Welcome to the new National Galleries of Scotland website

We’re always delighted to host updates from the museum technology community. This guest post is by Ashley Beamer, Technical Project Manager/Product Owner, and Christopher Ganley, Content and Design Manager, at the National Galleries of Scotland.

Our transformation of the new National Galleries of Scotland website (www.nationalgalleries.org) began in early 2016 in response to the Digital Engagement Strategy which focuses on improved digital access to our collection and services. The previous website had limitations, with only 6% of our collections online, and a complete overhaul was required so our main digital platform was fit for our audiences.

Although this new website has been in development for over a year we’ve released new functionality often, as part of our user story based Agile approach.

New Content Management System (CMS) and Underlying Architecture

We were keen for our new systems architecture to be based on free open source technologies wherever possible giving us the flexibility to keep the technology up to date and ensuring a high degree of portability.

We wanted an architecture that included middleware to pull together the images from our digital asset management system and records from our collection management system, and feed this data through to the new CMS. We required a fast search interface that could handle the queries on our 92,000+ records as well as tailored faceted filtering queries as selected by the user.

We wanted a simple-to-use administrative interface with a high degree of frontend flexibility to allow us to create beautifully designed custom pages.

In the end we built the system using a Drupal install for our middleware, a separate Drupal install for the CMS, both on the Acquia platform, as well as Drupal Commerce, CiviCRM, Amazon S3 cloud storage for our dissemination images, and Apache Solr search.

New and Improved Design

We were very interested in focusing on colours in the new website and wanted to use them carefully while at the same time allowing the artwork to be in the forefront. The new design uses colours to complement the artwork pages by programatically identifying them from the images as they are processed. Colour extraction methods are also used in other areas of the site including on Feature pages, exhibitions and events.

For the new development we took a user and data driven approach to improve the interface, functionality and accessibility, and to provide an easy-to-use interface for the public. Focusing on user journeys and experience we considered analytics gathered from our old website as well as usage on any new developments.

We took a mobile first responsive design approach, reflecting the changing behaviour of users, to ensure that the website is performant and responsive on handheld devices.

Agile Development

Using an Agile method of software development, namely Scrum and Kanban, we ensured code releases that took place quickly and often. This methodology meant that we could respond quickly to newly gathered requirements and remain focused on high priority tasks.

We took requirements, prioritised them, and created user stories and acceptance criteria to discuss with the UX/design team and developers. We developed using two week sprints with sprint planning and refinement, daily standups, and retrospectives.

Starting in July 2016 we have had a series of both major and minor launches to include the following pieces of functionality:

The Collections (July 2016 launch)

Our main focus initially was to get the full national art collection published online to be enjoyed by the public.

A complimentary sister project at the Galleries focuses on the digitisation of our artworks. With this digitisation project underway in 2015 we were able to plan for the inclusion of the art collection online as well as a significant number of digital images. As artworks are photographed they are ingested into the digital asset management system where they can go through the rights clearance process and be flagged to go online.

Two years ago, before the digitisation project started, we had circa 6,000 artwork records from our collection online, where each record included an image. When we launched the new collections website in July we were able to publish over 92,000 records, exposing our permanent collection and long term loans. By that point in the digitisation schedule we were able to include images for 30,000 records. With the continuation of the project, this number continues to climb daily and currently we have over 50,000 images online.

The collections part of the website allows the user to free text search or search by tags such as artist, artwork, subject. We also included a browse facility to let users select a series of filters to hone in on particular artworks of interest.

On an individual artwork page you can access deeper contextual information like audio and video content, and explore different avenues through related information. Artwork images can be shared, downloaded, and favourited. Due to our high resolution imagery, users can also use a zoom tool to get a close up view of the images.

The July 2016 launch also included the option for users to order artworks as prints. This meant the development of a print selection tool which lets a customer select the artwork they want, the size, the print paper, and frame colour. It also meant the development of a simple to use basketing system and checkout process.

Features (October 2016 launch)

Next came Features. Features are longer form unique quality articles that focus on artworks, artists, projects, and themes. They include text, images and other media, providing a significant learning resource about the collection. The ‘story-telling’ nature of Features, with relationships to other types of content, attempts to create intuitive and enjoyable user journeys.

We developed Features to be have an element of flexibility when being administered by creating ‘lanes’ of content, allowing staff to customise pages for publication, incorporating different content types.

Online Shop (November 2016 launch)

Approaching the end of 2016 we decided to develop and release the online shop. With the checkout process already in place for prints purchase, the new gift shop simply slotted into the functionality as a new ‘product type’.

