This past Monday, I shadowed tours scheduled for that day. When I shadowed the tours, something I noticed is that there is not a set pattern each tour guide follows; every tour guide highlights different artifacts in the exhibit. Most importantly, I noticed that visitors are more engaged when the tour guides ask them questions either to test their knowledge or casual questions about activities individuals in the group like to do (that relates to the material of course). Due to the understanding that visitors engage more when asked questions, I plan to ask questions and engage the group I have, rather than loading them a plethora of information and hardly attempting to engage the group.
Later on in the day, I was informed about the cleanliness of the museum’s exhibit and the supplies they use to clean the glass display cases, the information labels, and so on. During the time I cleaned the exhibit, I came across a display that presented a fact to me that I thought was interesting.
When anthracite mining was a well-paying job for many men, there were many deaths. The display states that there is a total of 30,905 miners that died from 1870 to 1993. The display supports the notion that many immigrant miners risked their lives each day to support their families after coming to a whole new world. This is interesting for me because I did not know exactly how many miners died from working in the mines, which has led me to respect former miners more.
On Tuesday, I shadowed a tour in the morning and gave a small portion of a tour. It did not go as well as I anticipated, but the volunteers and employees were positive about it and gave me pointers and guidance on ways to give tours. I appreciate their positive reassurance and willingness to help me become a better and effective tour guide for the visitors. For the rest of the day, I learned about what a museum curator does, the different job positions in a museum, and so on. Afterward, I started working on a project that the curator has planned for me to do. The project is to catalog an assortment of artifacts from a 1960s and 1970s medical utensil kit that a doctor used on house call. The artifacts I examined and cataloged are intriguing because they give an individual a glimpse of medical supplies that were in the 1960s and 1970s. Overall, this week at the museum was interesting and motivating to the point that I will be ready to give an engaging tour and look at more interesting medical supplies and tools.