Poster Presentation: Exceeding Standards for Small Museums

I just signed a book contract with AAM and Roman Littlefield that aims to examine the “Professional Practices for Academic Museums & Galleries” put forth by AAMG by using the case studies presented in the three volume set, “Handbook for Academic Museums,” published by MuseumsEtc. and incorporating my own 30 years of experiences in academic museums, particularly focusing on how small and mid-sized institutions can overcome obstacles they may face due to staffing and funding challenges. This poster session will be key in introducing the outline of the book and helping direct my focus on additional research as I make connections with staff in academic institutions across the country. I will be looking to vet the proposed outline, find new case studies that can supplement my research, and identify key contacts who can provide sample documents, photographs, charts, and related information of importance to the topics being covered. In particular, key concepts will include governance and organizational structure; HR/staffing; finance and fund-raising; facilities and technology; collections; exhibitions, education and evaluation; and, marketing, engagement and advocacy. There is always a good deal of risk and bravery involved when the staff of a small museum in a larger academic institution is trying to enact change to better align its practices with professional standards that may conflict with the parent organization’s long-established processes. It is my hope this book can be a resource for staff and advocacy tool for administrators and funders.

David Tanner, Director for the Center for the Arts, Albright College