Park City Museum needs volunteers
March 6, 2012
The Park City Museum and Historical Society’s mission is to preserve, protect and promote Park City history and heritage and it can’t do that without its many volunteers.
"We have a lot of programs, exhibits and special events that take place at the museum, and they can’t run themselves, said Jenette Purdy, the museum’s curator of education. "We do rely on our amazing volunteers to help us and we’re always in need of help, because they help us fulfill our mission."
So, each year the museum puts out a call for locals, part-time locals, anyone who is interested in Park City history or anyone who wants to get involved in the community to become a volunteer.
The first day of training is the new-volunteer welcome and orientation on Thursday, March 15, from 3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m., at the Museum, 528 Main St.
After that, the museum will hold its docent training sessions each Thursday until April 26.
Docents are the people who give tours, work in the school programs and galleries the ones who are somewhat in the public eye, Purdy said.
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"We have a variety of needs, depending on a person’s interest," she explained. "We have volunteers who help install and take down some of the traveling exhibits and help with the upkeep of our permanent exhibits," she said. "We need volunteers to help process our collections, by cataloging artifacts and scanning photos. Those who want to work in the collections area of the museum will have special training, because of the computers we use.
"What some people don’t know is that we actively still collect items and archival materials that tell the Park City story, so we really need help with those things," she said.
People are also needed to help with tours inside and outside the museum.
"We also guide people through the museum and answer their questions, and have our historic walking tours in the summer," Purdy said. "So we need folks who like to talk to people and share our history. These volunteers, known as gallery guides, are on hand to answer any questions about our history, also help with the personal touch of greeting the public. They don’t give actual tours per se, but answer any questions."
In addition, the museum offers a variety of school programs for all grades.
"Last year, we had more than 1,000 children come through the museum, which was a good number for a museum our size," Purdy said. "We couldn’t have accommodated the kids if it weren’t for our volunteers.
"We feel it’s important to not just send the kids loose in the museum, but to have some structure in teaching them about our history, so we’re always looking for people who like to work with kids," she said.
Finally, the museum needs volunteers to help them with annual events such as the Silver Queen Ball fundraiser, Halloween at the Glenwood and history dinners.
"We also need, on occasion, help with the front desk," she said. "The front desk is usually staffed by a member from the Chamber of Commerce, but during our busy times, it’s always nice to have some extra help in our gift store."
There is no minimum hour requirement that volunteers need to meet, either, Purdy said.
"We are very flexible, because Park City is a flexible town," she said. "We have docents who are here only in the summer and love to do the walking tours, which is fine, and sometimes people aren’t here in the summer, but are in the winter and come in to be our gallery guides once a week."
Also, the last thing Purdy wants is for people to be doing something they don’t want to do.
"There is a misconception is that the volunteers need to know a lot about the town’s history and need to be an expert to give tours," she said. "That’s not really the case, because the biggest things we look for are if they are enthusiastic and have a basic knowledge of Park City, and most people know more than they think they do."
The Park City Museum is looking for volunteers and will hold an orientation on Thursday, March 15. For more information about becoming a volunteer or the training schedule, visit http://www.parkcityhistory.org.