Museum Hiring
Welcome to the Collections Caretaker e-Newsletter from Northern States Conservation Center. The newsletter is designed to bring you timely and helpful content that is pertinent to situations we all encounter in our museum and archives work. Feel free to let us know what topics you would like to see featured in Collections Caretaker or even contribute an article.
In This Issue

Museum Hiring: It's About the Whole, Not for the Other-than
New Courses for 2019
Featured Course
2019 Museum Classes Schedule
New Partner Certification Program
Conferences and Meetings
Museum Hiring: It's About the Whole, Not for the Other-than
Joan Baldwin
This week in discussion with our Johns Hopkins class we asked students about threats to 21st-century museums. While there were outliers who mentioned the lack of leadership training, poor pay, and becoming a pink collar field, the vast majority felt diversity was today's biggest challenge. And by diversity, they meant its absence. This group is young, hopeful, largely female, and mostly Caucasian, yet they see our field as riddled with white, male patriarchy.
To be totally transparent, we here at Leadership Matters are older, white, straight and female. We occupy a weird nether-world that has trouble claiming a demographic silo so there may be some who bristle when we write about diversity and leadership. But as people who've watched the museum world, and particularly museum leadership, for a long time, we believe this field is overdue for change. And creating diversity by checking boxes--one handicapped staff member, plus one LGBTQ person, plus one person of color, plus one transgender individual equals diversity--is not the answer. In fact, it can result in a lonely group of individuals who are burdened with representing an entire population, and who feel they've only been hired because of who they're not. And who aren't they? They aren't your usual Caucasian, privileged, cisgender, straight, liberal-arts college crowd. So what should you do?  How about hiring for the whole not for other-than?  
How do you do that? Know your community. That's your actual community, meaning your museum neighborhood, not the people who come to openings. Know your staff. Know where you want your organization to go, and who your museum cares about. Hire to mirror your forward motion. Hire to create a team, not to check boxes, but make sure you've done due diligence in spreading the word. Don't place one advertisement with your regional museum service program and call it a day. Put the ad in as many places as you can afford and see who you attract.
Be willing to invest some time in the process. Hiring new staff is far more complex than ordering from Amazon, and yet too many organizations treat it in much the same way. They don't discuss what the new or revised position could or should look like, how it might fit into the organization, and most importantly how one particular position adds to or complements a team. Add to that a boatload of bias and it's easy to hire the same old, same old.
When we wrote "Know your staff" above, we really meant it. Even if you work at an organization as big as some small towns, someone knows the group of people you are hiring for. They know whether they interact with the community daily or move entirely behind the scenes. They know whether they're chummy, go out for drinks together, and finish everything on time but at the last minute or whether they are goal driven and competitive. And they know whether their team really needs a master's degree or whether a bachelor's degree and a lot of imagination will move the ball up the field just fine.
If you're the board and hiring for the ED position, you know what's on the "to-do" list at the micro and macro level. If you're making a huge shift, you know you're going to need someone who will smile and be personable, someone who can sell change. That means you must park your bias at the door. Listen and watch. Again, don't choose the person who makes you comfortable; choose the person that's the best fit for the job.
I would be doing us all a disservice if I made it sound as simple as applying good listening techniques. Hiring is a complicated process, where bias, aspiration, hope, and memory frequently clash. AAM offers good resources on how to make the process more open and transparent. Don't forget too, part of hiring and keeping a diverse staff is to maintain an equitable workplace. Maybe now's the moment to make sure your 2019 to-do list includes:
  • a gender pay equity audit.
  • a values statement-what does your organization believe in back stage away from the public?
  • an HR/personnel policy that includes a standard of conduct and anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies.
  • An understanding of what it costs to live in your museum's neighborhood, city or town.
  • Know what diversity means in your community. Know who's not at your table.
Once again, hiring for social media/PR value only nets disappointment and expense. Instead, hire because you want a diverse crowd around your table. Because the diverse crowd is the best crowd and diverse teams are imaginative teams. And who isn't looking for the dream team?
Reprinted with permission from Leadership Matters   Posted: December 10, 2018
Thoughts on 21st Century museum leadership by Anne Ackerson and Joan Baldwin
For more information on Leadership please check out other articles from this Blog.
New Courses for 2019: Details Coming Soon
Costumed Interpreters at Fort Vancouver NHS, National Park Service 
John Veverka of Heritage Interpretation International Group will be teaching the following courses for Museum Classes in 2019.   We would like to welcome him on board!  More specific details on each of these course will be available on our website soon. 
MS 268: MS 268: A Curators Guide to Creating Truly Interpretive Gallery Tours NEW DATES February 4 to March 1, 2019
MS 269: MS 269: Why Visitors Choose an Interpretive Program or Service March 4 to 29, 2019
MS 270: The Interpretive Exhibit Planners Tool Box May 6 to 31, 2019
MS 271: Training for Interpretive Trainers July 8 to August 2, 2019
MS 272: Exhibit Rehab - Breathing New Life Into Old Exhibits September 9 to October 4, 2019
MS273: Advanced Interpretive Techniques -Interpreting the "rest of the story". November 4 to December 2, 2019
Featured Course: Introduction to Museums

