Object Stories: Portland Art Museum

Museums and libraries continue to explore new methods of engaging patrons. The Portland Art Museum’s Object Stories project is a fine example.

“The Portland Art Museum offers a unique opportunity to share your story about an object that is meaningful to you. Do you have something you would never give up? Like a favorite childhood toy, a military medal, or a memento? Something that lives on your wall, your mantle, or buried in a corner of your dresser? Something that evokes a time or person in your life, a place you miss, or something you hope for?”

The museum has set up an easy to use interactive booth for recording the stories. Simply bring your object of choice, be prepared to talk about it, and sign a form granting the museum the rights to use your story online, in the museum exhibit and to archive it.

Check out this fascinating collection here. I bet you can’t watch just one. Evocative of StoryCorps, this project is sheer genius.



The Popular Library

Like many librarians, I like to visit exotic libraries when I am travelling to different cities. I am in Portland, Oregon for Memorial Day weekend and happy to report that the Central location of the Multnomah County Library is right around the corner from my hotel.

This library is a stately old structure, well kept, and fittingly restored. The layout incorporates modern elements like the ubiquitous computer terminals in an unobtrusive fashion.

The flow of the library is brilliant. My favorite part was the room to the left of the entrance lobby called the Popular Library. This room housed the reference desk, fiction, myteries, large print, sci fi, DVD’s and holds. Everything a patron would want is all in one lovely and intuitively named spot.

The best part was that the library was hopping on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Interestingly enough, so was Powell’s Books. I guess books and libraries are not dead yet…



5 Things Thursday: Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Here is a list of five things, four of which have nothing to do with Seth Godin’s ideas on the future of libraries:

  1. Want to read a fantastic article on institutional repositories and digital preservation?
  2. Should robots be lending library books at BART stations in the Bay Area?
  3. Do you need a mentor in book form? Read this.
  4. Would a wheelbarrow full of cash stop non-librarians from commenting on libraries?
  5. Does it seem odd that the Internet Archive is launching a physical archive?