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Collegial Connections and Delicious Desserts

August 30, 2011

Not too long ago, the Local History Services department was on the road to Washington, Ind., and we stopped for lunch at Stoll?s Lakeview Restaurant. I made my dessert decision by looking at what everyone else chose and asking how they liked their choices.. They even offered to let me taste their desserts before I got mine. Based on their opinions and their experiences with desserts, I chose oatmeal pie. Turns out, it was good decision. My colleagues shared their thoughts with me, and I gave the pie a try.

That?s kind of what it?s like to participate in the Connecting to Collections online community colleagues communicating with each other and sharing information. I?ve participated in several of the online discussions and recommend them to anyone who wants to learn more about collections care and collections-related issues. The list of topics and the recorded discussions cover lots of ground. Recent topics include integrated pest management, cold storage for photographs and care of metal objects. The question and answer discussions give you valuable insight and ideas not only from presenters, but also from other participants.

The online community also provides a way for staff and volunteers to connect with conservation professionals from all over the United States. I think that it?s always good to network with other museum folk and comforting to know that you?re not alone with your concerns and questions.

Connecting to Collections is a nationwide IMLS initiative created to help libraries and museums provide the best care possible for their collections. The Connecting to Collections online community is an important part of that initiative. Its goal is to help smaller museums, libraries, archives and historical societies quickly locate reliable collections care resources. The website states that it is a source for conservation information rather than advice.” The value of the online community is sharing general information and collections experiences.

Registering is simple and lets you make connections with other professionals, participate in discussions and choose how you want be notified about updates on the page. Register at to be a part of the Connecting to Collections online discussions.


Tamara Hemmerlein is the Hoosier Heritage Alliance coordinator at IHS. She will be traveling all over Indiana to advocate for good collections stewardship. Tamara loves mashed potatoes and ice cream, but not together.

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