I just returned from several days in upstate Washington, after completing field work at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham on behalf of the Alliance of American Museums (AAM). AAM is the accrediting association for museums in the U.S. and they approached me over the summer about working on the Whatcom’s re-accreditation bid as part of the field review team.
The Whatcom Museum’s collection includes cultural objects (including Native American artifacts), fine art, and natural history much like Reading’s, and is spread across a campus of several buildings, so the similarities between our institutions made me an appropriate choice for the team. Accreditation is something that all museums have to go through every ten years or so, and with ours scheduled for 2022 any chance to see how other museums are handling their affairs is beneficial to us here. While our field review report is only one of the many steps that the Whatcom Museum will undertake in the process, my teammates and I felt that the exchange of information and “fresh set of eyes” was good for all parties, although after 20+ hours of travel, I was happy to return to Berks County.