This Index for the Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers blog posts from the outset in 2012 is organised in reverse chronological order. Access to specific subjects is best done by a keyword search on this page using Ctrl-F. Alternatively, use the search box at the top of every page in this blog. The tag cloud in the sidebar shows those post tags that have been used most often. Browsing all posts on this single page also is possible on this page.
July 29, 2022. Analysing a series of comments on the 12 April 2022 post “‘Off the table’ or the cliff? Museum Gender Pay Equity Issue Now ‘under the rug’ Again?” this post provides new research and related infographics on the gender pay gap in museums.
June 30, 2022. An important contribution concerning the widespread problem of burnout in the heritage preservation field is analysed in this post.
June 13, 2022. ‘Crowdsourcing’ of burnout solutions among public history practitioners at the National Council on Public History virtual meeting is presented to bolster the original 20-page document derived from brainstorming at 4 previous museum conferences.
April 12, 2022. Evidence is presented that attention to discrimination in gender salary equity in the museum industry has declined recently. Infographics help to make the case for action on current gender pay inequity sadly all too common in our field.
March 19, 2022. This post introduces followers to an incisive analysis of workers in the museum field who “don’t have the time to breathe and figure out the best way to balance all their responsibilities” by Museum Human blogger Robert J. Weisberg.
March 9, 2022. This post argues that the preponderance of solutions proposed to address increasing levels of burnout in museum workplaces ignore the need to address the CAUSES of the problem rather than expecting its victims to take the responsibility for ‘self-care’ of their own symptoms.
March 5, 2022. This post proves that poor quality of working lives in museums is not new! It provides access to museum publications over the past 39 years that have reported the problematic working conditions.
March 1, 2022. Analysing the meaning of museum workers as “willing slaves,” this post brings the sociology of work including concepts of “occupational devotion,” “task saturation,” “wage slavery,” and other appraisals to bear on the deep-seated poor Quality of Working Lives in the museum industry. First among solutions to this human resources crisis recommended is for management to stop the default or deliberately designed working conditions that are “driving a stress epidemic.”
February 11, 2022. The Canadian Museums Association raised incoming daily reports of museum worker burnout in its 7 February presentation to the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage. The long-lobbied update required for the existing 3-decade old policy is well beyond is ‘best before’ date making it trash-worthy. In creating a new one, let’s no longer ignore rampant worker burnout as the current one has for the last 30 years.
Disturbing Museum Governance Study Results: Abuses, Devaluations, Exploitations, Illegal Work, Misogyny . . . Zugzwang
January 18, 2022. Study of museum governance in British Columbia reveals troubling evidence of mis-management. Abuse of employees causes departures of dedicated well-trained people from the field and myriad other problems.
October 18, 2021. It is your blogger’s contention that museum boards & managers continue to exploit their employees either by default or—in this case almost certainly—deliberated intention. The story outlined by AFSCME Staff (2021) clearly reflects the primary point of Joan Baldwin’s (2021) Leadership Matters blog about the woeful state of museum board management that I referred to in my previous post on this blog (Thistle 2021b).
September 25, 2021. My previous 9 September post was the first ever I have used to re-blog from someone else’s platform in the 9 years since I began here in 2012. Another relevant post this week by the Leadership Matters team also contains a good deal that I can agree with. However, it does present one idea that I strongly reject. Joan Baldwin’s (2021) 20 September post “How Much Lipstick Can the Museum Pig Wear?” has much to recommend it. On the other hand, I believe the statement quoted in my title is short-sighted—not to say patently wrong.
September 9, 2021. This post from Joan Baldwin on the Leadership Matters blog is an important topic that in recent months–after the all the attention devoted to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic closures of heritage and related institutions that exponentially increased the stresses on our workers–seems have dropped off the table in the event of enthusiasm for re-opening our facilities. Stress & burnout are not identified as important issues except in my own comment on this post
Solving Museum Worker Burnout & the ‘Immorality of Inaction’: FIX CAUSES (vs. Solely Symptom ‘Self-Care’)
May 24, 2021. I believe that museums could encourage workers to engage in “self-care” until all concerned are “blue in the face” [as was the latter term used in my family under such circumstances], BUT, unless & until we begin to directly address the CAUSES of burnout, we simply condemn museum practitioners to a working life constantly plagued by this debilitating problem. “Self-care” does nothing to fix the main source of this dangerous predicament in museum workplaces.
April 29, 2021. Given the proofs cited in my last blog post & other recent essays here about the woeful state of working conditions in the museum industry, I want to raise the following necessary attention to museum worker Quality of Working Lives in advance of a special meeting called on 30 April for CMA members concerned about the direction of our professional organisation & the CMA’s Annual General Meeting to follow on 25 May.
April 6, 2021. Here we go again! At the urging of the Canadian Museum Association (CMA) over several years, Canada now is—‘in theory,’ but not yet really—involved in developing a new national museums policy 30 years after the last one was introduced. The CMA has strenuously lobbied for this necessary work because, “The current national museum policy is woefully out-of-date and simply doesn’t reflect a modern Canada — nor the Canadian museum sector.” (Vitali 2020) [emphasis added]. . . I say ‘woe is me’ in relation to federal museum policy because of its abject failure to address the critical issue of ‘woeful’ working conditions in our field.
