Just because we cannot currently welcome visitors to the museum doesn’t mean the wheels stop turning in the meantime! Laura Babcock, Museum Director; Janice Havey, Collections; and Dixie Larsen, Board President, regularly show up to do a general check-up on the building (are there any critters making mischief?), and perform minor maintenance tasks (like running water through faucets and flushing the toilets). Laura also scheduled the annual sprinkler and water pressure testing. They pick up any phone messages and sort through the mail that Dixie collects from the post office, answering questions and research requests. Laura has been busy writing grant applications – which have become very important for the budget this year when the museum has not generated any revenue through teas or donations from visitors. Allan Smirni, Treasurer and Sana Omar, Bookkeeper take care of bookkeeping, depositing checks, and paying bills, as well as updating the membership database. Jim Reynolds, Board Secretary is busy updating the computers. We had a newsletter mailing session in May to make sure our membership would receive the latest issue – the big tables in the workroom really helped to maintain social distancing: we had one volunteer on each corner!
Outside, Monica Fegan-Conklin can be seen tending to the gardens, keeping them in beautiful shape for our outdoor visitors to enjoy.
In the annex, a group of volunteers is sorting through donations, prepping and pricing them for a future garage sale. The store staff have been moving tables and displays around so that shoppers can keep their distance in the future, testing different set-ups and planning for individualized assistance. The back room behind the workroom has been cleaned out and tidied up, and file cabinets have been installed. The room is in the process of being reconfigured so researchers and archivists can work efficiently whilst keeping their distance. There is already a backlog of materials and objects waiting to be processed once they return! In order for everyone to be comfortable in spite of the summer’s heat, Johan Koning has installed an A/C unit for the room. David Swanson has been replacing light bulbs where needed and helping with moving file cabinets.
Since we had to cancel the Spring Teas, Dixie, who coordinates the reservations, contacted everyone who had made a booking. She only had to return half of the deposits for the table bookings to the tea hosts, as the other half were kindly donated to the museum. Thank you, tea hosts! With no income besides membership dues, this was a welcome gift!
In preparation for the future reopening of the museum for visitors, Laura and Dina Bensen, Docent Coordinator have been researching and planning to create an environment to keep both visitors and docents safe. They ordered clear plastic shields for docents to wear, and considered closing off displays that are interactive, like the buttons on the X-ray machine, the Klotski puzzle, and the Hendy video.
Dina sent out a scheduling request for August, just in case we can open the doors that soon, and lo and behold, our docents answered the call; they are ready to come back and lead tours! The calendar for August is filled – so now we just need the green light, and the doors will be thrown open to greet visitors again, whenever that will be!
Article by Katharina Woodman