Friday, 8 August 2014

#museumcats

Meanwhile, on the internet:

@SILibraries

 ‏@MediaSpaceLDN
The #museumcats hashtag blew up on Twitter last week. The premise was simple - the internet likes pictures of cats, so museums from all over the world posted cat pictures relating somehow to their collections. There were cat-shaped brooches and teapots, paintings of cats, Egyptian statues, old photos of cats who lived near the museum itself - you name it, the good people of the internet's museum community posted it.

Stuff like this and Museum Dance Off make me really happy to be involved in the GLAM sector. Particularly for institutions with an historical bent, it can be difficult to master social media as a tool to meet a potential audience. Archives and museums in particular tend to come across as stuffy and elitist to those on the outside - even when the exhibitions inside tell a very different story, it can be difficult to get past the 'threshold anxiety' of someone who perceives museums as unwelcoming. I wish I knew how many people were reminded of their local museum once they'd seem all of these cats. A few cat pics don't seem like much in themselves, but it all contributes towards people seeing museums as a bit more human.

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