MuseumMinute

Volunteers: All Ages

I was looking through my photos to get inspiration for a different post and I stumbled across this gem. I didn’t even put it through the polaroid-generator thingy, because I wanted you to be able to read it:

A five-year-old’s catalog sheet

Adorable, right?

Now, I realize that when it comes to cataloging museum collections, we want to make sure that the task is overseen by someone who knows best museum cataloging and handling practices. Ideally, professionally-trained staff members would be the only people physically cataloging the collection.

But, as those of us working in the field know, sometimes that isn’t possible. Volunteers make enormous contributions to the museum field; I thanked them in a previous post, but I can never thank them enough.

This photo was taken during my recent trip to the Eagle Grove Carnegie Museum. You may remember reading about my first visit here. Well, in the month or so between my visits, their team of volunteers had accomplished A LOT. So, my second trip was spent managing a team of a dozen or so volunteers–both familiar faces and new–and overseeing a variety of collections and cataloging-related activities.

And, speaking of volunteers, the five year old volunteer from my last visit was back and ready to work! She was our official pencil sharpener, folder-getter, and catalog sheet-bringer. But, she wanted to do more. So my liason sat down with her and with another youngster (who was maybe 8?) and helped them catalog some postcards.

The postcards were duplicates which used to be for sale at the library, so the kids could handle them and we didn’t have to worry.

Sure, the catalog sheet isn’t the most detailed or the easiest to read. But I think it says a lot about an organization.

Way to go, Eagle Grove!

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