February 2021 SIG Corner: IT SIG.

Meet Janice Craddock, Chair of the Information Technology SIG.

I started at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art the year Windows 1.0 was released. Yes, that is 1.0! What an adventure it has been to be a part of the technology as it has grown over the years!

Hi, this is Janice Craddock, chair of MCN’s IT SIG (Information Technology Special Interest Group). I have been Head of Information Technology at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art for 35 years. That is a long time to be in one place and in one field.  

When COVID shut down the nation, institutions closed and sent their staff home. It was a change in the way we worked. We had to adapt to a new environment. Over the next few months, we moved from supporting our staff working from home on antiquated personal equipment to purchasing and rolling out laptops and making our files accessible online. We concentrated on making staff more productive and our data secure. This can be daunting for smaller institutions with limited technology staff as well as challenging for larger institutions with more staff to support, even if they have more resources. As part of the larger MCN IT community, it has been incredibly valuable to share those experiences and learn from others. 

Currently, MCN offers Basecamp as a resource for its SIGs. We use our Basecamp project to post questions, share technology news, tips, updates, and successes. As the only non-specific digital practice SIG, we are a very diverse group that post information on everything from software and hardware to hiring practices and policies—essentially, any topics not specifically covered by the other existing SIGs that are dedicated to other niche areas of museums’ digital practice. This resource has been especially helpful to me this year with all the information exchanged between colleagues.

The IT SIG holds monthly online zoom meetings for discussions and presentations. In January, we had a presentation on improving website performance and security with Cloudflare; and last Thursday we had a demo of the National Gallery’s exhibition planning tool. Next month, we are planning a round table to discuss issues museum technologists are facing today and how COVID is changing the way we provide support to our staff.

Interested in joining a SIG?

Through Special Interest Groups, all MCN members have the opportunity to connect with colleagues doing similar work, explore opportunities to collaborate among them, share resources and effective practices, or discuss ways to advance their area of digital practice.