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Friday, 12 April 2013

Making Museum Geeks Mad #museumhates

Well here at The Ministry we feel overwhelmed  When we came up with the idea of a #museumhates week we were slightly concerned that no one would even notice. In reality it was just the push museum geeks needed to vent and things got a bit...heated. It's clear that whilst you like us, you love Museums there are some things that need to change. The idea behind #museumhates was never to be mean or overly negative but to encourage a passionate response- and that is what we got! Pay attention museums your people have spoken!

We wanted to end the week with a blog dedicated to those who contributed and list our favourites, only problem is there were so many replies that we didn't know what to do with them. So we've collated them all into a Storify account ( and picked out a few that need to be noticed!

1. Social Media Engagement

  1. @CuriosityTweet When a museum's social media presence is used exclusively for promotion (and not engagement). #museumhates
NOTICE US! We want to interact with you and twitter is one of the best ways of doing so. I recently saw how the National Portrait Gallery tweeted an apology to their disgruntled visitor and it made my heart soar. Ok it maybe wasn't the best example of engagement but it was a hell of alot better than the constant stream of exhibition advertisement seen from alot of Nationals.

2. Inappropriate use of the word Curator.

  1. #museumhates Apparently anyone who organises ANYTHING these days is a curator. I might start claiming I'm an author because I write stuff.

  • RussellDornan
       RE the #museumhates dislike of inappropriate    use of the word curator: "Brief History of Word *Curator*"… via @Phaidon

  • Not everyone is a curator, we can explain this better with Ellie Miles (@ellie_miles) Blog 

    3. Events

    1. @CuriosityTweet When museums host fascinating public events - on weekday afternoons! Are 9-5 working people never meant to go?#museumhates

    I agree with this tweet to an extent, there are a lot of freebie lectures and talks going down within the hours of 9-5pm, maybe this is to deter children (check #museumhate no.4) But recently there has been a surge of after work lectures, events and 'lates' aimed at adult only audiences, learning with a glass of wine in a less structured environment is we at The Ministry spent most of our time

    Check out our events page, we aim to list mostly out of work hour events.

    4. Children

    1. #museumhates Parents who let their kids scream and run riot. If the kids aren't interested then don't subject everyone else to their boredom
    1. #museumhates museum websites that say they're open on "local school holidays". I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THAT MEANS.@CuriosityTweet

    1. #museumhates people who sit their kids objects in the Egyptian sculpture gallery for at photo, at the British Museum. Respect the objects!

    1. @CuriosityTweet I've seen a teen literally CLIMB on top of an exhibit and pretend to ride it. While his mum took pictures.#museumhates

    1. #museumhates children's sticky fingers on glass cases. Spreading their disease.
    Ah these little mites were definitely a favourite of the discussions we have had this week. There sticky fingerprints, parents who use museums as a creche, and museums that fit themselves around school holidays are all making you guys really mad aren't they?

    5. Wanting to work, volunteer or intern.

    1. .@CuriosityTweet me forgot one. #museumhates you have to be wealthy to work for them. Many unpaid internships and volunteering
      1. #museumhates the long process and application forms required just to volunteer!
    So many of you commented on attempting to get into Museums but are struggling because  unpaid internships and volunteer position are getting harder and harder to get with long drawn out application forms to work for FREE! This is a point we massively agree with here at The Ministry, we ourselves have struggled to make ends meet whilst interning and volunteering. It also makes us mad that volunteers are then exploited into positions that should be for full time staff, it you are currently volunteering or interning:
    • make sure you are aware of the employers legal duties - working long hours, getting breaks etc.
    • You are not doing work that will put you in any danger - Health and Safety in the Workplace Act
    • You are at very least (!!) getting reimbursed for transport and a cup of tea!

    V&A Create a Voice ( team are asking the Director of the V&A Martin Roth next week 'Can museums have a role in decreasing unemployment?' we're looking forward to hearing what he says.

    Here are some of the tweets we really enjoyed reading

    1. If u can tear yourself away from Thatcher, have a look at the#museumhates hashtag, fellow museum fans.

    1. I think @CuriosityTweet you have quite a job on your hands selecting the best #museumhates

  • MuseumThings
    The tweets marked with #museumhates reveal some very important insights, thx! In a lot of cases, museum experience could easily be improved!

    1. @CuriosityTweet I think the Ministry has come up w/ the best hashtag ever. Can v. much relate to the badge issue you mentioned on the blog!

  • #museumhates WE DO NOT "Hide things away in stores" (we just can't always find them!)

    1. alli_burnie
      The #museumhates tag is addictive. People really get on a roll. Once you start, out it all comes.
    2. #museumhates perfectly illustrates the Jekyll and Hyde life of a museum geek "Yay new audiences, now get out of my way new audience member"
    3. Fascinating reading: what really grinds the gears of museum staff and visitors around the world, on the #museumhates hashtag
    4. Lots of insightful comments on the #museumhates thread. *studiously making notes*
    1. Museum people are talking about their #museumhates. Great to see passion and constructive ideas flowing so freely! @CuriosityTweet

    There were too many hilarious and insightful tweets for us to include here, but we just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who contributed! As quite a few of you noted, social media is such a fantastic tool to have your voice heard, Thanks for listening, Horniman Museum, Coventry Transport Museum and Firepower Museum ! 

    Now  wouldn't it be nice if all the Museums actually listened?

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