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Museum Operations

A Handbook of Tools, Templates, and Models

Samantha Chmelik

Today’s accelerated pace of decision-making combined with the emphases on accountability and transparency has created the need for analytical tools and templates to support the decision-making process of museum staffs and boards. Museum Operations: A Handbook of Tools, Templates, and Models contains research and analytical tools, templates, and models – giving museum professionals processes and procedures for analyzing information and making decisions that are then easily explainable to staff, board members, donors, patrons, and other stakeholders.

The book consists of four parts.

  • Part One is an overview of the research project management process.
  • Part Two introduces the 19 tools, templates, and models that can be used to collect, analyze, and present research results and recommendations. It also explains what each tool, template, or model is, what it does, when it should be used, and how it should be used.
  • Part Three presents six fictional case studies that show when and how the tools, templates, and models can be used in situ.
  • Part Four contains blank, instructional versions of the tools, templates, and models for the reader’s use.

Additional resources related to project management, research and analysis, and presentation skills are also included.
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Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 148Size: 7 x 10
978-1-4422-7047-3 • Hardback • February 2017 • $78.00 • (£52.95)
978-1-4422-7048-0 • Paperback • February 2017 • $35.00 • (£23.95)
978-1-4422-7049-7 • eBook • February 2017 • $33.00 • (£22.95)
Samantha Chmelik is a Public Historian at Preston Argus, LLC. She has worked and volunteered at libraries, museums, and nonprofit organizations for two decades, developing areas of expertise in research, project management, strategic planning, and best practices/benchmarking. She is the author of Museum and Historic Site Management: A Case Study Approach. After receiving a B.A. from Wellesley College, Ms. Chmelik then earned an MS in Library and Information Science from Simmons GSLIS, an MBA from the University of Illinois-Chicago, and a MA in Public History from Loyola University, Chicago.
The author has created a good solid reference source that I will definitely add to my staff resource library. It is very difficult to find all this material condensed in this way and there is a real need for museum staff to be able to access this very helpful and practical information.
Will Ticknor, Director of Museum Resources, New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs

Museum Operations: A Handbook of Tools, Templates, and Models is a great resource for museum boards and management faced with a variety of operational challenges. The book provides a common sense approach to data gathering, benchmarking, project organization, and problem-solving with a number of easy to use templates. Hypothetical case studies provide a range of helpful approaches to resolving common problems in today's museum.
Martha Morris, Associate Professor of Museum Studies, George Washington University

Managing change in museums is especially difficult when there are so many moving parts and stakeholders involved. Chmelik has assembled a straight-forward collection of tools, templates, and models that will help you move your museum forward through change - embracing it with open arms and wide eyes. Using the examples she offers and studying the case studies will inspire and motivate you to change how you measure work and communicate about decisions, ideas, concerns, and more. Personally, I often use charters, flowcharts, and other analysis tools mentioned in the book to work with committees and board members to develop strategic directions and to stay on task. I can see large and small museum workers alike using this book until it's dog-eared. I also imagine students using these tools once they enter the work place to help make a case for their ideas and to organize their tasks and plans. The examples and structure of the book make it useful for any museum worker, from entry level all the way to senior management.
Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, President & CEO, Abbe Museum