Back when I was the director of a small historical society in New York State, I was always looking for help from whatever sources I could find it. Consultants, books, you name it and I pursued it.
Fortunately, the American Association of Museums (AAM), through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), has a terrific program designed to help small and medium-sized museums strengthen and grow. And I am going to quite shamelessly promote it to you, our dear readers, because yes, I think it is just that important.
The Museum Assessment Program (MAP) is designed to be a cost-effective (as in, for really tiny museums, as inexpensive as free!) way to improve museum operations and reach via three assessment programs:
- Collections Stewardship
- Community Engagement
In the program, museums conduct a self-study and consults with a museum professional, all to gain expertise, knowledge, and tools to help work through things from how to get your organization’s governance and operations ship-shape to advice on what to do with that collection of arsenic-laden stuffed rodents you have in the back room. And the people I know who serve as MAP assessors are fabulous. The best. Curious, interested, friendly, and pragmatic.
So no excuses. If you are a small or mid-sized museum and could use some help, check it out. All museum types welcome. Go to www.aam-us.org/map to learn more, and if you want to apply, the postmark deadline is Feb. 18th.
MAP staff at AAM are available to answer any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-289-9118.