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NEWSLETTER

Volume 13, #2                       August 31, 2010
__________________________________________________________________________

Inside:
SMMP Meetings
Denver Agenda
President's Message
Best Practices Project
SMMP Grant Program
Meeting Minutes
SMMP Europe
IMA 2010 Report
SMMP Affiliations
SMMP List Server

Paying Dues

Board of Directors

President
Virgil W. Lueth
New Mexico Bureau of Mines
801 Leroy Place
Socorro, NM 87801
, USA
vwlueth@nmt.edu

Past President & Newsletter Editor
Anthony R. Kampf
Natural History Museum
of
Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
90007, USA

Vice President
Penny Williamson
School of Geosciences
University of Wollongong
NSW 2522, Australia

Secretary
Jean F. DeMouthe
California Academy of Science
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94118
, USA

Treasurer
Anna M. Domitrovic
6118 W. Lazy Heart Street
Tucson, AZ 85713, USA

Board Members:

Katherine Dunnell

Mineralogy Department
Royal Ontario Museum

100 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C6, Canada

Bruce Geller
Colorado School of Mines

13th and Maple St.
Golden, CO  80401, USA

Jamie Newman
Dept. of Earth & Planetary Sciences
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @79th St.
New York, NY 10024, USA

Terri Ottaway
Gemological Institute of America
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008, USA

DENVER MEETINGS

Date: Friday, Sept. 17, 2010
Place: Denver Merchandise Mart
Board Meeting: 1:30 - 2:00 PM
Membership Meeting: 2:00 - 3:00 PM

Denver Exhibit: "Silver-Bearing Minerals"
Please contact Jean DeMouthe
if you are planning to participate in our society exhibit at the Denver Gem & Mineral Show.

* * *

TENTATIVE DENVER AGENDA 

  1. Call to Order

  2. Introductions

  3. Approval of the Tucson Meeting Minutes

  4. Treasurer's Report

  5. Membership Report

  6. Collections/Curators Committee Report

  7. Education Committee - Denver exhibit; Tucson program and case

  8. IMA Report

  9. SMMP Grant Program

  10. Best Practices Initiative

  11. New Business

* * *

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

     Fall is fast approaching; its dark later into the morning making it harder to wake up on time, I get up in the middle of the night to turn off the cooler, and I have to think about what to exhibit at Denver (other than the silver minerals I promised Jean for the SMMP case). Other sure signs of fall include; school groups calling for tours and classes, college students pressing their noses to the exhibits completing some of their first lab exercises, and senior tour companies scheduling tours for the dead of winter (really not such a dead time here in New Mexico). These things may be signs of fall but they are also a testament to the broad range of educational opportunities afforded to our patrons. Very few public institutions actually cater to the entire age range of the populace.
     Although my attempt at an attendance survey among our members came up a bit short, only five institutions responded to the visitation/donation survey from last year, here is what I learned. I'll refrain from statistics (since n-1 = 4 and I have had real statistics courses and am quite well versed on the "cretin-filter") and speak in generalities. Of the five, three would be considered major museums and two "mid-majors" (actually small, less than 15K attendance). Three of the five institutions realized an increase in visitors with one other steady and only one decreasing. One museum reported an all-time attendance record. Despite the economic downturn the majority of survey responders indicate increasing or level visitation.
     Public budgets are getting very cramped as the recession continues. Another sure sign of fiscal stress in the public sector are budget cuts. I was asked the other day about closing the museum during the weekends because we cannot afford to pay student workers to keep it open. I responded by saying that one-third of our sales occur during weekend hours and those sales are what buy new specimens, build new displays, pay for traveling exhibits and educational supplies. Did they really want to cut the museum 30% to save less than 0.0006% of our budget? In addition, almost half of our attendance can be credited to weekend hours (that are 3 hours shorter than Monday through Friday). Are we serving our constituents if we exclude more than half of them? Besides, most of our student workers qualify as work study and our cost is actually half of their salaries. Needless to say, we are still open on the weekends. But this illustrates the importance of documenting what we do and being ready to produce those numbers when asked at a moments notice.
     For our Denver meeting, perhaps we should discuss the increasing costs of attending shows. Not discouraged by the attendance survey, I'm curious about what it costs you and your institution to attend shows, both local and national. Keep track of those expenses...
     Looking forward to seeing you all in Denver,

Virgil Lueth, President

* * *

BEST PRACTICES PROJECT

The first "best practices" documents about research sampling of collections are posted on the SMMP website:

BEST PRACTICES REPORT NO. 1: Research Sampling of Collections

BEST PRACTICES REPORT NO. 2: Moving Specimens

We are looking for more in the series - please submit your idea to the board at the Denver meeting or contact Virgil Lueth (vwlueth@nmt.edu).

