For this week’s discussion, I would like to talk about the types of museums I’ve worked at in the past and in the current time..

This week’s module focused more on the types of museums that are available for the public to explore, which included small museums and university museums. As I am from Anchorage originally, there are some small museums besides the history and art museum in the Downtown area of the city. I have worked as a volunteer in a small children’s museum in the summertime called the Alaska Museum of Science and Nature. As a volunteer, I was able to learn more about the inner workings of a small museum as well as how they managed their collection. Though there is one employee, much of the staff, cataloging, and care of the collections go to the volunteers who apply to work there. Also, as the small museum itself doubles as a children’s museum, there are some exhibits in the main gallery that are interactive. I had the pleasure of reorganizing and cleaning up the touch tables and display shelves between visits from the people who would look at and interact with the shells and fossils we had on interactive displays.
Though I am not in Anchorage at the moment due to college, I am currently working as a front desk employee at the Museum of the North here on campus. I do not work in the labs or in the exhibits, but I do maintain a working knowledge of the various exhibits we have available as well as some future exhibits for returning visitors should any questions be asked.

What small museum have you visited in past and what did you like about it?

Alaska Museum of Science and Nature

2 Thoughts to “Types of Museums”

  1. Rose Thao

    Hi Michelle! Thank you for sharing your experiences working at different types of museums. It was interesting being able to learn about the stuff organization system of a small museum. I have yet to visit a small museum but would definitely like to visit one in the near future.

  2. Angela Linn

    Natural history museums can be so engaging – there’s nothing quite like a good diorama and hands-on gallery tables to help inter-generational learning occur! I loved sharing dioramas with my kid when he was little – it’s a great way to teach close observational skills and get them to slow down.

    Small museums have distinct advantages to larger museums, as they are able to make changes quickly and implement new strategies in response to community needs – it’s easy to get approval when there’s only one staff member and the board are all volunteers! The larger the museum, the more people who have to buy into your ideas for change, and the more deeply entrenched in “tradition”.

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