Marcg 30, 2021. The Canadian Museums Association released its Strategic Plan last July & I provide my responses on various elements of the plan document in preparation for another related post to follow soon. I provide analysis of key excerpts from this strategic plan.
January 27, 2021. In my last post here, I had asked rhetorically, do we need any more evidence that the world of woeful working conditions needs to be taken seriously? From the wider world of work outside museums, I refer to a January 11, 2021 New Yorker article. The headline of the piece is “What’s Wrong with the Way We Work.” Notably, there is no question mark at the end of this title.
December 14, 2019: Cross-promotions of the 2 most recent blog posts Ballooning Expectations” & “Background on Problematic Standards” have generated commentaries on other … Continue reading →
November 30, 2019: We need to critically analyse the impact of professional museum standards on the professionals who have to put them into practice given the extensive content &—significantly—the nature of the standards undifferentiated by size of museum in question, especially under the chronic under-funding of human and other resources available to small museums to put them into practice. Continue reading →
November 13, 2019: An overview of the difficulties small museums encounter when confronted with ever-increasing expectations arising from professional standards. Continue reading →
October 31, 2019: A link is provided to the full text of blogger Paul C. Thistle’s chapter “Decent Working Conditions are Essential for Decent Compensation” just published in the 2019 book For Love or Money: Confronting the State of Museum Salaries. Continue reading →
September 12, 2019: Introducing a new book, For Love or Money, this post outlines Paul C. Thistle’s chapter arguing that, irrespective of how high museum salaries and hourly wages can be raised, museum work ultimately will remain unsustainable for its practitioners unless and until unheeding work intensification and unresourced expectations to overwork are radically curtailed. Continue reading →
September 6, 2019: Members of the Canadian Museums Association have passed a resolution at the 2019 AGM to address gender parity & salary levels in the museum profession. Continue reading →
August 28, 2019: Low voter participation rate results in 3.4% of 37,487 eligible American Alliance of Museums voters deciding to remove Member voting rights. Continue reading →
June 10, 2019: American Alliance of Museums members are urged to vote AGAINST changes to AAM governing documents proposed by the Board of Directors. Continue reading →
May 7, 2019: This post presents concerns & questions on the American Alliance of Museums’ proposed amendments to its governing documents that will eliminate AAM member rights to vote on any AAM governance or other matters. AAM members are urged to attend very closely to all of the changes so as to be fully informed when casting their vote by the 28 June 2019 deadline. Continue reading
April 12, 2019: An article cosigned by 23 distinguished university museology programme faculty at 4 Quebec universities that urges federal and provincial governments to properly finance museums that have been underfunded for decades. Important services to society including the preservation of the material and intellectual memory of our country provided by these institutions are at risk as a consequence of underfunding. Continue reading →
March 22, 2019: This post justifies & presents a proposed resolution calling for the Canadian Museums Association to carry out crucial formal research on the Quality of Working Lives in Canadian museums. Continue reading →
March 20, 2019: Seeking support for a resolution at the Canadian Museums Association AGM 2019 in Toronto to address egregious discriminatory pay levels for women working in museums compared to their male colleagues. Continue reading →
February 27, 2019: The most comprehensive summary to date on Solving Task Saturation for Museum Workers of the dire need to change persistent poor working conditions in the museum field, Continue reading →
February 22, 2019: It is long past time to fix gender pay inequity in museums. The Canadian Museums Association Museum workers Continue reading →
February 20, 2019: I argue that serious attention must be paid to mending the working conditions in our sector & healing overworked & stressed employees & volunteers in the museum, library, archives, & wider public history sector. Continue reading →
November 20, 2018: Museum workers’ love for our jobs puts us at risk of being exploited through unresourced expectations by employers. We can easily become “willing slaves” to our work. Continue reading →
November 1, 2018: A preliminary review of changes in the Ontario Nonprofit Network decent work resources. Continue reading →
October 16, 2018: Professional museum organisation members are encouraged to ‘kick at the darkness’ of gender pay inequity in the museum field. Continue reading →
June 20, 2018: The American Alliance of Museums now provides access to its Constitution & Bylaws on-line. Continue reading →
June 18, 2018: Context here, AAM Ethics, Standards, & Professional Practices / Leadership & Organizational Structure Standards / Documentation: “As evidence that good governance practices are in place and to demonstrate that the museum is meeting the Core Standards, museums should have the following documents: . . . [bullet point] Bylaws, constitution, will or other documentation under which the museum is governed.” . . . Following the above, the Ethics, Standards, & Best Practices section states: “ensure museums hold themselves accountable to their peers and their publics.” Continue reading →
April 20, 2018: American Alliance of Museums members are constitutionally prohibited from proposing resolutions on many matters of vital concern at AAM annual meetings. Constitutional amendments to provide expanded rights to members are recommended. Continue reading →
