From the Smithsonian American Art Musem’s Eye Level blog:
Ever daydream what it would be like to be a museum photographer? (Sure you have.) Well, here’s your chance to help American Art illustrate Wikipedia articles with images from our collection (and you might win prizes in the process).
Over the next month we are participating in Wikipedia Loves Art, a scavenger hunt and free content photography contest among 15 museums and cultural institutions worldwide. The project, in conjunction with Flickr, is aimed at illustrating Wikipedia articles. The event is planned to run for the whole month of February 2009.
We’re inviting you to come into the museum and shoot photos of our artworks based on various themes. You can shoot on your own or form a small team (10 people, tops). The photogs or teams with the most points will win prizes.
Read about it here and here. What a cool way to get people excited about interacting with your collection!
Which got me thinking … it’s learn-the-Dewey-Decimal-system time in our library, and I asked Carl Harvey for some advice on how he works with kids to get them to master things. He suggested a scavenger hunt, and so I send kids out with clues (“Find a 600s book about cooking”). They scour the shelves and, along the way, discover other books that they didn’t realize were in the library. It’s been working great.
But … as a result, we end up with LOTS of books off the shelves, so it’s a pretty labor-intensive lesson. So … what if I took this Smithsonian idea and merged it with the Dewey scavenger hunt? Students could photograph both the clue and the book, then put it right back on the shelf where the shelf marker is. We quickly hook the cameras up to a laptop/data projector, and voila – the same output but with no re-shelving. (Yea!) And kids love using cameras, so motivation would be higher. Hmmm …