Do Your Visitors “Love” Museums?

Last week, the National Museums Directors Council (NMDC) launched a new campaign entitled I Love Museums. Their aim is to illustrate how deep public support is for museums of all shapes and sizes. As the government and local authorities are cutting budgets, this campaign provides tools for museums to work with their communities to show how valued our institutions are and how important our work is.

So how can your visitors, volunteers and partners get involved? First off, they can sign up to the campaign and say why they love museums. They can help promote the campaign on social media. If you’re a Twitter or Facebook user, you may have noticed the campaign’s slogan written across people’s profile pictures. You and they can add this via the Twibbon website.  They can also write letters to their MP or local council.

What can your museum do to support the campaign? As well as promoting it on social media and your website, you can download posters, postcards and logos for use on your publicity from the campaign website. You can also host a printed ballot box to encourage visitors to sign up while their at your venue.

~Amy Cotterill, Museum Development Officer

I Love Museums

Celebrating Volunteers!

Volunteers at Rayleigh Mill

Volunteers at Rayleigh Mill

Monday 1st June is the start of the thirty-first National Volunteers’ Week. This annual celebration of the work volunteers do is very relevant for museums. Most of the museums in Essex are entirely volunteer run, and those that aren’t still rely heavily on the hard work and creativity of volunteers.

Ahead of Volunteers’ Week, I am launching a new Volunteer Management Toolkit, with useful information for anyone managing volunteers and templates for documents including a volunteering policy, volunteer agreements, skills audits etc. There’s also a new Evaluation Toolkit, including a “how to” guide, templates, a glossary and a list of useful websites. These have been created for Essex museums by Pippa Smith from Handling the Past.

During Volunteers’ Week, I am hosting a series of guest posts:

  • Monday – Volunteering and the HLF by Miranda Stearn, Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Tuesday – Young Curators by Francesca Pellegrino, Epping Forest District Museum
  • Wednesday – Accreditation and Volunteer-Run Museums by Joanne Godfrey, Mersea Museum
  • Thursday – Life as a Museum Volunteer by Deke Dudley, Braintree Museum
  • Friday – Volunteering with Kids in Museums by Jane Allnutt
  • Saturday – The vTeam: Partnership Opportunities With the Student Volunteering Team by Anya Visegorodceva, University of Essex Students’ Union
  • Sunday – Students, Graduates and Volunteer-Run Museums by Christine Brewster and Katie Wilkie, The Cater Museum

Thursday 4th June is also the first SHARE Museums East Volunteer Awards, and several Essex-based volunteers have been nominated, so please keep your fingers crossed for them!

~Amy Cotterill