With the online shop fully integrated, we were able to move away from a separate shop microsite and provide an interface where the user can purchase multiple products types from different parts of the site. The new unified basketing system was an important building block to have in place for the upcoming development which included ticketing, membership, and donation purchasing.

Visit (December 2016 launch)

The new visit section is aimed at members of the public who want to physically visit one of the galleries. Our goal was to create a clean and simple interface where all relevant information could be found quickly and easily from any device.

Exhibitions and Events (March 2017 launch)

The inclusion of the exhibitions and events was one of the final pieces of the redevelopment.

We wanted to bring together all of the information and related content about a particular exhibition onto a single beautifully custom designed page.

Our exhibitions listing page aims to differentiate between short term temporary exhibitions and longer term permanent collection displays.

For paid temporary exhibitions we now offer online e-ticketing so members of the public can purchase tickets ahead of time and better plan their National Galleries of Scotland visit.

Events are now simple to navigate and allow the user to filter by audience, type of event, and gallery location, as well as date range. Event pages offer online booking for free stock controlled events as well as e-ticket purchasing for paid events.

Donations, Memberships (March 2017 launch)

Our new Support section of the website offers information on how to become more involved with the Galleries. This includes an online donation facility as well as a range of ‘Our Friends’ membership packages including student, solo, duo, and philanthropic memberships.

What’s next?

With a long list of further developments that we’d like to undertake in the coming year, we have three main priorities: introduce artist pages to provide a fantastic learning resource (due to launch in September/October 2017), undertake further usability testing to continually make improvements, and work to improve and standardise our data with a view to making collection information more open and accessible through our digital channels.

We are very excited about the new website and with the architecture now in place we are able to enter into a new phase of digital engagement at the Galleries.

Special thanks to the talented team at Cello Signal, Edinburgh (https://cellosignal.com), whose hard work helped to get us where we are now.

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Posted in Guest posts on cultural heritage technologies

WE NEED YOU! Volunteer Positions for Museums+Tech 2017

MCG’s Museums+Tech 2017 with the theme of ‘Tech in a divided world’ is shaping up to be a great event. We are confident that attendees at this year’s event in the Imperial War Museum will come away both inspired and challenged by the day. We also want to make sure the messages emerging from our 2017 ‘Museums+Tech’ conference are not limited to those in attendance but shared widely in the sector. This reflects our constant ambition to reach and engage new audiences. To help us achieve this we have a small number of volunteer positions available.

In return for your assistance, you will be provided with free entry to Museums+Tech 2017 and an additional £100 to cover travel and other expenses – plus it looks great on your CV!

 

Through these volunteer positions we hope to specifically support individuals who may otherwise be unable to attend. In particular, we would greatly welcome applications from unwaged/low-waged individuals, those in small museums, early career professionals and students.

Apply by completing the short application form by 15th September: https://goo.gl/forms/DhVSptlmWRpGkJP22

 

We are interested in hearing how you can help us reach new audiences and help everyone learn from our speakers. You can be as creative or as traditional as you like, as we hope to reach as broad an audience as possible. In the past we have had volunteers use social media and blogs, submit reports to specialist publications and share information with local colleagues. In addition, if you can contribute skills such as photography, social media, or anything else you think would be relevant on the day, then please let us know in the application.

We will respond to successful applicants by 22nd September.

If you have any questions about volunteering please email Brian (contact@museumscomputergroup.org.uk).

 

You can view the full programme for Museums+Tech2017 here: https://goo.gl/bqv3pz

For a sense of what to expect, catch up on the events from Museums+Tech2016 on our website: https://goo.gl/7qUHb1 – This includes reports from our previous volunteers, find out how they assisted us in delivering Museums+Tech2016 and their thoughts on the experience!

 

Museums+Tech 2017 is sponsored by

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Posted in Events

MCG community praised for ‘valuable insights’ in Audience Agency newsletter

It made my day to see our fabulous community of email discussion list members mentioned in the Audience Agency’s Katie Moffat’s ‘Digital Snapshot’ newsletter:

The Museums Computer Group has an email discussion group that frequently throws up valuable insights, for example, this discussion about how museums (and other arts orgs) can work with influencers. Related aside: I highly recommend their annual tech conference, there is always a great list of speakers.

