Reflecting on Museum Selfie Day

By Lisa Terech, Community Engagement

Social media trends never sleep, and every so often, there are trends, themes or days that I can’t help but jump onto (and who could have ever guessed Sea Shanties and Bernie Sanders would have taken off like they did in early 2021, but I digress).

Sometimes, these themes are a yearly tradition, and Museum Selfie Day is one of those days. Taking place on the third Wednesday of January, Museum Selfie Day “invites the general public to go to a museum and take a selfie. The day promotes awareness of great collections of work stored in museums” (from nationaldaycalendar.com).

In previous years, I ask the Visitor Hosts who want to participate to take pictures in their favourite exhibits, students we’re hosting and my museum colleagues will take part, and I spend the day running around the site looking for creative captions and interesting places around the houses to take a selfie.

Last January, we used the day as a chance to show off our storage spaces, hopefully demonstrating why the Oshawa Museum needs a new purpose built facility.

This year’s Museum Selfie Day looks different. We’re working from home, and I’m not able to run around the spaces I love looking for unique photo ops.

So how did we mark Museum Selfie Day 2021 if we aren’t able to be in museums? Jill had the clever idea to take selfies with mementoes from past museum visits, and so we grabbed museum catalogues from our bookshelves and took pictures.

People who work for museums, generally speaking, are museum lovers. We support museums in our community, we go on vacations and plan museum visits as must-sees. A year without travel means a year without visiting other museums. We were able to use Museum Selfie Day as a chance to reflect back on favourite museum experiences and to give shout outs to other museums we hold in high regard. Perhaps reflecting back on museum memories will be enough to hold us all over until we can safely visit museums once again!

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