The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 21, May 24, 2020, Article 9


Here's the latest compilation of coronavirus updates from readers, organizations and companies. -Editor

Royal Canadian Numismatic Association 2020 Convention Cancelled (May 20, 2020)
From the press release:

RCNA logo "As we all are intimately aware, the world is confronting the greatest health crisis of our generation, and most likely of the last century. Our thoughts are with each of you in our collector society, your families, your clubs and their members, and your broader communities. We wish each of you the best, and an optimistic hope that this will pass safely for all of us in due course.

It is with sadness that we must announce that The Royal Canadian Numismatic Association's 2020 annual convention, planned for July in Halifax, has been cancelled. We must look first to the health and safety of our collector family, and it does not appear to us that we can hold our 2020 convention in July and uphold that obligation, which has to remain our foremost consideration. Your Executive would have announced this decision earlier, but the hotel at which our convention was to be held took the position that we must wait until two months before the planned start of our convention to determine if the convention could still be held, based on what was known at that date (May 20).

If you have already registered for the convention, for a full refund, please contact our Executive Secretary at or by phone at (647) 401-4014.

We are happy to say that our annual Convention Medal will still be available in Silver, Copper and Nickel in very limited mintages. If you are interested in purchasing a medal contact our Executive Secretary.

In addition, we are still in talks with our auction company to work out the details of an on-line only auction later this year. Further announcements will be made as they are confirmed."

Canadian Coin News Closing Physical Office (May 21, 2020)

Canadian Coin News logo "Due to a substantial rent increase, CCN is moving to a virtual office at the end of this month.

"Supply purchases through Coin & Stamp Supplies, a department of Trajan Media, which publishes CCN and Canadian Stamp News, will continue to be available online at as well as coin shows. As of May 25, all CCN employees will be working from their homes, and Managing Partner Mike Walsh says subscribers and consumers will not see any changes in customer service as phone numbers and emails will stay the same.

"COVID-19 proved to us that today's technological advances can position conventional businesses to operate outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar shops," says Walsh. "The only noticeable, physical change is customers will no longer be able to visit and buy supplies at the office."

To read the complete article, see:
CCN relocating with no retail outlet (

How Nonprofits Can Cope (May 20, 2020)

A Wall Street Journal article by the director of the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, TX discusses creative ways for a nonprofit organization to avoid layoffs during the coronavirus shutdown. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

I decided that our survival strategy had to be keeping everyone employed in a whole new way, all while they worked from home.

So I shifted our program from being visitor-driven to something new. I started by doing an analysis of our budget. Of our overall expenses, 60% represents staff costs with the remaining 40% being programmatic and departmental expenses.

We didn't want to cut the amount needed to support staff, whether our doors were closed or open. That left us cutting all remaining programmatic and departmental line items we could find, from installation costs and supplies to advertising and summer programs.

I asked my department heads, ranging from communications and membership to facilities and collections management, to come up with a list of rainy-day initiatives that they'd always wanted to accomplish but never could, due to the normally never-ending cycle of planning and staging exhibitions. These weren't to be make-work jobs. This had to be mission-centric, both to have our staffers feel like they were adding value and to have them make the type of impact we and any donor would expect to see.

After developing a list of about 30 projects, we gave all our staff members a questionnaire asking them to rate themselves on skills ranging from visual literacy to writing to Photoshop. By matching skills to project requirements, we were able to reassign to various tasks 32 staff members whose jobs had been most at risk, even enlisting several as project managers.

While others, like our curators— who always welcome time for writing and research—could more easily work from home, everyone has been part of the redesigned museum in some way.

We introduced online "behind-the-scenes" talks alongside virtual exhibitions, which you've seen at other museums during the quarantine, but the bulk of the work wasn't sexy. These were, however, essential projects that advanced our mission and stretched our capabilities. So security guards now spend their days going through images on the Blanton website, writing alternative text descriptions for the visually impaired. It turned out that the museum's primary maintenance guy, who normally handles paint touch-ups and AC repair, has beautiful handwriting. The development department now has him writing thank-you notes to donors. Staffers who normally plan events or install art are now assembling digital dossiers on our more obscure artists, the kind for which the best research lurks in the corners of the internet rather than in books.

So far, the plan has worked and our team is paid. But it is a fragile equation that will continue to depend on philanthropic investment and constant innovation. We will, in time, open our doors again. But for now we are keeping the museum going—all of us.

To read the complete article (subscription required), see:
The Creative Way We Avoided Layoffs (

A Blind Coin Collector's Perspective (May 23, 2020)
In his May 23rd email, Tom Babinszki of the Blind Coin Collector blog writes:

tom-babinszki-and-baldwin "There is one thing I was trying to avoid, is to write about the coronavirus. I'm sure that you are bombarded with enough information, and you don't need yet another post. But the reality is, it does impact me in a very unique way as a blind coin collector. I may post something about this in the future, but in a nutshell, what do you do when you go out and explore new coins? Let that be in museums, coin stores, etc. You touch. Many things. In general, for me to get around in life, I need to touch many more things than sighted people, just to be aware of my surroundings. In the meantime, my surface is about doubled when I get around with my guide dog.

I am concerned that I will be picking up many more things than people in average, and leave many more than people in average. Not to mention that if service providers are concerned to have me around for the same reason, it is not necessarily discrimination. It is a valid concern. I will touch all around to find a door handle, the faucet, the counter, just about anything. Of course, I can wear gloves and switch them often, but as I say, when I wear gloves, I can't see. Things feel different, are much harder to identify, and I need to deal with not only my lack of vision, but with a major loss of touch. So, in the future, getting around as a coin collector will certainly take some consideration, not to mention everyday things. But that's the end, I'm done talking about the virus."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Bumper Tables

In the more-practical-than-a-hoop-skirt department, one Ocean City. MD restaurant introduced "bumper tables" to enforce social distancing. -Editor

Bumper tables

An event planning company in Baltimore has unveiled a unique way to socialize while practicing social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic.

Revolution Event Design & Production created what it is calling a "bumper table," a table with wheels attached to the bottom of its legs and surrounded by an inflated inner tube. The creation keeps participants six feet from each other, but allows them the opportunity to talk, eat or drink in social settings.

"When COVID hit, we found ourselves with a lot of time on our hands because people aren't exactly booking events in the immediate future," said Erin Cermak, Revolution's founder and CEO, who hatched the idea for the bumper tables. "We wanted to come up with a creative and fun way to keep everyone safe and compliant, but still bring back the social and festive and party aspect of the event. So we've been working on a number of different products, and this is the first one that we're launching."

The bumper tables made their debut Saturday at Fish Tales, a restaurant in Ocean City. Cermak is a cousin of Donna Harman, who along with her husband Shawn have owned Fish Tales for 37 years.

To read the complete article, see:
‘Bumper tables' made of inner tubes: Here's how one Ocean City restaurant plans to enforce social distancing (

Davisson E-Sylum ad E-Auction-35 2020-05-10

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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