Thanks to all our posters for their questions and responses that help so many people in the sector learn from their peers. With over 1700 members and posts dating back to 1998, the MCG discussion list archives are a great place to start if you’ve got a question about technology in museums. Topics discussed in the last six weeks alone include: Bringing collections together, Digital Archives and Archaeology, intranets, eCommerce / Shopify, games in libraries, social media influencers, ticketing and membership systems, support for old web browsers, contactless donation, VR on a budget, maintaining gallery interactives, 3D digitisation, crowdsourcing, Minecraft, manuscript digitisation, and managing a rebrand.

If your question hasn’t already been answered, just subscribe to post and start a new topic!

Speaking of our annual ‘Museums+Tech’ conference – over half the tickets are already sold, so get moving if you don’t want to miss an excellent day at the IWM in November.

Posted in Uncategorized

Meet the Speakers – Museums+Tech 2017

We have an amazing line up of speaker for this year’s conference. Find out more about who will be sharing their projects and learning with us on November 3rd!

Hannah Fox – Silk Mill Project Director, Derby Museums Trust

Hannah is the Project Director for the re-development of Derby Silk Mill; the site of the world’s first factory; as a new Museum of Making. By embedding co-production and human centred design methodologies into a major museum development, citizen curators and makers are at the heart of the £17m project to ‘make’ the Museum of Making. This project features in several national and international publications, including Nina Simon’s latest book “The Art of Relevance”. Hannah is a National Arts Strategies Creative Communities Fellow – a global network of cultural and social entrepreneurs, She also mentors staff and organisations working in cross-sector projects for social impact and is a board member of FIGMENT, a global participatory arts programme.

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May Abdalla and Amy Rose – Co Directors, Anagram; Susie Thornbury – Assistant Director, Imperial War Museum

Susie Thornberry is Assistant Director at the Imperial War Museum. May Abdalla and Amy Rose are co-directors of Anagram, an award-winning creative collective making immersive experiences that bring together innovative digital interaction and stories told from real life.

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Kevin Bacon – Digital Manager, Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton and Hove

Kevin Bacon is Digital Manager at Brighton & Hove’s Royal Pavilion & Museums, where he has worked since 2003. Having previously worked in both front of house and as a curator, he became RPM’s first digital lead in 2011.

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Lotte Belice Baltussen – Project Manager, Digital Strategy, Anne Frank House

Lotte Baltussen is Project Manager Digital Strategy at the Anne Frank House, where she is responsible for developing and implementing the plans for renewing the online landscape. She has managed a wide variety of digital projects in the heritage sector, both as a freelancers and at Research & Development department at the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision.

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Rob Cawston – Head of Digital Media, National Museums Scotland

Rob is Head of Digital Media at National Museums Scotland overseeing strategy and planning, alongside a broad range of online and in-gallery digital experiences. He has over 15 years’ experience leading digital design, product management and storytelling in the arts and culture sector. Previous roles have included openDemocracy, BAFTA, and the Royal Institution.

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Rafie Cecilia – PhD Candidate, UCL

Rafie is a second year PhD candidate at UCL. Her research examines the impact of technology on the experience of blind and partially sighted visitors in museums. Additionally, Rafie has six years of experience working and volunteering in museums and galleries. She is an advocate of inclusion, accessibility, empowerment, equity, and equality.

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Karen Drost – Specialist Interactive Presentations / Curator of Exhibition, Netherlands Institute of Sound and Vision

As an Interactive Museum Presentations Expert, Karen is responsible for concept development and has the creative lead in interactive presentations aimed at the Sound and Vision audience. Starting in 2006, Karen has worked on large exhibitions like Van Kooten en De Bie, Your Serious Radio and Let’s YouTube. With a background in museums as well as advertising, Karen always looks for a combination of appealing presentations and cutting edge technologies.

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Susan Griffiths – Community Engagement Officer, Oxford University Museums

Susan Griffiths works as the Community Engagement Officer for the Oxford University Museums Partnership, including the Ashmolean, Pitt Rivers Museum, Museum of the History of Science and Museum and Natural History. Her role involves engaging with a wide variety of audiences who have difficulties physically accessing the museums or who are not currently museum visitors. This is achieved through outreach activities and projects within the museums, which involve exploring the use of appropriate technology for different audiences.

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Sarah Huws – Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales

Sara is Digital Content Officer at the Digital Media Department at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. Her job involves training and facilitating a network of around 70 digital producers, running pilot projects and being on the internet. She is also the co-founder of East End Women’s Museum in London

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Abira Hussein – Transforming Archive Trainee, London Metropolitan Archives

Abira Hussein is a Transforming Archive trainee, led by the National Archive in collaboration with the London Metropolitan Archives.She also currently undertaking a research residency with the British Library exploring their digitised collections, and is currently completing an MRes in Clinical Research at Imperial College, and working on Healing Through Archives, a Somali digital archive project.

