The Park City Museum needs volunteers
March 1, 2013
Nearly 98,000 people visited the Park City Museum last year. Out of that group, nearly 1,000 of them were children from the surrounding school districts.
The visitors explored the exhibits and took some guided tours and learned about Park City, including its mining history.
Which means the museum needs a lot of volunteers, said Jenette Purdy, director of education at the Park City Museum.
"We have a very active volunteer program at the museum and we really would not be able to do any of those things without them," Purdy told The Park Record.
To bring in new recruits, the museum will host a volunteer and docent orientation on Tuesday, March 7, from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. All volunteers must be at least high-school age or older.
"We will welcome new volunteers and introduce some volunteer opportunities we have at the museum," Purdy said. "We’ll take a tour of the museum and talk about what the museum does and where we need help."
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Volunteers are needed for a variety of jobs.
"First off, we still collect artifacts, photos and papers relating to Park City history and always need help processing those items," Purdy said. "We also do a lot of research in our library to help our librarian and curator of exhibits with their work."
In addition, the museum has an active traveling exhibit program.
"Every few months new exhibits come in, so we have to take down and ship out the old ones and put up the new displays," she said. "While we do have permanent exhibits that are always up, the traveling exhibits come from other organizations from all around the country. And they are a way to keep things fresh and explore a lot of different topics that we wouldn’t normally address in the permanent exhibits, but are still relevant to our community. So, we use a lot of volunteers to help with that."
The museum also offers public and educational programming for children.
"We don’t have an official outreach program that goes into the schools, but we do have some trunks that are filled with items and we offer curriculums that teachers can check out to use in their classrooms," Purdy said. "We have these for lower-elementary classes in the second and third grades, and we have a trunk for eighth-grade science classes."
Of course, volunteers can help with the various tours in and outside the museum.
"We not only give tours in the museum, but we also offer historic guided walking tours up and down Main Street," Purdy said. "We also get a lot of visitors, so we need volunteers available in our galleries to talk with the visitors and introduce them to the museum and answer any questions."
After the initial volunteer and docent orientation, the museum will hold training classes every Thursday in March and one Thursday in April.
"Our trainings are content based, meaning we do go over Park City’s history and the mining history," Purdy explained. "Our training consists of a Park City 101 class and Park City mining introduction class as well as practical tips about giving tours or being a gallery guide."
Purdy said people don’t need to know the minute details of Park City history to become a volunteer.
"You don’t have to come with a large knowledge of everything that has happened in our town, but we do look for people who are passionate about our community," she said. "If people are interested in leading a tour, they will probably have to brush up on some history, and we encourage them to watch how other volunteers lead their tours. As they participate that way, they will acquire more knowledge that will help them.
"We offer a wide variety of things and believe we are a wonderful community resource, and it’s a lot of fun to work at the museum," Purdy said. "It’s great to connect our town’s history with our visitors."
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