1: Patty Shore Exploring Museum Professions SU12 Phyllis Hecht
3: Security The museum does not employ its own security staff. The office building where the museum is located provides a security team that oversees the building and its tenants. The security desk is located at the front entrance to the building. The guard checks large bags and packages, monitors use of the elevators, gives out security codes to the bathrooms, and answers questions pertaining to the building and surrounding downtown area. “At the smallest museums, the office staff and/or volunteers act as security for the institution” (Schlatter, 2008, p. 93).
5: Visitor Services The Receptionist, Museum Assistant, and Volunteers help man the Visitor Services desk. They are responsible for admissions ticketing, providing audio tour sets, dispensing visitor information, assisting with traffic/visitor control during large group tours and ringing up retail sales. Visitor Services staff are trained to be a “welcoming and helpful presence and to respond to visitor requests and complaints in an obliging manner” (Schlatter, 2008, p. 94).
7: Marketing/Communications/Public Relations and Membership/Development On the side of the front desk is a display of membership pamphlets, summer 2012 exhibition and event brochures, and a copy of the museum’s 2011 Annual Report. These items promote membership, encourage future visits, and emphasize the museum’s mission by highlighting its successful 2011 events. This display is the cooperative effort of the Marketing/Communications/Public Relations Staff, Membership/Development Staff and possibly the Education and/or Curatorial Staff who provided information regarding upcoming exhibits. Museum membership is an important function of the development department as it provides a link to the community and generates interest in the museum’s activities (Schlatter, 2008, p. 76). In the area of membership and fund-raising events, the development officer works cooperatively with the director, public relations and marketing manager (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 84). The marketing department can include activities such as public relations, visitor services, and membership (Schlatter, 2008, p. 37).
8: The small retail shop is located in the lobby and overseen by the front desk staff. The marketing and development departments, along with the education staff, choose the merchandise to be included with approval by the Director. The museum shop is an extension of the museum’s mission, exhibitions, and educational programs (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 116).
9: Library The museum has an extensive library that is available to staff, volunteers, and researchers upon request. In the survivors’ lounge you can see a handful of books from the collection. “Some museum librarians are also in charge of the museum’s archives” (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 104). That is the case at the DHMET. Here the archivist wears many hats: she is also the librarian, registrar and collections manager.
11: Education/Volunteers/Docents The role of the educator is seen in many areas of the museum. Educators work closely with all departments that focus on visitors (Schlatter, 2008, p. 83). The education department can be seen in the promotional pamphlets for upcoming exhibits, the audio guides that interpret the collections, and the educational theater where lectures, teacher workshops and survivor testimony take place. The education department is also responsible for training and supervising volunteers and docents (Schlatter, 2008, p. 82). Docents are the “voice” of the museum (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 88). “The docent becomes a museum educator in acquiring the ability to mediate, interpret, and encourage visitors to participate actively in learning” (Glaser & Zenetou, 1996, p. 89).
13: Curator/Archivist Within the past year the DHMET has opened a temporary exhibit hall. Here they combine their own archived material with temporary exhibits on loan to further promote the museum’s mission. The curator, along with the education department, write supplemental texts as needed. The archivist, who is intimately familiar with the museum’s collection, plays a critical role in suggesting and locating appropriate pieces to complement the temporary exhibits. Today’s history curator works closely with other museum professionals to develop themes, choose objects, and write texts (Schlatter, 2008, pp. 57-58).
14: References Glaser, J. R., & Zenetou, A. A. (1996). Museums: A place to work, planning museum careers. New York, NY: Routledge. Schlatter, N. E. (2008). Museum careers: A practical guide for students and novices. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.
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