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Frances Jeens – Head of Learning, Jewish Museum, London

Frances is Head of Learning at the Jewish Museum and is responsible for all Learning programming across the organisation. Frances has a strong interest in the use of technology across the sector. Frances has an MA in Museum Studies from UCL and has previously worked at Alderney Museum, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and The Royal Collection.

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Alison John – Yello Brick

Alison John is producer at yello brick, a creative agency that creates immersive experiences through digital platforms and live events. In the past yello brick has made an epic urban adventure game in the streets of Cardiff, a site specific storytelling app for cycle routes in Wales and an online interactive event for new opera audiences. Alison is also co-producer of playARK Festival, an annual event in Cardiff that explores story, games and playful experiences in theory and practice (www.playARK.co.uk) and is Director of ARK LAB, a company that creates projects for social good.

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Jenny Kidd – Cardiff University

Dr. Jenny Kidd lectures and researches across the fields of digital media and the creative industries in the School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies at Cardiff University. She is Co-Director of the School’s Digital Media and Society research group. Jenny is the author of Representation (Routledge, 2015), Museums in the New Mediascape (Routledge, 2014), and co-editor of Challenging History in the Museum (Routledge, 2014) and Performing Heritage (MUP, 2011). She works closely with creative industry partners, most recently, with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Imperial War Museums and Historic Royal Palaces.

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Bridget McKenzie – Director, Flow Associates

Bridget McKenzie is founding director of Flow Associates, helping cultural organisations thrive, supporting them and their audiences to learn, connect, create and flourish. She has carried out a number of research and policy projects about digital change and cultural learning, with a primary concern for young people facing a challenging future.

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Maurice Mersinger – Founder/Music Composer/Concept, king klang klong

Maurice Mersinger is one of the founders of kling klang klong, a studio for sound, music and interaction. The studio pursues a research on sensor interfaces, motion-to-sound software, generative composition and concepts of interaction between sound and audiences. Maurice has studied cultural science and worked in the fields of theater, exhibition and music as artist and creative director ever since. He will be sharing some insights on the work kling klang klong has developed in acoustic scenography for museums and other closed and open environments

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Jo Morrison – Programme Director: Digital Innovation, Calvium

Dr. Jo Morrison works at the intersection of design, research and business. Jo has a wealth of experience of directing digital projects for the education and cultural sectors – having been founding Creative Director of Futurelab and Digital Projects Director at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Focussing on digital innovation and multidisciplinary collaboration, she creates and delivers successful strategies and projects to maximise impact, accelerate growth and create meaningful visitor experiences. Cultural partners have included the V&A, the National Space Centre and the BBC.

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Ross Parry – Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital), University of Leicester

Dr Ross Parry is Associate Professor (Museum Studies) and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital) at the University of Leicester, UK. He is also one of the founding Trustees of the Jodi Mattes Trust (for accessible digital culture). Currently, Ross is leading a major £0.6mn national project (2017-2020), funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and working with a network of 17 institutional partners, to develop a digital literacy framework for the UK museum sector.

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Alex Reynolds – Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Southampton Solent University

Alexandra Reynolds is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Creative and Digital Industries Hub at Southampton Solent University. Her research explores critical and meaningful uses of digital media in museums and wider cultural organisations, with emphasis on collaboration and co-creation.

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John Sear – Game Designer, Museum Games

John Sear is a real-world game designer and creative technologist who freelances through his company ‘Museum Games’. John is a veteran game designer of 20+ years working in the game industry who now develops unique and magical experiences for public spaces. Originally starting out building games for console platforms, moving through the mobile space he now develops games for cinemas, car-parks and other outdoor and indoor spaces. This had led him to work much closer with the GLAM (galleries, libraries archives & museums) sector. In addition to the bespoke high-end experiences for larger venues he also works with much smaller cultural institutes training them in the skills needed to develop their own DIY interactives.

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Adam Sibbald – Learning Producer, Historic Royal Palaces

Adam currently works on large-scale immersive and interactive events at the Tower and is currently developing several new Podcast strands for Historic Royal Palaces. He has a background in Theatre as producer and director and has keen interests in digital technologies, gaming, comic books and many other geeky subjects.

