ON A NEW STAGE:
performing arts information management in New South Wales
arts information management
arts information management in Australia
arts information in New South Wales
1 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Performing arts information is created,
processed and used by a complex web of people and organisations, including
libraries and museums. A preliminary analysis of sources and services in New
South Wales reveals policy and strategic overlaps, a need for more effective
coordination of scant resources and opportunities for improved services to
Trends and developments in technology and
telecommunications, information and records management, research and other
information industry disciplines provide a context for solutions in managing
performing arts information.
Knowledge management, a holistic approach for
identifying, capturing and using tacit as well as explicit information, a
discipline that places value on people and processes in the information
delivery chain, is particularly relevant.
Critically important are clearly articulated
objectives and functions, collaborations between information creators,
handlers and producers, the use of common standards and the sharing of
experience and technical expertise. An understanding of user needs is also
It is highly desirable that New South Wales’ performing arts information
services and projects take into account the work of relevant national and
state government bodies, arts organisations, tertiary institutions,
libraries, museums and networks. Inspiration can be drawn also from many
overseas enterprises such as the Arts and Humanities Data Service [AHDS].
Needs and opportunities
In this report, the following issues are explored.
Management of material previously owned by the
Dennis Wolanski Library. Where is it? How accessible is it? Is it in
the right place? Can anything be done to assist organisations to
maximise its value?
Management of performing arts information by
libraries. How can the collective effort be harnessed to address
needs and maximise the value of services?
Management of performing arts information outside
the library domain. How are performing arts organisations creating
and managing their information? How effectively do libraries and museums
use this information to offset workloads in their own domain? What will
eventually happen to this information? Is it possible to create systems
to facilitate access to information that is not currently visible?
Making capital out of performing arts knowledge
workers. How effectively do we use the experience and knowledge of
workers in libraries, academic institutions and other organisations? Is
it possible to increase the value of this information through the
development of more effective systems and strategies?
Management of processes and interactions. How
are transactions between creators, handlers and users scrutinised,
captured and utilised? Can anything be done to streamline processes and
reduce duplicated effort?
In response to these questions, needs and opportunities
have been identified for improved management of performing arts information
inside and outside curatorial organisations, including life-cycle management
of records in performing arts organisations, access to information produced
by the media, the creation of value from performing arts worker knowledge,
engineering collaborations between creators, handlers and users of
information and development of specialised products and services.
It is recommended that a new foundation,
based on the philanthropic objectives of the Dennis Wolanski Library of the
Performing Arts Trust, be established to stimulate and support the
management of performing arts information resources in New South Wales,
complementing the role of the Performing Arts Special Interest Group of
Museums Australia and other relevant professional groups.
The proposed goals of the foundation are:
- Goal 1: Research. To stimulate
improved management of performing arts information through research
- Goal 2: Publishing. To connect
people with information resources, systems and networks through a
Website, educational products and other publications.
- Goal 3: Support. To support
performing arts organisations, libraries, archives and museums through
fellowships, grants, workshops and other forms of assistance.