* * *

SMMP GRANT PROGRAM

The SMMP Grant Program Awards are to support curatorial research and methodologies that address one or more of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP) mission statement goals: 1) foster recognition of mineral science collections as essential scientific, educational and cultural resources, 2) promote support for growth, maintenance and use of collections and exhibits and, 3) advance museum practice through cooperation in the development, review and dissemination of information. Amounts vary up to a maximum of $1000 per grant. Grant awards determined by SMMP Board of Directors. Grant applications are available on request. Applications are due August 1st and award notification on October 1st. Guidelines are available on our website: http://www.agiweb.org/smmp/support-SMMP.htm

* * *

MINUTES OF THE TUCSON MEETING
February 2010

Click on the link above to view the minutes.

* * *

SMMP Europe 2010 Meeting

The Annual Joint meeting of SMMP Europe and the IMA-CM
will take place at 18:00 on Friday 29
th October, 2010
during the
Munich International Mineral Show.

As in previous years, the venue will be
Room A51 on the First Floor of Hall A5
of the Neue Messe Riem, Munich.
Access is from Hall A5.

* * *

REPORT ON SMMP SUPPORT AT IMA2010

The 20th International Mineralogical Association (IMA) General Meeting has recently successfully ended in Budapest (August 21-27, 2010). The conference was the result of a joint effort of 10 organising and supporting countries from Central and Eastern Europe (details on the conference homepage, www.ima2010.hu). It gathered about 1500 participants, from 74 countries all over the world.
            Among contributors to other 77 scientific sessions included in the programme of the conference, mineral museums professionals could bring their own contribution within a dedicated session, "Mineral museums and Historical mineralogy" (session MH110G). The convenors/chairpersons of this session were: Dana Pop (Museum of Mineralogy, Babes-Bolyai University Cluj-Napoca, Romania), Lydie Touret (Musee de Mineralogie, Ecole de Mines - currently MINES ParisTech, France) and Renate Schumacher (Mineralogisches Museum am Steinmann-Institut, University of Bonn, Germany).
            During the meeting of the Society of the Mineral Museum  Professionals (SMMP) at the 2010 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show the President, Virgil Lueth, announced that SMMP will sponsor the museum session at IMA2010 (with $500 US). This information was included, in April, on the IMA2010 conference homepage (http://www.ima2010.hu/?my_view=nice&p=sp3hm).The SMMP Board and the session convenors agreed to use this amount for two purposes: partly (150 EUR) covering the registration fee for the keynote speaker (Anthony Kampf, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County) and sponsoring ($300 US, 232 EUR equiv.) a SMMP Reception during the poster session.
            Originally, 19 contributions were submitted for this session, of which in the final programme 13 were delivered as oral, and 5 as poster presentations (the participation of Kottapalli S. Murty, India, was cancelled for personal reasons). The session had one keynote (Anthony Kampf) and two invited (Lydie Touret and Renate Schumacher) speakers. Both the oral and the poster presentations were scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, in the Southern Building of the Eotvos L. University Campus at Lagymanyos. (A full list of titles and authors is annexed to this report; on request, the abstracts of the presentations can be made available, in electronic form.)
            The SMMP Reception was advertised - verbally and through the SMMP poster, prepared by Virgil Lueth - during the oral session. The social event took place on Aug. 24, between 14.00 and 16.00 h, within the poster session. About 30 persons took part to the reception, where cold starters and drinks (wine and soft drinks) were served.  The successful event provided a friendly framework for museum curators and other interested conference participants to gather and share impressions and experience.

Dana Pop
Cluj-Napoca, Sept. 1, 2010

* * *

SMMP AFFILIATIONS

American Geological Institute (AGI)

Natural Science Collections Alliance NSCA)

Although the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals maintains no official ties with the Commission on Museums (CM) of the International Mineralogical Association (IMA), the Commission resolved at its December, 2000, meeting in Melbourne, Australia, to support SMMP's efforts in uniting mineral museum professionals worldwide.

* * *

SMMP LIST SERVER

You are encouraged to interact with your fellow SMMP members via our list server:

smmp@listserv.nhm.org

Please remember that when you reply to an email sent via our list server, you will be replying to the sender, although you have the option of copying the membership.

Tony Kampf processes additions to and deletions from the list server. That way we limit the list to our membership and if a member decides that they want to be dropped from the list, Tony will know whether to send them the SMMP Newsletter by snail mail. Note that you are only able to send via the list server from your email address that is on the list server. This should be the same one that is used in our on-line roster.

* * *

PAYING DUES

SMMP dues are $10.00 U.S., payable to Anna Domitrovic, treasurer, 6118 W. Lazy Heart Street, Tucson, AZ 85713. Any directory changes or additions should be sent to Tony Kampf. In Europe, dues can be remitted to Peter Davidson, National Museums of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF, SCOTLAND.

To make paying your dues easier (especially for non-US members), a PayPal account has been established and installed on our website. You can use your credit card or your own personal PayPal account. Just go to our Dues webpage.

Note that you can check your dues payment status on the SMMP on-line roster. The year shown in the last column indicates the last year for which you have paid. If you are delinquent, please remit your dues payment as soon as possible.

Remember to renew your membership. If you are planning to pay dues at the Denver meeting, help Anna by filling out a membership application with your dues payment. Do it beforehand and save time at the meeting!

 

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