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Lucy Yates – Programme Manager, Travellers’ Tails, National Maritime Museum

Lucy Yates has worked in the fields of heritage and education for over a decade. She is currently the Programme Manager for Travellers’ Tails, an HLF- funded project around the National Maritime Museum’s acquisition of two George Stubbs paintings of a kangaroo and dingo. Her most recent project has been running the Travellers’ Tails pop-up museum in Lewisham Shopping Centre.

 

 

Museums+Tech 2017 is sponsored by

 

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Posted in Uncategorized

Update to MCG discussion list policy on unpaid internships following member survey

There was some debate about whether unpaid internships that could be considered ‘unpaid jobs’ should be posted on the MCG’s discussion list back in May 2017. As a result, we ran a poll from May 28 to mid-June. While the language of the poll was a bit more strict than we tend to be, asking whether ‘Advertising for unpaid internships on the MCG mailing list should be’ permitted or forbidden, the results were clear.

Nick Clarey, who helped with the behind the scenes work along with Jessica Suess and Danny Birchall, kindly summarised the results:

There were:

  • 115 responses
  • 80.9% voted not to allow advertising for unpaid internships
  • 15.7% voted to allow advertising for unpaid internships
  • 3.5% voted “no opinion”

Nick also summarised the 34 comments:

  • Members were concerned that there was uncertainty about how terms were defined – what is an internship, what is a volunteer and how would a policy distinguish between them?
  • Members are strongly against professional work masquerading as internships
  • Some members (especially from smaller museums) are opposed to language in a policy which might suggest that asking for volunteers is somehow unethical
  • Members appear broadly of the mind that short-term unpaid internships (of the sort a student might do over a summer for example) are acceptable under clear guidelines

Accordingly, we have changed our discussion list policy following the vote. As a result of your votes and comments, the relevant line has changed from:

‘Job, paid internship and volunteer post advertisements are permitted.’

To:

‘Job, paid internship and volunteer post advertisements are permitted. We believe that internships and volunteer roles can benefit the sector and individuals, but in order to support valuable diversity in the museum sector, internships offered should meet the Museums Association guidelines for internships. You may also wish to check your position description against UCL’s Internships, Work Experience and Volunteering Policy.’

We have used the MA’s guidelines as they are widely accepted, provide the definitions requested in comments, and will already have been through many rounds of discussion. As with any posts to the discussion list, we don’t moderate or ask to approve them in advance, but people can email us if they’re not sure if a post meets the guidelines.

(While I was at it, I also added the following sentence to the item about non-MCG conferences and events: ‘If your conference title contains an acronym, please spell it out so that people new to it have a sense of the topic’.)

If you ever need a refresher, the entire policy is at http://museumscomputergroup.org.uk/email-list/. Posts to the MCG’s discussion list reach 1700 subscribers, so it’s worth getting it right!

Mia Ridge, posting as Chair of the Museums Computer Group

 

Vote results: unpaid internships advertised on the MCG discussion list

The 34 anonymous comments made by voters were:

