Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another year, another OMA conference in the books.

Well, here it is another snowy spring night in Northeast Ohio and once again I find myself looking back fondly upon this year's Ohio Museums Conference. It was a great time, from the Sunday afternoon board meeting, where instead of being ushered out the door upon completing my 6-year term I agreed to stay on for two more (as Treasurer no less), to the end of the day yesterday when I presented a "Museum Career Toolkit for Emerging Professionals" with my friend Sarah Stilgenbauer from Opera Cleveland. Thanks again to Terri and Johnna, the OMA staff members who work so tirelessly to make it an annual success. Despite the rampant economic downturn, we still had around 100 participants and everyone I talked to seemed pleased at the chance to get in some quality professional development for just a few bucks.

I also want to thank all of you who participated in the online survey about museum careers. The data we collected via SurveyMonkey was a great framework for informing and encouraging young people who hope to enter our field. Along with the data, Sarah and I shared some information about places where students and other museum job-seekers might find employment opportunities. Besides a bevy of job posting websites, which I'll list later, we mentioned a job fair taking place in Cleveland tomorrow. Idealist.org is hosting a non-profit job fair on CWRU's campus at the Thwing Center from 11:00-3:00. You are supposed to pre-register, however the event is free and I am fairly certain that most who show up will be welcome. So, if you find yourself looking for a new position in the nonprofit field, click here to check out the entire list of over 40 organizations represented at the Cleveland job fair tomorrow.

As promised, here are the museum job sites we shared with the students in our session yesterday:
Unfortunately, I know that too many of my colleagues are suddenly finding it necessary to look for new positions. Hopefully, this short list of job posting sites will be a starting place for any of you who need somewhere else to go to find additional vacancies. My best wishes to you all.

As a somewhat sad aside, I am currently researching an upcoming article on how the current economic climate is affecting museums in our region. If any of you have specific, or even general information you would be willing to share with me on this subject as it relates to your situation, your museum, or that of someone you know, please let me know. I would like to get a clearer idea of just how pervasive the recent spate of staff and budget cuts has actually been. Thanks for your interest and assistance.

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