A five-year project is now a reality as the Small Museum Toolkit is published by AltaMira Press, an imprint of the Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
Conceived during a marathon road trip to two back-to-back museum conferences, coeditors Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko and Stacy Klingler tackled a dream to produce practical how-to resources specifically geared for their small museum colleagues. Partnering with dozens of authors, whose writings are spread over six books, the Small Museum Toolkit offers a launching point for small museum staff to pursue best practices and meet museum standards. These brief volumes address governance, financial management, human resources, audience relations, interpretation, and stewardship for small museums and historic sites.
The early reviews are exciting -
"Finally, a practical, easy to read book series designed specifically for staff at small museums and historical societies! The Small Museum Toolkit will be a welcome addition to small museum bookshelves everywhere."
— Scott Wands, Heritage Resource Center & Field Services Director, Connecticut Humanities Council
"Benjamin Ives Gilman described the most pleasant of museum visits as one in the company of someone who knows and loves the objects on view. Reading the Small Museum Toolkit is a bit like such a 'visit.' Each author serves as a knowledgeable guide helping the reader understand museum practices in the most pleasant way. The information in these pages is so approachable that I recommend it not only to museum staff and volunteers, but also museum board members."
— Mary Alexander, Maryland Historical Trust; co-author, Museums in Motion: An Introduction to the History and Functions of Museums, second edition
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko is chief executive officer at the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine. Prior to joining the Abbe in 2009, Cinnamon was the director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum in Crawfordsville, Indiana where she lead this small museum and historic site to the National Medal for Museum Service in 2008. She was the founding chair of the American Association for State and Local History’s Small Museums Committee and is presently an AASLH board member. She also serves as a peer reviewer for the American Association of Museums. In the series, she authored two chapters, “DIY Strategic Planning” and “Fearless Fundraising: A Roadmap for Kick-Starting Your Development Program.”
Stacy Klingler understands the real life challenges of working in a small organization from her past role as director or assistant director of three small museums in Indiana and in her current role serving small museums in the field service office at the Indiana Historical Society. She has nine years of experience translating museum standards and best practices into manageable steps for all-volunteer and minimally-staffed organizations. Klingler is the current chair of the AASLH Small Museums Committee is a member of the Field Services Alliance. In the series, she co-authored a chapter with Conny Graft titled, “In Lieu of Mind-Reading: Visitor Studies and Evaluation.”
The individual book titles provide another snapshot of the book series -
Book One: Leadership, Mission, and Governance
Book Two: Financial Resource Development and Management
Book Three: Organizational Management
Book Four: Reaching and Responding to the Audience
Book Five: Interpretation: Education, Programs, and Exhibits
Book Six: Stewardship: Collections and Historic Preservation
To learn more about the book series and to order a set, visit https://rowman.com/isbn/9780759113343 .