  • Unpaid internships favour those who can afford to take them. They are a detriment to the industry and MCG can help by not allowing their promotion over the service.
  • Not only should it be forbidden to advertise them, internships that are not about training people to understand what a job is about should be illegal. This post asked for someone to “lead” on building a digital archive. That is clearly not an internship position.
  • But only subject to stringent requirements, i.e. there’s a strong learning element to the post, it does not require prior knowledge or experience, and it’s comparatively short term; or it’s an offer to take placements which are part of formal courses. The NT post which provoked this discussion is beyond the pale as far as these criteria go; I’m absolutely behind the comments on the list about the ways internships limit access; but they can still be valuable opportunities if used positively and sensitively.
  • Unpaid “internships” (which are essentially unpaid jobs) undermine everyone working in the sector, and the principles of accessibility and diversity which museums and heritage organisations espouse.
  • Only allowed if part of a planned course (university or college) or scheme eg LUMEN scheme at Leicester University
  • http://www.keepvolunteeringvoluntary.net/
  • Thoroughly against them in the space – appreciate that in some contexts it can be an affordability issue but I think they naturally favour those that can afford it, and therefore acts to reduce diversity.
  • I think this is a really difficult one, because I know the value of volunteers and of short internship roles when trying to enter the sector, but the post in question clearly required someone with expertise already and wasn’t suitable for a free volunteer category.
  • The single instance being discussed is clearly an extreme case, requiring a high degree of knowledge and imposing significant responsibilities. Not all internships will make such demands and offer so little in return. I am unhappy that a blanket ban should be imposed, based on this one case.
  • Absolutely, and I commend you for pursuing this. Other jiscmail groups banned them some time ago (e.g ARCHIVES_NRA)
  • As has been mentioned by others, the use of unpaid internships undermines wages and serves to exclude those who can’t afford to work for free.
  • Thanks for cracking down in this. Would love to see concerted efforts across cultural/arts sectors
  • Unpaid internships are exploitative and do not promote equal opportunities. They have no place in the cultural heritage sector / the world. Thanks for opening this up for discussion / a vote!
  • Having worked for free for almost two years I can confirm that it is a privilege to be able to afford to do so. However, without it I would not get the skills and experience I needed to get a paid role. But if people are allowed to do this then those doing this will willingly exploit this opportunity and claim that they are providing skills and experience while in fact they are also getting free labour when those who deserve the job are not getting it
  • While agreeing that the particular internship was phrased rather more as an employment opportunity than a volunteering one, unpaid internships are volunteering by another name. Are we saying MCG members may not be volunteers? MCG is about museums and computing. It is not a trade union or similar ‘representative’ body.
  • Providing they are genuine opportunities for people to develop skills and knowledge, with a view to employment later.
  • Voting yes/no on a blanket ban is a bit Brexit referendum, is it not? A six month, part-time, unpaid ‘opportunity’ is clearly ridiculous, but this sector would grind to a halt without the work of volunteers, so it seems to me that there’s a spectrum of acceptability. However, that’s all irrelevant in this case as I’d actually rather the MCG list didn’t become yet another sodding job board. So although I’m fine with the concept of some unpaid internships, I don’t want any job ads on the MCG list. Therefore, forbidden.
  • I don’t think we (as the MCG subscribers) should encourage the practice of requesting people to work for free. Particularly as the type of work that would be advertised on MCG would be of a technical / skilled nature. If the work is worth doing then it is worth paying for.
  • As no two cases are alike it’s hard to find that cut-off between acceptable and not. And after all, it’s up to those reading it to decide if it’s for them or not, not decide on behalf of others. Slippery slope.
  • I feel there could be some latitude for very small organisations. But not for bigger organisations like the NT.
  • The advert submitted today was a disgusting example of expecting free labour to do what someone should be paid for. Shame on the National Trust for abusing its position in this way, and taking advantage of people simply hoping for a chance to gain employment. Sickening behaviour.
  • I do not see any issues in advertising unpaid internships. In my opinion these are great opportunities for a range of people, such as retired folks, young people looking for experience, someone looking to change careers, etc… As long as the minimum requirements for entry level work STILL ask for some sort of experience – unpaid internships have a place in communities like this one.
  • Strongly think it creates a more divided society – a Conservative mp actually tried to ban it but was filibustered by the repellant Philip Davies. As a sector we should be doing much better than this. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/plans-to-ban-unpaid-internship-blocked-in-commons-after-government-and-tory-backbenchers-speak-for-a7398801.html
  • It should be clearly stated that they are unpaid, and the reader can decide what to do. Whether organisations should be using unpaid positions is a completely separate question.
  • I’ve said forbidden but I think it depends really – if people are advertising <6 week placements I think that’s ok, but longer than that is less of a placement and more of a missed opportunity for someone else’s work.
  • Permitted where the internship adheres to pre-determined guidelines on what constitutes an ethical internship (eg length of time, expenses paid etc) and is not a direct replacement of a paid position
  • MCG should have clear statement on website, plus a practical guide to expected remuneration for roles requiring skill levels, i.e. banding.
  • How can you define the boundaries between work experience – internships – volunteering?
  • Unpaid internships are taking advantage of people who want to get experience to get paid formal work within the wider sector.
  • It should be advertised only and via social media *as well*.
  • Only unpaid internships that follow the MA guidelines should be permitted
  • Good lord, why is this an MCG matter? Just get rid of job-related messages all together. It’s bad enough that people can post paid positions here. I can learn something from even the most esoteric discussion, but any job posting must be of interest to such a tiny subset of the list that each one is surely a waste of all our time.
  • Although I agree that the ‘internship’ that prompted this discussion is inappropriate and definitely warranting of paid work, I do not feel that a blanket ban would be helpful. There are unpaid internships/ work experience that offer real benefits to the intern (usually of much shorter duration, and offering valuable training opportunities).
  • Only if max 1 or 2 months and for max 1 or 2 days a week
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