Workshop: Collections Management and Practices

Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management.

Details:

Date: June 5-6, 2017

Location:  Maine Historical Society, Portland, ME

Cost: $280 AASLH members/$405 nonmembers
*Get $40 off registration if you book by May 1, 2017!*

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Workshop Description:

Learn about your institution’s responsibility toward its collection, necessary policies and procedures, and the best practices of collection management. Through lively group discussions and hands-on activities, you will become familiar with current issues and trends to better understand how collections fit within the context of history organizations. The workshop will also explore the role of collections in exhibition and interpretation, the basic steps of collections management from acquisition to disposal, professional standards and ethics, conservation on a shoe-string budget, and the many resources available for collections preservation.

Who Should Attend:

This workshop is targeted to new professionals and dedicated volunteers with responsibility for collections.

About the Faculty:

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Samantha Forsko is a Preservation Specialist at the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts.

 

 

 

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Bethany L. Hawkins is the Chief of Operations for the American Association for State and Local History.Prior to her work with AASLH, she was the director of a small historic house museum and oversaw all aspects of collections care from accessioning to cleaning to protecting from the raccoons. She has been at AASLH for ten years.

 

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Webinar: Developing a Successful Volunteer Recruitment Program

We know having volunteers in the wings who can give eight hours a day is no longer the case. Recruitment is a process that enables the selection of the right people for the right task. Recruitment is understanding the environment where people want to volunteer and the time they have to give. Learn more about recruitment and gain practical tools for running a successful volunteer recruitment program.

Details:

Date: April 11, 2017

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

When you register for this webinar, you'll get a promo code for the final webinar in this Volunteer Management Series:  Training Volunteers (April 26).

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What Participants Said:

"Each segment was well presented and allowing live chats during the webinar was especially appreciated. Additionally, providing the downloads for use with our organizations is extremely valuable."

"I really appreciated the break-down of different generations -- what characteristics they have (whether they like to be monitored, which age groups really stress acknowledgement) and what recruitment channels are good for them."

"Venues about where to recruit and peer-to-peer questions and answers [were very helpful]."

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About the Faculty:

bethany-hawkins-chief-of-operations

 

 

Bethany L. Hawkins is the Chief of Operations for the American Association for State and Local History.

 

 

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Want to learn more about Volunteer Management?


Webinar: Are You Ready for Volunteers?

Many volunteer programs have existed with little or no formal processes and assessments in place. Often, there is no paid staff member who manages the volunteer program. The result is that the programs are often not well run, translating into high volunteer turnover, anemic buy-in from the organization’s management and staff, and ultimately, low program success. This webinar will address how to plan for a volunteer program at your history organization or how to improve the program that you currently have.

Details:

Date: April 4, 2017

Time: 3pm EST/2pm Central/1pm Mountain/12pm Pacific

Cost: $40 members/$65 nonmembers

When you register for this webinar, you'll get a promo code for 25% off the other two webinars in this Volunteer Management Series: Developing a Successful Volunteer Recruitment Program (Aprill 11) and  Training Volunteers (April 26).

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What Participants Said:

"[I liked] the idea that volunteers should be treated more like employees-- that is, given structure and responsibility."

"All the different pieces that need to come together for a successful volunteer program & why things are needed. It supported my thought that my Society is too scattered & disorganized to recruit and retain volunteers."

"Being able to take away clear points and bring them into discussion with my immediate supervisor for validation of my existing instincts and practices."

"Format of slides was easy to read, connect to talk. was really helpful to have names and websites of resources spelled out on slides. I liked the inclusion of actual cases as examples - i.e. the digitization project where the youngest volunteer was 72 yrs old. I also really appreciated being able to see the results of the surveys"

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About the Faculty:

bethany-hawkins-chief-of-operations

 

 

Bethany L. Hawkins is the Chief of Operations for the American Association for State and Local History.

Register

Want to learn more about Volunteer Management?


Webinar: What are the AASLH Leadership in History Awards?

Details:

Date: January 10, 2017

Time: 3pm EST

Cost: Free for AASLH Members/Non-members

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Description:

Have you always wondered what the AASLH awards program is? Do you feel that your organization is too small to win a national award? AASLH knows that organizations across the country do amazing work in the field of state and local history and want to recognize your efforts. Join this free informational webinar to learn about the program and why you should apply, no matter what your budget size. Also get tips for how to put together an award-winning nomination. Visit our Awards page to read more about AASLH Leadership in History awards and see profiles on previous award winning organizations.

Presented by Bethany Hawkins, AASLH Chief of Operations, and Trina Nelson Thomas, AASLH Awards Committee Chair

January 10, 2017
3pm to 4pm Eastern

Preregistration Required

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Six Tips for A Successful AASLH Award Nomination

AASLH likes to give awards. The awards committee members who review and vote on nominations love to vote yes and award good history. That said, sometimes we see nominations that might represent great history work, but are poor nominations. In that case, the committee gets crabby about the fact they have to vote no.

 

Crabby the Awards Crab-Unofficial Mascot of the AASLH Awards Committee
Crabby the Awards Crab-Unofficial Mascot of the AASLH Awards Committee

 

To keep the committee happy, I wanted to give a few tips to help you submit a successful nomination for the Leadership in History Awards program. While I cannot guarantee you will get an award, I can say that paying attention to these tips will improve your chances.

