By Ian Croft
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
he Taber Irrigation Impact Museum will soon be getting an upgrade as people will be able to access an index collection of all the artifacts the museum has on the web. With this new development both Brenda Pyne, museum manager, and Clark Edmonds, Divertix group team lead who has been heading the museum intermediary database system, spoke on what people could expect with this new website.
“We are very excited about this webpage,” said Pyne. “I’m learning as we’re going along, but it’s going to be a webpage, which is a big thing because lots of businesses have it we do not yet. The search function of the thing that they’re setting up is going to be fantastic because now the public can actually search our stuff without having to physically come in the museum to do it, which is the way it is now. We will have a place so somebody in Timbuktu can search to see, have something from their great, great grandfather.”
Edmonds also shared their views on what they wish the website to achieve.
“Our hope for the website is that it cuts down on the staff search times,” said Edmonds. “We’re hoping that if anybody does come to physically see the artifacts, they’ll have taken down some information, they can provide it to the staff, and then the staff will be able to just go back and get whatever they’ve come to see. When we first started this project, Pyne mentioned that the process to find an artifact can take weeks or months depending on how much time she has to go search for stuff in all the back rooms that they have. We’re hoping that will provide enough information that people will be satisfied what they see online and if they would like to come see it, they can just come and see it.”
From here Edmonds explained why he and Divertix volunteered to make this website for the museum.
“We had to pick a project for a class,” said Edmonds. “The classes for system analysis and design at the college, and the professor, he found some projects for people to do for real clients. We’ve been tasked with doing all of the data gathering and analytics to complete the program. Then we’ve been having one month to actually do all the coding for it. We spent the entire first semester of the year doing all the planning, data gathering, data modelling, and process modelling for the new system, and for their current system, so we can compare them. Then we spent the first month and a half of this semester, revising that, and then redoing some of the data modelling. Then we did the coding, write up the training plan, and now we’re coming out and installing everything.”
They predict by the end of May that everything should be installed, but the museum will still have to manually transfer all the information onto the website so it may not be immediately accessible.