Archive for the ‘Volunteers & Docents’ Category

  • Exciting changes are happening at the 900 organizations taking part in the StEPs program (Standards and Excellence Program for History Organizations). Our “StEPs Spotlight” blog series highlights accomplishments by participating organizations. Below is another example of how StEPs is helping organizations take a leap forward by improving policies and practices, opening lines of communication, and setting […]

  • Demolition of historic buildings and the construction of new, sleek, modern ones is a trend in neighborhoods across the United States. None is so familiar with this as Ballard, a Seattle neighborhood just northwest of downtown. Ballard, once a Scandinavian fishing town and a blue-collar community, was annexed to Seattle in 1907 and is now […]

  • The Woodlands Cemetery is a 54-acre National Historic Landmark in the University City neighborhood in Philadelphia. Formerly the estate of 18th-century botanist and plant collector William Hamilton, The Woodlands was purchased in 1840 when the mansion and picturesque grounds were repurposed as a rural cemetery [1]. Today, the space serves as a community hub and popular green space […]

  • My office was recently found itself in a discussion about office layouts for an organization. Specifically the old debate over an open plan office (or cubicles) vs. individual offices and what would fit our institution the best. Currently we have a mixture of these two approaches. On one floor of our building the education staff […]

  • Do a quick Google search for the definition of Visitor Experience. Go ahead. You won’t find one. Primarily because we, as institutions, define what the visitor experience is for ourselves. Therein lies one of the most fundamental struggles we all face. What does our visitor experience look like? What do we want our visitors to […]

  • Sometimes, people who start out as our visitors become something more: volunteers, collaborators, contractors, the list goes on and on. In 1999, Ken and Ruth Cooper visited us at the Homestead Museum for the first time. Shortly thereafter, they pitched the idea of Ken instructing an introductory watercolor workshop followed by an exhibit of paintings […]

  • Catered events have become an increasingly important part of the business operations of many museums in recent years. In 2013, The Henry Ford began staffing all evening events in Henry Ford Museum with interpreters in addition to the catering and security staff that had traditionally had responsibility for the guest experience during banquets. For a […]

  • It seems you can’t go a week without encountering a museum-related article in mainstream media. While this should be good for our “industry,” generally speaking, said articles are satirically toned, often with biased language that steers the reader astray rather than presenting two-sided information allowing them to arrive at educated conclusions – or at least […]

  • I’d wager that anyone reading this blog post appreciates a few things from an employer: clear expectations, good tools for completing the job, and feedback on performance. A manager who provides these things for his or her staff is quite an asset. Good employees thrive with clear expectations, good tools, and feedback. When managing front-line […]

  • Volunteers are essential to any organization and department, especially in museums.  All of us have used volunteers to lend an extra hand in many things, but it wasn’t until several years ago that I saw a need to stretch the job duty of a volunteer a bit more.  Museums are always accepting object donations to […]