Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Productive Day!

Lots of things happened today, it was great!

       Heavy lifting today, and I've got the tired arms and dirty, splinter-ridden hands to prove it. :-)  I love getting down and dirty and manual labor.

       I made a complete floorplan of the building and officially designated each room a function that way when we're cleaning, we know at least which room it needs to go to.

        Also found a lot of framed/wall pieces.  They're going to need to be gone through as well.

So as far as cataloging projects, we have 3:

Wall work/framed stuff/photos/pictures

       This got me thinking as to the depot's mission statement.  Do we need a new one that really identifies what interpretation of history we want to do?  What story do we need to tell?  (Thank you, Introduction to Public History class!)  Once we decided this it will be easier to get rid of stuff.  Sadly there is no way we'll have the room for everything.

       Most of the moving we did today involved heavy wooden cabinets and file cabinets, as I got started on the freight room/gift shop and office.  Some may think it's odd that I am using my museum studies internship to work on things beside the museum itself: gift shop, office, marketing...  But my notion is this: if you don't have a good, well-organized place to work, how do you expect to keep your museum well-organized and under control?  As far as the gift shop goes...  The depot museum is not brand new, There are large areas already set up and working as a museum for visitor's to stop in...and it's open MAYBE two hours a WEEK.  We need more people.  We are a growing museum and we need 2 major things: money and hands.
       Some items for the gift shop we already have, and there's an interest in t-shirts.  If we can have the gift shop open, even if it's not (yet) completely full, by November (for Christmas shopping downtown...) that could be a little extra income for the museum.
       The gift shop is a marketing opportunity.  We need to get out there and advertise ASAP.  Maybe not necessarily for the museum, but for people and donations.  We need to let the community know we're growing and what they can do to help.

       Oh, something else happened today.  I was just beginning to clean when I heard a tug on the door.  A nice older couple wanted to see the museum, so I opened it up to them and was able to answer some questions and tell some stories that I learned from Jerry and Lindsey.  Also showed them the train in the park.  Very nice couple driving through from Idaho to Michigan.  I was very proud of myself for remembering so much.  But I do think a handbook with the history of the different items is still a good idea for current and future interns and volunteers.

       Finally, I was invited to attend the next board meeting.  Kind of exciting.  They want me to explain what I've been doing at the depot and what I think future plans should be.  So I'll be working on that "report" during some of my internship hours as well.  I think it's an important thing to do and to do well.

       I have lots of pictures I need to upload.  My laptop is sadly in a coma (not dead) and I'm having a time using Hank's computer, but I will be getting more pictures up sooner rather than later I hope!

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