March 26, 2018: American Alliance of Museums members attending the Annual Meeting in Phoenix are urged to present resolutions directing the AAM to present plans to address gender pay & other working conditions problems in museums. Continue reading →
March 22, 2018: Encouragement for members of the Canadian Museums Association to bring resolutions aimed at solving poor pay, workers leaving the field, unsustainable overwork, & other quality of working life issues to the CMA Annual General Meeting. Continue reading →
January 18, 2018: Museum workers need to organise to begin the process of solving chronic poor pay & overwork issues in museum workplaces. Continue reading →
January 18, 2018: The most recent trending post on this blog’s companion Critical Museology Blog is titled “Get Noses Pressed up to Vitrines, … Continue reading →
November 14, 2017: The conversation often starts with, “I love working in museums, but I don’t think I can do it anymore because … Continue reading →
October 24, 2017: An unusually active on-line discourse about museum workers leaving the field will have come to the attention of many followers … Continue reading →
October 16, 2017: After a hiatus of nearly a year, your blogger Paul C. Thistle, aka fullyloadedcamel, is now again in a position … Continue reading →
November 16, 2016: As promised in the previous post World Day for Decent Work, this reflects on the outcomes of the Ontario Nonprofit … Continue reading →
October 7, 2016: I believe strongly that there must be a sixth Key Issue Area in the ONN Draft Decent Work Charter that will address chronic underfunded expectations, overwork, stress, & the related above-noted deterioration of workers’ mental & physical health. Surely, there can be no “decent” work until we also begin to address the destructive characteristics found in museum and other nonprofit organisation workplaces. Continue reading →
September 22, 2016: museum occupational stress caused high turnover rates [& may continue to do so] Continue reading →
April 2, 2016: Dear Colleagues: The proposed alternative session ‘Brainwriting’ Solutions to Task Saturation & Stress Among Museum Practitioners proposed for the Canadian … Continue reading →
March 4, 2016: Has anyone followed the “rogue session” held at the 2015 American Alliance of Museums annual conference titled “How Do We … Continue reading →
July 5, 2015: Because checking smartphone social media & e-mail is so addictive, research has identified a recent significant change in how smartphones … Continue reading →
May 15, 2015: The following post contains excerpts from a full 8,000 word article submitted, but not accepted by the American Alliance of … Continue reading →
January 20, 2015: Among the 2015 New Year’s resolutions by American Alliance of Museums (AAM) staff: “Worry a lot less, relax a lot … Continue reading →
December 17, 2014: “All that is necessary for evil to exist is for good people to do nothing.” Edmund Burke Survival for museums … Continue reading →
October 22, 2014: Dear colleagues: This question is directed to Human Resources professionals in the museum field as well as those who who … Continue reading →
October 7, 2014: vacation (n.) late 14c., “freedom from obligations, leisure, release (from some activity or occupation), . . . from Latin . … Continue reading →
June 11, 2014: The “Happiness, Sustainability and the Museum Professional” conference session engaged a standing room only audience at the American Alliance of … Continue reading →
June 10, 2014: The “Solutions! Shared Working Document” located on the Task Saturation Documents page in the Task Saturation Solutions section has recently been … Continue reading →
May 19, 2014: Interestingly–if strangely so, among the synonyms for “well-being” my WordPerfect word processing thesaurus provides is: “Has Types: fool’s paradise.” Of … Continue reading →
March 9, 2014: The Center for the Future of Museums Blog presents a hopeful 14 January 2014 post Too Fast to Go Slow … Continue reading →
December 27, 2013: It is about time! This is my first response to the publication of recent research addressing museum worker well-being. The … Continue reading →
December 22, 2013: I heard an interview with Sprot School of Business Professor Linda Duxbury on the CBC Radio One programme Spark that identifies … Continue reading →
December 16, 2013: Solving Task Saturation blogger Paul Thistle presented this poster at the National Council on Public History conference in Ottawa, 19 April … Continue reading →
December 16, 2013: Solving Task Saturation Blog followers are advised that various documents have been & will continue to be posted on the … Continue reading →
January 14, 2013: I am behind on my reading. In flipping through my pile of unread American Association [now Alliance] of Museums journal … Continue reading →
November 10, 2012: Employers have a crucial role in addressing the modern work/life balance problem in light of a 2011-2012 study of 25,000 … Continue reading →
October 8, 2012: Following up on my previous post Smartphones & Unpaid Overtime that outlined various strategies for dealing with smartphone technology to … Continue reading →
August 25, 2012: caveat > noun: a warning or proviso of specific conditions. -ORIGIN Latin, ‘let a person beware’. Controversy about blogging swirls … Continue reading →
August 21, 2012: Exploitation of entry level workers by employers in all fields is a subject that arises in the media on occasion. A … Continue reading →
August 18, 2012: Acting on a suggestion made during my American Association of Museums conference session, I started a blog focussed on identifying … Continue reading →
August 6, 2012: Smartphones simply keep you at work 24/7 according to new research. A 2012 study by California-based Good Technology (2012) found that … Continue reading →
August 5, 2012: Background: Lively discussion at the American Association of Museums 2012 annual conference Ideas Lounge session “Rising Expectations, Task Saturation, & Time … Continue reading →
August 5, 2012: Ury, William (2007) The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes, New York: Bantam … Continue reading →