SUBJECT: NSHS Museum of Nebraska History has a docent drought and is looking for help
It may be a rainy October, but the Nebraska State Historical Society's Museum of Nebraska History is experiencing a drought-of docents. Docents give guided tours to the 11,000+ students who visit the museum each year. Only about half the school groups visiting the museum receive guided tours, but most want them. What once was a river of docents - many of them retired school teachers - has dried up, so the Historical Society is looking for help.
"We can currently accommodate only half of the requests for guided tours, and so we hope to double our docent team," says Judy Keetle, Museum Educator. "And with our new educational cart program and the new 'Investigation Station' opening soon, there will be many ways for docents to help bring history alive." A new exhibit, "Nebraska's Citizen Soldiers in the 21st Century" will interpret the contributions the men and women of the Nebraska National Guard have made around the globe. Opening in November, the exhibit is expected to prompt even more school visits. Last year groups came to the Museum of Nebraska History from as far away as Sidney and Scottsbluff, and as near as McPhee Elementary in Lincoln.
No previous knowledge or training is required to become a docent as both Nebraska history and communication strategies are covered in docent training. Desirable characteristics for docents include a willingness to learn and communicate stories of Nebraska history using historical objects and biographies, and ingenuity in working with groups of various ages, interests, and abilities. Benefits include flexible scheduling, behind the scenes experiences, working with kids, and the chance to learn in-depth history.
To apply or nominate someone to join the Nebraska State Historical Society's Museum of Nebraska History docent program, please contact Deb McWilliams, Volunteer Coordinator, 402-471-4955
For more information on becoming a museum docent: Judy Keetle, 402-471-4757
For general information:
Chief Education and Research Officer
Nebraska State Historical Society
1500 R Street
PO Box 82554
Lincoln, NE 68501
The Nebraska source for the histories we share