wanting to come for the educational programme.
Recently a request has come from the Otago museum for the Antarctic display to be loaned to them along with some other exhibits that are related. Either Jim or Peter will Loan objects out of the system.
A container of artefacts were delivered to the museum some weeks ago and Peter has had a volunteer entering new data into the information system. He spends about 2 hours going over the newly entered data to ensure that it is entered in the form required. He makes a few adjustments and saves the data permanently.
A phone call takes his attention and he records a school visit in the paper diary. He also makes notes in the diary that another school has pencilled in a visit for the following month via the web site. They mentioned that there was not enough information available on the web site so he must prepare a package of information to post out. He prints off a copy of an information document that is already in the system.
About 2 pm a school group arrives and Peter must show them around and guide them through the exhibits. He spends 5 minutes describing how the children can use the computer in the museum display area to do some limited research.
After the school group leaves Peter queries the database and gathers some information for a researcher who is unable to come to the museum. He then emails this to the client. Peter’s day finishes up with him emailing out information requested and ensuring that the web site is active.
He emails the web site manager to ask that some minor changes be made.
Public Joe public decides he wants to know more about Great Aunt Agatha who came across from England and landed at Port Chalmers early on in the 20th Century. He fires up his trusty old computer and connects to the Port Chalmers museum web site. The web site offers options such as Search Archives, School Bookings, Information Request, About the Museum and opening hours. He clicks on the Search Archives link and is presented with a number of options. The options include searches for shipping records, early people, photographs, cemetery records and early school records.
Joe chooses to search for Aunt Agatha by her surname of Burton. He receives a list of people on the museum database, clicks on the name that he is sure is his Great Aunt and a window with her name and the date of her arrival is presented to him. He notes the name of the ship that she arrived on and does a further search for details of the ship. A message is displayed saying that more information is available but he must come to the museum to do the research.
Joe is not happy about this but his desire to know more will take him out to the museum the following week. Joe then looks at the museum open hours and notices that there is also a link on the web site that allows him to request that the museum send him information for a fee. He seriously considers this option.
School Mary Simpson the Vice Principal of Arrowtown Intermediate has discussed a school visit to the Port Chalmers Museum with teachers. They have decided that they would like to go in October some time. Mary gets on to the web and types in the Museum URL. She clicks on the schools link and is presented with 2 options. One is to make a booking and the other is to request information.
They include booking a school visit, asking for information and contacting the museum. Mary decides that she will make a tentative booking for October 20th. She completes the required information in the booking form, ticks the box that says the booking will be confirmed by phone and clicks on the button to send the information. An email is sent to the museum.
She then downloads an information package as a Word document to present to the Principal for approval.
Researcher Bill Baxter is a historian that has used the museum many times for gathering information for his historical booklets. He has been frustrated many times by having to wade through mountains of paper in his search for facts. Bill can now access limited information from museum via a web site but if he goes to the museum he can have access to the database of information on site.
Bill decides to go out to the museum today to do some research as he is sure that he will still have to look up files. Bill arrives at the museum, walks into the office and is greeted by Peter Cole. Within 10 minutes Bill is sitting at the computer designated for researchers and begins to search the databases. The newly related databases make his job much easier although there is lots of information that is still contained in paper documents.
He is amazed at how related information is displayed and he immediately realises that it is a vast improvement on the old system. Peter has warned him that the museum has a lot of work to do to capture all of the information that is on hand. Although this will mean that he must still come to the museum occasionally it still makes his general research easier.