The United States has more than 17,000 museums, we can only guess at the
Peranakan Museum, Singapore 
world's total. While most people think of a museum as a well-staffed, professionally run institution, the vast majority of museums are started and run by people with little or no basic training in museum studies or preservation. Introduction to Museums is designed to change that. The course introduces basic concepts, terminology and the role of various staff members, including curators, registrars and directors. Introduction to Museums is aimed at staff members, board members, interns, volunteers, as well as anyone interested in becoming a museum professional or learning more about the profession. 
Join Instructor Kimberly Kenney for MS 101 Introduction to Museums starting February 4, 2019 and learn how museums really work. 
Early Bird Discounts Available for Full Length Courses
An Early Bird Discount is available for anyone who signs up for a full length course from 30 days prior to the start of that course.  
Sign up for a full length course up to 30 days prior to its start and save $100.00!
For our course list or to sign up:  
To take advantage of this discount, you must enter coupon code EARLYBIRD at checkout at
The Early Bird Discount deadline for February courses is January 5, 2019   
The Early Bird Discount deadline for March courses is February 2, 2019 
2019 Museum Classes Course Schedule
MS 268: A Curators Guide to Creating Truly Interpretive Gallery Tours NEW DATES February 4 to March 1, 2019 
MS 269: Why Visitors Choose an Interpretive Program or Service March 4 to 29, 2019
MS 270: The Interpretive Exhibit Planners Tool Box May 6 to 31, 2019
MS 271: Training for Interpretive Trainers July 8 to August 2, 2019
MS 272: Exhibit Rehab - Breathing New Life Into Old Exhibits September 9 to October 4, 2019
MS273: Advanced Interpretive Techniques -Interpreting the "rest of the story". November 4 to December 2, 2019
New Partner Certification Program: Certified Professional Heritage Interpreter Certification Program. 

Museum Classes is a training partner with John Veverka and Associates for their new Certified Professional Heritage Interpreter Certificate Program. 

While other organizations offer professional certificates in heritage interpretation, our Certified Professional Interpreter Certificates are far more content extensive, taught at a university level, and more in-depth learning experiences than any of the other interpretive certificates. They offer more current content and interpretive examples and case studies, hands-on learning experiences and direct content with the Certificate Manager/Trainer and Coach throughout your Certification experience.

Who is the Certified Professional Heritage Interpreter certificates program for? 

- Individuals wanting a career in/as a professional interpreter.

- Individuals currently working as an interpretive planner, trainer or another interpretive specialist, but have had no college-level training in interpretive planning and related interpretive planning for interpretive media or interpretive training services.

- Consulting firms offering interpretive planning/design services whose staff does not have professional training actually in interpretive planning or college degrees majoring in heritage interpretation.

- Individuals working in the interpretive profession who do not have a B.S. or M.S degree majoring in heritage interpretation or who have had only one or two courses in heritage interpretation and want to advance the professional knowledge of the interpretive profession.

- Folks who wish to use this professional certification for an agency or personal advancement.

-Interpreters with an insatiable desire to learn and be the best they can in interpretation - knowledge is power.

- Based on a University Course progression system consisting of completing actual courses in interpretation, not just taking one course, one open book test and mainly paying the certification course fee. These Certificate courses are offered in a content sequence leading up to the final course in developing your unique interpretive project or visitor experience. 

- Awards CEU (Continuing Education Units) credits for the certification programs and each individual course that is offered as part of the certificate program. While you can work on the certificate programs at your own pace, the estimated completion time is 10 months.

For more information click here 
Conferences and Meetings
California Association of Museums, San Francisco, CA
February 7-9, 2019
Museum Store Association, San Diego, CA
March 28-April 1, 201 9

Texas Association of Museums, El Paso, TX
April 2-5, 2019

Museums Association New York, Cooperstown, NY
April 7-9, 2019
American Alliance of Museums, New Orleans, LA
May 19-22, 2019
Colorado-Wyoming Association of Museums, Gillette, Wyoming
May 23-25, 2019

Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, Chicago, IL
May 25-31, 2019
Smithsonian Institution and Office of Protection Services
National Conference on Cultural Property Protection, Location TBA
June 19-21, 2019
Association of Academic Museums and Galleries, University of Minnesota
June 27-30, 2019

Society of American Archivists, Austin, TX
July 31 - August 6, 2019

American Association of State and Local History, Philadelphia, PA
August 28-31, 2019
Oklahoma Museums Association, Choctaw Casino
September 18-20, 2019
Mountain-Plains Museums Association, Albuquerque, NM
September 22-25, 2019
Association of Midwest Museums, Grand Rapids, Michigan October 2-5, 2019
Western Museums Association, Boise, ID October 4-7, 2019
Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, Hudson Valley, NY October 16-18, 2019
Southeastern Museums Conference, Charleston, SC
October 21-23, 2019
New England Museum Association, Burlington, VT
November 6-8, 2019
National Association for Interpretation, Denver, Colorado
November 12-16, 2019
International Foundation for Cultural Property Protection
Dates and Location coming soon
National Association for Interpretation,
Saint Augustine, FL
November 10-14, 2020

Submissions and Comments
How to submit an article or upcoming workshops for inclusion in the Newsletter:  
If you would like to submit an article, notice of an organizational meeting or upcoming workshop for an upcoming Collections Caretaker Newsletter, send your submission to .  
We are always looking for contributions to this newsletter. Submission deadline is the 10th of each month. 
Have a comment or suggestion?   
Northern States Conservation Center (NSCC) provides training, collection care, preservation and conservation treatment services. NSCC offers online museum studies classes at in Collections Management & Care, Museum Administration & Management, Exhibit Practices and Museum Facilities Management.
Helen Alten, Director
Peggy Schaller, Publications Manager