By Katina Strauch
Our Academy Awards in the US are over this year. But was excited to learn that the Europeana Foundation, responsible for Europe’s pioneering online museum, library and archive, has been presented with this year’s European Museum Academy Award. The 2013 EMA was given by the EMA Board after wide consultation with museum experts, specialists and directors from different backgrounds and from all over Europe. “Europeana is projecting itself into the cultural landscape of tomorrow… using new tools, finding new partners and experimenting with innovative models of participation.” Executive Director of the Europeana Foundation is the vivacious Jill Cousins. Museums are facing the challenge of a conceptual and methodological revolution in the information age. The digital dimension of cultural heritage enormously increases audience numbers and how they can be engaged in museum activities. Europeana has received the award for the ways in which it is facilitating that transformation in close collaboration with an extensive association of heritage institutions. It is a hub within a strong network of participating heritage institutions, engaging them in dialogue with new cultural players such as Wikipedia. The EMA Prize, which is held by the winner for one year and is not necessarily presented every year, consists of a piece of sculpture by the Swiss artist, Etienne Krähenbühl (b.1953).
Speaking of Jill, she spoke at the 12th Fiesole Collection Development Retreat at the University Libraries of K. U. of Leuven, Belgium, April 08-10, 2010. The theme was Re-Inventing Collections : Challenging Our Assumptions and we were welcomed by Mel Collier, Director of Libraries, KUL. Jill’s talk was titled “Europeana: Researchers’ Reve or Politicians’ Plaything?” Her paper presents a masterful view of the multi-faceted aspects of Europeana. And that was in 2010.
Was puzzled for a minute to get an email from someone who called himself Tony Ferguson who was at NYU. I thought that the TF I knew had worked at Columbia and that he had retired from Hong Kong University. This must be another TF trying to play a trick on me. I even went to Facebook to try to find out. Then I learned that it was truly the real Tony Ferguson! And he has relocated to NYU Shanghai where he will be until February 2014! Still, Tony has sent a Backtalk for the November print issue of ATG (Charleston Conference issue) about the IFLA Trends Report. In the meantime, read Riding the Waves or Caught in the Tide: Navigating the Evolving Information Environment. Insight from the IFLA Trend Report and then read Tony’s comments, coming in November!