Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Closing the museum

Posted in the "Letters to the editor" in the Laramie Boomerang, Tuesday, July 28th.

The recent decision to eliminate the curator position and temporarily close the University of Wyoming Geological Museum is viewed with dismay by the members of the Albany County Museum Coalition, who represent 14 (now 13) Albany County museums and collections open to the public. We strongly urge the university to reconsider this decision, and to search actively for solutions which will keep the Geological Museum fully open with a curator.

Each of our museums has a unique focus and mission, but all have common goals, which are:
- To maintain, safeguard, exhibit, and protect for future generations the artifacts under our care
- To be focal points for tourism through interpretive exhibits, and well-trained staff and volunteers
- To educate visitors about the cultural and natural resources of our area
-To serve as easily accessible resources for the community and visitors on topics in which we have special expertise
- To fulfill our unique missions through programs, service, and outreach

Although we often lack adequate funding, we diligently seek to achieve these goals. The Geological Museum has excelled in all these areas, and draws visitors here from around the world. The University's recent decision indicates a lack of awareness of the need for a museum curator who can give constant attention to environmental conditions, maintenance of artifacts, and preparedness for immediate action in case of disaster.

The UW Geological Museum has been a prominent and renowned example of the University's mission, and we urge the university to restore it to its proper place with a full time curator.

Teresa Sherwood
Albany County Museum
Coalition chair

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