 

  1. Contact your State Team Leader at the beginning of the nomination process. Many nominees wait until they are ready to submit their nomination to contact their state team leader. Instead, contact them at the beginning of the process. They can provide guidance to make sure you submit in the right category, read drafts of your narrative and provide feedback, and answer any questions you have if you contact them early in the process instead of the day of the submission deadline.
  2. Letters of Critical Review are extremely important. This is the part of the process that trips up most of the nominations that get turned down for awards. One of the main criteria for a Leadership in History Award is that the project presents “good history.” Since the awards committee is unable to visit every organization that submits an award, we rely on the review writers to confirm that the history presented in your project is good (or even great). This is not a letter of support, but a true critical review of your project. “I liked it” will not suffice. There are loads of examples and helpful tips for writing letters available on our website.
  3. Less is more, be concise. The awards committee has two and a half days to review, debate, and vote on all the awards nominated. You need to make your case without distracting them with a lot of extraneous information. Make sure all the information you include in your nomination supports your case for an award and is not just white noise. In other words, leave all those form letters from the Chamber of Commerce and the Mayor touting the greatness of your organization at home.
  4. Follow the directions. Don’t miss out on an award because you did not include something in your nomination that was required. Be sure to read all of the nomination instructions before submitting your nomination. Read them twice, maybe even three times. You don’t want to get turned down because you left out a budget sheet or resume.
  5. Pay attention to dates. Meet the deadline. It is March 1. Put it on your calendar. Also, the time frame for projects for the 2016 award cycle is October 1, 2014-February 29, 2015. Contact your state team leader to discuss questions about date eligibility.
  6. Finally, sell it. This nomination is for your project. Use the narrative section to convince the committee that you believe your project represents exceptional and meritorious work; or is a new and promising idea, approach, or innovation that will serve as a model for the field. You obviously believe in this project or you wouldn’t take the time to submit the nomination, so be sure your narrative puts the best possible spin on the project.

I hope these tips are helpful and look forward to reviewing your excellent nominations.

Bethany L. Hawkins is Program Manager for AASLH and is the primary staff person for the Leadership in History Awards program. She can be contacted at hawkins@aaslh.org or 615-320-3203.


6 Reasons to Nominate Your Organization for a Leadership in History Award This Year

As Program Manager for AASLH’s Leadership in History Awards program, one of the most frequent questions I am asked is “Why should I apply for an award?” This is a fair question. Everyone who works for a history organization is busy. You have programs to plan, collections to catalog, grants to write, and bathrooms to clean. Applying for an AASLH award takes time. Why add one more thing to your to-do list?

There are many answers to that question, but here are my top six reasons why you should apply for a Leadership in History Award this year.

 

  1. Shine a national spotlight on your organization. We are all looking for ways to spread the word about the work we do. What better way than to be recognized on the national level with an Leadership in History Award of Merit?
  2. Get featured on the AASLH website. To go with the first reason, Leadership in History award winners get a featured profile on the AASLH website and a banner photo for 3-4 weeks on our home page. We also tweet out links to these profiles and feature some on our Facebook page. That is free national publicity, folks. (Here is a sample.)2015 AASLH-397
  3. Validate your staff and volunteer’s efforts. Sometimes, people who work in history organizations feel like they work in a vacuum. I was a small museum director and understand how you can do things you think are wonderful, but never interact enough with your peers to know if your work is really exceptional. An AASLH Award gives you a huge pat on the back from a panel of national professionals who recognize your hard work and innovation. It is enough to bring a tear to your eye.
  4. Increase your credibility with funders and other stakeholders. If you are looking to apply for a grant or ask for an increase in funding for your public programming, think about how much better your case will be if you can say that you are a nationally-award winning museum. (Just look at the prestige Sylvester Stallone now has because he is a Golden Globe winning and Oscar-nominated actor for Creed.) Potential funders and stakeholders, like your board, donors, county commission, etc., will know that you are doing work that has been recognized by a national organization as some of the best in the country. An award also illustrates that you are meeting best practices and standards and can only strengthen your case as an organization that should be supported. 2015 AASLH-381
  5. Gain a great marketing opportunity. Not only do you get featured on the AASLH website, but we provide you with tools to help you promote your award. AASLH gets mentioned in the press more during award season than any other time of the year as winners have stories about their award carried in the local newspaper, blogs, newsletters, and even on television stations. It is a great way to let your community know about the great history work you are doing.
  6. Help promote the Value of History. This benefit is a bit more intangible than a page on the AASLH website, but it is, perhaps, more important. The more we can tell the stories of the great ways history organizations are connecting with their communities, educating the public, preserving stories, and other things that are part of what we do as public historians (whether professional or volunteer), the more we promote the importance of history. Giving something an award attaches an importance to it. By nominating your project for a Leadership in History award, you help AASLH spread the word about the Value of History across the nation. 2015 AASLH-388

Hopefully, I have convinced you that it is worth your time and effort to submit a nomination for the Leadership in History Awards. Now, get started. The deadline for nominations is March 1. For more information, submission information, and helpful tips, visit the AASLH Awards website.

I look forward to seeing your nomination.

Bethany L. Hawkins is Program Manager for AASLH and can be reached at hawkins@aaslh.org or 615-320-3203.