Bringing Volunteers into the Fold of Digital Innovation at the Getty


Friday, April 05, 2019: 9:00am - 10:30am - Back Bay CD: Papers: How do we get from collaboration to creation?

Karen Voss, J. Paul Getty Museum, USA, Kelly Smith-Fatten, The J. Paul Getty Museum, USA

Published paper: Docents and Volunteers: The Audience for Digital Innovation

Docents at the Getty Museum and Villa are vital to connecting visitors of all ages to the art and antiquities in our collection. While digital innovations are becoming more prevalent in the museum field, fewer projects have been dedicated to bolster docent and volunteer programs. Over the last year, the Getty produced a responsive mobile website to refresh educational content, automate shift schedules, and provide a dynamic experience so docents can improve what they do in service to the museum. The website provides access to the audio stops, videos, interviews, and various other media that are meaningful to objects in our collection and relevant to the tours docents lead. This presentation will outline the features of this new site and provide a blueprint for others who want to build a dynamic, responsive mobile tool for specific audiences. Building the site required a nimble cross-functional team, and this presentation will detail specific kinds of relationships staff from different parts of the museum needed to establish to produce a site that is compelling and contemporary, innovating with our best educational materials in a responsive mobile atmosphere.

Next Practices, Association of Art Museum Directors (2014)

The Museum Educator's Manual by Anna Johnson, Kimberly A. Huber, Nancy Cutler and Melissa Bingmann (2017)

Teaching in the Art Museum: Interpretation as Experience, by Elliott Kai-Kee (2011)

"Caught in the Middle: Thoughts and Observations on the Information Needs of Art Museum Docents," by Alba Fernandez-Keys (2010)

The Educational Value of Museums, by the Newark Museum Association (2017)

"The Social Life of Technology for Museum Visitors, by Scott Sayre and Kris Wetterlund (2008)